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2024 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Watch List After 1st Month

This is the first in a series on the prospect watch list for each of the 4 LAD MiLB affiliates.  I am starting with Rancho Cucamonga, not only because they are the Low A affiliate, but they are also my favorite LAD MiLB team.  Note of caution – What these prospects do at A Ball is nice to follow, but you cannot draw conclusions at this level.  I may like these guys, but they have to produce at AA before they can be legit MLB prospects.  Right now prospect status it is just based on skills.


Rancho Cucamonga Quakes is managed by the great John Shoemaker.  They are the LAD affiliate in the California League (full season A – or Low A).  After 19 games, with a 14-5 record, the Quakes are leading the California League Southern Division by 4.5 games over Visalia (Arizona).  They have won 5 out of 6 games for the last two series.  They will be facing the Modesto Nuts (Seattle) in Modesto for the next 6 games.  The Nuts are also 14-5 and in first place in the Northern Division.

This team was supposed to feature their star potential OF, of Zyhir Hope, Kendall George, and Josue De Paula.  None of the three have escaped the injury bug, but none serious enough to go on the IL.


Position Players:


The biggest surprise (although I do not know why it should be), has been 2B, Jeral Perez.  He is 19 and was signed by LAD 1-15-22 out of La Romana, DR.  He is 6’0’  179 pounds, but possesses real power.  Last year at ACL, he tied for the league lead in HR with 11.  In 221 PA, .257/.389/.503/.892, 51 K (23.1%), 36 BB (16.3%), 9 doubles, 1 triple. Defensively he played about the same number of games/starts at

B, SS, and 3B.

This year in his first full season A Ball, in 85 PA, .319/.435/.580/1.015.  He has 19 K (22.4%) and 13 BB (15.3%).  He is tied for the California League lead in HR with 4.

  • BA – #8
  • OBP – #10
  • SLG – #3
  • OPS – #5

This year, Jeral is playing almost exclusively at 2B.  He is considered an average to just below average defensively.  Maybe if the Dodgers decide to stick a player at one position, and let them develop there, he might become a better defender if not moved around as much.

Jeral did not make the top prospect lists for Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, Fangraphs, or Baseball Prospectus.  He was #16 for the Athletic and #19 by ESPN.  If his 2024 production continues, he should get into the top prospect lists, perhaps by mid-season.


Another top producer at RC is 3B, Jake Gelof.  Gelof is in his 2nd year with LAD after being drafted in 2nd round out of University of Virginia.  He did not get off to the best of starts at RC last year.  But this year, he has produced near the top of all California League players.

For the year, with 92 PA, he is hitting .310/.446/.535/.98.  He has 26 K (28.3%) and 19 BB (20.7%).  Slight improvement from 2023 in K, but a much larger improvement in BB rate from 13.0% to the current 20.7%.  Gelof is tied for the league lead with 22 RBIs, and is tied for 2nd with 3 triples. He is also #3 in BB.

Where he stands in the Cal League Stats leaders:

  • BA – #9
  • OBP – #7
  • SLG – #7
  • OPS – #7

Gelof is recognized as a power hitter, so I would expect his SLG to improve, but 20.7% BB rate will be difficult to sustain.

Defensively he probably fits into the Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch group.  Most scout/talent evaluators would pencil him as a 1B/DH.  IMO (for whatever that is worth) I would like to see him in LF.  That would at least give him a position to shoot for in LAD.  Unless the Dodgers feel he has more value in a trade.

  • MLB Pipeline: #23
  • Baseball Prospectus – #18
  • ESPN – #18
  • Baseball America – #26
  • Fangraphs – #24

He was not listed in the Athletic’s top 19.

Per MLB Pipeline:

One of the best power prospects in the 2023 Draft, Gelof puts a charge into the ball with his combination of bat speed, strength and loft in his right-handed swing. He has an aggressive approach and focuses on launching balls in the air, yet he also uses the entire field and doesn’t chase pitches or strike out excessively. He’s a 30-homer threat who could hit for a decent average and he’ll draw walks if pitchers won’t challenge him.

