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A Look Back at the 2021 LAD Draft

Bluto asked for a review of the 2021 draft, so here goes.

The 2021 Dodgers Rule 4 Amateur draft was very pitching heavy.  This was the first year of the revised draft rules, limiting the draft to 20 rounds.  After losing their 2nd round pick for signing Trevor Bauer, the Dodgers had 19 selections.  17 draft picks were pitchers, with 2 position players.

16 players signed for a total of $4,646,700, 4.99% under the 5% max excess of budget.  8 players in the first round signed for more than the entire LAD draft bonus.  Texas drafted RHP Jack Leiter as the 2nd overall pick and paid him $7.92 MM.

This draft also included several noted 1st rounders – Henry Davis C from Louisville by Pittsburgh, RHP Jackson Jobe by Detroit, SS Marcelo Mayer by Boston, OF Colton Cowser by Baltimore, SS Jordan Lawler by Arizona, SS/3B Brady House by Washington, C Harry Ford by Seattle, RHP Andrew Painter by Philadelphia, OF Sal Frelick by Milwaukee, SS Matt McLain by Cincinnati, SS Colson Montgomery by CWS, LHP Gavin Williams by Cleveland, SS Jackson Merrill by San Diego, 3B/1B Tyler Black by Milwaukee.

Many of those have made their MLB debut and some are established MLB regulars (Davis, Cowser, Frelick, McLain, Williams, Merrill), while the others are top 40 prospects (Lawler #9, Jobe #10, Montgomery #11, Mayer #12, Painter #19, Ford #28, Black #35, House #37).

Zack Gelof was the A’s 2nd round choice (66th overall), and he is considered the A’s regular 2B since 2023.

Top prospect #38 Kyle Manzardo now with Cleveland who has already made his MLB debut was selected in the 2nd round (63rd overall).

Another Top 100 prospect is OF James Wood who should be making his MLB debut in June.  Wood was a 2nd round pick by San Diego (66th overall).  He was a principal target of the Nationals in the Juan Soto trade.

Spencer Schwellenbach, who just turned 25 this week, made his MLB debut on May 29 against MacKenzie Gore and the Washington Nationals.  He was selected out of Nebraska with the 59th overall pick in the 2021 draft.  Spencer entered the 2024 season ranked fifth among Braves prospects at Baseball America, third at MLB.com, and as high as second according to The Athletic’s Keith Law.

I know there are others from the 2021 draft that deserve recognition, but everyone here is more concerned about the LAD draft.  I wanted to include the above to highlight just how good this draft looks right now.  I will look forward to comparing 2021 to 2023.  2023 had Paul

Skeens, Dylan Crews, Wyatt Langford, and Nolan Schanuel, but how many after that.

 

 

Of that group, three have reached MLB…Emmet Sheehan, Nick Nastrini, and Jordan Leasure.

Emmet Sheehan had a very good rookie season with the Dodgers.  Not ROY level, but good enough to be considered the most likely of the Young Guns to be in the LAD rotation to begin the season.  Unfortunately for Emmet, he suffered an injury that seemed to grow from general soreness, to shoulder soreness, to forearm tightness, to TJ surgery.  Sheehan will probably resurface sometime early next summer.  He could be the 2025 trade deadline pickup for LAD.

The other two draft picks who have reached MLB did so after being traded to CWS for RHSP Lance Lynn and RHRP Joe Kelly.

Nick Nastrini (24 year old RHSP) made his MLB debut on April 15.  He has made 4 starts, 2 that were okay, and 2 he would rather forget.  He is #5 in the current rotation.  His biggest concern is the same one he had with the Dodgers.  Control!  He has 16.1 IP, with 17 walks, 13 K and 4 HR.  He has a 9.92 ERA, 7.84 FIP, 2.204 WHIP.  I think it is safe to assume that Nick would not have made his debut with the Dodgers in 2024.  I would have preferred that he would have been traded to Cleveland or Houston, two of the best pitching organizations in MLB.  Nastrini has quality pitches, but piss poor control.  There is every reason to believe that CWS will continue to throw Nick out there.  They have nothing to lose.

 

Jordan Leasure (25 year old RHRP) – 23 games, 23.2 IP, 2 saves, 8 holds, 1 blown save.  3 out of 13 inherited runs scored. Getting a lot more 8th inning work lately. 2.66 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 1.268 WHIP, 13 BB, 20 K, 2 HR.  Leasure has to be thrilled that he got traded.  He did not grow up a Dodgers fan as did Nastrini.  He would not be considered ready for MLB with the Dodgers, and yet he is performing very well with the worst team in MLB.  He is one of the shining stars for CWS.  At 25, he would need another 2-3 years before he would be considered LAD ready.

