Lux Is Here

Gavin Lux was the most hyped prospect in the Dodger organization since Corey Seager. But unlike Seager, Lux has been slow to adapting to the MLB level. It continued into the start of the 2021 season, but May has been fantastic for the young middle infielder.

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Highlights

  • Lux’s April vs. May Stats
  • Defense A Plus?
  • Statcast Breakdown

Lux in May Vs April

  • April

April saw the 24 year old slash an almost useless .179/.213/.250 in 56 at bats. He was 10-56 and 6 of those hits came in the first 4 games of the season in Colorado. His only extra base hits for the month also came in that Rockies series.

He walked only 3 times to 19 strikeouts. He did squeak in a stolen base at least. Overall it was incredibly disappointing and if it weren’t for injuries, it’s possible Lux would’ve been demoted for a bit.

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  • May

Thank goodness they didn’t though, because May has been an All Star worthy month for Gavin. In 78 at bats Lux has slashed .321/.376/.487 so far. He’s had 7 extra base hits with 4 doubles and 3 homers. Two of the homers going for grand slams.

He’s also had 8 walks to 16 strikeouts showing just how much his eye is improving at the plate. He’s scored 12 times while knocking in 17 runs. He’s up to 9 multi-hit games in the month of May and seems to be speeding up.

In his last 15 games his slash is at .321/.387/.536, but in his last 7 he’s slashing an even better .333/.379/.593. He’s raised his OPS from a season low .440 on May 1st to .696 on May 25th. And sine he’s been the starting shortstop… Well

Defense

Perhaps the biggest surprise has been Lux’s ability as a 2nd baseman. He currently ranks in the 82nd percentile in OAA and would be even higher if he was only playing 2nd. He’s 6 OAA at 2nd, but a -4 at SS. His success rate added is a -7% at short, but a +8% at 2nd.

A third of Lux’s 0.8 WAR has come from his defense this season. Unfortunately, he’ll have to keep holding down short for the moment, but maybe it will push him to get better like he has at second so far.

Statcast Breakdown

As we mentioned before, Lux is rating very highly in defense across the league. However, his most impressive tool this year has been his wheels.

He’s checking in at the 96th percentile among all major leaguers. He’s running at 29.1 ft/s which is good for the 20th fastest in all of baseball. He’s the first among his position, and 2nd among 24 year olds. It’s a huge relief after Lux was significantly slower in his 2020 stint.

At the plate Lux has positive value against every pitch but the fastballs and change. Which is especially strange because his expected stats are outstanding compared to his performance. He’s a combined -5 run value against sinkers and 4-seamers. He’s feasting on sliders this year despite his expected statistics lagging behind with a +6 run value.

According to expected stats, pitchers should throw Lux a lot of curveballs, sinkers, and sliders. But as of right now, he’s hitting just about everything.

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He’s raised his expected slash line to .270/.311/.396 on the year. His hard hit rate is now above league average at 37.6%. His K% of 24% is so far a career best. His average exit velocity is also now league average at 88.4 MPH.

Overall, Lux has been an above average producer at the plate for his last 50 ABs. And considering his awful April, Lux’s stats are getting impressive. At this rate, Corey Seager and Boras are keeping a close eye on the shortstop’s competition in LA.

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