The Milwaukee Brewers are full of legit OF in their system. Four of their top five prospects are OF, with three being top 100. The other top five prospect is a 2B/OF. Two of the five are projected to be starters for the Brewers in 2023, while a third is knocking on the door.
- Jackson Chourio – #1 (#8 overall)
- Sal Frelick – #2 (#30 overall) (Will be on the roster early on in 2023)
- Joey Weimer – #3 (#90 overall) (Should make MLB debut in 2023)
- Brice Turang – #4 (2B/OF – Projected starting 2B)
- Garrett Mitchell – #5 (Projected CF)
Why is this important to me? The prize of that group (and someone favorably compared to Ronald Acuña Jr.) is Jackson Chourio. In 2021, as a 17 year old in the DSL, in 189 PA, Chourio batted .296/.386/.447/.833. He had 28 strikeouts vs 23 walks. As an 18 year old, Chourio bypassed the Complex Rookie League and moved straight to A ball. He owned A Ball and moved quickly to A+ where he also shined enough to be moved to AA for an end of season promotion. Depending on his 2023 start, he has an outside chance to make his MLB debut as a 19 year old this year, but will definitely be a MLB player in 2024 as a 20 year old.
Why am I writing about the Brewers future potential phenom Jackson Chourio? Because the Dodgers also have that potential in 17 year old Josue De Paula. Last year as a younger 17 year old in the DSL, in 223 PA, De Paula stroked .350/.448/.522/.970, with 32 walks against 31 strikeouts. He had 20 extra base hits in 53 games. For good measure he stole 16 bases while getting caught in 6. Those are good numbers in any League.
De Paula was born in Brooklyn and moved to the DR at 14. De Paula is a cousin to NY basketball royalties Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair with athleticism that matches the bloodline. He was signed out of El Niche Academy in the DR for $500K. After his 2022 DSL season, he is considered one of the fastest prospect risers. In a recent Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet, the following was written for De Paula.
While the Dominican Summer League ended weeks ago, the buzz around the Dodgers’ 6-foot-3 outfield prospect is substantial. Not only was De Paula one of the top performers in the DSL, there’s projection within his game, particularly with his power. De Paula hit .349/.448/.522 with 20 extra-base hits in 53 games, with more walks than strikeouts this summer. The tall outfielder shows an advanced approach and feel to hit, and it’s backed up by the data, with an 85% contact rate, 91% zone contact rate and 20% chase rate in his pro debut. De Paula hits from the left side with an open stance and a heavily hands-driven swing. He displays plus bat speed and adjustability in his hands, which allows him to cover the plate fairly well. The power is still coming as De Paula has a level swing and rarely gets into his raw juice. It’s easy to see De Paula’s power projection, however, with a strong and physical frame at 17.
DSL Dodger Josue De Paula, going deep off a pitch that's a good six inches off the plate in. Take DSL stats with a grain of salt, but coming into today, he had a wRC+ of 160, with a higher walk rate (15.3%) than strikeout rate (13.3%) 👀 pic.twitter.com/fn5294dKqO
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) August 14, 2022
But my concern is that the Dodgers will slow roll him to the ACL this year (June 6 start) with a potential late season promotion to Rancho. I would hope that the Dodgers would push him to start the season at Rancho and see how far he can go and still productively compete. Similar to what Jackson Chourio did for the Brewers. Chourio came out of nowhere to be a #8 overall prospect (#3 Baseball America) as a 19 year old. The down side to my theory is that I have no idea about his psychological makeup. Can he handle failure?
But for now, although he’s only 17, De Paula’s ceiling – a middle-of-the-order advanced hitter who hits for both average and power – seems very real right now. He already measures in at 6’3″ and 200 lbs. He owns the left side of the plate and his swing is effortlessly beautiful, yet inordinately powerful all the same. Imagine that this kid still has another 25 lbs of muscle (at least) and (perhaps) another inch or two before he hits twenty.
After his 2022 season, he was rated as the 2nd best Under 18 prospect in the DSL.
