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Top prospect Lux makes impact in MLB debut

21-year-old starts at second base in highly anticipated debut
@kengurnick
September 3, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Gavin Lux has spent this year seemingly ready for anything, including his Major League debut in Monday night's 16-9 win over the Rockies, during which he finally came across something he wasn’t at all ready for. The Dodgers' top prospect lined the first MLB pitch he saw

LOS ANGELES -- Gavin Lux has spent this year seemingly ready for anything, including his Major League debut in Monday night's 16-9 win over the Rockies, during which he finally came across something he wasn’t at all ready for.

The Dodgers' top prospect lined the first MLB pitch he saw into center field for a single, nothing unexpected about that for Lux, who hit .392 in 49 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City. But then he saw his father’s reaction.

“I saw a video of my first hit and my dad started crying,” said the 21-year-old Lux. “Oh, man, I thought he was the tough guy out of all of them.”

What to expect from Dodgers' Lux in the bigs

That single came in the second inning. He doubled in the third, went 2-for-5 on the night, became the first Dodgers player to score three runs in his debut game, played a flawless second base and generally lived up to the over-the-top expectations that accompanied him to Los Angeles.

Before the game, Lux talked about those expectations.

“The expectation is, when you get here, you’ll perform immediately,” said Lux, the first-round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, which also netted the Dodgers Will Smith, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. Lux said the presence and success of those teammates will make his transition easier.

The 21-year-old Lux’s promotion was hastened by the fractured right wrist suffered last week by Max Muncy, who will be out at least until next week. Manager Dave Roberts said Lux, primarily a shortstop, will start at second base every day against right-handed pitching. Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor will still play second against lefties.

“With Max, we’re hopeful to get him back and not missing a beat, but when you’re talking about a fracture in the wrist, there’s no guarantee,” said Roberts. “So to give Gavin an opportunity to take at-bats, which he’s earned, makes sense. He’s going to have to play for it. That goes for anyone. Seniority matters, so does performance. Right now for Gavin, it’s not about the postseason. Play baseball and see where it takes us.”

On Monday night, it went about as well as could have been expected.

“It was my debut and, obviously, I was nervous,” he said. “First ground ball, first at-bat, OK, weight off my shoulders. I enjoyed it a lot. My first at-bat was a little emotional. Dodgers fans showed me a little love, that was good.”

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.