Dodgers News: Andrew Friedman Anticipating Challenges With Player Development
Zach McKinstry, 2020 Spring Training
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

During their current reign over the National League West, the Los Angeles Dodgers have not only boasted a talented roster at the Major League level but also regularly benefitted from one of the sport’s best farm systems.

L.A. is the only team to place in the top 10 every time since MLB Pipeline began ranking farm systems biannually in 2015. Just last season the Dodgers received contributions from nine different rookies; eight of whom made their MLB debut.

Although the Dodgers have leaned heavily on their top prospects and other Minor League players, a new set of circumstances in 2020 figures to lend to some adjustments.

President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged as much during an interview on MLB Network Radio, noting the Dodgers will need to find a balance between keeping focused on winning games during a 60-game season and player development:

“I think our clubhouse and veteran players have done an incredible job of establishing a culture where young guys can come up to what could be an intimidating situation with a big-market team and established, good players. They do such a great job of creating a safe environment where guys can maintain that confidence and kind of go about their work on a daily basis. They’re welcomed with open arms, so that really helps.

“Now that being said, we expect that there are challenges for young players. Some, it happens later. Some, it happens earlier. From our standpoint, we’re playing a 60-game sprint and our day-to-day isn’t that different because I feel like in the past we have always felt like any one game can matter. So we’ll make moves and bring a guy up for two days that can kind of help us in those two games. And make moves where we feel like if they help us on the margins, then it helps. That’s over 162 (games), and when you’re talking about 60, that’s even more important.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us this year to figure out how to continue to help develop our young players, because we have a number of them we expect to impact us this year. And how we kind of balance development and doing everything we can to win that night’s game.”

The Dodgers’ 60-man player pool includes top prospects Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Josiah Gray. Also part of the group are 2020 MLB Draft picks Bobby Miller (first round), Clayton Beeter (Competitive Balance Round B), Landon Knack (second round), Jake Vogel (third round) and Carson Taylor (fourth round).

Dodgers farm director Will Rhymes previously remarked it was going to be difficult for the organization’s Minor League players to reach the active roster this season.

Dodgers current player pool

Pitchers (33): Scott Alexander, Pedro Baez, Clayton Beeter, Walker Buehler, Gerardo Carrillo, Brett de Geus, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Tony Gonsolin, Victor Gonzalez, Brusdar Graterol, Josiah Gray, Michael Grove, Kenley Jansen, Marshall Kasowski, Joe Kelly, Clayton Kershaw, Landon Knack, Andre Jackson, Adam Kolarek, Dustin May, Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, AJ Ramos, Edubray Ramos, Dennis Santana, Josh Sborz, Ross Stripling, Blake Treinen, Edwin Uceta, Julio Urias, Mitch White, Alex Wood

Catchers (6): Austin Barnes, Diego Cartaya, Rocky Gale, Keibert Ruiz, Carson Taylor, Will Smith

Infielders (9): Matt Beaty, Michael Busch, Omar Estevez, Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, Edwin Rios, Corey Seager, Justin Turner

Outfielders (9): Mookie Betts, Anthony Garcia, Joc Pederson, DJ Peters, AJ Pollock, Luke Raley, Zach Reks, Cody Thomas, Jake Vogel

Infielders/Outfielders (4): Cody Bellinger, Kiké Hernandez, Zach McKinstry, Chris Taylor

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