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River Ryan Named Top LAD Prospect by Fangraphs

Fangraphs has just published their top 49 LAD prospects. I am an advocate of Fangraphs’ methodology, although they make mistakes just like BA, MLB, ESPN, The Athletic, and Baseball Prospectus.  Their list certainly reflects how mediocre the LAD drafts have been for position players.  The Dodgers have exactly two in the top 30 who were drafted by LAD: Dalton Rushing (#2) and Hunter Feduccia (#25).  Only two other LAD prospects in the top 30 were drafted in the Rule 4 Amateur Draft, and both of those players arrived via trade: Trey Sweeney (#26) and Noah Miller (#27).

I am not forgetting Michael Busch who would have been in the top 5, but was traded for LHP Jackson Ferris, the LAD #17 prospect. Kendall George (#32), Jake Gelof (#34), Austin Gauthier (#39), Kyle Freeland (#42), and Dylan Campbell (#46) are the only other LAD prospect position players drafted by the Dodgers who are ranked in the top 49 by Fangraphs.  And to be absolutely correct, Gauthier was not drafted, as he signed as a UDFA.

Per Fangraphs, the #1 LAD prospect is River Ryan and he came to LAD via a trade with San Diego for Matt Beaty.  The next two pitchers on the list also came to LAD via trade: Kyle Hurt (#5 from Miami in the Dylan Floro trade) and Nick Frasso (#10 from Toronto in the Mitch White trade).

The highest rated pitcher that the Dodgers acquired via the draft was LHP Justin Wrobleski (#11).   Justin was an 11th round pick (#342 overall) out of Oklahoma State.

Again, I would like to remind everyone as to what level Fangraphs actually believes the LAD prospects will be in MLB.  This is based on what the evaluators perceived FV is at based on what they have seen to date and projections in their development growth.

 

The only 55 FV for the Dodgers is River Ryan.  That puts Ryan as a #3/#4 SP or mid closer.  Last year he was graded at 45.  That was a big jump for River.

The Dodgers have five 50 FV players:

  • Dalton Rushing – C (Last year FV 45)
  • Diego Cartaya – C (Last year FV 55)
  • Thayron Liranzo – C (Last year FV 40)
  • Kyle Hurt – RHP (Last year FV 35+ — Big jump for Kyle)
  • Joendry Vargas – SS (Last year no FV – too early to grade)

That is three catchers who are all considered to have FV equal to average regulars.  One has to ask…Do the Dodgers truly need three catchers with this level of FV evaluation?  Is Kyle Hurt a #4 starter or low closer/high setup reliever?  Joendry Vargas has much more time to improve on his FV with good production in the US.

Kyle was also upgraded from a Multiple Inning Reliever to a Starter.

Next we have the bubble players.  Regular or bench? For the 45+ FV players, they can move across that 50 barrier with a good year.

45+ Future Value:

  • Andy Pages – OF (Last year FV 50)
  • Josue De Paula – OF (Last year FV 45+)
  • Emil Morales – SS (Not signed last year)
  • Nick Frasso – RHP (Last year FV 40)

Andy Pages was at 50 before his injury last year.  He looks like he is going to get back to that level. Josue De Paula stayed at 45+ because he does not have a defensive position. Fangraphs is pretty adamant for not naming a player to their top 100 without having some level of defense.  If he can show any ability to play adequate OF, he will be a 50 or greater FV and be named to Fangraphs Top 100.

I am a little surprised to see Emil Morales this high.  Joendry Vargas had not yet played and was not given a FV last year.  Morales who was the LAD #1 IFA signed this year has also not yet played professionally. He is projected to play in the DSL this summer.  How did he rate a FV?  Don’t know, but I like the score.

The possible development growth for both Joendry Vargas and Emil Morales are exceptional.  Both have been unfairly compared to Fernando Tatis Jr. at a similar stage. I say unfairly because that is a huge bar to get over.  If either of them simply approach the talent of Tatis Jr., I will be overly excited.  Both are SS who figure to move at some point.  Vargas at 18 is 6’ 4” while Morales at 17 is 6’ 3”.

