Los Angeles Dodgers Organization – The Best from Top to Bottom

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BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 22: Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers speaks with the media during media availability ahead of the 2018 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 22, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the best organization, from top to bottom, in all of baseball.  Scouting, player development, and quality people are the difference. It is true what they say, “there might be something in the water.” The Dodgers franchise as a whole appears extremely dedicated to building champions through a strong character in staff and players. The culture within is what others strive for. Organizations will try to hire away current Dodgers staff for that winning persona.

These are difference-makers who are impacting players on a daily basis. Baseball minds such as Brandon Gomes – Dodgers Director of Player Development, Don Alexander – Minor League Pitcher Coordinator, Travis Barbury – Catching Coordinator, Tarrick Brock – Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator, and Clayton McCullough – Field Coordinator. Hopefully, for Dodgers fans and the organization, these leaders can be retained by Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers Organization – The Best from Top to Bottom

Playoffs, Playoffs, and More Development

All state-side affiliates made the playoffs in their respective leagues. No coincidence, as the Dodgers have the best coordinators, instructors, and developmental minds in place. Success is fully expected and achieved through this “culture” that has been re-enlisted since the dark days of the McCourt ownership.  From Low Rookie League all the way up to the Triple-A Level, teams developed into playoff contenders.

Arizona Rookie League Title

The Arizona League Dodgers qualified for the playoffs in 2018 under Manager Mark Kertenian, who also led Ogden to a championship in 2017. Kertenian again led his troops to victory for the title.

The Arizona League Champion version of the Dodgers had an awesome season of player development, and also rehabilitation. The coaching, development, and training staff all do fantastic work to make sure that the June draft picks are integrated into the Dodgers winning culture and attitude immediately. Most of the new players are sent to Camelback Ranch, spring training home to the Los Angeles Dodgers and home for the Arizona League team. A title at this level is truly a team and staff victory with many people dedicating themselves to this.

Pioneer League

The Raptors of Ogden had quite the run in the first half of the season led by such prospects as Jacob Amaya, Miguel Vargas, and Drew Avans. Manager Jeremy Rodriguez had his players performing at a high level all season in the Pioneer League. Development is key, and getting players promoted to the next level, Low-A, is imperative. The Raptors fell short in the playoffs to the Colorado Rockies affiliate at Grand Junction. Second-half stars for Ogden included James Outman, Matt Cogen, and Jeremy Arocho.

The next level that players at Ogden aspire to is at Great Lakes in Midland Michigan. The Loons had an amazing run in August to earn a birth in the Midwest League playoffs. Players that were outstanding for Manager John Shoemaker‘s club were Josh McLain, Zach Willeman, and Stephen Kolek, Particularly during the August run.

Cal League Title

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes won in convincing fashion. After mid-May, that statement was true nearly every night. The High-A Dodgers affiliate started off the campaign slowly and were seemingly out of the first-half hunt. Until the club caught fire and was able to take the first-half crown. The Quakes, led by Manager Drew Saylor (the winningest Manager in Quakes history), progressed and developed into a confident, talented bunch of teammates that felt like they could, and should win, every time they stepped on the field. “Win the day” was a phrase often uttered by the skipper during this journey to the Cal League Title.

Prospects Galore

Cristian Santana, with his 109 RBI’s and MVP in the League Finals, was a force to be reckoned with all season long. Gavin Lux crushed the league in his time before being moved up to Tulsa. Rylan Bannon was traded away in the Manny Machado deal with the Orioles, yet he had impressive enough number to still be named the Cal League MVP. The Quakes had many stars on offense and on the mound. Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Andrew Sopko moved on to Tulsa on the starting side of the equation. Marshall Kasowski, Andre Scrubb and Zach Pop (traded) all moved on as well. The “next man up” philosophy was fully in effect, as Leo Crawford, Max Gamboa, and Edwin Uceta stepped up to fill the starting roles. Connor Strain and Dan Jagiello filled any void in the bullpen with quality innings and outs.

Mainstays of the team all season, such as Cody Thomas, Connor Wong, Omar Estevez, and Jeren Kendall, developed into champions as a result of hard work and talent. Every single player, in all four of five versions of this team, are worthy of recognition for the team effort. It was a magical season for the Quakes.

Texas League Title

The Tulsa Drillers were led most of the season by such budding stars as DJ Peters, Jacob Scavuzzo, Will Smith, and Keibert Ruiz. Manager Scott Hennessy was again at the helm for Drillville. The Texas League Champions got some additional help as the year went on, with the promotions of RHP’s Sopko, Gonsolin and May, as well as SS/2B Gavin Lux. Lux and Gonsolin went on to become named as the organization’s top MiLB Player and Pitcher respectively as Branch Rickey Award winners.

OKC Dodgers

Pacific Coast League Playoffs featured the Triple-A version of the Dodgers versus the Memphis Redbirds, a St. Louis Cardinals affiliate in the semi-finals. Although the Dodgers would go on to lose the series, this team is really the Dodgers “MLB-B team.” They are always at the ready should these players be needed for a major league roster spot. Manager Bill Haselman did another tremendous job for the Oklahoma City Dodgers.

World Series Bound

The Dodgers earned a chance against the American League by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in an exciting seven-game series. Whether or not the series is won by the Dodgers, the entirety of the organization is outperforming the competition. Now for the faithful fans of Los Angeles, there is nothing that can satisfy, except a World Series Championship. It has been 30 years since their last title, so that is a valid point. However, looking towards the franchise’s future, and the talent and development occurring, the Dodgers will compete for title’s every year for a while.

People are the difference. Ownership and the front office have placed an emphasis on getting back to the old “Dodger Way!” That way consists of building champions through strong character, and it was on full display this season.

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