The Los Angeles Dodgers made wholesale changes in their front office after the 2014 season, as they hired former Tampa Bay Rays general manager Andrew Friedman to be their president of baseball operations, and former Oakland Athletics assistant general manager Farhan Zaidi as general manager, among other additions.
Since Friedman and Zaidi took over there has been a strong focus on replenishing the Dodgers farm system that provided the franchise with five consecutive Rookie of the Year winners from 1992-96. The attention to rebuilding their pool of prospects has culminated with the Dodgers boasting one of the best farm systems in baseball.
While the Guggenheim ownership group proved they are willing to spend on established talent while awaiting the arrival of their home grown players, there’s been a notable shift to becoming more dependent on the latter.
whatever it takes to make the Dodgers a team that can compete for a championship every season, the new front office doesn’t want the Dodgers to have to spend millions on free agents, but instead rely on a farm system that can produce home grown talent annually.
Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten recently spoke with satisfaction over his organization’s farm system and compared it to that of the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
“I’m very pleased with where the farm system is,” Dodgers President Stan Kasten said. “It’s produced not just players, but premier players. The fact we have not only quality but quantity is important. You can’t win long-term without it.
“Look at the great Giants organization. Look at the Cubs. They’re home-grown. They had to do five losing seasons to get there, but now they’re there, and they’re spectacular.”
Kasten of course was the architect behind the Atlanta Braves teams that won 14 consecutive National League pennants and the 1995 World Series.
Corey Seager and Julio Urias represent the most-recent examples of Dodgers prospects who made an impact for the big league club. Seager not only is a Rookie of the Year candidate, but he’s also part of the discussion for NL MVP.
Meanwhile, Urias is part of a deep collection of pitching prospects the Dodgers boast throughout their organization. Although Los Angeles entered the 2016 season with what was regarded as the top farm system in baseball, ESPN Keith Law dropped them to No. 5 in his midseason update.