 

 

AAA – OKC Baseball Club (1):

The Dodgers have one draftee that has matriculated to the top of MiLB ladder…Ben Casparius.  Casparius first attended North Carolina as a 2-way player.  He was an infielder and relief pitcher.  After his sophomore season, Ben transferred to University of Connecticut where he was converted to a full time starting pitcher.

Ben is ranked as #25 LAD prospect by Baseball America.

Casparius is an athletic, physical righthander with a deep pitch mix. His fastball sits 93-94 mph and touches 96 with downhill plane. His primary pitch is a plus, 84-87 mph slider with hard, downward break he can both land in the strike zone or use to get chase swings. He commands his slider better than his fastball and can manipulate it to give it added sweep. Casparius’ 83-86 mph changeup with late fade is an above-average pitch he is comfortable throwing to both lefties and righties. He also mixes in an occasional curveball and cutter. Casparius’ fastball gets hit hard, so he leans heavily on his secondaries. He tends to spin off in his delivery and has fringe-average control.

Ben is not ranked by MLB Pipeline.

Because of his lack of command with the fastball, Casparius relies heavily on his secondaries.  Thus, Baseball America projects Ben to be a solid MLB middle reliever.

 

AA – Tulsa Drillers (7):

Justin Wrobleski is the star of this group.  Wrobleski was my dark horse pick for 2023, and he did not disappoint.  He went from #30 (2023) to Baseball America’s current #6 LAD prospect.

Wrobleski attended 3 colleges, but his last one was Oklahoma State.  He had 9 starts for the Cowboys before he underwent TJ surgery.  The Dodgers still liked him enough to draft him in the 11th round and give him over slot bonus of $197,500.

He did not pitch until 2022 (21.2 IP).  In 2023, he pitched 102 innings with a sparkling 2.90 ERA at Great Lakes.  That earned him a no-doubt promotion to Tulsa.  He is still considered below average Texas League age, and is performing very well.  He has been 2 different pitchers this year. He started out very well:

3 games – 14.1 IP, 3 ER, 16 K, 2 BB

Next 4 games – 19.0 IP, 15 ER, 19 K, 2 BB

Last 3 games – 17.1 IP, 3 ER, 16 K, 6 BB

Overall – 10 GS, 50.2 IP, 21 ER, 51 K, 10 BB, 3.73 ERA, 1.086 WHIP.  He has an excellent K/BB ratio > 5:1.

 

Baseball America Scouting Report (#6 prospect):

Wrobleski’s stuff has ticked up the further he’s moved away from surgery. His fastball sits 93-96 mph, touches 98, and gets ugly swings with the angle and deception he creates from a closed-off delivery and short arm stroke. His fastball occasionally flattens out when he spins out of his delivery, but it’s an above-average pitch at its best. Wrobleski has a natural feel for spin and can manipulate the shape and power of his above-average, two-plane slider anywhere from 78-86 mph. He also has an average, 87-91 mph cutter he’ll mix in. Wrobleski’s 86-90 mph changeup has progressed to become a below-average pitch that gives him just enough to handle righthanded hitters. He throws strikes with average control and works quickly.

Baseball America and MLB Pipeline (#14 prospect) consider Wrobleski a #4 or #5 SP, with a floor as a long reliever.

The other six Tulsa Drillers from the 2021 draft are relievers.  The highest ranked is LHRP Ronan Kopp (#16 prospect for both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline).  What makes Kopp so enticing is his 6’7” frame and the long extension he gets from that frame.  He is not considered athletic enough to repeat his  delivery and therefore he has horrible control.  Kopp has never had good control, but he seems to be going backwards.  This year:

9 games, 12.2 IP, 19 BB, 13 K, 6.39 ERA, 2.45 WHIP.  That is not acceptable.

 

Baseball America Scouting Report (#16 prospect):

Kopp is physically huge at 6-foot-7, 250 pounds. His fastball sits 92-95 mph and touches 98 with hard downhill plane and gets on batters quickly with the extension generated by his long limbs. He complements his fastball with a lateral, mid-80s slider with late break that flashes above-average, although it’s inconsistent. Kopp’s changeup is below-average, so he added an 86-89 mph cutter that ties up righthanded hitters and projects to be average. He also has a big-breaking, 73-75 mph curveball that flashes average. Kopp is difficult to hit in the strike zone, but he’s a poor athlete and lumbering giant who struggles to repeat his release point and delivery. He has well below-average control and caps out at about 3-4 innings.

 

Kopp’s ceiling is as a LHRP, ONLY if he can get his control in check.

