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A Little Taste of Baseball Prospectus

Baseball Prospectus had this to say about LAD.

The Dodgers have procedurally generated devastating slider and changeup shapes for nearly every arm in their system, while the hitting corps boasts a trio of power-hitting backstops amidst a wider variety of potential impact bats. Despite recent graduations and deadline buys, LA’s system retains its depth.

It is that depth that is special.  They do lack elite prospects, but most on this list will become MLB players and many could become regulars.  Baseball Prospectus Top 10.

  1. Dalton Rushing – C
  2. Josue De Paula – OF
  3. Nick Frasso – RHP
  4. Thayron Liranzo – C
  5. Michael Busch – 2B/OF
  6. River Ryan – RHP
  7. Kyle Hurt – RHP
  8. Andy Pages – OF
  9. Diego Cartaya – C
  10. Payton Martin – RHP

Dalton Rushing (catcher in picture)  is medium risk with a grade of Occasional All Star – Hit First Backstop.  Still needs to work on his bat to ball skills, but has good power projection.  He has a good eye and patience.  He draws a lot of BB’s so his OBP will be good.  And combined with his projected SLG, Rushing should have a good OPS throughout. It is Baseball Prospectus’ opinion that Rushing should begin to be pushed, and I could not agree more.  He will be 23 to start the season, and I would expect that to be in Tulsa.

Josue De Paula is rising very fast in the prospect rankings.  He has an excellent hit tool, but a power tool that is going to need work.  He has a low launch angle that I am sure the LAD development crew will work on.  He was 18 years old in full season A Ball and was not overwhelmed at all.  He is not a GG corner OF, but should be more than capable of playing LF.  Excellent bat to ball skills with a good eye who draws nearly as many BB as K.  With an excellent projection for OBP, if he can get his SLG up, he could be a perennial .800+ OPS everyday corner OF.

Nick Frasso is another big (6’5”) RHSP.  Now that Pepiot has moved to Tampa Bay’s rotation, Frasso has catapulted to the top of my favorite LAD MiLB pitcher.  He is a Southern California product who went to Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rancho Palos Verdes.  Frasso was a Toronto 4th round draft pick out of Loyola Marymount.  The Dodgers acquired Frasso at the 2022 trade deadline for Mitch White and Alex De Jesus (INF).  The Dodgers also got LHP Moises Brito, who I am cautiously optimistic about.  Frasso had UCL surgery right after being drafted (Walker Buehleresque).  It was not a full TJ surgery but was done with an internal brace.

Frasso has a mid-90’s fastball that will touch 100 with arm side run..  He has two potentially excellent secondary pitches.  He has a two planed slider that consistently sits in the upper 80’s.  He also has a potentially plus plus changeup.  The biggest concern for Frasso is his durability.  However that is going to be hard to discern.  He was less than 2 years removed from elbow surgery and got stomach flu last year, losing 15 pounds sapping his strength.  He still managed 93 innings.  He has good swing and miss and decent control.  Baseball Prospectus says he is “a gangly weapon fine-tuned in a laboratory to carve through a lineup exactly twice.”  He will make the MLB roster in 2024. Probably not as a starter, but should see bullpen action.  He has long term projection as a starter, and IMO the Dodgers were looking at Nick Frasso assuming the projected role of Ryan Pepiot.

Thayron Liranzo is a hit/slug first catcher.  He is getting a little too much DH and 1B time rather than catching.  While his swing and miss is very apparent, so is his potential prodigious pull side power.  Baseball Prospectus loved his elite exit velocities as a 20 year old in full season A Ball.  But they project him as a DH who will catch some.

River Ryan is a converted SS drafted in the 11th round by San Diego in 2021.  He was acquired March 2022 for Matt Beaty.  He is a power fastball/slider combo pitcher.  He sits in the mid-90‘s and touches 100.  His slider is upper 80’s with some in zone whiff.  He has a curve with 12-6 shape that comes out of the same tunnel as his fastball.  He does have a change that he is still developing.  Baseball Prospectus projects him to be a mid-rotation starter that still needs to work on his command and control.  He is going to get a good education this year at AAA.

Kyle Hurt is 5th round pick by Miami in 2020 out of USC.  So you know I like him.  Kyle has a four pitch arsenal that mid to upper 90’s fastball, with a put away change.  He does have a slider and curve combo, but his fastball/change combo is so good that he screams late inning high leverage reliever.  He is 26 with multiple Dodger RHP prospects who are more apt to start, but do not have the same feel for his fastball change combo ideal for relief work.  IMO Hurt could be a very near closer for the Dodgers.

