I’m not Gene Autry but it is time to get back in the saddle again. First, I had a keyboard injury to my neck and shoulder and reluctantly had to go for physiotherapy. Then, Elaine opened something that looked legit from Microsoft, which we do not have, and our computer went down. It took some time to install a new hard drive, clean up everything and thankfully rescue my files. In the meantime Jeff and Rob have carried on with superb articles and MiLB summaries. So here goes with just a few tidbits.
Brelyn Jones Surfaces
Contrary to the picture above, Jones was actually the Dodgers 29th selection in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Rutherford High School in Rutherford, New Jersey.
The son of former MLB pitcher Bobby Jones, the younger Jones has just made his professional debut.
His 2020 season, as with all minor league players, was wiped out by Covid. I do not know why he missed the 2021 season, nor can I find out, even by Google. How can that be?
However, he was not selected by accident so I thought this might be an opportunity to catch a glimpse of Jones as we waited to see him make his professional debut during the 2022 season. He turned 21 last October so I thought he could be a prospect to start the season with the Low-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
The 6’2”/ 180 lb. right-handed hitter was drafted as a shortstop but also had success as a pitcher in high school.
After spending two seasons at Northern Highlands High School in Allendale, New Jersey, he transferred to Rutherford High School where he starred as a shortstop and as a pitcher.
With the Bulldogs he had a two-year pitching record of 9-2 along with a 0.45 ERA and 112 strikeouts in 62.2 innings pitched.
His skills included outstanding speed and a strong throwing arm. In his senior year with Rutherford he hit .403 (27-for-67), scored 29 runs and, stole 19 bases.
Brelyn Jones has surfaced, as previously mentioned by Jeff, with the Arizona Complex Dodgers and not the Quakes.
And, he surfaced as a pitcher. The right-hander has made two appearances with the ACL Dodgers logging 2.1 innings pitched while allowing one earned run along with three strikeouts and five walks.
Loons Kyle Hurt Tosses No-Hitter
The 6’3”/240-lb. native of Rancho Santa Fe, California attended Torrey Pines High School in San Diego and was drafted out of high school in the 34th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. He chose not to sign and spent the next three years with the University of Southern California Trojans. His 2020 season, which had started out very promisingly, was limited to four games due to Covid-19.
His time with the Trojans was not all he might have wanted it to be but he did start 30 games for USC and he had his moments. Along the way, he posted one of the most exciting performances on the mound in recent USC memory when he tossed 7.2 innings in a combined no-hitter against Utah in 2018. Hurt struck out seven batters in that game and earned Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week honors.
He threw a career-high 8.0 innings against Washington in 2019 and struck out a career-best 10 batters in that game as well.
The first part of his dream to play MLB came true during the 2020 limited draft in which he was selected in the fifth round by the Marlins.
The following February he was traded to the Dodgers as a low-risk, perhaps eventual high reward player. When I say low risk I simply mean the Dodgers got him as an extra when they already had Alex Vesia who was their prime target. His scouting reports highlight the risk part with the possible reward part disguised within the report.
Baseball America: “The gap between Hurt’s stuff and performance makes him one of the most divisive prospects in this year’s draft class…His fastball reaches 95-96 mph as a starter, his changeup is a consensus plus pitch he locates well and his curveball and slider each flash plus at their best. While he throws hard, Hurt’s fastball is too straight and plays down due to below-average command, often leaving him to rely on his secondaries. He struggles to put together more than a few good innings at a time and scouts have long-held concerns about his work ethic and makeup.”
MLB Pipeline: “The right-hander hasn’t always commanded his stuff well or maintained it deep into starts, with the sharpness of his stuff often varying from outing to outing. He entered the spring as one of the more enigmatic college pitching prospects in this class and there wasn’t really enough time for scouts’ questions to be completely answered this spring.”
“For three years, Kyle Hurt has been one of the most tantalizing prospects on the West Coast. Scouts have been enamored with his fastball that reaches into the mid-90s, a sharp-breaking slider and devastating pull-the-string changeup.” –Shotgun Spratling of D1Baseball.com.
Hurt’s recent no-hitter with the Loons was not a Sandy Koufax type of no-hitter. On Friday evening, he started for the Loons and was dominant, not allowing a hit and walking three batters. The right-hander struck out eight batters, a personal season-high. He now has a 10-inning scoreless streak over three appearances, and has not allowed a hit in nine straight innings at Dow Diamond.
A no-hitter is a bit of a stretch, well a big stretch, but Hurt is definitely working on the reward part mentioned above. Thus far in 2022 he has made 11 appearances with the Loons, nine of them starts.
On May 31 he had one of those games that are sometimes not easy to forget. In one inning pitched he gave up five earned runs. It seems he got over that as his 10 scoreless innings followed that bump in the road. That means he has given up four earned runs in his other 30.2 innings pitched and two of those in his first appearance of the season on a cold night on April 14.
