Slugging Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux's journey from the top of the prospect mountain to consistent big-league playing time wasn't as seamless as many thought it would be.
After ranking as high as the second-best prospect in baseball (per MLB Pipeline, prior to the 2020 season), Lux didn't establish a foothold on a full-time job right away, hitting .175 in '20 and just .242 with an 89 OPS+ in 102 games during his "first full season" in the bigs the next year.
There was no spot for Lux to "figure it out" at the MLB level, with Justin Turner at third base and Trea Turner acquired midseason, which is how win-now contenders typically behave. Thus, Lux ended up exiled to the outfield (imperfect fit) or reserved for pinch-hit opportunities and spot starts.
Clearly, with all that extra time on his hands, Lux got to working out. His 2022 season was an improvement (105 OPS+, a league-leading 7 triples), but it's 2023 when the 25-year-old infielder should really get a shot at the spotlight, with both Turners gone and the team skewing younger.
Lux showed up to Dodger Stadium this past Wednesday looking a bit different than the way fans remember him, but his new look is a bit more befitting of his recently-inflated status.
Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux's biceps look ready for big opportunity
Goodbye, Justin Turner. Hello, "Justin Turner's beard"-sized arm muscle.
Though Lux's career height thus far -- "passable regular" -- isn't what was foretold in the prospect rankings of yore, 2023 will mark his first year entering spring training as a de facto starter; he'll likely split reps with Miguel Rojas on the left side of the infield.
In case anyone needs to readjust their expectations, we've provided another, zoomed-in version of Lux's left arm.
Maybe the expectations for the 2023 Dodgers are too low. Apparently, they have Prime Bonds manning the shortstop position now.
Apologies. I wasn't familiar with your game.