45 Future Value:

  • Justin Wrobleski – LHP (Last year FV 40)
  • Eduardo Quintero – OF (Last year too early to evaluate)
  • Gavin Stone – RHP (Last year FV 50)
  • Payton Martin – RHP (Last year FV 35+)

Quintero falls into that Joendry Vargas and Emil Morales category.  He could rocket to 50+ or the bottom could fall out.  Teenagers are tough to grade, especially when they have not yet played in the US.

Stone has dropped from a #4 starter to a #5 starter.  Most publications have Gavin at the back end of a rotation.  That does not mean that he cannot move to a mid-rotation pitcher, but for now, most publications have him as a #5.

Payton Martin has a lot of helium attached to him, and could move into the top 100 for Fangraphs next year with a solid season, which I expect.

The Dodgers have eight 40+ prospects:

  • Peter Heubeck – RHP
  • Oswaldo Osorio – SS
  • Jackson Ferris – LHP
  • Maddux Burns – LHP
  • Ronan Kopp – LHP
  • Reynaldo Yean – RHP
  • Edgardo Henriquez – RHP
  • Carlos Duran – RHP

This is where decisions as to where futures lie need to be made.  Kopp and Duran have already been moved to the pen, and have real futures there.  Yean was always a reliever, and well thought of.  This should be a decision year for Heubeck and Bruns, both 2021 draft picks (#3 and #1 respectively) and Edgardo Henriquez.  I am a little less critical of Ferris because he has not had that Dodger pitching lab exposure as of yet.  Fangraphs has already moved Bruns to SIRP (single inning relief pitcher).  We will see what the Dodgers think.

Too finish off the 40 FV players, the Dodgers have 15.  Included in this group are 4 SP, 3 SIRP, 1 catcher, 1 1B, 2 3B, 2 SS, 1 CF, 1 RF.

They also had 12 players rated 35+.  The one I am most looking forward to learning more about is 22 year old LHP, Wyatt Crowell.  Crowell was a 4th round pick in last year’s draft.  He is another in the long line of TJ rehab pitchers the Dodgers have tapped into.  He was expected to be in the Florida State rotation last season, but was out due to the surgery.  Crowell should be ready to face the competition this year, but like most of the pitchers coming off TJ surgery, I suspect they will be very cautious with him this year.  At 22, I would hope that he would end the season at Great Lakes.  Monitor his innings, but push the competition.

Bluto had included Fangraphs assessment of the system, but I want to reiterate what I have been saying and Fangraphs reported:

When talking about the long wait time for some of these lower level prospects, Fangraphs writes:

 

“That’s okay for now because the big league roster is so complete (though I stand by what I wrote in my 40-man roster deadline piece when I said they’re taking a risk standing pat at shortstop because I’m not convinced Gavin Lux can play there), and it’s not easy to come by great position player prospects when you’re almost always picking at the very end of each round, but this system lacks good hitters from the domestic draft.

Underlying comment emphasis is mine.

I cannot conclude this post without including the following.  Austin Gauthier is a BASEBALL PLAYER, and one who will not be denied.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dionysus

Boras not getting what he expected so far.

Oldbear48

Not even close to what he wanted for those guys.

Duke Not Snider

Right. Nice to see a bit of sanity in the marketplace.
But I find myself a little concerned for JD Martinez, coming off such a good year for the Dodgers.
He reportedly turned down $15 million from the Giants–and then they got Soler. JT took the opening in Toronto, and Joc got the gig in Arizona.
The Angels aren’t a great fit because it’s time to make Trout a part-time centerfielder, and Drury will get ABs too.
I think the Mets still need a DH. Maybe the Rockies.
The opportunities seem be dwindling.

Dionysus

Gauthier the perfect replacement for Taylor at 1/16th the price in 2026.