On the season he has now logged 35.2 innings pitched with a 2.52 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP , allowing only 21 hits while striking out 54 and walking 21.
Loons Making a Charge
The Great Lakes Loons had a very slow start to their season which was a bit surprising after posting a roster that seemed to feature very strong pitching. It was expected the offense might lag behind a bit after the contingent that passed through Midland during the 2021 season including Andy Pages, Ryan Ward, Miguel Vargas, Justin Yurchak, and James Outman.
The Loons began the current season by losing seven of their first nine games. Following their forgettable start, they went 38-19 and bested the Dayton Dragons by 1.0 game for the first half championship. In early June they took five of six games against the Dragons in Dayton, three of those games by one run. The Loons made up 5.0 games on the Dragons in their last 10 games to get the first half championship.
The pitching staff has lowered its ERA to 3.72, third best in the league while leading the league both in strikeouts and walks allowed with 693 and 314 respectively. The staff also allowed the least number of HRs with 48. And they lead the Midwest League with 22 saves.
Offensively the team in most statistical categories is at best middle of the pack with the exception of 278 walks (3rd), .336 OBP (2nd) and 317 runs (3rd).
A Very Special Mission – from MiLB Official Site
Last month’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that took the lives of 19 students and two teachers shook the United States to its core. Yet a byproduct of evil inevitably leads to an outpouring of love, support and kindness — all needed to begin the healing.
“San Antonio is the closest big city to Uvalde,” said Double-A Missions president Burl Yarbrough. “Some of our high schools play in the same district. There are so many connections we have with the Uvalde community. What happened really hit home.”
In conjunction with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District and Wilson Sporting Goods, players and coaches for the Padres’ Double-A affiliate wore replica jerseys of what the Uvalde High School baseball squad wears during the game against Amarillo.
Fans were able to bid for the game-worn jerseys with all proceeds going to the Robb School Memorial Fund, established by the First State Bank of Uvalde to aid the families of those affected by the tragedy.
Full story: https://www.milb.com/news/missions-wear-uvalde-high-school-jerseys
Harold great story on the Uvalde fund raiser. Baseball can be a very positive vehicle for social goodness. Good for MiLB.
I am looking forward to seeing what Brelyn Jones can bring. It will be a long climb to be sure.
I am proud of my Trojan brethren for throwing the no-no.
Good post all around.
Daniel Hudson done for the year, and a lot of next year with a torn ACL. With Hudson down for the year, Treinen out for quite a while still. Caleb Ferguson on the IL. Who steps in to the high leverage role? I would have said Mitch White, but he has to start.
I know there are those here who like to promote from within whenever possible, but I’d like to see Andrew go out this weekend and trade for someone with closer experience at the MLB level.
I know he probably won’t spend the prospect capital to go get a Bednar but there are others out there who wouldn’t cost as much.
With Treinen and now Hudson out and Fergusons’s return not happening for another week, minimum. With Kimbrel a roll of the dice every time he goes to the mound, I think we need some experience for high leverage situations and possibly even to step into the closer role if Kimbrel should completely implode.
Sure. Why not? The sooner the better.
Ferguson, Nastrini, and $10 million for Bednar. Everybody wins. I’d say “and take on a bad contract too” but Pittsburgh doesn’t have any.
I think the Bednar conversation would start with at least one of the following names: Miller, Pepiot, Vargas, Busch, Pages. That’s why I don’t expect him to wind up in Dodger blue.
We need a replacement for Hudson now. Why wait 5 weeks until the deadline when everyone is panicking and even more willing to overpay. If AF can identify someone who fits the bill, do it now.
Ferguson says he is ready.
Knack has command and control.
Bring up the prospects. I don’t like trades.
Speaking of trades how about the 6′ 7″ shortstop the Dodgers included in a trade for a reliever a few years back. I forget his name so I call him 67.
Oneil Cruz and Yordan Alvarez.
Two names that will live in infamy!
The Dodgers needed Tony Watson in 2017 much more than Oneil Cruz. Dodgers had Seager and Lux (early in the pipeline).Cruz was a luxury. And right or wrong, the Dodgers were higher on Omar Estevez, who they signed the same year. You are guessing on 16 year olds.
I fully agree. I just brought it up because it could happen again as soon as this week but we won’t know if it happened again for a couple of years.
Ferguson can’t be brought back for at least another week.
Knack has lost his command. Has walked 7 in his last 8.2 innings and hasn’t even proven he can pitch at AAA yet.
You don’t like trades? That’s a good one. Jerry Dipoto was telling me the other day that everything he knows about trades, he learned from you.
