The Los Angeles Dodgers boast one of the Major’s best farm systems and have reaped the benefits in recent seasons, receiving contributions from the likes of back-to-back National League Rookie of the Year winners Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger.
In addition to Bellinger and Seager, the Dodgers have upcoming talent in Walker Buehler and Alex Verdugo that are ready to make an impact for the 2018 season. The club also features a plethora of players under the age of 30 who have already thrived at the big league-level in Austin Barnes, Yasmani Grandal, Clayton Kershaw, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor and Alex Wood.
While Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is surprised at the recent success of young players around the league, he went on to praise the talent level and believes the sport is excelling.
“I am surprised at that too, but you look at these players, and around the league there’s countless players, 21 to 23, that are just so uber talented,” Roberts told reporters at the Winter Meetings.
“It’s fun to watch. I think that the game right now, the talent level is as high as I’ve ever seen it. There is a lot of coaching going on.
“Not to take anything away from coaches of other decades, but when you’re having a 20, 21-year-old, 22-year-old playing in the big leagues and that veteran player is no longer on your roster, as a backup player, those kind of backfilled now by young players.
“So the coaches are taking on roles that they love to teach and those type of roles, which they’re meant to do their job. But the talent level is fun to watch. The game’s in a great place.”
Roberts also believes that having some veterans in place are essential to a team’s success, referring to them as “glue guys.”
“I think there’s a little bit to that, but if you look at the teams that win every year, there’s a balance,” he added. Those 27- to 30-year-old players — and you look at our ball club, maybe even to 37. But you look at — even the Astros, you look at the guys that were some of the glue guys that they had were those type players.
“So you mix those young Correas and those other guys, the Springers with some other guys, and we had that same mix. A lot of good clubs have that, the Yankees, I mean, they’re all kind of like that. I think those clubs aren’t missing on those guys either.”