Oldbear48

I really like the kid, but they can bring him in in 25. Taylor down to only 15 mil then would be easier to move.

Dionysus

He’ll, he can replace Rojas or Keekay too. You’re right: next year.

Dionysus

Sorry for typo.

I do like Gauthier and think he could be an important piece for us, along with Pages & Feduccia, next year.

Oldbear48

Sweeney, Gauthier and Ramos have impressed. Pages has shown some flash too. Vargas, Swaggerty, and Rushing, not so much. Swaggerty got caught off base, and the runner from third tried to come home and was thrown out. And he has not showed much on defense. I will go out on a limb and say Vargas begins the year in AAA. MT over on his site says Lux will be traded in the next week or so. He believes he is on a short leash. Well unimpressive as his two starts at SS have been, I think that is passing judgement way too early on a guy who has handled the ball exactly twice. I just cannot see them trading Lux for everybody’s favorite trade target, Willy Adames, who would be a one-year rental, is older, and who strikes out a ton. It would also throw the balance of the offense off. As of right now, the 13 who will most likely make up the roster has 6 left-handed bats, Lux, Outman, Heyward, Ohtani, Freeman and Muncy, and 7 right-handed bats, Betts, Kike and Teoscar, Taylor, Smith, Barnes, and Rojas. Trade Lux for Adames, it is 8 and 5. Adames has more power. Lux is a better contact hitter with a lot more speed.

Baseball1439

I don’t know if Lux will make it at short or not but but you are correct, the Dodgers do not need Adams.

Dionysus

I don’t know what to make out of Sweeney. I’ve read his scouting report and the eye test test confirms it. He’s big, possibly too big for SS, but his bat might not play at 3b. He has a pretty swing but it’s a little slow. I’d like to see get the year with no expectations other than learning our system. He could blossom.

Oldbear48

Sweeney is 2 inches shorter than Seager. Seager is 3 pounds heavier. I think he will be ok. There have been other large SS, including Ripken and Tulowitzki.

Oldbear48

OKC will now be known as the Oklahoma City Baseball Club. Not the OKC Dodgers. All the other affiliates have kept their names. What there webpage now looks like.

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Duke Not Snider

Really nice outing by Glasnow. Sure hope he stays healthy…
Same goes for Treinen….
Gauthier is certainly turning heads. Nice opposite. field power. His stock is rising. I like the idea of Gauthier as CT3’s successor, but I don’t know how his glove compares. But just in case AF has a blockbuster in the works, Gauthier’s value is rising.
And I hate to ask, but is gritty veteran Chris Owings better than Lux? I’m trying to be optimistic, but….
Those are my quick impressions from the game

As for the Fangraphs prospect rankings:
The more I read about how promising Rushing, Cartaya and Liranzo are, the more I hope Will Smith gets extended.
Perhaps Rushing and Cartaya will be ready to move up in ’25, and Liranzo in ’26 or ’27, but maybe not.
The chances that any of these guys will be good enough to take Will’s job are slim. Pay the man.
If the Dodgers pay Will, it would be easier to trade the catching prospects…..

OK, here’s the plan. First, extend Will.
Next, send Lux, Cartaya, Vargas and Knack for 2 years of Devin Williams and one of Willy Adames.
I thought about including Gauthier instead of Miguelito, but I think Pages and Ramos have made Vargas expendable.

Last edited 1 month ago by Duke Not Snider
Oldbear48

No Adames. He makes the team RH heavy. And he strikes out too damn much. Lux is faster, he makes better contact, and it is just a wee bit early to be sending the guy away in a trade. He has played exactly 3 games at SS. Let’s get real people. Williams is going to be expensive, and they are not going to get him for that package you are putting up there.

