Before they were postseason bound: Dodgers

Before they were postseason bound: Dodgers

Los Angeles is headed to the postseason for a third consecutive year, and here's the skinny on the origins of every player wearing Dodger Blue.

Clayton Kershaw, LHP
Born: Dallas
DOB: 3/19/88
HS: Highland Park (Texas) High School
Minors: GCL Dodgers (R), Great Lakes (A), Jacksonville (AA)
• It took Kershaw just one full season to break into the Majors with the Dodgers. When he made his big league debut at age 20, he was the youngest player in the Majors.
• At Highland Park High School in Dallas, he was close with Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Kershaw was the center on the football team while Stafford was the catcher on their baseball team.
• While in high school in 2006, Kershaw pitched a perfect game, striking out all 15 batters he faced. The game was shortened to five innings due to the mercy rule.

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 9 NYM 3, LAD 1
Gm 2 Oct. 10 LAD 5, NYM 2
Gm 3 Oct. 12 NYM 13, LAD 7
Gm 4 Oct. 13 LAD 3, NYM 1
Gm 5 Oct. 15 NYM 3, LAD 2

Zack Greinke, RHP
Born: Orlando, Fla.
DOB: 10/21/83
HS: Apopka (Fla.) High School
Minors: GCL Royals (R), Spokane (A-), Wilmington (A+), Wichita (AA), Omaha (AAA)
• Greinke was a shortstop for most of his high school career before working as a pitcher out of the bullpen in his sophomore and junior seasons, and he became a starter in his senior year.
• Greinke was named the Royals' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2003 by posting a 1.93 ERA among two teams over the course of 37 starts before being promoted and making his Major League debut the following season.
• Greinke has a younger brother, Luke, who played college baseball at Auburn University and was a 12th-round Draft selection of the Yankees in 2008. His career ended a year later, however, due to injuries.

Brett Anderson, LHP
Born: Midland, Texas
DOB: 2/1/88
HS: Stillwater (Okla.) High School
Minors: South Bend (A), Visalia (A+), Stockton (A+), Midland (AA)
• Anderson signed a letter of intent to play at Oklahoma State, where his father, Frank, was the head coach. After much deliberation, Anderson chose to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks when he was selected in the second round of the 2006 Draft.
• In his professional debut in April 2007 for the South Bend Silver Hawks, the opposing starting pitcher was future teammate Clayton Kershaw.
• Before the 2006 Draft, Baseball America rated Anderson with the best command, as well as the closest high schooler to the Majors. In his senior year at Stillwater, Anderson posted a 0.37 ERA with 102 strikeouts compared to nine walks in 57 1/3 innings.

Postseason
Before they were postseason bound

Alex Wood, LHP
Born: Charlotte, N.C.
DOB: 1/12/91
HS: Ardrey Kell (N.C.) High School
College: University of Georgia
Minors: Rome (A), Mississippi (AA), Gwinnett (AAA)
• Wood is one of five former Georgia Bulldogs currently in the Majors. The White Sox's Gordon Beckham is the longest tenured as he's been in the Majors since 2009.
• Wood was forced to redshirt his first season at Georgia, because he underwent Tommy John surgery following his senior season at Ardrey Kell H.S.
• To go along with his 10-2 record and 0.87 ERA in his senior year of high school, Wood batted .410 as he was utilized as a designated hitter. 

Mike Bolsinger, RHP
Born: Chicago
DOB: 1/29/88
HS: McKinney North (Texas) High School
College: University of Arkansas, Grayson County Community College (Texas)
Minors: Yakima (A-), South Bend (A), Visalia (A+), Mobile (AA), Reno (AAA), Oklahoma City (AAA)
• As a senior in high school, Bolsinger's McKinney North team beat Clayton Kershaw's Highland Park team in the state semifinals.
• Bolsinger committed to Texas Tech University out of high school but attended Grayson County Community Collge for a year instead, before transferring to the University of Arkansas.
• As a junior at Arkansas, he was sidelined to start the season due to mononucleosis. After being drafted in the 33rd round, Bolsinger returned for his senior season and was eventually drafted in the 15th round the following year.

Kenley Jansen, RHP
Born: Willemstad, Curacao
DOB: 9/30/87
Minors: Inland Empire (A+), Chattanooga (AA)
• Jansen is one of 14 players in Major League history to come from Curacao. Most notably, five-time All Star Andruw Jones is from the Caribbean island, along with Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
• Jansen was signed as a catcher in 2005 and hit nine home runs in Great Lakes in 2008. However, in '09, the Dodgers converted him to a relief pitcher and Jansen was in the Majors just a year later.
• Jansen underwent a three-hour heart procedure in 2012 to deal with an irregular heartbeat and remove abnormal tissue from his heart. He missed time in 2011 and '12 due to the issue, but has had no issues since.

