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My Organizational Position Review – 2B/SS

It is time to see where the real holes in the LAD organization truly are…2B/SS.  As of right now, the 2B at OKC will be Jorbit Vivas, and the SS will be Austin Gauthier.  I wrote about both in the 3B discussion, so I am going to cut and paste for them in this column as well.

  • 23 year old infielder from Venezuela, Jorbit Vivas. Vivas is another in the long line of utility infielders in the Dodgers system.  Jorbit is more of a 2B who can play 3B.  Vivas has been pushed a little because he was added to the 40 man after the 2021 season.  He has one option year remaining before he needs to stick to the MLB roster without being designated for assignment, beginning 2025.  Jorbit is the Dodgers #10 prospect in MLB Pipeline.  Here is their Scouting Report.  Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 40 | Run: 45 | Arm: 45 | Field: 50 | Overall: 50

Vivas’ 5-foot-10 frame and ability to barrel balls seemingly at will from the left side of the plate are reminiscent of countryman Luis Arraez, His size and fast hands produce a short, quick swing that makes contact with all types of pitching in any part of the strike zone. He generates some sneaky pop (mostly against right-handers) that could translate into 10-15 homers per season, has the patience to draw walks and adds to his on-base ability with a knack for getting hit by pitches.  

Most of Vivas’ value comes from his bat because he has fringy speed and arm strength, limiting his effectiveness on the bases and in the field. He’s a sure-handed second baseman with decent range but not much versatility. He has seen considerable action at third base, but the game speeds up on him there and his arm isn’t suited for the hot corner. 

 

  • 25 year old undrafted free agent Austin Gauthier for $20,000.. He was listed as the projected OKC 3B, but unless there are SS additions to the organizational roster, he will probably be needed to assume the SS position.  He is a contact first over power hitting infielder.  More of a LAD specialty as a utility player.  He could replace CT3 in a couple of years more than Muncy.  He played very well at Great Lakes and Tulsa last year.  He has more career BB than K.  His career slash line is .291/.433/.433/.866.  He is not a MLB 3B.  Gauthier has moved from undrafted in 2021 to the LAD #30 prospect according to MLB Pipeline.  I do see him as a MLB player, just not as a LAD 3B.  Utility player?    Austin is the LAD #30 prospect in MLB Pipeline.  Here is the scouting report:  Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 50 | Field: 45 | Overall: 40 

A right-handed hitter, Gauthier controls the strike zone better than any hitter in the Dodgers system, making regular line-drive contact while working counts and drawing plenty of walks. He focused on adding strength last offseason and is hitting the ball harder than ever in 2023, though most of his power goes to the opposite field. He offers 15-homer potential and might have more if he looked to launch more balls to his pull side. 

 Gauthier possesses average speed and is an opportunistic baserunner. He can get the job done all over the infield and on both outfield corners, though his average arm is a bit stretched at shortstop. He fits best at second base and profiles as an offensive-minded utilityman. 

 

2B

 

Taylor Young – Bats Right, Throws Right – 5’9” 170 pounds – Young is penciled to be the Tulsa (AA) 2B to begin the 2024 season.  Taylor was the 8th round pick in the 2022 draft as a 5th year senior at Louisiana Tech.  He was a bit older than other draft picks, as his professional career began at the baseball age of 22 (actually 23).

At Great Lakes in 2023, Young batted .246/.375/.363/.738.  He had 112 K and 82 BB in 545 PA.  7 HR, 21 doubles, 5 triples.  His best skill is speed – 56 SB against 5 CS.  He was HBP 13 times, grounded into 9 DP, and 6 sacrifice flies.

Defensively, Young appears to be a competent 2B.  He played 2B 791.1 innings and had 338 total chances.  129 putouts, 205 assists, 4 errors, 49 DP.  There is no range factor for him.  But his .988 fielding percentage opens eyes.

Wilman Diaz – 20 year old (in 2024).  Bats Right, Throws Right – 6’ 2” 182 pounds – Diaz is penciled in to start the year at Great Lakes at 2B.  Diaz signed in January 15, 2021, from Maracay, Venezuela.  According to industry sources, Wilman signed for $2,697,500.

Diaz started his professional career very poorly.  He fell off the prospect list VERY quickly.  He started to turn things around in 2023.  He split his time in the Arizona Complex League (rookie) and Rancho Cucamonga (California League – A ball).  In 293 PA, Wilman batted .256/.311/.429/.740 with 9 HR (8 at RC).  He also had 104 K )(35.5% K rate) and 17 BB (5.82% BB rate).  He is not a big base stealer.  He was successful with 10 SB in 15 tries.

Diaz has resurrected his career.  He is going to need to cut down (way down) his K rate if he continues to want to climb back up the prospect ladder.

