2019 Dodgers Top 100 Prospects: No. 4, SS/2B Gavin Lux

Photo by: Stacie Wheeler

Sorry for the delay, but we’re almost to the Top 3. This next prospect made perhaps the most impressive leap of any prospect in the Dodgers’ system last season.

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Previously

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I’ve included Future Value (FV) grades and risks for the Top 50 prospects. For example, if a guy gets a “50 low,” he has a really good chance to be an average player at his position. If a guy gets a “55 high,” there’s a good chance he won’t reach that ceiling, but the potential is there. I tend to give higher future values because I take ceiling into account. The grades are 20-80 (50 is average), and the risks are as follows:

  • Low: Players who are usually older, have debuted, are relievers and/or have higher floors than ceilings
  • Medium: Players who are a mix of younger and older, usually have higher floors
  • High: Players who are usually younger with potential, but also question marks
  • Extreme: Players who are younger with star potential, but a ton of question marks

This is to show what value a player might provide at the MLB level. The higher the risk, the less likely a player will reach that ceiling.

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Editor’s Note: I am not a scout (#notascout). I am an amateur when it comes to evaluating players. I don’t claim to be a pro, I just want to pass along the information I observe/obtain to the people. Notes and comments are based on personal observation, talking to sources, reading scouting reports and watching video. For future entries in this series: All ratings in the charts below are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is roughly average, 80 is elite and nearly unattainable and 20 is unacceptably poor. Enjoy.

Other notes: “Role” is a realistic future role (slightly optimistic in some cases). Age is the 2019 season age for the player (June 30 is the cutoff date).

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Rating Key

80 – Elite
70-75 – Plus-plus
60-65 – Plus
55 – Above-average
50 – Average
45 – Fringe-average
40 – Below-average
30-35 – Poor
20-25 – Very Poor

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4. Gavin Lux

DOB: 11/23/97 Age: 21 Height: 6’0 Weight: 186 Bats: Left Throws: Right Position: SS/2B
Tools Now Future
Hit 50 60
Power 45 50
Speed 60 60
Defense 45 50
Arm 50 50
FV/Risk 55 Medium
Type of hitter: Line drive-focused, advanced plate discipline, developing power

Acquired: 1st round (No. 20 overall) of 2016 MLB Draft, Indian Trail HS (Wisc.), $2,316,300 signing bonus

Physical description: Solidly built, athletic frame

Strengths: Good bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline, plus-runner, developing power

Weaknesses: Might have to move to 2B, lacking above-average arm strength

Key statistics: .324/.399/.514, 10.9 BB%, 16.8 K%, .190 ISO

Summary: The 2016 Dodgers’ draft is shaping up to be one of the best in the organization’s recent history. Lux was considered a bit of a safe pick back then, but he has gone on to do no wrong in his pro career. He capped off the best season of his career in 2018 by getting a promotion to Double-A and continuing to hit well there. It earned him the org’s Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year award.

Lux was originally thought to be a defense-first shortstop, but his profile has shifted to a more offensive-minded middle infielder. He uses a level swing path and above-average bat speed to generate lots of line drives. He’s working on elevating, and it actually resulted in a career-best 15 home runs last season between High-A and Double-A. He has a good amount of raw power, but it remains to be seen if he gets to it in-game. And don’t expect many opposite-field dingers from him. Lux displays above-average plate discipline and pitch recognition, which should help him if he has trouble making contact at the higher levels. But his short stint in Double-A last year (and his start this season) showed (shows) that he might not have that much trouble doing so.

The biggest question mark with Lux going forward is his defense. He gets sloppy with his footwork and his arm isn’t the strongest for shortstop. That’s not a great combination if he wishes to stick at the position. He has plenty of range and good hands, but if he can’t make accurate, strong throws, a move to second base might be in order. If that’s happens, it’d put a little more pressure on his bat, but not that much. As a runner, he’s plus. It may not lead to more than 20-odd stolen bases in a season, but he could be an asset on the base paths with his legs.

If he figures out his throwing woes, he could be a first-division shortstop because of his advanced bat and developing power. If he has to move to second base, he could have a Chase Utley-like career, with less power. He began the season back with Double-A Tulsa, but should see Triple-A Oklahoma City at some point. He could be the Dodgers’ future starting shortstop or second baseman, and sooner than some may think.

Spray Charts

Gavin Lux spray chart
Gavin Lux hit spray chart

Videos

Video courtesy of Stacie!

2018 Ranking: 14
2019 Location: Double-A Tulsa/Triple-A Oklahoma City
ETA: 2020

Next Up: Prospect No. 3

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.