J.P. Howell, LHP
Born: Modesto, Calif.
DOB: 4/25/83
HS: Jesuit (Calif.) High School
College: University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California
Minors: Idaho Falls (R), High Desert (A+), Wichita (AA), Omaha (AAA), Durham (AAA)
• Howell was a second-round pick straight out of high school -- he posted a 0.09 ERA in his senior season -- but chose to attend USC. After one season, however, he transferred to University of Texas at Austin for the next two years before being a first-round pick of the Royals.
• He was named California Player of the Year as a senior in high school and was on USA Today's first team All-American team.
• Howell and his wife, Heather Hennessy-Howell, created the Discover your Path Foundation to reach out to kids with the goal that self-fulfilled happiness is available to everyone. The foundation's mottos include "stay on track" and "stay true to you."

Pedro Baez, RHP
Born: Bani, Peravia, Dominican Republic
DOB: 3/11/88
Minors: GCL Dodgers (R), Ogden (R), Great Lakes (A), Inland Empires (A+), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Chattanooga (AA)
• His hometown of Bani is the home to two other current players: the Angels' Erick Aybar and the Indians' Jose Ramirez.
• Baez was originally a third baseman, but after the 2012 season, the Dodgers decided to convert him to a pitcher. He is a career .248 hitter in the Minor Leagues and has yet to have a plate appearance in the Majors.
• Baez was twice named to the All-Star Futures Game, in 2009 and '10.

Joel Peralta, RHP
Born: Bonao, Monsenor Nouel, Dominican Republic
DOB: 3/23/76
HS: 4th Bachillerato (Bonao, D.R.)
College: Ventura College (Calif.)
Minors: Butte (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Arkansas (AA), Salt Lake (AAA), Omaha (AAA), Colorado Springs (AAA), Syracuse (AAA)
• Peralta originally signed with the Athletics as an outfielder in 1996 before converting to a pitcher when he signed with the Angels in '99.
• Despite not making his Major League debut until age 29, Peralta has been in the bigs for 11 seasons, being a part of six different teams.
• In rookie ball as a member of the Butte Copper Kings in 2000, Peralta locked down the bullpen alongside former White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, although Jenks was a starter at the time.

Chris Hatcher, RHP
Born: Kinston, N.C.
DOB: 1/12/85
HS: Kinston (N.C.) High School
College: University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Minors: Jamestown (A-), Greensboro (A), Jupiter (A+), Jacksonville (AA), New Orleans (AAA)
• Hatcher began his professional career as a catcher in the Marlins' system and whacked 15 home runs for Greensboro in 2007.
• He made his Major League debut in 2010 as a catcher, but he went back down to the Minors to start his pitching career in '11.
• Along with Carter Capps, a pitcher for the Marlins, Hatcher is one of two players in the Majors from his hometown of Kinston.

Jim Johnson, RHP
Born: Johnson City, N.Y.
DOB: 6/27/83
HS: Union-Endicott (N.Y.) High School
Minors: GCL Orioles (R), Bluefield (R), Delmarva (A), Frederick (A+), Bowie (AA), Norfolk (AAA)
• Johnson is one of three players in Major League history from Johnson City, although he's the only player to share its namesake.
• He shares a birthday with former All-Stars Jim Edmonds and Jeff Conine. Johnson has been named to one All-Star team, in 2012.
• As a teenager in Endicott, N.Y., Johnson was a volunteer firefighter. He said if he didn't make it in baseball, he would have become a firefighter full-time.

Juan Nicasio, RHP
Born: San Francisco de Macoris, Duarte, Dominican Republic
DOB: 8/31/86
Minors: Casper (R), Tri-City (A-), Asheville (A), Modesto (A+), Tulsa (AA), Colorado Springs (AAA)
• He shares a birthday with Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, along with 65 other past and present Major Leaguers.
• Nicasio was a teammate with current Colorado starting center fielder Charlie Blackmon in 2008 in Tri-City.
• On Aug. 5, 2011, Nicasio suffered a fractured skull and broken vertebrae after being struck by a line drive in the temple. He returned to action the following Spring Training and made the Rockies' Opening Day roster in 2012.

