The Los Angeles Dodgers announced shortstop Gavin Lux was named their 2018 Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year, while right-hander Tony Gonsolin took home Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors.
The Dodgers drafted Lux in the first round in 2016 out of Indian Trails High School in Kenosha, Wis. He struggled a bit with the bat in each of his first two professional seasons but really made his mark in 2018.
Lux began and spent most of the year with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, where he hit .324/.396/.520 with 11 home runs, 64 runs, 48 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 88 games.
That earned him a promotion to Double-A Tulsa, where Luz did not miss a beat despite being one of the youngest players in the Texas League at 20 years of age. In 28 games with the Drillers, Lux batted .304/.408/.495 with four home runs, nine RBI, 21 runs and a pair of stolen bases.
Overall in 116 total games between the two levels, Lux finished the season hitting .324/.399/.514 with 15 home runs, 57 RBI, 85 runs and 13 stolen bases.
Gonsolin was a ninth-round draft pick of the Dodgers in 2016 out of St. Marys College. He spent his first two seasons in the organization as a reliever but made what’s proving to be a successful transition to starter this year.
Like Lux, the 24-year-old began the year with Rancho Cucamonga and went 4-2 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.17 ERA in 17 starts. He struck out 106 and walked 26 in 83.2 innings before earning a promotion to Tulsa.
Gonsolin closed out the season with nine starts for the Drillers, going 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 49 strikeouts and 16 walks in 44.2 innings.
Gonsolin made a total of 26 starts in 2018, posting a 10-2 record to go along with a 2.60 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. In 128 total innings, Gonsolin struck out an impressive 155 batters compared to only 42 walks.
He told DodgerBlue.com a focus was to make a name for himself in the organization throughout the 2018 season, and he was able to do exactly that.
Keibert Ruiz and Walker Buehler, who is now excelling at the Major League level, took home the awards in 2017.