The rest of the relievers:

Antonio Knowles (RHRP) – 15 games, 23.2 IP, 13 BB, 28 K, 3 HR, 1.52 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

 

Michael Hobbs (RHRP) – 14 games, 21.0 IP, 9 BB, 20 K, 0 HR, 3.00 ERA, 1.24 WHIP

Hobbs is another St. Mary’s reliever prospect.  Tony Gonsolin and Chris Campos are 2 others with LAD.

 

Ben Harris (LHRP) – 16 games, 16.2 IP, 17 BB, 22 K, 1 HR, 5.40 ERA, 2.04 WHIP

At one time, Harris was considered one of the better relief pitching prospects in the LAD organization.  He has not yet been able to maintain that level of pitching prowess.

 

Ryan Sublette (RHRP) – 14 games, 19.0 IP, 17 BB, 19 K, 2 HR, 6.63 ERA, 1.58 WHIP

 

There seems to be a common thread in this group.  Poor to bad control.  As a group they have 55 BB in 80.1 IP.  Hobbs is the best of the bunch at 3.86 BB/9 and a K/BB ratio of 2.22:1.

OTOH, the group is prolific with K.  They have a combined 89 K in 80.1 IP.

Knowles, Hobbs, and Harris are all -0.5 years younger than the average Texas League player, while Sublette is +0.5 years older.

Relievers cannot walk that many batters and be considered MLB reliever prospects.

The final Tulsa Driller is OF Damon Keith.  Keith was an 18th round draft pick out of Cal Baptist, certainly not a hot bed for MLB prospects.  He was the only non-pitcher to sign with LAD in 2021.  However, he burst onto the scene after arriving at ACL in 2021, and continued to impress at RC in 2022.  He cooled a bit at Great Lakes after his mid-year promotion.  He continued to struggle at GL in 2023.

In 2024, Keith was assigned to Tulsa, but injuries have kept him off the field.  He is now re-habbing at ACL.  He is 4-9, 1 double, 1 HR, 4 BB, 2 K.

 

A+ Great Lakes Loons (3):

The Dodgers are taking their sweet time with two of them, LHSP Maddux Bruns and RHSP Peter Heubeck. However,  these two figure to be the determinant as to whether this will be an outstanding or simply good draft.

Prior to the draft, Baseball America said this about LHSP Maddux Bruns.

There’s likely not a pitcher in the 2021 class who has as much pure arm talent as Bruns.

Bruns was Alabama’s Gatorade High School Player of the Year.

The problem with Bruns was that he had no idea where the ball was going.  Both statements were proven accurate in his 1st two years in pro ball.  In 49.1 IP, he walked a staggering 52 batters, but struck out an impressive 72.

Bruns started the season back at Rancho, where he was impressive, but was quickly promoted to Great Lakes in 2023.  He still had that great strikeout ratio, but he improved on his control considerably.  While it cannot be considered good, it was a vast improvement, and certainly portends as to how coachable he appears to be.  In 97.0 IP, he had 67 BB, and 126 K.

In 2024, Bruns has taken yet another step forward.  He has 5 starts at Great Lakes, with 13.2 IP.  He still throws too many pitches to get deep into games.  But what he has shown this year shows how dominant he can be when his BB’s are down.  In 13.2 IP, he has 9 BB and 23 K.  That is a career low on BB/9 at 5.93 and a career high on K/9 at 15.15.  The walks are still too high, but his ERA is at 1.98.

I am not sure why the Dodgers are waiting to push Bruns to AA.  However, there were rumblings as to his demeanor when things did not go well for him in the beginning.  He tended to have melt downs.  Maybe they are waiting to continue to build his confidence before they push him.  Bruns is 1.3 years younger than the average player in the Midwest League, so there is ample time.  The Dodgers know that if they can harness that control even more, and control his demeanor on the mound, they will have a quality LHP.

Bruns is 14th LAD prospect in MLB Pipeline and 20th in Baseball America.

He is currently on the 7-day IL.

 

Baseball America scouting report:

Bruns has a strong, powerful 6-foot-2 frame and buzzworthy stuff. His plus fastball sits 94-96 mph and touches 98 with heavy armside life from the left side. His plus 74-78 mph curveball is a hammer with late snap and depth, and his 82-86 mph slider with angle and late bite is a third plus offering. He also has a fading, mid-80s changeup that flashes average potential, though he rarely throws it. Bruns shortened his arm stroke and became more consistent with his delivery in 2023 to improve his control, but he’s still a well below-average strike-thrower. He relies on overpowering hitters and must improve the control of his secondaries to get the most from his arsenal. Bruns has matured after frequently melting down on the mound in his first full season, but he still occasionally displays his frustration when his defense makes errors behind him. The Dodgers have worked with him on bouncing back better from adversity.