Andy Pages has torn labrum surgery last year after a very good start.  Pages is a MLB ready OF who will need ABs to convince himself and others he still is a top OF prospect.  We will get our first look at him in ST to see if he is still on the rise.

Diego Cartaya was once a top 10 MLB prospect and top catcher prospect.  He has great power, but does have swing and miss tendencies.  Cartaya has trouble with spin, and with upper MiLB pitchers landing these as strikes, Cartaya’s hit and miss problems were exasperated at AA.  He is still a work in progress as a catcher, but his game calling skills improved greatly in 2023.  His “in-game pop times south of 1.9 despite a release that can get long—the arm is just that good.”  While the elite catchers seem to gravitate to MLB at an early age, many of the good to very good take a little more development.  I think Cartaya has to start at AAA so as not to block their #1 prospect Dalton Rushing.

Payton Martin is another converted infielder that the Dodgers are developing into potentially a top pitcher prospect.  I have written a lot on Martin.  He was a teenager who dominated most of the time in full season A Ball.  He still needs development, and he needs more stamina and durability, but he has every bit of promise to be a solid mid-rotation starter.  Martin “looks like LA’s traditional fast-armed, athletic supination profile with a feel to land glove-side breakers.”

It appears that the Dodgers strategy with pitching is acquiring power arms and then developing a “procedurally devasting slider and changeup shapes.”  That is who the Dodgers have a stable full of.  Ryan Pepiot will be missed, but he is replaceable by multiple RHP in their system.

The next best:

  1. Justin Wrobleski – LHSP – My last year dark horse.
  2. Joendry Vargas – SS – Perhaps the best 5-tool player in the LAD system.
  3. Gavin Stone – RHP – His changeup worked in MiLB while MLB sat on his fastball.
  4. Trey Sweeney – SS – Best SS prospect in the upper minors for the Dodgers.
  5. Kendall George – CF – I am really looking forward to see him more in 2024.  Will he be top ten at end of year?
  6. Eduardo Quintero – OF – He could shoot up the project lists or fizzle. I think he is a projectable MLB OF.
  7. Maddux Bruns – Publications are mixed on Bruns. He has good “stuff” but more than questionable control. Most, not all, project Bruns to be a reliever.
  8. Ronan Kopp – LHRP – Moved to the pen. He is a LH version of a high leverage late inning reliever to Kyle Hurt. He was outstanding in the Arizona Fall League.
  9. Jake Gelof – Future LAD RH hitting 3B with power and worrisome contact rates.
  10. Austin Gauthier – Utility – The next CT3, but with exceedingly better contact skills. He is an OBP machine. MiLB career .433.  He will be in AAA this year.
  11. Landon Knack – Control over “stuff” RHSP. Back end starter with a mid-rotation ceiling.
  12. Hyun-Seok Jang – We should get our first look at 19 year old 6’4” RHP who already throws 98. 4 pitch arsenal with minimal command and control. Look for him to move up quickly after his professional debut in 2024.

Both Kyle Hurt and Ronan Kopp are explosive strikeout pitchers.  Hurt could break with the MLB club after ST, while Kopp could (should) move quickly now that he is converted to full time reliever.

I did not include any write up on Michael Busch.  A lot has been written on him. He has nothing left to prove in MiLB, so he will be on some team’s 26 man roster.  Will it be the Dodgers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bluto

This was a great summary.

Craig Goldstein, also of BP, had an interesting observation in his review of the Glasnow trade.

His point was that there is so much surplus talent in the Dodgers system at the Pepiot level, that it’s unfair to evaluate the trade without understanding how this surplus mitigates the cost to the Dodgers system.

I guess the same could be said for moving a catcher.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bluto
OhioDodger

I would sign Adam Duval. One year/$5-6M. LF platoon vs lefties.

Singing the Blue

Who are you planning to platoon him with?
Don’t we need a lefty bat for left field since we already have CT3 who bats right handed?

OhioDodger

Busch? Duval has pretty even splits, LHP vs RHP.

Singing the Blue

Busch/Duval, Margot/JHey, CT3, Barnes, Rojas.
One too many bench players.

Badger

Excellent analyses Jeff.

Every year, for me anyway, it’s a question of which 4 or 5 we definitely keep, and which 1 or 2 will make the squad and stay on it.

We have 3 top catchers in the system and an All Star quality starter blocking them. Who do keep and who do we trade? Same goes with pitching. I have to believe other organizations know how well we develop young pitchers so who’s dealing and who isn’t?

