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A Pre-Playoffs Look at the Great Lakes Loons

By virtue of winning the first half of their respective seasons, the two LAD affiliated A League teams have made the playoffs and hold the home field advantage in the divisional playoffs.

The Dodgers A+ affiliate in the Midwest League, Great Lakes Loons, will face off against the Fort Wayne TinCaps (San Diego).  Game 1 will be in Fort Wayne on Tuesday and Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be in Great Lakes.

Justin Wrobleski will the starting pitcher for Great Lakes while 20 year old RHP Henry Baez draws the start for Fort Wayne.  Wrobleski was my pre-season dark horse prospect.  He has moved from non-top-30 prospects to #20.  He could be considered the Loons ace.

In 102.1 IP, Justin had an ERA of 2.90, a WHIP of 1.25, 109 strikeouts, 35 walks, and .245 BAA.

Wrobleski was 2.2 innings short from qualifying for season leaders.  He would have led the league in ERA.  The Midwest League leader, Carlos Pena, West Michigan WhiteCaps (Detroit) had an ERA of 3.11.

The Loons have multiple options for Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) starting pitcher.

  • LHP Maddux Bruns – 76.0 IP, 4.74 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 93 K, 54 BB, .205 BAA
  • RHP Jerming Rosario – 67.0 IP, 4.70 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 82 K, 33 BB, .258 BAA
  • RHP Jared Karros – 13.0 IP, 0.69 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 11 K, 1 BB, .174 BAA

Longshot could be South Korean RHP Hyun il-Choi – 60 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 46 K, 12 BB, .269 BAA.

Bruns is the top prospect of the trio, but he has control concerns.  In a playoff environment, control should be a significant consideration.

Rosario started the year slowly, but has pitched very well of late.  In Rosario’s last 3 starts – 15.0 IP, 1 run, 6 hits, 2 BB, 17 K.  One of those 3 games was against Fort Wayne (August 26).  In 5.0 scoreless innings he allowed 1 hit, no BB, and registered 7 K.

Karros started the year with RC and was promoted for his last three games at Great Lakes.  He certainly has pitched well enough to be considered.

My choices would be Karros, then Rosario, then Bruns.

GL has another option.  LHP Ronan Kopp has been used as an opener with a whole host of bulk inning relievers following.  Some of those pitchers have moved on to Tulsa.  For the year, Kopp has 72.1 IP, 2.99 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 107 K, 50 BB, .184 BAA.

Like Bruns, Kopp has exceptional “stuff” with excellent K/9 metrics.  But also like Bruns, he has problems with his control.

Other than Hyun il-Choi, a bulk inning option would include RHP Peter Heubeck.  Heubeck was recently promoted who started slowly with Great Lakes.

  • 17.0 IP, 8.47 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 16 K, 9 BB, .304 BAA

However, since September, Heubeck has been much improved:

  • 7.0 IP, 1.29 ERA (1 ER), 0.86 WHIP, 6 K, 1 BB, .200 BAA

Top two high leverage options for short relief:

  • LHRP Jack Dreyer – 54.2 IP, 2.30 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 79 K, 38 BB, .171 BAA
  • RHRP Michael Hobbs – 49.0 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 46 K, 12 BB, .269 BAA

Other short relief options:

  • LHRP Christian Suarez – 47.2 IP, 3.97 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 61 K, 22 BB, .278 BAA
  • LHRP Benony Robles – 32.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 53 K, 19 BB, .167 BAA
  • LHRP Mitchell Tyranski – 42.1 IP, 3.83 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 47 K, 21 BB, .217 BAA
  • RHRP Lucas Wepf – 25.0 IP, 4.68 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 30 K, 14 BB, .227 BAA
  • RHRP Carlos De Los Santos – 38.0 IP, 4.97 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 42 K, 28 BB, .273 BAA
  • RHRP Juan Morillo – 28.0 IP, 5.14 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 38 K, 19 BB, .248 BAA
  • LHRP Franklin De La Paz – 34.2 IP, 5.19 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 37 K, 23 BB, .291 BAA
  • RHRP Sauryn Lau – 12.0 IP, 5.25 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 15 K, 4 BB, .373 BAA

Offensively, the Loons are led by catcher Dalton Rushing.  For the season, his numbers have not been mediocre and perhaps disappointing : In 381 PA,  .228/.404/.452/.856 – 18 doubles, 15 HR, 53 RBI, 93 K, 72 BB.  His 72 BB are expressed in his excellent .404 OBP.

Rushing has been injured most of the year, with several games lost due to a bad concussion.  Even when he returned, it took him awhile to get comfortable at the plate.