- Josue De Paula, CF, Dodgers – 6’3 185 L/L
Signed for $500,000 out of El Niche Academy in the DR, De Paula is a cousin to NY basketball royalties Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair with athleticism that matches the bloodline. Built like an NBA guard, De Paula blends natural athleticism with frame projection and an athletic swing with barrel manipulation that belies his natural length. While athletic, De Paula projects to a corner outfield role at maturity. With his approach, athletic and adjustable swing, and strength projection, De Paula figures to hit plenty enough for the position. This is the kind of player who could skyrocket in a dev situation like Los Angeles. He makes this list for pure performance, but he is every bit the prospect as well.
Below is a YouTube video produced by FanGraphs. One thing that becomes clear is how quick his hands are. He also shows tremendous pitch recognition and plate discipline for a 17 year old. During his swing, he seems to be able to adjust to find the ball with his bat when he needs to.
Josue de Paula (LAD), how do you say, catches my eye… https://t.co/IPhTrIFYLA pic.twitter.com/93ROKWe5wn
— Dylan White (@The__Arrival) October 31, 2022
It is extremely hard not to get excited about Josue De Paula.
You got me hooked! Although I was before I read your excellent post.
We really need a home grown All Star outfielder. Maybe Josue will be the one. I’m still not sure how I feel about Pages’ ultimate potential.
It would sure be nice to see DePaula as the starting left or center fielder on opening day 2025———at the age of 19!
Pages, Betts & DePaula in the OF
What, no Reynolds?
I wonder how mom and dad came up with the name Josue?
Dad wanted Joe and Mom wanted Sue?
The Dodgers seem to want to give 26 year old Outman another year in the minors. It could be awhile before we see Josue. I’m 75. I don’t want to wait. Baltimore has a few prospects that are ready now. Just saying.
Just read that Roberts wants to keep Lux at the bottom of the lineup. Roberts can be soooo annoying.
I don’t want to have to live with a Bellinger version 2022 type performance in CF again so I am glad the Dodgers have Heyward as a safety net for Outman. What I don’t like is all the talk about Heyward being plan A instead of plan B.
If Heyward’s old hitting mechanics were so good, why was it changed? Getting back to his original mechanics may start out good but will he keep it up?
Lux is pretty good out of the 9 hole. Got on at .360 last year. And after the first, he will be hitting ahead of Betts.
Maybe his parents are Joe and Sue.
Outman could be playing every day somewhere in this league.
I won’t be surprised if Heyward makes the team. I will be surprised if he makes a difference.
Where did you read that Doc wants to keep Lux at the bottom of the lineup, and if that’s the case why did he bat him leadoff today?
I read it too. Don’t remember where. Why leadoff today? To get him 3 at bats and out of the game early?
There was more:
But in Lux’s case, he really does fill that “second leadoff man” role pretty well. LA leadoff hitter Mookie Betts drove in 82 runs last year, and 11 of them were Lux. Nine of Trea Turner’s 100 RBIs were Lux, and 17 of Freddie Freeman’s 100 RBIs were also Lux. Before a neck injury slowed him down at the end of the season, Lux had a .373 on-base percentage, and he was doing an outstanding job setting things up so the big three at the top of the order could knock them down.
So be it. I don’t have a problem batting him 9th but I think I’d rather see him lead off if he hits as well as he did last year before his injury.
I don’t know how many of Mookie’s homers came last year in the first inning, but at least if he hit first inning homers this year there might be someone on base.
I envision 3 times or more a lineup of Vargas, Lux, Betts, Freeman, Smith, Muncy, Martinez. I would look forward to watching that.
Maybe Lux shows he’s ready to take over the job of leading off games and getting on base at .368 (or better) which is Mookie’s career OBP. If Roberts decides that is what is best for the team, I’ll be on board.
Heyward has never been a good hitter to begin with.I don’t understand all the hype.
You’re right. His best year he was 20. Been trying to reproduce those numbers ever since.
Game 1 Notes
2 hours and 21 minutes. Okay, I like the pitch clock.