Can Pages play left field now? Should Hurt and Frasso be in the bullpen this year? Vargas. Busch. Both ready, neither with a position, unless it’s left field. Are the Dodgers going to go after another expensive starter or begin the year with who they have now?

I was wrong about the dominos falling. It’s been rather quiet on the South Western front.

Last edited 6 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

YY is holding things up. If he signs this week, next week should be pretty busy. Lots of the more expensive free agents are waiting to hear from the “losers” in the Yamamoto bidding.

I could be totally wrong here but I don’t see how they could count on Pages being the left fielder this year. He’s got a total of 146 plate appearances in AA and AAA combined, and 142 of those were in AA. On top of that, players with shoulder injuries are almost always very slow to come back (Kemp, Bellinger, etc.). I’d be thrilled if he was ready for the Dodger roster in 2025.

Put Busch out there and let him sink or swim for the first 3 months without a potential trip to OKC hanging over his head. Play him against right handers only. If the outfield turns into a major problem, go fishing at the deadline and instead go get two more starters for the beginning of the season (including Yamamoto if you can get him).

Bobby

Yes, Hart is my rival high school, and they’ve always had great athletic programs.

Congrats to that coach for 25 years.

Singing the Blue

Jeff Passan tweeted today that no matter what we’ve heard about how much teams have offered Yamamoto, the bidding is only starting today. The other stuff was just people making up rumors.

It should be a very interesting next few days.

Bluto

Passan is so good.

He, Rosenthal and Feinsand are, to me only, heads and shoulders above the other national guys.

Singing the Blue

I agree on those three, and I’m also a big Joel Sherman fan.

Oldbear48

Gomes on High Heat today with Alanna. Stated Dodgers number one priority is pitching. Dodger Blue web site believes both Busch and Vargas will get moved.

Ron Fairly fan

Hey Jeff, MLB pipeline had a way to early mock draft that Jon Morosi posted on twitter. They had Noah Franco an OF/LHP out of IMG Academy Florida going to the Dodgers. He is aTCU commit do you have an opinion on this kid or is too early for your draft picks.

Ron Fairly fan

Thanks I thought it might be too early to have too much information yet. If he wants to be a two way player he probably does go to college.

Badger

Just read Passan’s piece on Yamamoto. YY is a guy who trains his own way, that’s for sure. Doesn’t lift weights but does throw javelins. Because of his size comparisons were made to Tim Lincecum and Pedro Martinez. If he goes to NY, I hope it’s Lincecum. If he comes here, I hope it’s Pedro.

Singing the Blue

Glasnow was on Hot Stove with Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds this morning.

He’s going to be extremely popular with the fans and with his teammates. Great personality and a terrific sense of humor.

Said his family used to come to games late and leave early when he was a kid in Santa Clarita because the traffic was so bad, so he’ll understand if, when he pitches, he looks around in the first inning and the stands are empty.

He was commenting that they said he would have some pain after his operation, but the pain had been so bad pitching through the injury for 3 or 4 years that he hardly noticed it.

Said he feels great now and is really happy to be back in SoCal.

Bluto

Is it common for MLB players to stay in touch with their High School coaches? I understand that many players come to the majors straight from High School, but I think very little of most of the people I interacted with in high school.

Just find that curious, but again major league players have edge cases as opposed to the norm.

Badger

Andy Messersmith showed up a few times to visit with his old coach and speak to our team. I’m pretty sure they kept in touch. Andy was from my neighborhood and would came back to play football on the grammar school field for a while. Man could he whip a football.

Singing the Blue

Jack Harris of the LA Times reports the Dodgers are considering an offer to YY of somewhere in the $250-300MM range.

What isn’t mentioned is the number of years.

Maybe AF is going to do his higher AAV over fewer years scenario.

If they offer him $250MM over 6 years, that would make him a free agent at 31. Maybe that would be appealing to him because it would surpass the previous high AAV for a pitcher by quite a bit and he’d have another shot at a lucrative contract.

Or maybe Jack Harris is misinformed.

One thing we almost certainly know. Yamamoto, if he signs a 9-10 year contract, will definitely get more than $300MM.

Badger

It would appear that MLB is in a holding pattern until YoYama (that won’t stick) makes a decision. NY or LA. Choose Yama drama string along.

Jack Harris probably isn’t misinformed, he has to write something so he wrote what he read here. I’m guessing as I’m having trouble accessing the Times this morning.

Singing the Blue

YoYama. I like it. Every trip to the mound is a symphony.

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