The Los Angeles Dodgers are the defending World Series Champions. It is no time to get complacent though. The NL West has become a battle with the up-and-coming San Diego Padres and the surprising San Francisco Giants.
One would think the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system took a major hit when they traded RHP Josiah Gray and C Keibert Ruiz to acquire Max Scherzer and Trea Turner at the deadline. That is somewhat true and while they are two excellent prospects, the Dodgers have some depth in their minor leagues. Let’s take a look at what Los Angeles has at the top of its system now.
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Michael Busch 2B
Busch has shown up better than his teammate Hoese albeit being picked six slots later in 2019. He has slashed a solid .242/.379/.432 displaying excellent plate discipline and pitch recognition. He played mostly first base and left field at North Carolina, but Busch has been manning the keystone almost exclusively this season in Tulsa and the Dodgers believe in his skills up the middle.
Kody Hoese 3B
The 24-year-old was a first-round pick back in 2019 out of Tulane. He has been getting acclimated to Double-A ball in Tulsa this season and while it hasn’t gone very well, Hoese still has the most raw talent in the system. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, he uses his leverage well at the plate and is nimble for a tall player. The power is there and he should hit at the next levels enough to justify a move to first base eventually.
Diego Cartaya C
Cartaya was considered the top international signing in 2018. He signed for $2.5 million before his 17th birthday. He has been everything the Dodgers have expected and more. At 19 years old now, the catcher has been great at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga slashing .298/.409/.614 with 10 homers in 31 games. Cartaya has the ability to stick behind the plate as well. He has a strong arm, moves well behind the plate, and is quickly learning how to attack hitters. The Venezuelan backstop will only be 20 years old next month but could hit the big club in a couple of years.
Ryan Pepiot RHP
The Butler alum was selected in the third round of the 2019 draft. Combined between Double-A and Triple-A this season, the big right-hander has an impressive 2.92 ERA in 16 appearances (14 starts). He is also showing off his swing-and-miss stuff striking out 88 in 64.2 innings. While his fastball sits 91-94 with good movement, it’s Pepiot’s changeup that is devastating. With fastball arm action, the righty throws his change in the low 80s with a ton of fade. He has improved his curveball and slider to give him a four-pitch repertoire which the Dodgers hope keeps him in the rotation long-term.
Bobby Miller RHP
Miller has been dominating this season at Advanced-A Great Lakes. The former first-round pick from Louisville has a 2.03 ERA with a 53/11 K/BB rate in 44.1 innings. Miller has also kept the ball in the yard allowing just one home run. The 6-foot-5 right-hander features a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and can reach 99 mph. He is still working on his secondary offerings but has gotten more refined as he tweaked his delivery, making it more repeatable with less effort. If Miller can continue improving his repertoire and command, he could easily slot in the Dodgers’ rotation in a couple of years.
What Does the Future Hold?
There are a couple of other standouts in the minor league system for the Los Angeles Dodgers. 17-year-old Venezuelan shortstop Wilman Diaz is a promising five-tool player and has impressed with his athleticism even at a young age. Andy Pages is a power-hitting outfielder who has already blasted 22 homers at Advanced-A Great Lakes. His bat could move him up quickly and even though he turns just 21 in December, the Cuban could see time at the major league level next year.
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