Luis Avilan, LHP
Born: Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela
DOB: 7/19/89
Minors: Danville (R), Rome (A), Myrtle Beach (A+), Mississippi (AA)
• Originally signed by the Braves as an amatuer free agent in 2005 as a 15-year-old, he played in the Dominican Summer League for two seasons before he made his Minor League debut as an 18-year-old in 2008.
• Avilan was born in the same town as eight other current Major Leaguers, including San Francisco's Gregor Blanco and Chicago's Miguel Montero.
• He shares a birthday with six current players, including Arizona's Patrick Corbin and Cleveland's Yan Gomes.

Carlos Frias, RHP
Born: Nagua, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Dominican Republic
DOB: 11/13/89
Minors: DSL Dodgers (R), GCL Dodgers (R), Ogden (R), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Great Lakes (A), Chattanooga (AA), Albuquerque (AAA), Oklahoma City (AAA)
• On his first team with the DSL Dodgers in the Dominican Summer League as a 17-year-old, Frias was teammates with former Dodgers and current D-backs pitcher Rubby De La Rosa.
• Frias is one of 15 players in league history from Nagua, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, in the Dominican Republic. The only other active player is Baltimore's Ubaldo Jimenez.
• He was named to the Midwest League All-Star team in 2013 after posting a 1.86 ERA in the first half of the season for the Great Lakes Loons.

Yimi Garcia, RHP
Born: Moca, Espaillat, Dominican Republic
DOB: 8/18/90
Minors: DSL Dodgers (R), Ogden (R), Great Lakes (A), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Albuquerque (AAA), Oklahoma City (AAA)
• One of six players from Moca, Espaillat, to make the Majors, Garcia is the only player still active.
• As a member of the AZL Dodgers in 2010, Garcia was teammates with current Dodgers Pedro Baez, Scott Schebler and Joc Pederson.
• Garcia shares a birthday with Pirates Hall of Fame right fielder Roberto Clemente.

Austin Barnes, C
Born: Riverside, Calif.
DOB: 12/28/89
HS: Riverside Poly (Calif.) High School
College: Arizona State University
Minors: Jamestown (A-), Greensboro (A), Jupiter (A+), Jacksonville (AA), Oklahoma City (AAA)
• Barnes is the nephew of former infielder Mike Gallego. Gallego played for the A's, Yankees and Cardinals from 1985 to 1997 and was the A's third-base coach until being dismissed on Aug. 24.
• Barnes was a second baseman and catcher in the Minor Leagues until this season, when he has been either a catcher or designated hitter for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
• Barnes is of 15 current players to hail from Arizona State University, including teammate Andre Ethier.

A.J. Ellis, C
Born: Cape Girardeau, Mo.
DOB: 4/9/81
HS: Dunbar (Ky.) High School
College: Austin Peay State University
Minors: South Georgia (A), Vero Beach (A+), Jacksonville (AA), Las Vegas (AAA), Albuquerque (AAA)
• At Austin Peay State University, Ellis was first team All-Ohio Valley in all four seasons; he's just the fifth player in history to accomplish the feat.
• He's Austin Peay's all-time hits leader with 263 base hits and he .351 during his four years in college.
• Ellis played with former Dodgers and current Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin in 2003 and '04 in Class A South Georgia and Class A Advanced Vero Beach.

Yasmani Grandal, C
Born: La Habana, Cuba
DOB: 11/8/88
HS: Miami Springs (Fla.) High School
College: University of Miami
Minors: AZL Reds (R), Bakersfield (A+), Carolina (AA), Louisville (AAA), Tucson (AAA)
• Grandal, born in Cuba, became an American citizen in his junior year of high school at Miami Springs High School.
• In his final season at the University of Miami, Grandal was the runner-up for the Golden Spikes Award by hitting .401 with 15 home runs and 60 RBIs. Future Nationals All-Star Bryce Harper won the award.
• While still in the Minors with the Reds, Grandal was a part of the package sent to San Diego in return for future Dodgers teammate Mat Latos.

Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Born: San Diego
DOB: 5/8/82
HS: Eastlake (Calif.) High School
Minors: GCL Marlins (R), Utica (A-), Kane County (A), Portland (AA), Frisco (AA), Carolina (AA), Albuquerque (AAA), Oklahoma (AAA)
• Gonzalez was teammates with now-Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera in 2001 when both were members of the Class A Kane County Cougars. Gonzalez hit .312 with 17 homers, while Cabrera hit .268 with seven home runs.
• Though he was born in San Diego, Gonzalez lived in Mexico until he was 8. Gonzalez has appeared for the Mexican team in the World Baseball Classic in 2006, '09 and '13.
• Gonzalez was selected as the No. 1 overall pick bythe Marlins in the 2000 Draft and was the first position player to be taken first overall since Alex Rodriguez in 1993. Adrian's brother, Edgar, was drafted by the Rays in the 30th round, but he made his Major League debut in 2008 with the Padres -- as Adrian's teammate.