 Gelof has below-average speed and lacks athleticism, so most of his value will come from his bat. There are questions about his ability to remain at third base, where he has been error-prone and his range and arm may be a bit light. If he has to move, left field and first base would be his fallbacks.

 He is 22 at low A, so I would like to see him move to Great Lakes where he will find better pitching.  It is going to be his bat that gives him the greatest value, so why not see where he fits at a higher level.

A look around the Dodgers affiliates, many (most?) catchers have not been performing as hoped.  In RC, the Dodgers have been utilizing a two catcher approach: Jesus Galiz and Carlos Rojas.


Jesus Galiz is 20 years old, and is 6’0”, 183 pounds.  Galiz was signed as an IFA by LAD 01-15-2021 out of Maracaibo, Venezuela.  Galiz is spending his 2nd year at RC, and I am not sure why.  He was more than respectable as a catcher at RC last year.  In 330 PA – .267/.316/.407/.723.  He is being blocked by Nelson Quiroz at GL.

This year, in 46 PA, Jesus is hitting .270/.413/.514/.927.  He has 2 HR, 5 BB and 14 K.  He started the season going 2-14.  He has hit in 7 straight and is 8-23 since then.

As a catcher, Galiz has 82.0 innings at catcher, 110 total chances, 0 errors, 3 PB, 3 out 12 caught SB attempts.  Last year at RC, 23 out of 95 caught SB attempts.


Carlos Rojas is in his first year at Rancho.  Rojas is 21, is 6’0” and 165 pounds.  He was an IFA signed by LAD on 08/01/19 out of Barquisimeto, Venezuela.  So far in 2024, in 42 PA, Rojas is hitting .308/.357/.333/.690 with 1 XBH.

As a catcher, Rojas has 84.0 innings and 106 total chances.  He has 1 error, 3 passed balls, and has thrown out 3 of 13 would be base stealers.

Both catchers have played approximately the same amount of time.  Galiz is younger has more experience, and has more power in his bat.  There is no distinction in their catching thus far in 2024.


Zyhir Hope – Zyhir was one of two players coming back to the Dodgers from the Cubs in the 01-11-2024 Michael Busch/Yency Almonte trade.  So he will be under the spotlight, as will be LHP, Jackson Ferris, who was the other player coming to the Dodgers.

Hope is a 19 years old, 6’ 0” 193 pounds LH hitting OF.  He was an 11th round pick in the 2023 draft by the Cubs and was assigned to the Cubs ACL.  In 43 PA, he slugged 3 HRs, and slashed .286/.419/.543/.962.  He can play any of the three OF positions.  He was playing CF when he crashed into the wall while trying to corral a two-out triple by Dillon Head in the 1st inning. Hope remained in center for the final out of the first, but was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the inning.

This year, in 82 PA, and slashed .282/.378/.521/.899, 8 doubles, 3 HR, 10 BB, 22 K, 4 SB, 0 CS.  In the California League, Zyhir is in the leaders for the following:

  • Doubles – #1
  • HRs – Tied for #3
  • SLG – #9
  • OPS – #12

He has double plus speed, and a big arm (65 grade).  At 19 years old, he is showing he is very capable of playing at this level.  I hope we get to see what he can do at Great Lakes at 19 later this season.

The only top prospect list he landed on was #20 with MiLB Pipeline.  I think a lot of that has to do with that he was a two way high school player who was converted totally to OF after being drafted. His pre-draft status as an OF was unknown, and he was an 11th round pick with limited ACL experience.  He is one who should have some helium mid-season, and certainly by next season.

Per MLB Pipeline:

A twitchy athlete with a beautiful left-handed stroke, Hope already produces 110-mph exit velocities as a teenager. He hasn’t seen a lot of quality pitching and tends to chase pitches out of the zone, so he likely will need some time to hone his approach and develop at the plate. But his combination of easy bat speed, growing strength and some natural loft in his swing could translate into plus power in his prime.

 Hope’s plus-plus speed contributes to his 30-30 upside and allows him to cover plenty of ground in center field. He also has well above-average arm strength that intrigued some clubs on the mound. As a left-handed pitcher, he ran his fastball into the mid-90s and displayed promising shape with his curveball.


