Going into the 2019 season, Gavin Lux was a highly-touted prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization who was coming off his best year in the Minor Leagues.
At just 21 years of age, he started the season with Double-A Tulsa and was not expected to make it all the way to the big leagues this year. He ended up having an absolute monster Minor League season, forcing the Dodgers’ hand to call him up in September.
Lux even made the team’s postseason roster, starting meaningful October games. In 64 games with Tulsa, Lux hit .313/.375/.521 with 13 home runs, 45 runs scored and 37 RBI, earning himself a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Lux continued to tear it up at the plate in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, establishing himself as one of the top prospects in all of baseball. The shortstop slashed an incredible .392/.478/.719 with 13 more home runs, 54 runs scored and 39 RBI in 49 games for OKC.
There was speculation about Lux being called up for weeks, but it wasn’t until Max Muncy went down with an injury that the organization finally made the move as they wanted to ensure he would get at-bats on a daily basis.
Lux was blocked at his natural shortstop position by Corey Seager, but he was easily able to slide over to second base to fill in while Muncy was out, and actually made the most of his opportunities.
In 23 regular-season games for the Dodgers, Lux hit .240/.305/.400 with a pair of home runs, 12 runs scored and nine RBI, which is not bad for a young prospect getting his first cup of coffee in the big leagues.
Lux’s first Major League home run came on Sept. 10 against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. That was also the game the Dodgers clinched their seventh straight division title, of course.
On that same road trip, Lux also had a game against the New York Mets in which he went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a home run, a towering shot to straightaway center of Noah Syndergaard, which served as a bit of a coming-out party.
In four postseason games, Lux went 2-for-9 with a home run and a walk, putting some solid at-bats together against tough pitchers like Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.
At 21 years and 314 days old, Lux became the second-youngest player in MLB history to hit a homer in his first postseason plate appearance, the youngest in Dodgers franchise history to slug one in the postseason, and their first to leave the yard in his first at-bat in the playoffs.
The big stage of the postseason is often too big for young players, but that was not the case for Lux in the 2019 National League Division Series.
He stepped to the plate for his first career postseason at-bat with the Dodgers leading 4-0 in the eighth inning of Game 1 against the Washington Nationals and proceeded to launched a 2-1 pitch over the right-center field wall for a home run off Hunter Strickland.
Lux was also recognized for his contributions by being named Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year.
To no surprise, Lux has been the subject of a lot of trade rumors this offseason, potentially headlining deals that could bring stars like Francisco Lindor or Mookie Betts to L.A.
The Dodgers have been hesitant to include him in any trades though due to his massive upside, so if they wind up holding onto him then he will likely be the team’s starter at second base in 2020. He could also slide over to shortstop if Seager winds up being dealt.
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