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Zach McKinstry is the latest Dodgers 2016 draftee to reach the majors

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The 33rd-round pick made his major league debut Wednesday in San Diego

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Zach McKinstry struck out in his only plate appearance on Wednesday, pinch hitting for Justin Turner in the ninth inning against the Padres. But McKinstry will still cherish the memory of making his major league debut.

Earlier in the game, Dustin May pitched 5⅓ innings of bulk relief in his first start after getting hit by a line drive on his left foot. May, the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter this season, lowered his ERA to 2.68.

Catcher Will Smith had two hits and drove in three runs in Wednesday’s win, and second baseman Gavin Lux walked.

That quartet of Dodgers were all drafted in 2016, which could shape up to be one of the team’s most productive drafts ever. McKinstry is the latest to make the majors, and did so as a 33rd-round pick.

Tony Gonsolin, who pitched seven strong innings in Tuesday’s win, was drafted by the Dodgers in the ninth round in 2016. Mitch White, who made his major league debut with an inning in relief on August 28, was drafted in the second round that year, and might be called up to start Friday for the Dodgers at Coors Field, though manager Dave Roberts wouldn’t commit just yet on Wednesday.

“It’s going to be a bullpen day,” Roberts said via conference call. “I just don’t know who’s going to start yet.”

McKinstry is the ninth player drafted by the Dodgers in 2016 to play in the majors, including Devin Smeltzer (fifth round), Andre Scrubb (eighth), and Dean Kremer (14th), who were traded away but have pitched in the majors this year for the Twins, Astros, and Orioles, respectively.

Nine drafted and signed players to reach the majors is the most by the team since 2003, when Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, and A.J. Ellis were among the nine drafted Dodgers who made it to the big leagues.

The 2016 pipeline might not be through, either. Outfielders a D.J. Peters (fourth round) and Luke Raley (seventh) are on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, and outfielder Cody Thomas (13th round) is in the 60-player pool.

Links

Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrín spoke with Gabe Zaldivar at Sports Illustrated for an in-depth profile, including this quote on why he continues to call games:

“The first thing is my love for baseball,” Jaime explained. “I fell in love with the game. I can do two games every single day for seven days a week without getting tired. I love what I do. The second reason is the support I have from my wife. She passed away almost a year and a half ago, but she was a champion in my corner.”

J.P. Hoornstra at the Orange County Register took a look at the prevalence of defensive shifting in MLB, and the difference in styles between the Dodgers and Padres.

Here’s a feel-good story about Adam Kolarek and his father, a former minor league catcher:

In case you missed it, the Dodgers’ 2021 spring training schedule is out.

Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced a series of initiatives to encourage voter turnout (among them, other stadiums around the league used as a voting site in November, like Dodger Stadium). MLB joined Civic Alliance, announced league employees would get election day off to vote and/or serve as a poll worker, and added a website to promote voter resources.

The Dodgers reportedly signed an international free agent:

The Dodgers also signed UC Riverside pitcher Cole Percival, son of former Angels closer Troy Percival, as an undrafted free agent.