Josue De Paula – 19 years old (05/24), 6’3” 185 pounds LH hitting OF.  He was born in Brooklyn, New York, but his family moved to the Dominican.  Josue was signed as an IFA by LAD 01-15-2022.  He is a cousin of NBA player Stephon Marbury.  He is starting his second season in RC, and again I really do not know why.  Last year, as an 18 year old, in 340 PA, he slashed .284/.396/.372/.768.  He had 61 K (17.9%) and 46 BB (13.5%).

In 2024, after an encouraging ST debut, he started slowly at RC.  In his first 8 games, 34 AB, Josue was 6-34, with 1 double.  Since then, De Paula has been 10-26 with 4 doubles and 2 triples.  He exited the game on April 24, with an apparent hamstring injury.  It was not serious enough to put him on the IL so I would expect to see him back in the lineup very soon, perhaps by Tuesday.

De Paula is graded with 55 power by MLB Pipeline, and is 60 power (both raw and game) as a FV.

De Paula was rated highly by the prospect publications because of what he did as an 18 year old in A Ball.

  • MLB Pipeline – #4
  • Baseball Prospectus – #2
  • ESPN – #1
  • Baseball America – #5
  • Fangraphs – #8
  • Athletic – #1

He is already rated #1 LAD prospect by two publications.  Let’s hope he continues his development more positively than the last teenage IFA prospect for LAD.

Per MLB Pipeline:

De Paula is built to hit with a sweet left-handed stroke and advanced aptitude to recognize pitches and make quality swing decisions. He spent the offseason training with Juan Soto and Elly De La Cruz in Florida, adding significant muscle to his 6-foot-3 frame that should translate into increased power in 2024. With his hitting ability, bat speed and projectable strength, he could develop into a .300 hitter with 30 homers on an annual basis once he learns to drive balls in the air more consistently. 

De Paula looks twitchier and more athletic this year, and the Dodgers are hoping that will translate into more effectiveness on the bases and in the outfield. He has fringy to average speed but has been an opportunistic basestealer, swiping 30 bags in 39 tries in 128 games during his first two pro seasons. He lacks instincts and has been error-prone as an outfielder, showing an average arm while spending most of 2023 in right field.

With questionable defensive tools, De Paula is going to have to make it with his bat, which he looks to do.  But as a corner OF he is going to need to produce power, which he has not yet been able to do.  That will dictate how quickly he gets to LAD and how long he stays.


Kendall George is one who I am following, but he has not had enough 2024 participation to give any real indication as to how he will play this year.  He was a 1st round choice for LAD in the 2023 draft.  George is a speedy CF with no power.  But for this report, in 42 PA: .281/.452/.313/.765, 10 BB, 6 K, 4 SB, 2 CS.  He has not yet learned how to use that speed for base stealing.  That will come.  But for George to move up the organizational ladder, he is going to need to improve on that .313 SLG.  He is never going to be a HR hitter, but he needs to generate doubles and triples.

Other hitters of note:

  • Joe Vetrano – 22 year old (05-10-2021), 6’3” 220 pound LH hitting OF. 5th round pick in 2023 draft out of Boston College.  In 72 PA, .263/.417/.351/.768, 1 triple, 1 HR, 13 BB, 21 K.



There is not one RC pitcher that is considered a top prospect, but there are some pitchers to monitor and see how they develop.  One who has absolutely catapulted himself into prospect status is 22 year old RHP, Jorge Rodriguez. Jorge is a 6’6” 200 pound RHP.  He was signed 01-13-2019 from Oaxaca, Oaxaca Mexico.

Jorge has been a multi-inning reliever up until now.  Will that change?  After his disastrous first game against Lake Elsinore on April 7, he has been a strikeout machine.  Since that game, Jorge has pitched 3 games (in relief), and pitched 13.2 innings, 2 runs (1 earned), 7 hits, 4 BB, 25 K, 0 HR. In those games he has a 0.66 ERA, .846 WHIP, .146/.222/.188/.410 with a .292 BAbip, which is slightly lower than average, but not so much to believe that his numbers are favorably presented.  More than 6-1 K/BB, and almost 2 strikeouts per inning.

Jorge has certainly dominated at Low A in 2024.  At 22, it might be good to see what he will do at Great Lakes.  Will he continue to be the bulk reliever, or might he be considered to start.


