The Dodgers currently sit 3rd in the NL West standings, after a slow start it seems they have found their groove, and are settling in nicely. Dodgers are favorites to win the NL West crown for the 5th straight year, although the competition in the division is harder this year. The Dodgers still have a better roster than the improved D-Backs and Rockies, so I'm starting to believe with the way things are shaping up that the Dodgers are poised for a record breaking run. With all the young talent they have on their roster meshed with the few veterans they have right now, this Dodgers team has the chance to be really special. When a team is this young, though, potential is all they have, if they can't reach that, then none of this is possible. If they do reach their potential the sky and then some is the limit for this team.
The lineup for the Dodgers is filled with young talent, nearly every position they have a player that could be there for next 5-10 years. Corey Seager, star shortstop is the face of the franchise, as a matter of fact besides for Kershaw, he is the franchise. The kid does it all and will be the everyday superstar for this team for the next decade. Recently, they called up this outfielder by the name of Cody Bellinger. He was the one that sparked this whole blog with his outstanding play in his limited amount of time. Bellinger is only 21 years old, in 11 big league games he's hitting .350 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI's. Small sample size, however you can just tell this kid is something special with the way he's swinging the bat. If he can keep producing 75% of what he is now, then he's another big bat in this lineup to be feared by opposing pitchers.
Throw in Enrique Hernandez, Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles, and Yasiel Puig, all the sudden that's 6 position players that can all ball out. Hernandez needs to cut down on strike outs and work on his pitch selection at the plate, other than that he's extremely valuable. He's a Swiss army knife, he can play any position, he's extremely athletic, and he's a pain in the ass on the bases. Always nice to have a player like that on your team. Toles has really broke on to the scene out of nowhere. He's a solid leadoff hitter and is fast, adding that much needed speed element to the lineup. Pederson is a power threat, he's just got to cut down on strikeouts, and try to get his average up. Yasiel Puig, is starting to look like the player he was in 2013 when he took the league by storm. If he continues to work hard and consistently works at his swing then we're looking at another potential superstar player.
There's a lot of room for improvement in their young players, but there's always room for improvement with anyone. They still have a ways to go before reaching full potential, with Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez still raking that'll help them win games in the meantime. Important thing is getting these young guys as many AB's as possible because that's obviously how they'll get better. If they can develop each of these kids to their fullest potential or anything near it this team will be a force to reckon with in the NL West for the next decade. High expectations for this group of kid, but there's way too much talent to not have high hopes for them.
The pitching staff isn't flawless by any means, Kershaw, Urias, Maeda do make up a good top end of the rotation, though. Julio Urias, the teenager who is already dominating in the MLB is going to be an ace for this staff for years to come. I'm sure Kershaw will continue to dominate for another 3-5 years, so he can help bridge the gap between now and the next wave of pitching prospects to come up. The Dodgers even have a dominate pitcher to close out the back end of games with Kenley Jansen, so the foundation of the pitching staff is already laid.
The foundation for a historic run has been laid. They already have 4 straight division titles under their belt, now they only need 10 more to tie the Atlanta Braves record for most consecutive division titles. Seager, Urias, Kershaw, Jensen, Puig, Bellinger, Pederson, Hernandez, and Toles will have the responsibility of leading the future of this franchise. Will they be able to live up to legendary expectations, or will they crumble beneath the pressure of them. Division titles are nice, but World Series titles are better, so we'll see how much success they really have.