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Dodgers notes: Jason Heyward, Amed Rosario, Dalton Rushing

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Jason Heyward’s career in Major League Baseball seemed to have fizzled out after being released from the Chicago Cubs last August. Since being selected to the Dodgers active roster to begin the season, Heyward has had a career resurgence while playing an integral leadership role in the clubhouse for a team 24 games over .500.

Heyward’s impact is tremendously felt within the clubhouse, as he has become a leader for some of the Dodgers young rookies— namely James Outman, who credited Heyward as a mentor that has helped him adjust to playing and winning at the big league level. Scott Miller of the New York Times writes about the union between Heyward and the Dodgers, noting that his desire to be apart of a winning organization with a blend of long-time veterans and rookies is allowing him to have fun playing the game again:

“The thing that’s cool is to have a group with a lot of veterans with some young guys mixed in, a lot of good examples,” Heyward said. “I feel like we all feed off of each other. And, of course, it’s fun to play with Freddie again, to have that come full circle.”

Heyward on the field has posted his best offensive season since the 2019 season— where league-wide home run numbers inflated. In 265 plate appearances within a mostly part-time role, Heyward carries a .248/.340/.460 slashline with 11 home runs, 15 doubles, and a 117 wRC+. His .212 ISO this season is the best he’s sported through his 14-year career.

The Dodgers have attempted to expand their players defensively in tackling positions that are foreign to them, namely in having Mookie Betts at shortstop and the few instances of Heyward at first base. The team is now focused on expanding Amed Rosario’s versatility, as the shortstop has been receiving starts at second base, a position he had never played in the major leagues until being acquired by the Dodgers.

J.P. Hoornstra of the Orange County Register delves into Rosario’s transition to second base, noting how former Dodgers’ minor leaguers Dino Ebel (current third base coach) and Jose Vizcaino are giving him the same lessons they were taught from their instructor Lorenzo Fernandez:

“[Fernandez has] made a lot of major league players by teaching the fundamentals of the defensive position,” Ebel said. “He never taught us how to dive or make the spectacular ESPN play of the night. He was the guy who said, ‘if you’re a steady infielder, make the routine play, you’ll play a lot of years in the big leagues.’”

MLB Pipeline has refreshed their top prospects lists for every single team and a few Dodgers such as Bobby Miller and Miguel Vargas have graduated from the prospect rankings. Juan Toribio of writes about the newest prospect list, discussing which players have risen and fallen in the rankings and mentioning newcomers to the list as well.

Dalton Rushing has surpassed fellow catching prospect Diego Cartaya at the head of the rankings, pushing Cartaya down to the third ranked prospect. The Dodgers first two picks from this year’s draft, Kendall George and Jake Gelof, have also been added to the rankings, with the two sitting at No. 15 and 16 respectively.