Duke Not Snider

??? If Adames (or Rojas) plays for Lux, the Dodgers still have lefty swingers Freddie, Shohei, Max and Outman in the lineup every day, plus Heyward on most days. With Lux, it’s six lefty swingers.
This is not an RH-heavy team.
Brewers may not be willing to deal Williams,but they traded Burnes for two ML ready prospects and competitive-balance draft pick. The Orioles got their ace. Of course it wasn’t cheap, but the Orioles won’t miss the guys they gave up.
Brewers may not be willing to make any more deals, but we know AF has a history with Adames.
I’m fine with Lux getting a few months to prove himself, but I don’t like the idea of the Dodgers entering the playoffs with a poor defender at SS. If he’s hitting, average would be OK. But below average is unacceptable.
Lux has only played 3 games this spring–but he has played hundreds as a pr and we’re still talking about his defense.
He looks like he is playing nervous.

Dionysus

Owings might be comparable to Taylor. He’ll probably opt out and latch on with another team. I think he’s a big leaguer.

Dionysus

Cartaya might come up as a defense-first back-up and that’s okay. I think we’re covered at catcher one way or the other.

Phil Jones

I need help understanding Glasnow’s curveball. I get he’s 6’12” and the breaking ball is a nice 11 to 5, but why is it so hard to hit. I’m missing something from TV. Guys swing right thru it. From TV it’s not one that I go “WOW” but he just misses bats.
I like that he likes his fastball for big 3&2 pitches. It’s a good fastball. Challenge the hitter, especially now.
His interview was great and helped me understand a little. He explained that his deuce doesn’t “pop up”. No hump in it coming out of his hand. But there’s something else I’m not seeing.
Vargas will be competing for the all time record for number of pop ups in 8 games.
Is Owings quietly make the 26 man? He or Pages. I need to start looking at the 13 position players. Off the top of my head there’s room for 1. Smith and Barnes, Freddie, Mookie, Lux and Rojas, Muncy, Hernandez, Kike, Outman, Hayward, and Ohtani. Room for one.
I’m telling ya. Brasier, Treinen, Graterol, Hudson and Phillips on the back end are all we need. I hope any rumors of bring back Kenley Jansen are just that – rumors. That ship has sailed and I personally don’t need a rerun of that 3 year drama, waiting to see if his cutter will break. Forget about it!

Bluto

No Chris Taylor?

Phil Jones

Yeah Bluto, when I started listing the position guys, I noticed I left off CT3. My bad. No offense. I like the guy.
With him added to my list, there is no room at the inn for new faces besides Ohtani, Hernandez and the return of Lux. That leaves off Vargas, and players who have looked promising; Owings, Pages and Ramos.

Bluto

Oh. I wasn’t trying to belittle the list or anything. Just curious is you saw him getting moved or cut.

All good.

Dionysus

Any word on Graterol?

Oldbear48

According to the Dodger website, he is not injured. But then again, I have not seen him in the dugout or the pen. Sheehan is questionable for the opener. Toribos has Stone as his fifth starter. Vanasco would replace Hudson if he is not ready.

Phil Jones

I swear I saw Graterol doing PFP’s with the rest of the pitchers last week. I remember he looked trim and healthy.

Oldbear48

I’ll give you another reason I do not like Adames. He sucks against LHP. Has reverse splits during his career. Less power and a ton of K’s.

Bobby

It’s rather impressive that Pages shoulder has healed so quickly from shoulder surgery last year. (and as I type this he ropes another single)

He looks fantastic!

It’s also fantastic that I can watch the Dodger Cub game on the Dodger network, and the Dodger Brewer game on MLB.TV on my laptop at the same time.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bobby
Oldbear48

MT over reacts when Lux has a bad game. He did not say much after todays 3-4 performance.

Oldbear48

Lux and Outman both with three hits today. Lux’s bat looks ready to go, so does Outman.

Oldbear48

DePaula homers as does Padlo.

Oldbear48

Dodgers beat the Cubs 8-5, win for Yarbrough, loss to Imanaga. Wepf got the save. Up 11-3 in the 9th at Maryville. Outman, Padlo and Vargas with long balls, Pages, DePaula go yard against the Cubs.

