While much was made of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system during the offseason and their growing crop of talented prospects, their Major League roster is hardly devoid of big-name talent.
Even with Zack Greinke leaving for the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers returned Adrian Gonzalez, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner, among several others. In the case of Gonzalez and Kershaw, they are two of four Dodgers recently named to ESPN Baseball Tonight’s list of top 100 players for the 2016 season.
Kershaw checks in at No. 3 overall, with Kenley Jansen at No. 48, Gonzalez ranked No. 62 and MLB’s top prospect Corey Seager rounds out the group at No. 97. Kershaw finished 16-7, 2.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP last season and led the Majors in several advanced metrics.
Chief among them were, FIP (1.99), xFIP (2.09), SIERA (2.24), strikeout percentage (33.8 percent) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (29.1 percent). The left-handed ace also led the Majors with 232.2 innings pitched and compiled the first 300-strikeout season since 2002.
Through two starts this season, Kershaw is 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA, 0.47 WHIP and 14 strikeouts over 15 innings pitched. Jansen converted 36 saves last year with a 2.41 ERA. He averaged 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings, and led all relievers who threw 40 innings or more with a 0.78 WHIP.
He has recorded at least 25 saves in each of the last four seasons. Jansen has two saves this season and currently ranks second on the Dodgers’ all-time leaders list with 144 saves, which trails Eric Gagne’s 161.
In Gonzalez’s Major League career he has been a perfect model of consistency. Since 2006 he has hit at least 20 home runs each season except 2012, when he hit 18. Additionally, he has driven in at least 80 runs every season since 2006, including driving in 100 seven times.
In 2015, Gonzalez batted .275/.350/.480 with 28 home runs and 90 RBIs. He was named an All-star for the fifth time in his career. Starting all six games this season, Gonzalez is batting .417/.500/.583 (10-for-24) with four doubles and five RBIs.
Seager, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to ESPN and every other major outlet, made his Major League debut last September. In 27 games with the team, the 21-year-old shortstop hit .337/.425/.561 with four home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBIs, a .421 wOBA and 175 wRC+.
Seager is batting .320/.333/.440 (8-for-25) in six games (five starts) this season, with three doubles and three RBIs.