Justin Turner is yet another case of the Dodgers turning a mediocre MLB player into something special. The New York Mets released Turner following the 2013 season and the Dodgers signed him in February 2014 to be a utility infielder.
Turner slowly gained more and more starting time over former third baseman Juan Uribe, eventually becoming the full-time starting third baseman in 2015. Turner has only gotten better every season he has played and now will go down as one of the best postseason hitters of all-time.
Cody Bellinger was not supposed to play this pivotal of a role in October. If anything, Bellinger was supposed to be a September call-up for the Dodgers this season. Without him, well, the team may not be where they are today.
Due to various injuries to Joc Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez, Bellinger got enough playing time in the MLB to make his case for the permanent call-up. Bellinger was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB Draft.
Corey Seager technically was not part of the NLCS clinching Los Angeles Dodgers team, but he still will likely play a big role in the Dodgers’ first World Series since 1988. Seager is the most consistent bat for the Dodgers, bringing a blend of power and contact at the plate. The Dodgers selected the potential future MVP in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft.
On the flip side, Charlie Culberson may not be a part of the Dodgers’ World Series roster. Well, if his play in the NLCS means anything, it should warrant a spot over other infielders. Regardless if he does or not, Culberson did play a role in the Dodgers winning the pennant. Culberson was signed by the Dodgers in November 2015 after being released by the Rockies.
Austin Barnes has quietly become one of the most consistent bats for Los Angeles and has edged out the starting catcher job. The organization acquired Barnes (and another current Dodger) in the trade that sent Dee Gordon to the Miami Marlins back in 2014. While that deal sucked at the time, it pays off four years later.
Logan Forsythe was the Dodgers biggest acquisition of last year’s offseason. For a Dodgers team that has made many splashes the last few years, this being the biggest move worried many. Although Forsythe has struggled, his bat against left-handers and his lovable lockerroom presence is important. LA sent the Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Jose De Leon for Forsythe.
Yasmani Grandal was the starting catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, that was, until Austin Barnes proved to be more than a platoon option. While Grandal has struggled at the plate, he still does have some pop in his bat. Los Angeles acquired Grandal in December 2014 when the team traded Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres.
Utley has not done much this postseason but does give the team a great veteran presence. Los Angeles traded for the long-time Phillie by sending Philadelphia Darnell Sweeney and John Richy. Utley resigned a one-year deal with the Dodgers prior to the 2017 season.
Kyle Farmer is only on the roster as a third catching option if anything goes wrong for LA and has not seen much playing time. The Dodgers drafted the upcoming talent in the eighth round of the 2013 MLB Draft.