One starter that has been getting noticed is 6’6” 220 pound RHSP, Patrick Copen.  Copen was a 7th round pick in the 2023 draft out of Marshall University.  Copen was a member of the Spring Breakout team for LAD.  In 2.0 IP, he allowed 1 hit with 4 K.

For the 2024 season, Copen has pitched in 4 games (3 starts) and has pitched 12.0 innings, 9 hits, 7 BB, 16 K, 3.75 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.  His slash line against is .209/.320/.233/.553.  He has not allowed a HR and only 1 double.  His BAbip against is .333 which would indicate Patrick has been only slightly unlucky.

Two of my favorite pitchers to follow are RHP Carlos Duran and RHP Edgardo Henriquez.


Carlos Duran is a 22 year old 6’7” 230 pound RHP.  He was signed as an IFA on 03/18/2018 from Nagua, DR.  Carlos was pitching in High A at 20 when he had TJ surgery.  He started to rise up the prospect charts because of his double plus slider.  With a 55 fastball and a 70 slider, he is being developed to become a power late inning high leverage reliever.  For 2024:

3 games, 6.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 hits, 5 BB, 9 K, 1.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .100/.333/.200/.533, 0 HR.  Like many LAD prospects, he has control issues.  He is going to need improve on that control.

Carlos Duran pre-injury BA scouting report.

Duran is physically huge at 6-foot-7, 230 pounds and has power stuff befitting his frame. His two-seam fastball sits 93-96 mph and touches 98 with huge run to stay off barrels and get weak contact from righthanded hitters. His four-seam fastball sits in the same velocity band, but he lacks extension or movement on the pitch and it gets crushed. Duran’s primary weapon is a plus-plus, mid-80s slider that may be the best individual pitch in the Dodgers system. Duran hides the ball well behind his big body and the pitch turns hard with power sweep and dive to get consistent swings and misses off the plate. Duran’s firm, 87-90 mph changeup is a below-average pitch, but he has improved his command of it to become more competitive against lefties. He is a power pitcher with fringy control and is best in short bursts.


Edgardo Henriquez is a 21 year old, 6’4” 200 pound RHP.  He was signed as an IFA by LAD on 09-25-2018 from Cumana, Venezuela.  Edgardo has grown from a hard thrower to a hard throwing pitcher, and looks to have a very bright future.  Like Carlos Duran, he had TJ surgery in the summer of 2022.

For 2024, Edgardo has appeared in 4 games, and pitched 2.0 innings in each.  For his 8.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 HBP, 5 BB, 15 K, .000 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, .040/.226/.080/.306.  Edgardo was also in the Spring Breakout game and pitched 1.0 innings, striking out all three batters he faced.

The Dodgers are trying to figure out if Edgardo can be a starter.  But it looks like he is being limited to 2.0 innings early on.

BA Pre-Injury Scouting Report:

Henriquez has matured into a big, hard-throwing righthander with some of the best pure stuff in the Dodgers system. His fastball sits 96-98 mph and touches 101 and his mid-80s slider flashes plus with late break off the plate. He also has a firm changeup in the low-90s. Henriquez oozes potential but requires a lot of refinement. His fastball command is below-average and the inconsistency of his delivery causes his fastball to lose its life and play down. He struggles to land his slider in the zone and his changeup has a long way to go. Henriquez flashes average control when his delivery is working, but at other times he shows well below-average control.


One final note on both Carlos Duran and Edgardo Henriquez.  They are both Rule 5 eligible, and I would expect either would be selected if not protected.

Other pitchers that deserve some commentary:

  • Reynaldo Yean – 20 year old RHRP, 6’4” 190 pounds, signed as an IFA 07-05-2021 from Grande de Boya, DR. Only 2 appearances and 5.1 IP, but no runs, 2 hit, 3 BB, and 11 K.  He has 2 saves in 2 save opportunities.