 

Both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline see Bruns with a ceiling as a mid to back-end rotation or power reliever.  Both publications are leaning to the latter, but see with improvement in control of pitches and emotions, he can attain the former.

The second pitching prospect that the Dodgers are monitoring is RHSP Peter Heubeck.  Heubeck was Gatorade’s Maryland High School Player of the Year.

He struggled somewhat in his first 2.5 years in pro ball.  But he still had a good arm.  At 6’3” 170 pounds, he was (and is) considered to slight and could have problems going deep into games with a lack of strength.  In 24 starts in 2023, Heubeck had pitched through 5.0 innings only 5 times.

While his control was questionable, he was still a good strikeout pitcher.  In 85.2 IP, Heubeck had 11.24 K/9 but only 4.52 BB/9.

In 2024, Heubeck has 9 starts, and completed 5.0 innings in 3 of the 9.   He was up to 83 pitches in his last start, which was his best.

For 2024, Heubeck has 9 starts, 36.0 IP, 23 BB (5.75 per 9) and 56 K (14.0 per 9).  He has a 3.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

Heubeck is one month younger than Bruns.

Baseball America scouting report:

Heubeck is a tall, lean righthander who has lots of room to add weight and strength. He’s a good athlete with a quick arm and already sits 92-95 mph with late life on his fastball. His best pitch is a plus overhand curveball that sits 77-80 mph with depth and bite at the bottom of the zone. He relies heavily on those two pitches and should add more velocity to both as he gets stronger. He also has a changeup that is still developing and flashes average with slight fade and dive. Heubeck has intriguing stuff, but his lack of strength results in an effortful delivery and below-average control. He struggles to maintain his velocity and tires quickly.

 

Heubeck’s goal is to build strength and maintain the velo.  Whether he does or not will determine whether he can be a mid-rotation starter or a middle reliever.

The final Great Lakes Loon in the 2021 draft is RHRP Madison Jeffrey.  Jeffrey is another with extreme control issues.  He has 100.1 career IP, and has 108 BB.  He also has 132 K.

For 2024 – 14 games, 16.1 IP, 5.51 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 15 BB, 4 HBP, 14 K.  He is 24 years old, which puts him a +0.7 years older than the average Midwest League player.

 

Full Season A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (1):

Gabe Emmett – Gabe is from my backyard out of Folsom Lake College.  He has spurts where he is very good, but overall he has not been productive.  This is his 3rd year at Rancho, and he has not shown a lot of improvement.  He has appeared in 61 games, 19 as a starter, 160.1 IP, 6.46 ERA, 1.721 WHIP, 112 BB, 145 K.

 

The grade is incomplete.  It has a chance to be an exceptional draft or an average.   If there is one theme that runs through the 2021 draft picks, they have some very valuable arms, but most cannot seem to throw the ball over the plate enough.  However, there are positive signs of improvement.  I fully expect more players from this draft to reach MLB other than Emmet Sheehan.  How many and how far are difficult to determine just yet.  But Ben Casparius, Justin Wrobleski, Maddux Bruns, and Peter Heubeck are the others that seem to have the best opportunity to play significant innings at MLB.

Now for those the Dodgers were not able to sign:

Mike Sirota turned down the LAD offer and instead went to school at Northeastern University.  This is Mike’s junior year.  Northeastern has had a lot of baseball players drafted, so Sirota should get another shot.

Mike Sirota: – Northeastern Awards:

  • Program Record holder: Most runs in a season (73, 2023)
  • ABCA/Rawlings All-America Third Team (2023)
  • ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Northeast First Team (2023)
  • NEIBA Division I All-New England First Team (2023)
  • All-CAA First Team (2023)
  • All-ECAC (2023)
  • CAA All-Rookie Team (2022)
  • 2x CAA Rookie of the Week (last, 3/07/22)
  • Is the Great-Nephew of MLB Legend Whitey Ford

Adam Tulloch did not sign with LAD.  He transferred from West Virginia to Arizona State and was the 15th round pick of the Cleveland Guardians in 2022.  Tulloch is currently assigned to Lake County Captains (A+).

Charlie Connolly had the opportunity to play baseball right away and delay his active-duty service commitment, but decided to commission immediately into the surface warfare community.  He is still with the Dodgers, and should be able to join them in 2025, if he so chooses.  He has indicated that he would like to make it to MLB.

The last Navy graduate drafted was Noah Song in the 4th round by Boston 2019.  He also decided to commission early but returned to MiLB in 2023.  Noah was pushed all the way through all 4 affiliates (A, A+,AA, AAA).  He is out this year after TJ surgery.  He is 27.

