3 big lessons the Dodgers can learn from Rangers and Diamondbacks

World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five
World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five / Harry How/GettyImages
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Always Ride the Hot Hand, Even if it Means Playing Younger Guys

This one is always a major sticking point for the Dodgers. LA always seems to have a massive amount of talent both in its farm system and in the majors. But every year by the time the postseason rolls around, the veterans on the roster are the ones who are valued over rookies and rising prospects. In 2023, David Peralta struggled in the second half of the season. After posting a .757 OPS with seven home runs before the All-Star Break, Peralta ended the season with a .675 OPS, going without a home run for almost three months.

The Dodgers at any point in that stretch could have tried out stellar prospect Michael Busch in left field as an experiment (considering he is blocked by Max Muncy, Miguel Vargas, Freddie Freeman and others in the infield), like they did in 2021 with Gavin Lux while Trea Turner and Corey Seager occupied the middle infield spots. Even if an experiment with Busch didn't turn out well, the Dodgers could immediately pivot back to playing Peralta again.

However, for both the Rangers and the Diamondbacks, young players made contributions all over the place. Evan Carter posted a 1.058 OPS in 75 plate appearances towards the end of the season for the Rangers, and was immediately thrown into the fire of the postseason. Carter thrived in the role, posting a .917 OPS in 72 plate appearances in the postseason, and was an instrumental part of the Rangers' World Series run.

The Diamondbacks allowed Brandon Pfaadt to contribute in major ways to the pitching staff, with likely Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas and Gabriel Moreno (all of whom made their debuts in 2022) also playing everyday roles at their respective positions. While the Dodgers certainly have the major league talent to avoid playing as many prospects and inexperienced players as the Diamondbacks did, they could also certainly afford to dip into their pool of talent in the minor leagues more and take chances.