2. Zach McKinstry
The Dodgers’ do-everything starter Chris Taylor hits free agency next year, one calendar year after the unfortunate departure of Kiké Hernandez.
Huh. Think anyone told 19th-ranked prospect Zach McKinstry about that?
So far in camp, the utility man has received effusive praise from AJ Pollock, who said, “That guy can simply flat-out rake. His bat is definitely going to play in the big leagues, I think.”
Add in his ability at second base and potential to fill in ably at short, third, and all three outfield spots, and the Dodgers’ 33rd-rounder from 2016 might be filling some championship shoes fairly soon at Chavez Ravine.
Oh, right, his spring training start. Does 2-for-4 with significant playing time in the first two games seem telling to anyone else? That’ll play. That’ll play all over the diamond.
McKinstry earns a slot here for the contact ability he’s already shown, as well as the fact that his fellow players are getting his hype machine going in earnest, too. Unprompted.
Sometimes it’s all about the narrative, after all.
In his last full season at the minor-league level, McKinstry hit .300 with 19 homers and 78 RBI across Double-A and Triple-A. He especially picked apart pitching at the highest level, hitting a robust .382 in a 26-game cameo with Oklahoma City.
This could be the year for McKinstry to garner a foothold, and nothing about his first few spring games should dissuade you from having that opinion.