The Dodgers trotted out 8 pitchers, none of whom figure to be on the opening day roster. Although Michael Grove has an outside chance of making it as a reliever.
Michael Grove’s curveball was legit today. He still shows that he needs to work on his fastball command as he grooved one for Rowdy Tellez. Grove threw 11 pitches. LAD had their plan of one inning each, so they stuck with it.
Mark Washington looks to be a potential middle inning reliever on the Big League team. Not this year, but he has potential.
I really liked to see Rubby De La Rosa. I know that Bums was most upset with the loss of James Loney in the Nick Punto trade, but I was most disappointed in losing De La Rosa. He did not have a formidable MLB career, but did well in Japan. He is playing as a 34 year old, and while he did not face MLB hitters, he did pitch well in his one inning. He will not break camp with the team, but he could get a look down the line.
A lot of first pitch strikes thrown by the Dodger pitchers.
I think I saw one throw over to 1B. 2 SB attempts, both by Milwaukee. One was successful (Joey Weimer), and one not (Sal Frelick).
How a pitcher knowing that Miggy Vargas will not be swinging walks him is head-scratching. On his second AB, the pitcher got to 2-1 before pumping two fastballs down the middle.
Andy Pages has lost a lot of weight. He looks very good. He had a nice run scoring single. Pages was the lone LAD hitter to hit WRISP. LAD was 1-5. Looks like Post Season form.
JDM hit a line drive single up the middle very hard. A lot of barrel on that hit. I think he is going to be a good middle of the order bat for the Dodgers.
Vargas made a couple of good plays, but missed a play he is going to make as he gets more experience. Tried to do the sliding fielding play to his left but missed the ball. I think he gets that more often than not with more experience.
Will Smith 1 for 2 in SB attempts against. His throw to 2B to get Sal Frelick was outstanding. It was a bad slide by Frelick, but the ball was right there.
For the past two years I have been on my bandbox for CF Garrett Mitchell. I know Milwaukee was never going to trade him, but the former Bruin sure would look good in Dodger Blue roaming CF. He is from Orange, California, same as Freddie (different high schools). He was a 20th overall pick, so he never was going to drift down to LAD. Dodgers did okay with their first pick in that draft…Bobby Miller.
My current bandbox CF who the Dodgers will never get is Pete Crow-Armstrong, now with the Cubs.
The Dodgers face the Cubs on Sunday, with Robbie Erlin starting for the Dodgers. Justin Steele is a member of the Cubs rotation, and will be drawing the start for Chicago. Will we see Cody Bellinger and Edwin Ríos in the lineup for the Cubbies?
If Grove can get LHB out is a big question for me this spring.
If he keeps putting a fastball on a tee to lefties, it spells trouble. He needs to command that fastball. Cody Bellinger would have killed that fastball today.
Who was he facing? Why nibble when in the first game of ST you’re facing cold batters. Throw strikes. Slicing edges can come later.
A guy who hit 35 HRs last year. He wasn’t nibbling. He was throwing strikes. He actually pitched well (IMO). 11 pitches, 10 for strikes. He just missed his command with that fastball. The same thing that has been biting him all along.
“Cody Bellinger would have killed that fastball today.”
Maybe yes, maybe no. Belli went 0-2 against the Giants today, facing pitchers who are probably not even as good as Grove.
I was somewhat facetious. It was just an easy pitch to pummel. Perfect spot for Belli.
I reviewed the video. The pitch wasn’t exactly “on a tee”. It was inside corner, just mid strike zone. He needed it further up or down, or missing in. It wasn’t that bad a pitch. Velles just looked ready for it. Put it on his knuckles next time.
Yes, everything else looked good.
Boca Grande Machado just got his extension. 11 years/$330M. Puds will regret it in 3-4 years. Wonder where they will get the money to extend Soto?
It will be fun to see how much more lazy he’ll become as he ages. They already had him signed for five more years after this season.
Desperation/ignorant/comical move by the madres.
He’s bout to b the best coming from coney island to play baseball n the best to play baseball n the MLB the numbers is going to shock the 🌎