And I had to explain everything twice to Jerry
I do not think there is Daniel Hudson available out there right now. The sellers like to wait to get more teams bidding. The Dodgers are going to live and die with Craig Kimbrel as their closer, just like they did with KJ.
It is going to be next man up, and I think that man is going to be Yency Almonte. I also think Evan Phillips will get more high leverage opportunities. I now expect Reyes Moronta to stay up when Hanser Alberto returns and Hudson goes onto the IL. Mitch White will assume the starter, and Stefen Romero will be DFA’d.
There is also a reason why the Dodgers signed Dellin Betances who is getting closer.
Dellin Betances is an intriguing possibility, but I have a hunch we’ll never see the old Betances again. At his best, he was excellent.
Jeff, I posted a list of possible bullpen pieces over at LADT earlier, but had actually meant to post it here for any comments you might have. One of these guys might be a decent fill-in piece and shouldn’t cost a top 10 prospect.
Mariners – Sewald
Rockies – Bard
Rangers – Joe Barlow, Burke
Tigers – Soto, Garcia
Cubs – Robertson, Thompson
Royals – Scott Barlow
Orioles – Bautista
All of those are possible. I doubt that Colorado will trade Bard to LAD. Dennis Santana is another Texas candidate. I was not happy when AF did not retain Barlow and let him walk. For whatever reason, they preferred to trade for Scott Alexander a couple of months later than to protect Scott Barlow. That is one that I said at the time was a mistake.
David Robertson is someone I think AF will consider for the setup role. Paul Sewald is also someone AF will consider, but I am not sure Seattle will deal him this year. They control him through 2024, and they believe they should be contending this year.
I have others I would consider. I am right in the middle of listing them for tomorrow’s post. I am still researching them. But my wife thinks we need to see Top Gun this afternoon/early evening, so I am going to need to stop the research for now. But those are all names that I believe will be considerations along with several others.
I do think it is more likely that the Dodgers will go for a Blake Treinen/Daniel Hudson setup – high leverage role, as opposed to a closer. They will stick with Kimbrel and hope he fixes whatever it is that needs fixing.
Totally agree that for now AF would stick to a set up guy although some of those guys have closer experience just in case.
Oh, and please tell your wife to get her priorities in order. Do you think Mrs Friedman told Andrew this afternoon that he had to drop everything to go see Top Gun? 😉
Hey, Top Gun is very entertaining. Total non stop fun.
I don’t get paid like Andrew, so when my wife speaks, I better listen.
McHugh looked good yesterday. He’s 35 with decent stats. Not that Atlanta is a seller.
I understand he is not an option to help the Dodgers but we were, at one time, so high on Brett de Geus. Baseball is a tough task master. De Geus, 24, was released by the Diamondbacks and has signed with the York Revolution, an independent league team.
Another Diamondback pitcher, from the Armarillo Sod Poodles as was de Geus, was signed by the Dodgers and assigned to the Tulsa Drillers. Right-hander Curtis Keegan is 26. He was a 22nd round selection by the Yankees in 2018.
I am all in favor of signing De Geus. I think he was rushed, and could not handle it. Second time around with LAD should determine if he is truly a quality reliever for MLB consideration. I always thought he was, so I am not about to say I was wrong just yet. But I do not think he is the answer for this year.
Well just as I thought would happen (it did not take a genius to figure it out). Mitch White was recalled and Stefan Romero was DFA’d to make room for Hanser Alberto. Both White and Alberto are in the lineup today. Muncy and Lux are sitting against Fried. It is now CT3’s turn to bat cleanup.
If Taylor is hitting cleanup I hope Roberts told him he isn’t allowed to swing much. Maybe once and sometimes twice per at bat.
That made me laugh
David Price says hello. Need to use him more.
Might have to.
Phillips looks good. Replace Bickford with the best arm in the minors and we might be ok for a while. No doubt Friedman will find somebody. He does it every year.
I didn’t expect to win all 3 in Atlanta and if I had to pick one to bet against it would have been this one. We sit starters against “a tough lefty” and pitch our 4A starter?
Graterol. I’m sure hitting coaches just tell hitters to look for something middle middle and they will find it. He’s not an 8th inning guy. Not with an ERA over 4.
This one felt like a throw away game, but we have won these when we should not have, and we have lost them when we should have won. I remember last year when Buehler was on fire and he was due to face the Giants and an opener, and got beat.
I am not sure why anyone still thinks Graterol is a late inning option. Until he can throw that slider with conviction and with command, his fastball is just fast but obviously very hittable.
You know what’s curious about that Jeff, the Dodgers are known for helping pitchers make subtle tweaks that change careers. Why can’t they help Graterol? He can throw it a hundred miles an hour down the middle. A simple grip adjustment would spin it away from the middle and help miss barrels. Why come they don’t fix him?