  • Gabe Emmett – 23 year old RHSP, 6’ 5” 175 pounds, 19th round draft pick in 2021 from Folsom Lake College. 3 games, 2 starts, 14.0 IP, 8 hits, 2 runs/1 earned, 1 HBP, 6 BB, 16 K, 0 HR, 0.64 ERA, 1.00 WHIP.   While he is dominating at RC, this is his 2nd year at RC so we need to see what he can do at Great Lakes to determine if the Dodgers found a steal in the 19th



NOTE – Walker Buehler will be making his next rehab assignment on Tuesday in OKC against the Salt Lake Bees (LAA).




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Duke Not Snider

Thanks for the breakdown. While everybody raves about De Paula as a hitter, I’m struck that Hope is a much more well-rounded athlete, with plus speed and a plus arm. Packs power too. More well-rounded than Kendall George too. And aren’t all three just 19 years old?
When I read the words “either would be selected if not protected” from the Rule 5 draft, I figure that guys like that could be good sweeteners in a deal that could impact the big club. (And maybe Geloff could join his brother in Oakland too in the big deal for Mason Miller.)
Another nice win today, with Pages continuing to produce.
I did not notice it during the game, but it was the first time in 18 years that Dodgers went 9 innings without a single strikeout. (Keeping Taylor, Outman and Lux out may have helped.)
Mookie had two walks and no hits. His ML-leading OBP was lowered to .475.
Notable stat: Mookie now has 24 walks against only 14 Ks, to go with his ML-leading .371 BA.
He also leads in OPS and total hits, and is tied (with Soto) for the lead in walks with 24. Also second in slugging.
And Mookie is on pace for 40 steals too…

Last edited 17 days ago by Duke Not Snider

Very enjoyable read. Galiz is a bright spot in the Tortured Backstops Department that is our minor league system.


I thought we had lots of good catchers, no?


It was a play on a relatively popular music star’s latest release


Great read. Thanks

I’m still of the mind that success in AA is what measures a true prospect. None of these A guys will be seen in the Show for years.

Yeah, what happened to those top catchers?

I chose Duran as my sleeper prospect until TJ. Not sure now. And both he and Henriquez throwing 98-101 after TJ is recipe for disaster. Spot 96 and develop change ups.

4 for 11 WRISP. Ohtani could knock in 130 on this team. So far he’s hitting .194 WRISP. Come on Shohei. Pick it up man.

Last edited 17 days ago by Badger

Badger, I completely agree with you on Ohtani’s failures so far with hitting with runners in scoring position. It’s been very frustrating. His ABs in those situations have not been good. Too many K’s and weak hit balls that don’t even advance the runners. I’m sure it will turn around for him. He’s just too good a hitter. I’m projecting 35+ HR and 110+ RBI by season’s end. Even with his struggles with RISP he’s still hitting .341 with a 1.041 OPS and leading the team in HRs. So, obviously, not being critical. I’m just hoping that his outstanding offense can be channeled to the times when his teammates are on base in order for the Dodgers to win more games.

Loving Andy Pages.

Fantastic update on the RC team Jeff. I still think that the Dodgers should trade a huge package of prospects for a young, top end SS. There has to be a team that has that type of SS and is in need of prospects to help with a rebuild. It appears that the Dodgers might have an abundance of prospects right now. Granted, they are just prospects. But, with Mookie, Freddie, Ohtani, and now Will all signed for the next several years where will they play? Shortstop seems to be the only real weakness on this team long term. It seems to me to be a logical solution to the weakness. But, what do I know?

Carry on.

Last edited 17 days ago by tedraymond

Smith is feasting on the baserunners Ohtani is leaving for him.

Phil Jones

Good points Ted on Ohtani. Maybe I’ve missed some at bats but does he even attempt to hit, based on the situation? Maybe he’s such a dangerous hitter, with all that power, that he couldn’t be bothered with moving a runner from 2nd to 3rd with no outs. Or looking to lift a fly ball with a runner at 3rd with 1 or 2 outs. It seems to me he just “hits” and doesn’t seem interested in moving a runner when he can hit it 500 feet.


Maybe the simple solution is to switch Betts and Ohtani in the batting order which also would make it a L, R, L, R first 4.


Every organization has a lot of successful prospects all the way through AA. But as you say, the Dodgers 26 man remains so stacked most of their kids will remain blocked for years. My take is pick the one or two each year that can be promoted and trade the others for veterans or more MiLB depth, as they did with Busch.