Oswaldo Osorio – 19 year old (in 2024).  Bats Left, Throws Right – 6’ 1” 171 pounds.  Osorio does not turn 19 until April 2024. Osorio was signed as a IFA out of San Felipe, Venezuela in January 2022.  Osorio showed advanced plate discipline at 17 in the DSL, with a solid swing that should continue to produce contact. His agent was none other than former Giants star Pablo Sandoval.

Osorio spent the entire 2023 series in Arizona at the Rookie League Complex.  In 201 PA, .262/.393/.445/.838, 6 HR, 6 doubles, and 3 triples.  He had 54 K (26.9%) and 29 BB (14.4%).

If Osorio starts the season at RC as a 19 year old, he is worth watching to see how much he will develop.  He is going to need to physically mature as well as developmentally.  I do not anticipate Osorio making the 30 top prospect list this year, but he is certainly capable depending how he plays in affiliated ball.

Elio Campos – 20 year old (in 2024).  Bats Right, Throws Right – 6’ 1” 171 pounds.  Campos was signed as a IFA out of Valencia, Venezuela in January 2021.  Campos just completed his 3rd season in the DSL.  In 191 PA, he batted .321/.432/.353/.785 with 0 HR, 3 doubles, and 1 triple.  He has a tremendous eye and bat to ball skills.  He had 18 K (9.4%) vs 29 BB (15.2%).  Campos has some SB skills with 19 SB and only 3 CS.  Campos is a little older to start at the ACL.  But his bat to ball skills and ability to get on base are impressive enough to continue to monitor.  He is not a top 30 candidate.

Raynier Ramirez – 19 year old (in 2024).  Bats Right, Throws Right – 5’ 10” 185 pounds.  Ramirez was signed as a IFA out of Las Matas de Farfan, D. R.  in April 2023.  Ramirez was in the DSL for the entire 2023 season.  In 149 PA, Ramirez batted .265/.403/.513/.916, 6 HR, 9 doubles, and 1 triple.  He had 36 K (24.2%) and 28 BB (18.8%).  Currently Ramirez is penciled in for Arizona Complex Rookie League.  He could start the season in the DSL and then make his way to Arizona.  But there does not appear to be an abundance of 2B options at the ACL for LAD.

SS

 

As of right now, the OKC SS appears to be Austin Gauthier.  Who are the next in line within the LAD system.

Alex Freeland – 22 year old (in 2024).  Bats Both, Throws Right – 6’ 2” 200 pounds, drafted in Round 3 of the 2022 draft out of Central Florida. He played all of 2023 at Great Lakes where he hit .240/.345/.362/.707 in 461 PA.  He had 9 HR, 17 doubles, 2 triples, 60 BB (13.0%) and 131 K (28.4%).  He had 31 SB with 8 CS.

He was almost exclusively a SS (2 starts at 2B).  In 109 games and 936.1 innings played at SS, Alex had 391 total chances, and committed 15 errors (.962 fielding percentage).

FanGraphs’ Scouting Report:  Hit 45, Power 50, Run 40, Field 55, Throw 60, Overall 35+

 

Freeland’s best offensive skill is his feel for the strike zone. He struggles to cover the outer third of the zone from both sides of the plate but sprays extra-base contact to all fields. Freeland’s actions, internal clock, and arm strength are all fits at shortstop, where he played in college, though he may not have enough range to play there in the big leagues and could slide to third base. He deserves a shot to prove he can play short as he climbs the minor league ladder. He projects as a role-playing infielder.

Freeland projects to be the starting SS at Tulsa in 2024.

Sean McLain – 23 year old (in 2024).  Bats Right, Throws Right – 5’ 11” 170 pounds, drafted in Round 5 of the 2022 draft out of Arizona State.

Sean is the brother of the Red’s primary 2B, Matt McLain.  That is the closest the Dodgers will get to Brother Matt.

Sean did not have a good start to his professional career in 2022 which may have been the reason he started the year in extended ST and Arizona Complex League.  After 3 games he was assigned to Rancho Cucamonga.  He only played 5 games before he was placed on the IL for the season.  He accumulated 35 PA and obviously his numbers were not important with such a small sample size.

He was not included in FanGraphs Top 51 for 2023.  He is projected by FanGraphs to open the season at SS for Great Lakes (A+).  He has missed a lot of baseball, so this might be a big jump for him.

Joendry Vargas – 18 year old (in 2024).  Bats Right, Throws Right – 6’ 4” 175 pounds, signed as IFA on January 15, 2023, from Santo Domingo, DR.  I have written multiple pieces on Vargas.  Vargas spent the full year in the DSL where he batted in 208 PA:

.328/.423/.529/.952, 7 HR, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 30 BB (14.4%), 31 K (14.9%).

