Mark Prior reveals the secret to the Dodgers’ winning culture
No team has had more success over the past decade than the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have won eight straight NL West Division titles and have made two trips to the World Series since 2017.
L.A. is back in the postseason again this year after posting an MLB-best .717 winning percentage behind outstanding performances throughout the lineup.
"It’s a next guy up mentality," Prior explained. "They don’t care if you’ve never pitched or played a day in the big leagues, or if you’ve been there for 10 years. It’s like, who’s going to help us win ball games? I think because that’s the number one priority to win ball games and nobody cares how we do it or who does it, that calms everyone a bit. They’ve already got their nerves, but they’re like, 'they don’t care if I’m young.'"
Prior has been especially impressed with how Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw has taken his younger teammates under his wing.
"I’m starting to see Clay take Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May and hang out with them on the bench and when they go inside they go in and talk. That’s been cool to watch because I think that's something that has helped those guys feel more comfortable and confident."
Thanks to Kershaw’s mentoring – and Prior’s expert tutelage – May has lowered his ERA from 3.63 a year ago to 2.57 in 2020, while also improving his WHIP and increasing his strikeout total. Gonsolin, meanwhile, led all Dodgers starters in WAR, FIP, ERA, and WHIP this season in just his second year in the league.
"They’ve been throwing the ball extremely well and I think that’s because guys have welcomed them for who they are and they want them to win," Prior said. "The other guys want to win too so they’re like, 'we want these guys out there.'"
Listen to Glendon’s full conversation with Mark Prior here.