I leave Outman in center and rotate Pages in the corners. It’s still early but the team looks better with Rojas and Betts up the middle and Lux on the bench. He will be given at bats for the next couple of months but if he doesn’t hit it might be time to consider trading him to a Midwest team. I’m pulling for him of course but it’s time for him to hit, or hit the road.

Varland huh? Ok, but….


The Dodgers have four position players in their prime with long term contracts. That core can support other position players that haven’t reached their primes. The latter includes Outman, Pages, and Lux and potentially Vargas. I would like to add another starter under 25 and my preference would be at 3rd base to replace a veteran while Betts, Ohtani, Freeman, and Smith can carry this team offensively.

Watford Dodger

This ties in with what I was thinking about yesterday, in a longer term view of our needs and continued success.

Freeman (extension candidate)

is as good a top 4 as there is in Baseball, and it’s set for some time.

We seem to have a lot of potentially interesting younger players, selected later in the Drsfts, some of whom may work out, but experience tells me that the majority won’t.

How about pushing some chips in for CJ Abrams now. He is gonna be a beast, and although Mookie is doing great he’s not getting any younger and there will have to be a fall off in his defence at some point.

That would give us 5 Position Players tied up on long deals, as well as adding youth, speed, a potential Lead Off man should anything happen to Mookie, and a great hitter.

The exchange that Bluto’s simulator came up
with would be an absolute no brainer given our Pitching depth.

Mookie could play a little RF and 2B. Gavin Lux, although early days, looks devoid of any power and looks like a platoon candidate at this point.

The Nats are doing well in their tear down and rebuild and a cache of top prospects could appeal, especially pitching prospects.

Then sign Soto over the winter as Teo will be off, and that’s six pillars to carry us forward.


all locked up for time gives us great options. With 6 players of that calibre tied up on long deals, we can negate our disadvantage of always selecting at the bottom of the Draft.

Last edited 17 days ago by Watford Dodger
Singing the Blue

I don’t think pushing “some chips” in for Abrams is going to do it. My guess is that he’s the one player they absolutely want to build that team around, and who could blame them.

If we had tried that trade last winter, it might have gotten us somewhere but I think that ship has probably sailed. I’m thinking that he’d be about as tough a get as Witt Jr at this point.

Also, I think Mookie, if given his choice, would like to spend the rest of his career on the infield. He might be OK with 2B but I don’t think he wants to go back to right field. JMO.


The Dodgers future looks to be in good hands. I am really proud of the way Pages has performed. Considering how much time he lost last year due to injury; I did not expect the kid to play this well at this level. He seems to be making game to game adjustments.

Singing the Blue

Great writeup Jeff. Look forward to the other three.

I’m very excited to see what progress is made by the Big Four at RC (DePaula, Hope, George, Perez). I’d be very happy if one of these guys becomes a regular in L.A. in 3-4 years and ecstatic if two make it.

I am certainly not going to criticize Andrew since he has had some unbelievable success but if asked, I would say one of his possible shortcomings is hanging on to too many prospects for too long, instead of packaging some of them in a trade before they lose value (Mr. Cartaya, for example, who is following up his lousy 2023 with an even worse 2024 and whose trade value at this point is very low). I really like Cartaya and haven’t totally given up on his future, but I’m beginning to think it won’t be with the Dodgers.

Rushing, on the other hand, seems to be following up his concussed 2023 with a nice 2024. Is it time to include him in a trade with Lux, Gelof and maybe a pitcher or two and get that young third baseman Bums is asking for or maybe a shortstop or second baseman, depending upon where they decide they want Mookie to stay on a permanent basis?

Last edited 17 days ago by Singing the Blue
Phil Jones

Great reporting on the kids Jeff. Thanks for the through analysis.


Astros optioned Abreu to AAA.. Why don’t the Dodgers option Taylor?

Singing the Blue

Because he doesn’t have any remaining options.
Apparently Abreu did.

Singing the Blue

Didn’t realize they could option a player if he was out of options and agreed to it. I could actually see CT3 agreeing to do that. At this point, he must be desperate, and he’s not going to get all that much regular playing time.

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