Joendry was ranked No. 3 in the 2023 crop of IFA by MLB Pipeline, and signed for $2,077,500.  He’s just 18 years old and will need time to develop, but he has the highest ceiling of any of the SS in the LAD system.

Per MLB Pipeline: – Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

A former switch-hitter, Vargas now bats exclusively right-handed. He has a sound swing and an advanced approach, patiently stroking line drives to all fields. With his bat speed and the oodles of projectable strength in his 6-foot-4 frame, he could grow into 25-homer power while also producing high batting averages. 

 Though he’s bigger than most shortstops, Vargas has good actions, range to both sides, reliable hands and plus arm strength. He’s one of the more polished hitters and defenders in his international class. An average runner who could lose some quickness as he matures physically, he’d profile well at third base if he had to move off shortstop. 

At 18 and 6’4”, I believe he will eventually grow out of the position and be moved. But for now, he is going to play SS until he proves that he cannot.

FanGraphs has Joendry starting at SS for Rancho Cucamonga for 2024.  That is a big jump from the DSL, but he is capable of playing at the level, and I do hope the Dodgers push him.

 

Bryan Gonzalez – 18 year old (in 2024).  Bats Right, Throws Right – 5’ 10” 161 pounds, Bryan was drafted in the 6th round in the 2023 draft out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico.  He is reported as a SS/2B.  He only had 35 PA while starting his professional career in the Rookie League at the ACL.  Not nearly enough of a sample size to report.

FanGraphs projects to start 2024 back in the Arizona Complex League.

 

Alexander Albertus – 19 year old (in 2024).  Bats Right, Throws Right – 6’ 1” 176 pounds. Alexander was signed as a IFA in June 2022 from Oranjestad, Aruba.

Albertus started the year in the DSL but was later assigned to the Rookie League in the ACL. Overall with 170 PA, Albertus batted .310/.471/.468/.939, with 5 HR and 5 doubles.  Where he excels at is managing the strike zone.  He struck out 19 times (11.2%) but walked 38 times (22.3%).  That is not switched.  Alexander walked twice for every K.

Albertus is listed as a SS in FanGraphs’ Roster Resource.  But he is in a long line of true LAD utility prospects.  Last year he started 23 games at 2B, 23 games at 3B, and 22 games at SS.  He is projected to start the season in the ACL.

Alexander was not included in FanGraphs Top 51 for 2023.

 

It does not take a lot of thought to understand that the Dodgers do not have much depth or overall talent at middle infield.  Not one of the above currently projects to be a regular at 2B or SS with the Dodgers.  If this does not scream the Dodgers draft/sign utility middle infielders, I do not know what does.  Of the group, Joendry Vargas looks to have the most talent, but he does not project to be a long-term SS.  SS/2B/3B/corner OF?  We will wait to see how he develops.  IMO, Vargas should be very near the “do not trade” status.

 

 

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Oldbear48

Spring training will be different this year. They play 21 games by the 13th of March, are off for 6 days while they travel to Seoul Korea to play the Padres a two game away and home series before heading back to the US to play their last three spring games against the Angels Mar 24-26. They then open a four-game series with the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium on the 28th of March.

Badger

Excellent analysis Jeff. I’m not thrilled by what it says but maybe one of those prospects will eventually help. My guess is Vargas.

There is something that I feel needs explanation: Per MLB Pipeline: – Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 60 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

Looks to me like his overall grade should be 55.

Dave

It looks like they draft pitchers knowing they can trade them for what they need. I woukd like to see them draft a few more shortstops

Bobby

I’m guessing Yamamoto and Imanaga should be posted this week?

Badger

The Atlantic:

Let’s make a deal: The Dodgers’ farm system remains one of the best so finding a trade that works for Milwaukee should not be difficult. Perhaps a package featuring two of their best pitching prospects, right-handers Emmet Sheehan and Ryan Pepiot, could be the foundation of a blockbuster. Or maybe a deeper dive into their system for a package of 19-year-old standouts, righty Payton Martin and outfielder Kendall George, a 2023 first-round pick who can really hit. Or perhaps something in between such as outfielder Andy Pages and third baseman Jake Gelof, a second-rounder this year. Bottom line, there are several ways the Dodgers and Brewers could match up on a trade for Burnes.

The Dodgers are second after Baltimore on the list for Burnes.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Bobby

I liked Jeff’s idea (I think it was Jeff) of getting Santander from Baltimore. He’s a really good young player.

Oldbear48

I do not want to trade George. I want to see what the kid can do at a higher level.

Singing the Blue

Minor point Badger but I believe you found those potential trades in The Athletic rather than The Atlantic.

Badger

Oops

Singing the Blue

I remember paying attention to Payton Martin on draft day. Really encouraging to see his progress.

I agree with those who feel we need to start using some of this excess prospect capital in trades this winter (not speaking about Martin). The best of gardens sometimes needs to be pruned.

