Los Angeles Dodgers: building a champion

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during pregame introductions prior to Game Three of the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 15: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks on during pregame introductions prior to Game Three of the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 15: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to third base in the second inning of Game 3 of the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium on Monday, October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Dodgers–Key Draft Picks

Unlike the Brewers, who have just three players on their 25-man roster who were drafted by the team, the Dodgers have five such players. Those five combined for 28 percent of the WAR accumulated by the 25-man NLCS roster during the regular season. Two of these five players are the team’s two best starting pitchers and two others are important position players. The fifth is reliever Caleb Ferguson.

OF Cody Bellinger (4.2 WAR)—Taken by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, Bellinger burst upon the scene last year with a 39-HR, 97-RBI season that earned him the NL Rookie of the Year Award and a ninth place finish in NL MVP voting. He “slumped” to just 25 homers and 76 RBI this season, but was still worth 4.2 WAR for a second year in a row thanks in part to increased playing time. Bellinger is a rarity. He’s one of only two players in the last 35 years to play at least 50 games at first base and center field in the same season. The other is Nick Swisher.

RHP Walker Buehler (3.4 WAR)—Buehler was the 24th player taken overall in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. He spent one full season in the minor leagues and most of a second before pitching in eight games with the Dodgers last year. This season, he started 23 games and pitched 137.3 innings with a 2.62 ERA and 3.04 FIP. He should be in the mix for NL Rookie of the Year votes.

LHP Clayton Kershaw (3.3 WAR)—The Dodgers drafted Kershaw with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft. He was taken three picks ahead of Tim Lincecum (19.7 WAR, with two Cy Young Awards), and four picks ahead of Max Scherzer (54.5 WAR, with three Cy Young Awards). Kershaw himself has three Cy Young Awards, which means that 2006 draft had three pitchers drafted within five picks of each other who went on to win eight Cy Young Awards (so far). Kershaw has been limited to an average of 162 innings per year over the last three years, but has still been impressive (2.26 ERA, 2.72 FIP) in his time on the hill.

OF Joc Pederson (2.3 WAR)—Pederson was the Dodgers’ 11th-round pick in the 2010 draft. He was second on the Dodgers this season with a .522 slugging percentage and tied for second with 25 home runs.