Dionysus

In an alternate timeline in which he doesn’t miss most of 2023 due to injury, Pages is a starting OF on opening day this year. Heyward better produce.

Cassidy

Wow! What a day for the young guns!

Dionysus

Is there video of the De Paula HR?

Bklyn2LA57

Agreed.

Dionysus

Yarb going 2.1 IP makes me think he’s an option for SP5 especially if it helps with bullpen space. Stone would be left out in that case.

Dionysus

Gather no moss . . .

Keith

In an interview after the game Doc said he saw Yarbrough as a swing pitcher, I’m sure that means he’ll get a start here or there.

Bluto

Two (maybe three) things I found interesting about the Fangraphs list:
Oh wait, I totally agree Fangraphs is a great resource, if anyone cares.

  1. They project Hurt as a potential starter
  2. As above, they project Rooney as a potential starter.
  3. 49 players!

I would love, but do not expect, someone on the player dev side to discuss why the team has such an emphasis on developing young arms as starters.

Bluto

Also:
From Dodgers with 12 or more PA.

Top 5:

Pages 1.687
Outman 1.485
Padlo 1.214
Ramos 1.114
Gauthier 1.100

Bottom 5:

Smith .204
Rojas .368
Barnes .466
Swaggerty .498
Taylor .708

Metric is OPS.

I think the Bellinger signing has me worried about Busch’s situation. Sigh. I hope he’s traded again.

Also, was interesting that Longenhagen name-dropped Johnny Farmelo as who the Dodgers supposedly wanted when they ended up with K. George.

Keith

Even worse, the cubs signed Cooper, whom I’m sure will also get some playing time at first, things looking tougher for Busch than they were at the time of the trade.

Oldbear48

One day, two wins, 11 and 8 runs scored. 8 given up. Five homers and a 3 run double. Not a bad day at the office. 3 of the long balls from guys not expected to make the roster, actually four. Vargas is borderline.

Dionysus

No way Vargas makes roster unless there’s an injury. He could be next man up though.

Oldbear48

I totally agree with that. He will be first man up if there is an injury.

Duke Not Snider

Could be, but I think Pages has passed him on the OF depth chart.
Pages is only one year younger, is having a great spring and can play all three OF positions, while Vargas seems limited to LF. (Miguelito played mostly 3B in the minors. Has the Dodger given up on him as an infielder?
I love these split-squad games because of all the info and highlights that get produced. It was kind of cliched that Vargas broke his slump with a check-swing swing single over first, and later launched a bomb. Outman had a great day, including another HR and two stolen bases. Pages also had a strong day. As someone suggested, an OF of, Vargas, Outman and Pages could happen.. But I think Jose Ramos could sneak in too.
Gauthier continues to impress, and Sweeney is doing well too.
Lux continues to be an adventure at SS. Nearly threw a ball away but the first baseman (Padlo, I think) leaped off first to glove the ball and got his foot back on the bag to avoid the error. It could have been Lux’s third error.

Dionysus

I haven’t seen Gowdy. Who is he?

Jeff

Relief pitcher.

Dionysus

Texas farmhand I guess. 2nd rounder. Pitched in AA. ???

Duke Not Snider

Drafted and signe by Phils in 2016 or $3.5 million. He’s known for having a somewhat funky delivery. Expected to be assigned to Tulsa.

from Wikipedia: Kevin R. Gowdy (born November 16, 1997) is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. He attended Santa Barbara High School in Santa Barbara, California and was considered a top prospect for the 2016 MLB draft.[1][2][3] Gowdy was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round, with the 42nd overall pick.[4]

Oldbear48

I only have a couple of minor league hats, both belong to the Quakes, one is camo and the other is their blue-black cap. One of the cooler logo’s I have seen belongs to the Astros AA Texas League Corpus Cristy Hooks.

Keith

I think I still have an isotopes hat somewhere in the closet, I actually use to like to wear it.

Keith

When they were still a Dodgers affiliate

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