 

 

MiLB GAME SUMMARY REPORTS

 

OKC Baseball Club 14 – Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado) 5

The OKC bats continue to pound away at Albuquerque pitching.  They scored 14 runs on 19 hits.  They also received 9 BBs.

There were multiple offensive exploits in this one, but none better than James Outman.  He had a bunt single to 3B in the first.  A 3 run HR in the 3rd.  A run scoring double to LF off a LHP. Another infield single.  He was HBP. And a SB (his 4th).  He reached 5 times in 7 PA.  James is now batting .389 with a 1.245 OPS.

 

 

 

 

James was not the only hitting star.  3 hitters had 3 hits, and 2 others had 2. After a 4-4 night, Kody Hoese was the only OKC hitter to go 0-fer.

It was not pretty, but Dinelson Lamet got through 5.0 IP.  3 runs, 5 hits, 4 BB and 7 K.  Nick Ramirez and Tanner Dodson allowed a run each.

OKC has now scored 37 runs on 69 hits in the first 4 games in Albuquerque.

  • James Outman – 4-6, HBP, 2 runs, 4 RBI, double (2), HR (3)
  • Andre Lipcius – 3-6, 1 BB, 3 runs, 1 RBI, 2 doubles (13)
  • Hunter Feduccia – 3-4, 2 BB, 3 runs, double (10), triple (3)
  • Ryan Ward – 3-5, 1 BB, 1 run, 3 RBI, double (9), triple (2)
  • Austin Gauthier – 2-5, 1 BB, 1 run, 1 RBI
  • Chris Owings – 2-5, 1 BB, 1 run, 2 RBI, double (5)

 

 

Box Score

 

 

Tulsa Drillers 3 – NW Arkansas Naturals (KC) 2 – Game 1 – 7 innings

RHSP Orlando Ortiz-Mayr gave up back to back doubles to the first two batters of the game for a run, and then settled down. He only allowed one more hit and one walk over his 4.0 IP.

Tulsa got the run back in the 2nd, on a solo HR by Austin Beck (7).

LHRP Ben Harris followed Ortiz-Mayr and struck out the side in the 5th.

In the bottom of the 5th, Chris Alleyne led off with a single, and Alex Freeland followed with a 2-run HR.

Logan Boyer came in to relieve in the 6th and gave up a HR to the first batter he saw.  He retired the next 6 batters in order, striking out 3 for the save (3).

  • Alex Freeland – 1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, HR (5)
  • Austin Beck – 1-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, HR (7)

 

Box Score

 

 

NW Arkansas Naturals (KC) 4 – Tulsa Drillers 0 – Game 2 – 7 innings

Tulsa Drillers scratched 3 hits, including a double by Alex Freeland, and received 2 BB but scored no runs.

Yon Castro allowed all 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 BB in 2.2 IP.

Bright spot for Tulsa, they got excellent relief work from Sauryn Lau, Michael Hobbs, and Antonio Knowles.  They combined 4.1 IP with 2 hits and 2 walks and 5 K.

 

Box Score

 

 

Great Lakes Loons 3 – West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit) 1

Great Lakes got 3 runs in the 2nd and 3rd inning and the pitching made it hold up.  In the 2nd inning , 4 straight 1-out singles from Kyle Nevin, Sam Mongelli, Yunior Garcia, Nelson Quiroz plated 2.  In the 3rd, Chris Newell hit his league leading 15th HR, and a 3-0 lead.

Jerming Rosario continues to pitch well.  This was his 3rd consecutive start where he went 5.0 innings.  He pitched 5.0 scoreless innings on 2 hits and 2 BB in Friday’s start.

Livan Reinoso and Brandon Neeck each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.  Kelvin Bautista gave up a lead off solo HR in the 8th, before retiring the side.  Lucas Wepf allowed a single and BB, but did not allow a run for his 6th save.

  • Sam Mongelli – 2-4, 1 run
  • Chris Newell – 1-4, 1 run, 1 RBI, HR (15)

 

Box Score

 

 

Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego) 8 – Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 7

Rancho scored a tying run in the 9th on a pair of triples by Josue De Paula and Samuel Munoz.  Munoz was on third with one out but RC could not get him in.

David Tiburcio struck out the side in the 9th to take the game into extra innings.

With Carlos Rojas starting at 2nd in the 10th, Juan Alonso singled to score Rojas.  Kendall George then hit a 1-out triple to score Alonso.  Jeral Perez hit a sacrifice fly and the Quakes took a 3-run lead into the bottom of the 10th.

As good as Tiburcio was in the 9th, he was just as bad in the 10th.  With a runner on 2nd, 3 straight singles tied the score.