Jose Peraza, 2B
Born: Barinas, Barinas, Venezuela
DOB: 4/30/94
Minors: Danville (R), DSL Braves (R), Rome (A), Lynchburg (A+), Mississippi (AA), Gwinnett (AAA), Oklahoma City (AAA)
• In the Minors with the Braves, Peraza established himself as a terror on the basepaths, stealing 64 bases in 2013 while swiping 60 bags in '14.
• Peraza was initially a shortstop, but the Braves moved him to second base because of the success of Andrelton Simmons. After Peraza switched once, the Braves moved him to center field to increase his versatility because of Jace Peterson's success at second base for the Major League club.
• Peraza is one of only two players in the Majors to come from Barinas, Barinas. The other is Mariners farmhand Ramon Flores.

Jimmy Rollins, SS
Born: Oakland
DOB: 11/27/78
HS: Encinal (Calif.) High School
Minors: Martinsville (R), Piedmont (A), Clearwater (A+), Reading (AA), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• Rollins is the cousin of eight-year journeyman Tony Tarasco, who played right field for six different teams from 1993-2002. Rollins' brother played in the Minor Leagues and his sister played basketball for the University of San Francisco.
• For Class A Advanced Clearwater in 1998, Rollins played alongside eight other future Major Leaguers. The list included Pat Burrell, Johnny Estrada, Brandon Duckworth and Adam Eaton.
• After Rollins made his professional debut for Martinsville at age 17 in the Rookie league, he made his Major League debut just four years later in 2000.

Justin Turner, 3B
Born: Long Beach, Calif.
DOB: 11/23/84
HS: Mayfair (Calif.) High School
College: California State University Fullerton
Minors: Billings (R), Dayton (A), Sarasota (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Norfolk (AAA), Buffalo (AAA)
• While playing for Cal State Fullerton, Turner was a part of the 2004 College World Series championship team as the Titans beat Texas in the two-game final.
• In 2006, Turner was on the Billings Mustangs in the Rookie league, and he was teammates with future Dodgers Chris Heisey and Josh Ravin. Other future Major Leaguers on that team were Drew Stubbs and Juan Francisco.
• Turner went to the same college as Dodgers bench coach and five-time All Star Tim Wallach. Turner is one of nine current players in the Majors from Cal State Fullerton.

Chase Utley, 2B
Born: Pasadena, Calif.
DOB: 12/17/78
HS: Polytechnic (Calif.) High School
College: UCLA
Minors: Batavia (A-), Clearwater (A+), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA)
• He was drafted in the second round of the 1997 Draft by the Dodgers, but he did not sign. He eventually was drafted in the first round by the Phillies three years later after attending UCLA.
• Growing up in Southern California and attending college in Los Angeles, Utley was a lifelong Dodgers fan. His career came full circle when he was acquired by the Dodgers in an August trade.
• In his first Major League start in 2003, Utley's first career hit was a grand slam against the Yankees.

Howie Kendrick, 2B
Born: Jacksonville, Fla.
DOB: 7/12/83
HS: West Nassau (Fla.) High School
College: St. Johns River Community College 
Minors: AZL Angels (R), Provo (R), Cedar Rapids (A), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Arkansas (AA), Salt Lake (AAA)
• He's one of three players to make it to the Majors from St. Johns River Community College, although Kendrick is the most successful of the trio. The other two were Rich Surhoff and Bill Swaggerty, each of whom pitched in the Majors in the mid-1980s.
• Kendrick drew little to no interest from junior colleges after high school, but St. Johns offered him a scholarship late in the recruiting process that Kendrick immediately accepted.
• In 2004, while playing for Cedar Rapids, a 20-year-old Kendrick and current Pirates shortstop Sean Rodriguez made up the defense up the middle for the Kernels.

Enrique Hernandez, INF/OF
Born: San Juan, Puerto Rico
DOB: 8/24/91
HS: American Military Academy (Toa Baja, P.R.)
Minors: GCL Astros (R), Tri-City (A-), Lexington (A), Lancaster (A+), Corpus Christi (AA), Oklahoma City (AAA), New Orleans (AAA)
• Hernandez is one of 21 current players in the Majors from Puerto Rico. Of those, four others are from Hernandez's hometown of San Juan, including the Giants' Javier Lopez and the White Sox's Geovany Soto.
• He is one of two players to be drafted out of the American Military Academy in Toa Baja, along with the Reds' Ivan De Jesus Jr.
• Hernandez's father, Enrique Sr., is a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he used to work for the Colorado Rockies.

