I’m a goober.
I just wanted to get that out of the way, right off the bat. I am a man, but I am also a big softie. I like kittens. I smile when I see an old couple walking in the mall holding hands. I cried when Old Yeller had to be put down.
Because of my emotional side, I just can’t give up on my Los Angeles Dodgers this season. Just when it looked like I could make summer plans with my family, stop watching Dodgers highlights on MLB Network and stop reading box scores from games, the Dodgers start winning before the All-Star break.
Why did they do that to me? The Dodgers had lost five-straight games and were 37-51, headed to the basement of the National League where they belong. Then they go and win four-consecutive games and get my hopes up again!
“Hey, they’re only 10 games under .500, there is hope!” Quit toying with me, Dodgers! “If we can make a trade deadline deal, we just might be able to get back in the race.” Enough, already! Stop the insanity!
Because of my sentimental side, I can’t give up on the Dodgers. I will continue to hope and I will continue to go to their minor league affiliate’s games that are about 75 miles away just to get a glimpse of the future in Los Angeles.
Speaking of the future in L.A. (nice segue, huh?), who are some of the bright stars we might see at Chavez Ravine in the near future? We all know about guys like Dee Gordon, Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands.
But what about the other guys? Here are some players who just might help me break out of my sentimental rut that causes me to watch “The Notebook” when I’m flipping channels at night and no one else is around.
These Dodger lads might really help to bring another World Series title back to Los Angeles so I don’t have to keep rubbing my Orel Hershisher bobble head and repeating: “There’s no place like 1988…there’s no place like 1988:”
Zach Lee, RHP – Unless he blows out his arm, the 19-year-old Lee will be starting on the mound in Los Angeles by 2013 or 2014. In only his first season in the Los Angeles system, Lee has won five games, has posted a 3.32 ERA and showed that he has the stuff to be a top-line starting pitcher in the game.
Chris Withrow, RHP – Withrow is a carbon copy of Ethan Martin (see below). He plays on the same minor league team as Martin, has an electric fastball and also struggles with control. Withrow is also being projected by the Dodgers as a 2013 contributor. He needs to cut down on the 41 walks he has issued in 77 innings this season to continue the path to Los Angeles.
Trayvon Robinson, OF – You heard it here on TTFB first: Trayvon Robinson will be playing center field for the Dodgers this season. He is the real deal. The 23-year-old outfielder will team with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to give the Dodgers one of the best outfields in the game. Robinson can run, hit for average and hit for power. How do I know? Because at triple-A this season, Robinson has knocked 21 dingers and has a .299 average … not bad for a leadoff hitter. Pencil his name in the lineup real soon.
Ethan Martin, RHP – Martin is projected by the Dodgers’ website as being MLB ready in 2013, but that could change if the 22-year-old continues to develop like he has. Martin, who plays in double-A now, has plenty of heat on his fastball, but has struggled with walks. Martin has struck out 67 batters in 60 innings in 2011, but he has also walked 42.
Kyle Russell, OF – Russell is posting some impressive numbers at the double-A level for the Dodgers this season. In 83 games, Russell has belted 16 homers and has driven in 50 runs, coupled with a .338 batting average. The 25-year-old Russell hit 26 homers in both 2009 and 2010. Look for him to get a taste of the big leagues after the September 1 call-ups.