However for September, Rushing seems to have found his stroke again, and his hitting like he was expected to.  For September, in a very small sample size, 25 PA, he batted .316/.500/.684/1.184 with 1 double, 2 HR, 6BB against only 4 K.

Supporting Rushing is C/1B Griffin Lockwood-Powell (GLP).  GLP was an undrafted FA in 2021.  In 395 PA, GLP batted .238/.365/.437/.802,13 HR, 23 doubles, 54 RBI, 87 K, 54 BB.

2022 8th round pick 2B Taylor Young – Young is the speedster on the team.  In 545 PA, he batted .246/.375/.363/.738, 7 HR, 21 doubles, 5 triples, 112 K, 82 BB, 56 stolen bases against only 5 caught stealing.

20 year old C/2B Yeiner Fernandez – On the roster, Fernandez is listed as an infielder.  Many, if not most, of the prospect pundits believe he will be making the move to 2B as a more permanent position.  A lot of that has to do with the number of LAD catching prospects.  They like Yeiner, and want a position for him.  In 433 PA, Fernandez batted .273/.360/.375/.735.  Not much in the power department.  6 HR, 14 doubles, and 3 triples.  He has very good bat to ball skills with 47 BB (10.9%) against only 56 K (12.9%).

2022 3rd round pick SS Alex Freeland – Freeland is another speedster.  In 461 PA, Freeland batted .240/.345/.362/.707.  Another with limited power, 9 HR, 17 doubles, 2 triples, with a little less bat to ball skills.  He had 60 BB (13.0%) against 131 K (28.4%).  He had 31 SB against 8 CS.

2021 18th round pick RF Damon Keith – Keith has had a very rough time trying to duplicate what he did at Rancho.  In his second stint at GL, in 439 PA, he batted .229/.31/.373/.684, 11 HR, 21 doubles, 1 triple, 44 BB (10.0%) against 146 K (33.3%).

2020 3rd round pick CF Jake Vogel –  Vogel is proving to be a better selection than Jeren Kendall, but has never broken out as a professional hitter.  In 421 PA, he batted .236/.312/.325/.637, 3 HR, 22 doubles, 1 triple, 35 BB (8.3%), 109 K (25.9%).

2022 19th round pick LF Chris Alleyne – A corner OF without much power, but has some speed on the bases.  In 402 PA, Alleyne batted .199/.277/.322/.599, 7 HR, 15 doubles, 4 triples, 33 BB (8.2%) against 103 K (25.6%), 24 SB, 8 CS.

Probably filling out the roster:

Yunior Garcia started the year on the 60 day IL.  Since he came to GL, in 125 PA,  he has batted .272/.320/.430/.750, 5 HR, 3 doubles, 7 BB (5.6%) against 36 K (28.8%).

23 year old 2016 IFA (Venezuela) 2B Kenneth Betancourt, was assigned to GL on July 18.  In 136 PA, he batted .252/.296/.307/.603, 1 HR, 4 doubles, 8 BB (5.97%), 34 K (25%).

2022 4th round pick OF Nick Biddison, started with Rancho before going onto the IL at the end of June.  He was assigned to Great Lakes on August 4.  In 103 PA, Nick batted .169/.272/.247/.519, 1 HR, 4 doubles, 7 BB (63.8%), 36 K (35.0%).

21 year old 2019 IFA (Santa Domingo, SR) C Frank Rodriguez started the season at Rancho.  He was assigned to GL on May 11.  He went on the IL on August 4, and activated September 5.  In 156 PA, Frank batted .163/.231/.325/.637, 4 HR, 6 doubles, 9 BB (5.8%) and 36 K (23.1%).

I will try to get to the Rancho playoff picture before the playoff game.

 

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OhioDodger

Ferguson should not come in with runners on base. Especially against a righty.

RC Dodger

Agree that Stone is a project for next year.
Maybe the team explains letting the young pitchers pitch into the 6th and 7th innings but I don’t understand this approach. Miller has consistently given up runs the third time through the order and Stone did so today. Probably just testing the pitchers but even most seasoned veterans struggle the third time through a lineup. It seems that the loss of confidence of young pitchers is more harmful than squeezing out another inning. Also both Miller and Stone are at career high in innings already so adding more innings now seems unnecessary. Stone had pitched 5 innings with 4 runs allowed and a 7-4 lead. Letting him come out for the 6th turned his outing into 5.1 innings with 7 runs allowed and a no decision.
Sure the game is almost meaningless but hate to let the Padres beat you on your home field anytime.