Carl Crawford, OF
Born: Houston
DOB: 8/5/81
HS: Jefferson Davis (Texas) High School
Minors: Princeton (R), Charleston (A), Orlando (AA), Durham (AAA)
• Crawford was on the same Little League team as the Braves' Michael Bourn in 1992. Crawford was 11, and Bourn was 10.
• A three-sport athlete in high school, Crawford had offers to continue in baseball, basketball or football. He was offered a scholarship to play point guard at UCLA or to play quarterback at Nebraska. Instead, he signed with the Devil Rays when he was drafted in the second round of the 1999 Draft.
• Crawford is one of 24 players from Houston active in the Majors. Only Joe Nathan has more All-Star Game appearances among Houston-born players -- the reliever has six appearances in the Midsummer Classic, while Crawford has appeared four times.

Andre Ethier, OF
Born: Phoenix
DOB: 4/10/82
HS: St. Marys (Ariz.) High School
College: Arizona State University, Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Minors: Vancouver (A-), Kane County (A), Modesto (A+), Midland (AA), Las Vegas (AAA)
• In the fall of 2000, Ethier transferred from Arizona State to Chandler-Gilbert CC. In his first season, he hit .468. He re-enrolled at Arizona State in 2001 and played two seasons for the Sun Devils, posting a career batting average of .371.
• While he was at Arizona State, Ethier was teammates with Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler.
• The A's drafted Ethier twice, first out of high school in the 37th round, then again in 2003 in the second. Ethier would never play at the Major League level for Oakland, however, as he was traded to the Dodgers in exchange for Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez.

Alex Guerrero, 3B/LF
Born: Las Tunas, Las Tunas, Cuba
DOB: 11/20/86
Minors: AZL Dodgers (R), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Albuquerque (AAA)
• Guerrero defected from Cuba in 2013 and established residency in Haiti before signing a four-year, $28 million deal with the Dodgers.
• He is one of two players from Las Tunas to play in the Majors, along with Baltimore's Henry Urrutia. The two were teammates on Las Tunas in the Cuban National Series.
• Guerrero was part of the initial roster for the Cuban team in the World Baseball Classic, but he did not make the final cut. He was a career .303 hitter while playing in the Cuban National Series.

Joc Pederson, OF
Born: Palo Alto, Calif.
DOB: 4/21/92
HS: Palo Alto (Calif.) High School
Minors: Ogden (R), Great Lakes (A), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Albuquerque (AAA)
• His father, Stu Pederson, played for the Dodgers in 1985 and was in the Dodgers' and Blue Jays' farm system for 12 seasons.
• In 2014, Pederson became the fourth player in Pacific Coast League history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in a season. That year, he led the league in runs, home runs, walks, on-base percentage and OPS.
• Despite signing to play baseball at USC, where his father played, Pederson signed for $600,000 in the 11th round of the 2010 Draft. The bonus was the second-most given to a Dodgers player in that Draft.

Yasiel Puig, OF
Born: Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos, Cuba
DOB: 12/7/90
Minors: AZL Dodgers (R), Rancho Cucamonga (A+), Chattanooga (AA)
• Puig defected from Cuba to Mexico as a 21-year-old in 2012 before signing a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Dodgers.
• He was born in the same hometown as six other Major Leaguers, including White Sox All-Star Jose Abreu.
• Puig began his professional playing career as a 17-year-old with the Cuban National team in the 2008 World Junior Baseball Championship and helped Cuba win a bronze medal, as well as playing for Cienfuegos in the Cuban National Series.

Scott Van Slyke, OF/1B
Born: Chesterfield, Mo.
DOB: 7/24/86
HS: John Burroughs (Mo.) High School
Minors: GCL Dodgers (R), Ogden (R), Great Lakes (A), Inland Empire (A+), Chattanooga (AA), Albuquerque (AAA)
• He's the son of Andy Van Slyke, who played 13 seasons with the Pirates, Cardinals, Phillies and Orioles. Andy Van Slyke was a three-time All-Star as an outfielder.
• As a 7-year-old at Pirates Spring Training, Scott saved his 3-year-old brother, Jared from drowning in the bottom of a hot tub. Scott pulled his brother from the water and Jared was fine after a night in the hospital.
• In 2011, Van Slyke led the Southern League in batting average by hitting .348 with Double-A Chattanooga and was the MVP of the Southern League midseason All-Star Game.