If you were to take a quick glance, you’d think the Los Angeles Dodgers have an aged roster, and you wouldn’t be wrong. So many of the stars on this team are 29 or older.
But make no mistake about it, there are some mid-20s studs (Walker Buehler, Julio Urías), some in their early 20s, and a prospect pipeline filled with great expectations. The Dodgers aren’t going anywhere. For a long time. Apologies in advance to all San Francisco Giants fans.
It hurts to think this current Dodgers core could be finito after the 2022 season. All of Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Blake Treinen and AJ Pollock have contract options. Trea Turner could be a free agent. Cody Bellinger’s future remains uncertain.
So it helps to keep an eye in the years ahead, especially in regard to those currently on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster who can help this team in 2024 and beyond. Either that, or they’ll be used as trade bait at some point, but that’s a conversation for another time.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman very clearly has a plan and these players under 25 years old on the 40-man roster make that very clear.
The Dodgers’ best players under 25 years old on the 40-man roster
Eddys Leonard and James Outman
Here, we have two prospects who have yet to make their MLB debuts. Eddys Leonard, an infielder, ranks No. 18 in the Dodgers farm system, according to MLBPipeline.com, while James Outman, an outfielder, ranks 27th.
Leonard is just 21 years old and got added to the 40-man this offseason after hitting .297 with a .929 OPS across 107 games between Single-A and High-A. He scored 89 runs, belted 22 bombs, batted in 81 runs, and stole nine bases. Pretty darn good for a 20-year-old (at the time). The right-handed slugger was signed out of the Dominican a few years ago and could be beginning his big climb.
As for Outman, he was also recently added to the 40-man roster after his impressive showing at High-A and Double-A in 2021. The toolsy outfielder hit .266 with an .869 OPS, 90 runs scored, 18 homers, 54 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 104 games. It was a huge improvement from his 2019 campaign at Single-A, too. Classic Dodgers prospect numbers right there.
Though he’s not ranked particularly high on any of the main gurus’ prospect boards, the TrueBlueLA community has him at No. 10 on their list. Don’t hate that! And it’s a big plus that he throws righty and hits from the left side of the plate.
These guys won’t be debuting in 2022 (barring an unforeseen, meteoric rise), but it wouldn’t be crazy to assume 2023 feels right for their development at this juncture.