Jeff

Jeff, this was a perfect example of a won game that we lost because of our pitching. This is why I don’t share your optimism for the playoffs. The kids are getting valuable experience and should be stronger for it in the future. But, as it stands, it’s either bombs away from our hitters to help us win but only up to a certain point.

A big shout out to Mookie who is over the 100 RBI mark and closing in on 40 HRs. Same to Muncy with 35 HRs and closing in on 100 RBIs. No easy feat for any player to reach 100 RBIs. I think Muncy will be with us for awhile especially if JD is leaving us.

Oldbear48

They lost because they made two crucial errors in the 9th inning. Two outfielders blowing and easy catch and Phillips mishandling a ball hit right back to him. Yeah, they had a five-run lead, and the starter gave that up. But Phillips should have been out of that 9th inning clean. He made one bad pitch.

Badger

My take on our starting pitching remains the same. I don’t care how many pitches they have thrown, if you get 5 innings out of them be grateful and get them out of there. I realize that puts the onus on the bullpen to complete 4 scoreless but in my opinion that is where we are.

Last night’s Padre offense is the one I expected to see all year. I sure hope they go back to sleep.

Our offense? We scored 8 and it wasn’t enough. How much more of this are we likely to witness?

Buehler, May, Gonsolin, Urias, and a reduced Kershaw. Sigh.

Bumsrap

I remain ready for Stone to be part of the rotation now. Keep him on the team and stop bouncing him back and forth between Oklahoma and LA. He is not a yo yo and he should not be toyed with.

Set Stone up with a piggyback pitcher and pull him after he has pitched to 18 batters. If a one inning reliever is needed to bridge between his designated piggyback pitcher so be it.

Now is the time for him to be in a regular routine and a well defined role as a member of the rotation.

When time comes to bid on Yamamoto the Mets will be more of a competition for him because they were bailed out of their bad contracts with Scherzer and Verlander.

Badger

I am ok with that. Miller, Pepiot, Stone, Kershaw, Lynn, maybe the next minor leaguer to be called up, maybe a bullpen game and start the wheel again. It only has to be done 3 times and we’re done. Just don’t try to get that extra inning out of this group.

Dionysus

Cool stuff. Always enjoy these. Nice starting rotation for the Loons.

SandyIsTheGreatest

Might as well try Kyle Hurt next.

Bobby

What happened to Landon Knack? I thought he was next up?

Badger

He was. Until he wasn’t. Injury. Or maybe injuries. Soft tissue early. Pulled from a game in late August. Not much is being said about it. Bet Jeff can find something.

I wonder if teams facing us the rest of the way might be salivating a bit.

Scott Andes

Heard about this kid lately. Supposedly he throws gas.

Bumsrap

Teach him the circle change and find the lost GAME OVER video/music.

Badger

Great. A fresh bullpen arm. We need all of those we can get.

Who else you got?

Bluto

Where did you read that?!!??!

Love that tidbit.

Bluto

No, that he was the one Friedman was after!

Scott Andes

Fight on? lol

Singing the Blue

Very happy to see another one of the kids promoted. Contrary to the others we’ve seen, I think they plan to use Hurt as a reliever, at least for now.

No word yet on an accompanying roster move. I’m assuming Suero, Varland or Almonte to the 60 day or Stone to OKC. I hope it’s not the latter. I’d like to see Stone start every 6 days between now and season’s end.

All this experience the young guys are getting will come in very handy, both to help AF decide how he wants to handle his roster crunch this winter, and, for the guys who aren’t moved in the off season, it gives them valuable experience for next year.

Singing the Blue

You’re right. Forgot that none of those 3 is on the 28 man currently. Maybe they’ll push Kershaw’s next start a little farther back…….to October, and put him back on the IL.

Or maybe Lynn to the IL with gopheritis inflammation.

Last edited 5 months ago by Singing the Blue
Badger

Why can’t Stone help in the bullpen?

Bumsrap

The Dodgers could have Sheehan for 5 and Stone for 4 or they could have Sheehan for 5 and Vesia for 1, Almonte for 1, and Varland for 1, etc.

Bumsrap

I’m just saying how Stone could be used in relief.

Badger

TBD

Bluto

Wouldn’t mind seeing Choi and Bruns start.

Bruns because of upside. Choi because he overcame the surgery.

The depth of pitching in this org is really amazing.

Jeff, I know it takes A LOT of time to put these together, and I’m sure I speak for everyone by saying they are amazing, but I’d love it (please don’t get mad) if you could add ages when possible for prospects, or maybe years in system? Not sure which metric is better.

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