RC loaded the bases in the 11th with 0 outs.  2 strikeouts and a ground out ended the threat without RC scoring.

In the bottom of the 11th, and the free runner on 2nd, Nick Vogt singled home the walk off run.

  • Kendall George – 2-4, 2 BB, 2 runs, 1 RBI, double (2), triple (1)
  • Jordan Thompson – 2-4, 2 BB, 2 runs, 1 RBI
  • Samuel Munoz – 2-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI, triple (3)
  • Josue De Paula – 2-5, 1 run, triple (3)

 

Box Score

 

LAD ACL 14 – Cincinnati ACL 3

Sure the offense exploded with 14 runs on 21 hits.  But I am sure that most eyes were on the Dodgers 4th round pick last year out of Florida State, LHP Wyatt Crowell.  This was Crowell’s first game experience with the Dodgers since recovering from his TJ surgery.

Crowell faced 4 batters and struck out 2 of them.  The only runner reached on an error.

Jholbran Herder, a 19 year old RHP, pitched 3.0 innings.  He has now appeared in 4 games and pitched 12.0 IP allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, but 7 BB and 2 HBP.

  • Joendry Vargas – 4-5, 1 BB. 3 run, 2 RBI, HR (1)
  • Alexander Albertus – 3-3, 2 BB, 2 runs, 2 RBI
  • Jose Meza – 3-4, 1 run, 1 RBI
  • Cameron Decker – 3-5, 2 runs, 3 RBI, HR (2)
  • Angel Diaz – 3-5, 1 BB, double (2)
  • Damon Keith – 2-6, 2 runs, 1 RBI

 

Box Score

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

77 Comments
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Bluto

Nobody should or will care, but I fucking loved this draft only because the Dodgers just went almost all in on “get us arm talent and let us see if our team can make pitchers out of them.”

I wish there was such a pronounced strategy more often.

Duke Not Snider

I wonder what the international signings were that year. More arms, or bats?
In a later draft, the Dodgers loaded up on shortstops… knowing, of course, that all could move to other positions.
I wish they had traded some of their pitching talent for a first-rate SS prospect. Mookie is doing great, but Rojas is old and we now consider Lux just good enough for 2B. There are several good young shortstops in the majors now, and the Dodgers might have nabbed one with a bit of foresight.

Dave

I tend to agree w Bluto’s comment. The organization believes they can develop pitchers. This is part if the reason they are thin regarding positional depth. But pitching is what all the other teams will trade for.

Bumsrap

And yet, I don’t remember the Dodgers using their collection of pitching prospects as much as I think they could. That is comment not backed by research.

Dave

No, they havent traded away the whole farm, but Mitch White,Ryan Pepiot,Nick Nastrini, Josiah Gray,Anfre Jackson, Clayton Beeter, to name a few from the last few yrs come to mind.

Last edited 11 days ago by Dave
Dave

I have a question about our starters getting into having 5 or 6 days in between starts. Hiw hard will it be for them to make an adjustment to the playoff schedule?

Oldbear48

Won’t matter. In the playoffs, you only need three starters. With the days off for travel and such.

Oldbear48

I knew that but Oldtimers set in and I forgot.

Badger

The Dodgers have the ability to make struggling starters look like All Stars. Dakota Hudson, 1-7 with a 5.54 ERA went into the 8th with a shutout. The offense – 1 run, 5 hits and 6 total bases for the night. We’ve seen this before. Buehler looked quite average but did manage to compete 6.

Yeah, the organization drafted pitchers. When the better ones find the strike zone they may have something.

This team is about the first 6 hitters in the lineup and the 3 starters at the front of the rotation. When those 9 are on we are unbeatable. When they’re not, it’s October vs the Diamondbacks all over again.

Bklyn2LA57

All of a sudden Outman is raking at OKC, like Pages and Vargas did. Less pressure? Hitters ballparks? Better hitting coach?

Wally Moonshot

Facing minor league pitching likely has something to do with it.

Bumsrap

True, but some hitters still separate themselves from the majority and it is those that knock on the MLB door.

TennisMenace (TM)

Don’t be fooled by this….Lux mashed for 2-3 years down there…and look at him now. I think history has clearly shown us….what you see in the minors may not translate to the bigs.

Badger

Yep, he usta could hit.

Will it return?

Bobby

Amazing how Outman can bunt in AAA, but won’t do it up here. The 3b is always shifted to the left as far as possible for him, so why not try a bunt down the 3b line just to get on base??

Therealten

Might b told not to. With his speed it could be a good play.

Bumsrap

The more a player bunts the more the infield has to adjust where they position themselves. When a hitter is hot, slug. When a hitter is cold, bunt some.

