The Los Angeles Dodgers have had several of their top prospects participate in the annual MLB Futures Game over the years, but this year’s pairing might go down as one of their best.
After Corey Seager and Julio Urias in 2014, Kyle Farmer and Juan Gonzalez in 2015, Willie Calhoun and Jharel Cotton in 2016, Alex Verudgo and Yadier Alvarez in 2017, and Yusniel Diaz and Keibert Ruiz in 2018, Gavin Lux and Dustin May represented the organization as two of their brightest prospects this season.
Lux and May are arguably the most-touted twosome since that 2014 pairing of Seager and Urias, and they have done pretty well for the big league club in Los Angeles.
Lux has had a phenomenal 2019 season thsu far, hitting .313/.375/.521 with 13 homers in 64 games at Double-A Tulsa, before a recent promotion to to Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he’s dominated to the tune of a .500/.545/.833 line in his first seven games.
May has also impressed, leading all Dodgers prospects in strikeouts entering July, and was recently promoted to Triple-A along with Lux. May went 3-5 with a 3.74 ERA and 86 strikeouts against 20 walks in 79.1 innings over 15 starts for the Drillers.
He went five innings and allowed two runs in his first and only Triple-A start so far, striking out three and walking two.
As for the Futures Game itself, neither Lux nor May opened the game in the lineup, but May was the third pitcher for the National Legaue team, following former top-five picks Ian Anderson and Mackenzie Gore of the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres, respectively. While May only threw eight pitches, he greatly impressed.
While some of those pitches are misclassified (that fastball at 97-98 mph is his two seamer, and he didn’t throw a changeup) it’s easy to see why he’s so highly regarded. All three of his outs were groundballs, two of which came on his two seamer, described as a “bowling ball” by one scout. University of Michigan Pitching Coach Chris Fetter, who just helped lead Michigan to the College World Series Finals, just offered a “wow,” and Baseball America Executive Editor JJ Cooper anointed him “another fire breathing monster SP.”
Lux, meanwhile, was robbed of an at-bat with the bases loaded when Cincinnati Reds’ Taylor Trammell got called out stealing home, though he looked safe. Lux started off the next inning against Toronto Blue Jays’ fireballer Nate Pearson, and struck out on a 101 mph fastball.
He came up again in the seventh inning and grounded out against the Minnesota Twins’ Jordan Balazovic. Lux did impress in batting practice though, spraying balls all over the field and showing off a little power too.
Overall, Lux and May definitely showed the national media why the Dodgers are still considered to have a top ten farm system, with themselves and Keibert Ruiz at the top.
After their strong starts to 2019 earned them a promotion to the highest level of the Minors, Lux and May could see some time towards the end of the year in the Majors, but if not, both will almost certainly be up in 2020.