I’ll be fascinated to compare the 40-man list on November 15th with that of opening day.

Dionysus

He’s a stud.

Oldbear48

Jeff, the non-tender deadline is Friday. They have 38 on the roster right now, who do you consider the most likely to be non-tendered? I would think Almonte for one, maybe Yarbrough, Feyereisen maybe.

Jeff Dominique

Not Feyereisen. They traded for him with 2024 in mind. He should (will) be a stellar reliever for the dodgers. Bryan Hudson is logical IF they need a spot.

Last edited 5 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Bobby

In a potential trade for, let’s say Corbin Burnes: we can likely assume 2 of those 40 man roster prospects would be sent to Milwaukee, creating more room on the 40 man roster.

I think it’s time to trade our spare change for a couple of dollar bills, even if we have to overpay a bit.

Badger

Sheehan and Pepiot for Burnes.

Pages and Williams for Burnes.

Martin and George for Burnes.

Good trades until you look at how long before Burnes is a FA. ‘25. He sure would look good for the one year Ohtani doesn’t pitch. Will he stick around?

Badger

Ok. I’ll go first.

I’ll take Door #4. Pages and Gelof.

Singing the Blue

Is Door #2 Pages and Kendall Williams? If so, I’ll take that one.

Badger

I mistyped. Williams wasn’t mentioned.

AF probably won’t be involved. I think it will be Atlanta or Baltimore.

Dionysus

I respect your opinion but I don’t know how you can say there are no difference makers.

Badger

All those guys help to make the Dodgers system #2.

I know they aren’t #2 anymore after four of them moved up, I just like typing #2. Scatalogical humor. I’m 75 but very immature for my age.

I don’t see any All Stars in that group but I am hopeful at least a couple of them contribute and help make a difference, if not for us, maybe in trade for someone who will.

I’m curious about Santander. Admittedly I don’t know a lot about him but I did read his stats. He played 153 games and put up 2.6 fWAR. Heyward played 124 games and put up 2.2 fWAR. Santander’s stat line suggests he’s not very good defensively. He’s a free agent in ‘25. I think it might be smarter to keep whatever he would cost, use them for pitching, and re-sign Heyward, who seems to like playing for the Dodgers and is by all accounts a good guy to have around younger players.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Dionysus

I don’t know, Jeff, and I’m not trying to be combative, but maybe Busch hits 30 HR, Cartaya reaches his ceiling, Knack or Stone wins 15 games, etc.

They don’t have to be all-stars to be difference-maker. Maybe a solid reliever gets us past a Washington in 2019. It’s the cumulative effect of talent that matters.

Build up leads to break through.

Dionysus

FWIW, my bias is AGAINST forecasting models that seek to limit a prospect before he’s had a chance to play. We’ve had many guys who have outrun their projection. Dean Kremer comes to mind. Shane Victorino. That one weird catcher/SS on the Reds.

Dionysus

For a while May had a #2 or #3 starter ceiling. Then we saw his stuff was elite. Things like that. Guesses are just guesses until they’re proven or disproven. Certainty is a myth.

Oldbear48

Tomorrow is non-tender day. It will be interesting to see who they might cut loose.

Oldbear48

Owners approve A’s move to Las Vegas. Their new stadium on the strip will not be ready until 2028.

Badger

And that finishes Oakland. Warriors, Raiders and A’s gone.

I trust they will draw better in the desert. Should they change their colors from green and gold to black and gold? Raiders, black and silver. A’s black and gold. Or maybe black and green. Leave everything but green in Oakland. Might work.

Badger

Reynaldo Yean

Tell me about him.

Singing the Blue

I think Jeff may have had a blurb about him last season. Maybe he can link to it again.

Throws over 100 and strikes out almost 16/9 innings. Looks like he walks a few too many but he’s only 19 so hopefully that can be fixed. Spent a fair amount of time at Rancho Cucamonga last year and I’m guessing that’s where he’ll start 2024.

Definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Singing the Blue

Speaking of relievers, we’ve just re-signed Ricky Valasco, a reliever we got in a trade with the Rangers this past season.

Some of us were surprised that the Dodgers apparently let him go to free agency last week, but there was apparently something in the works.

He’s shown a fair amount of promise with us and still has one option year left. Hasn’t yet made his MLB debut.

Badger

A lot to like there. Teach them to throw strikes and start moving them up.

Thanks Jeff.

Last edited 5 months ago by Badger
Singing the Blue

Thanks for that info Jeff.

First I’ve heard of Benua. Another name to add to the future closer list.

Bluto

Ohtani the unanimous MVP.

Singing the Blue

As was Acuna.

Where Ohtani will be getting $40-50MM next year, the Braves will be paying the NL MVP $17MM and they have him locked in at that salary for the next 5 years.

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