Badger

Two bunt singles in 4 PA’s is an OPS of 1.000. If they are giving it to you, take it!

Badger

It isn’t the Dodgers. Not the top of the lineup anyway. And it’s a left hander strategy that both Outman and Lux could, and maybe should, employ.

Bobby

Could AND should employ.

If the goal is for the bottom of the lineup to set the table for the top of the lineup, then get on base any way you can!

Phil Jones

Way back when Bellinger was struggling, he could have added 20 points to his batting average and forced teams to make plays had he bunted for hits. It’s just not what the Dodgers do. It’s not going to start now.

Last edited 11 days ago by Phil Jones
Jeff

This is why the hitting coaches need to be shown the door. Fighters use every tactic in their arsenal to achieve victory.

Badger

When is Miller scheduled to return?

Badger

He had trouble getting Class A hitters out so I believe it will take more than one more start.

Oldbear48

I really dislike the Dodgers schedule this month. It is a travesty. Two more at home, on the road for six, home for six, on the road for four, home for two, then back on the road for six. Miss these games against the Rocks because of the blackout rules and the fact that the Rockies do not have a local TV affiliate. Sucks totally to pay that money and not get all the games. I admit I rarely follow the draft or the kids until spring training when I can actually see them.

Badger

When I was in Arizona I watched Dodger games on my mini pad for around $70 a year I think. When they played Arizona I got it on local channels. It was worth it to me.

I only read about the kids here. Jeff’s reports are excellent and the box scores tell me a lot too. In my estimation those who excel at AA are the ones to follow. A ball means little to me. A hitter that can actually must be able to clobber AAA. The next step after that is huge, as Outman and Pages can attest.

Interesting article in The Athletic talking about Mookie’s throwing issues. He blames it on “angles”. The problem is simply solved. Throw the ball to first the same way you threw from right field to third base. OVERHAND!

Jeff

You can stream the games for free. https://strikeout.im/baseball

Oldbear48

I still think Logan White had some of the best draft classes. Even some of his misses ended up being good players elsewhere. They drafted David Price, Christian Walker and Stephen Piscotty. None of whom signed with the team.

Bumsrap

I wish he were still with the Dodgers.

Duke Not Snider

The draft is always more interesting in retrospect than in real time. Sometimes we have first-rounders that are busts and late-rounders that work out, such as that Piazza guy
Just curious: What was the best draft the Dodgers ever had?
Recently I looked up the 2016 draft, when the Dodgers chose Lux at No. 20 and Will Smith at 32. Smith has been more successful than the 31 players picked ahead of him.

Oldbear48

I think most people think the draft in June of 1968 was the best. Garvey, Valentine, Buckner, Vance, Cey, Paciorek, Ferguson and Doyle Alexander, all made it to the majors. Valentine and Garvey went in the first round.

Duke Not Snider

Yeah, that would be hard to top!

Badger

Ryan Ward with 4 more hits including a 437’ home run to dead center. He’s OPSn 1.050 now. Outman 1-5 with a couple of K’s. He’s striking out at a 40% rate. Not a good sign.

Badger

My bad. I read it somewhere. Might be 40% yesterday. It’s my opinion 29.6% for him in MiLB is still too high.

Last edited 10 days ago by Badger
Badger

Ah, I know where I read it. Should have known better.

Duke Not Snider

I know where you read it too….

Badger

His OPS is where it needs to be. Still, if he cut down on his strikeouts he could OPS over .800 in MLB. I’m sure he’s working on it. The team needs him back. Him or someone else.

Duke Not Snider

People often confuse ABs and PAs. Outman Ks a lot but he also gets his walks.

Bumsrap

Heyward seems to be seeing the ball well lately and Pages is again looking good. Teo is doing what the Dodgers hoped he would do. Outman is ready to return based on his success in OK and what he did last year. If given a choice I would put Teo and Outman in LF and CF regularly and have Pages and Heyward split time in RF. I wouldn’t limit Pages to only lefty pitchers.

Muncy is officially on Roberts’ mystery list regarding when he will return. It could be a while. With Kike’ and Rojas filling in at third and Pages, Heyward, Teo, and Outman looking better and better in the outfield, Taylor doesn’t do much more than keep the Dodgers from taking a MLB look at a AAA player.

Badger

Teo, Outman, Heyward/Pages works for me.

Feels like Taylor is the 27th man.

Anyone seen Vargas?

Singing the Blue

Vargas was sent to the principal’s office for putting gum under Doc’s seat in the dugout and then tying RVS’s shoes together while he wasn’t looking.

They made him stand in the corner for three days but he’s starting today. He’s even batting ahead of Barnes in the batting order. Things are looking up!

Bumsrap

Looking up? Not so much for RVS who fell on his face when he took his first step with his shoes tied together.

Bumsrap

This Post deserved to live a few days anyway.

Badger

I was just looking at John Smoltz stats. At about Kershaw’s age Smoltz became an All Star reliever. And after a few years of that he went back to starting and pitched over 200 innings heading into his 40’s. Could Kershaw maybe follow the same course? Not the 35 starts and 200 innings part of course, nobody’s going to do that at age 38, but relieving for a while then consider starting again. He’d be dynamite out of the pen.

Last edited 10 days ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

I think CK could have a great career as a reliever. He certainly has the mentality for it, although it would really screw with his prep routine. He’d have to change that completely, but otherwise, it could be a whole new challenge and career for him.

OhioDodger

Totally agree on Graterol. Buehler is never going to be the dominant pitcher he was but could become a really good #3 or #4 in the rotation. That is all I am expecting and would be thrilled if he exceeded that.

What do you think the odds are of the Dodgers resigning him?

With the emergence of Miller and Stone, Kershaw. May. and Gonsolin coming back, and the Sasaki rumors, the starting rotation mix for the Dodgers is looking crowded next year. I know you can never have enough pitching.

Duke Not Snider

Prediction: Buehler will be a good mid-rotation starter…. for another team.
Unless he excels, it is unlikely the Dodgers will retain him, what with Shohei pitching and Sasaki likely to be on the market.

OhioDodger

KT3 not starting against a lefty. What a wasted roster spot.

Oldbear48

You mean CT-3? Vargas is going to get his starts. He will play in blowouts and as a defensive replacement.

OhioDodger

Like I said, A wasted spot.

Oldbear48

I agree, but he is owed a bunch of money, and unless they can get him to accept a minor league assignment, DFA is about the only option and eat the cash.

OhioDodger

Seems like he would want to go to OKC and get everyday AB’s to work on his hitting. If he goes down and gets it together he would be back in August or September for the playoffs. Otherwise he is way up on the list for DFA..

Last edited 10 days ago by OhioDodger
Bobby

Good baseball day for us.

We won. Pads blew a lead in the 9th and lost at KC. Giants blew a lead in the 9th and lost to the Yanks.

OhioDodger

Should have been a blowout. 1 for 11 RISP, 12 LOB. Only 5 SO.

Oldbear48

Ferget about it! Jays GM says trading Bichette or Guererro makes no sense for the Rays. Nothing to see here, move on!

Singing the Blue

If the Jays GM furnishes Doc with Dodger injury reports, we don’t have to believe anything he says.

Besides, he isn’t saying he won’t trade them, just that it makes no sense. People do a lot of things that don’t make sense.

Singing the Blue

Does anyone here remember exactly what the problem was with Graterol that caused the Red Sox to say they didn’t want him and ultimately sent him here instead of Boston?

Was it a shoulder or arm problem? If a shoulder problem, they’ve probably been putting off the inevitable surgery for a few seasons now. As I mentioned the other day, this may go the same way as Treinen a couple of years ago, where he wasted an entire year putting off surgery that he had to have anyway.

Scott Andes

I think it was a leg/hamstring or knee issue.

Singing the Blue

I’m thinking it was more than a hamstring. That wouldn’t be enough to reject a guy who throws 100 mph. Knee? Maybe, but I’m thinking it probably had to do with his throwing arm or shoulder…………….or maybe they never said what it was.

Bluto

Yeah:

So why isn’t he in pitching-starved Boston? The Red Sox didn’t like his medicals. Graterol underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2016 and sat out the next 15 months. A shoulder impingement sidelined him for two months last year, and when the Red Sox got a look at his imaging, they decided he’d be physically limited to a relief role, decreasing the value of the prospective starter they thought they were acquiring

Singing the Blue

Didn’t realize he’d ever been considered starter material. Well, having been through one TJ already and now two years in a row with shoulder problems………………………

I guess shoulder inflammation can’t be cured with surgery so they just have to wait it out.

Badger

That’s what I read too.

And now, after a couple of years of throwing 100 mph we have no real idea what is wrong with him. But we can guess.

OhioDodger

https://sports.yahoo.com/white-soxs-tommy-pham-says-hes-always-prepared-to-f-somebody-up-after-confrontation-with-brewers-william-contreras-225356495.html

Well, I don’t think AF will be going after Tommy Pham. This guy is a disaster waiting to happen. Not to mention a total asshole.

Last edited 10 days ago by OhioDodger
Singing the Blue

You could say that Pham plays with a chip on his shoulder, but it seems as though he plays with a chip on both shoulders.

OhioDodger

And a stick up his butt.

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