2023 Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects Chat
Kyle Glaser hosted a chat to discuss the Dodgers system. You can read the transcript here.
Kyle Glaser: Hey everyone, hope you all had a good holiday season. I'm back from vacation and feeling refreshed and ready to go. Let's chat Dodgers.
Mike R (Lockport, NY):
- Did Rayne Doncon get into the top 15 and what was the word on Jeral Perez ?
Kyle Glaser: Doncon did not get into the Top 15. He's pretty far off from that in a system this deep and talented. He can hit a fastball and he's got some power, but his approach is problematically aggressive and he really struggles with spin, even in the context of a player as young and inexperienced as he is. He's talented, but he has a lot of work to do at the plate. Perez is more of a wait-and-see prospect. He's not in the Dodgers Top 30 at this time.
- Josue de Paula’s name kept popping up a lot late this season and into the Fall. Is he amongst the top names across the league to breakout this season and end up in the top 100 by next offseason?
Kyle Glaser: de Paula is a very exciting young hitter. If he comes out to the AZL and continues to hold his own stateside, he's certainly a candidate to be one of the biggest prospect risers this upcoming season.
- How far off was River Ryan? How much did his age affect his ranking?
Kyle Glaser: River Ryan is ranked in the teens of the system. His age didn't affect his ranking at all, especially considering this was his first season focusing solely on pitching. He's got a really good arm. Now he just needs to refine his control and add some weight and strength to improve his durability. He's a good pitcher with a lot of promise.
- Did Jose Ramos make any improvement this season on breaking balls? Is that still what’s holding him back the most from looking like an everyday starter?
Kyle Glaser: Not really. Ramos' plate discipline just hasn't improved, especially against secondary stuff. The swing is fine, he's got plenty of bat speed, he's got big power and he's a darn good outfielder with a cannon for an arm - but he's going to have to rein in his approach and strike-zone discipline, and 2022 was a discouraging season in the sense that he didn't really make any progress toward that.
Bill B (Glen Allen, VA):
- Is Bobby Miller the next Josh Beckett? Is Michael Busch the next Carlos Baerga? Thanks
Kyle Glaser: Those are not the comps that get put on Miller and Busch, no. Beckett and Baerga are probably a tick high in terms of what Miller and Busch project to be, although Miller has the stuff to be similarly dominant if he can polish his pitch selection and mental approach.
Noah (The part of CA that’s flooding):
- How close was Josue De Paula to making the top 10? He seems like someone destined to shoot up rankings after this season
Kyle Glaser: de Paula wasn't in the mix for the Top 10 given the strength of the Dodgers system, but he's not far off, which says a lot about his talent and potential. He's certainly someone who has a chance to shoot up the rankings this season if he comes over stateside and continues playing like he did in the DSL.
William (Chicago, IL):
- What kind of upside does Josue de Paula possess? Obviously DSL states are meaningless, but have heard glowing reports about his physicality and feel to hit.
Kyle Glaser: A big lefthanded slugger who hits for average and power. His defense will never be a strength and could end up being a downright liability depending on how he grows physically as he matures, but he has a chance to be so impactful at the plate it's not going to matter even if he ends up a 1B/DH.
James (North East, MD):
- The Dodgers might have one of the deepest farm systems, but in my opinion, their Top 10 is in the middle of the pack, and not even close to the O's, Diamondbacks, Guardians, or Nationals. Am I wrong?
Kyle Glaser: It depends where you want to do your cutoff. The Orioles' top two is better than the Dodgers' top two. The D-backs top four is better than the Dodgers top four. But the Dodgers top six are the best top six of any team, Orioles and D-backs included. It just depends what you value most, the top 2-3 guys in a system or the top 5-6.
- Thanks for making the time to chat. I can't help feeling like Vargas is a little underwhelming as a prospect given the attention he gets. He reads as a corner OF/1b who may not even hit 20 HR. What am I missing?
Kyle Glaser: You're missing that he projects to hit .290 with a ton of doubles. A first baseman who hits .290 with, say, 35 doubles and 18 home runs is a middle of the order starter on a championship team - that's Yuli Gurriel. That's what Vargas has a chance to be. That's a good player at any position, 1B or corner OF included.
- Is command the most likely thing to keep Miller from being a frontline starter? If so is his fallback more likely high leverage reliever or frustrating #3/4 starter?
Kyle Glaser: No. It's funny, most people seem to have missed Miller actually had a lower walk rate than Gavin Stone last year. His control and command are more than fine for a pitcher with his stuff. What would keep Miller back is if his feel for pitching and general composure don't continue to progress. He still tinkers with his arsenal too much and is prone to getting frustrated and overthrowing at times. If he learns the mix that works best for him and continues to just get more consistent with his execution and mental approach, he'll be fine. Those are the things to watch for with him.
Nick (Castro Valley):
- How close was Nick Frasso to making the list? What do you think are the chances he can stick as a starter?
Kyle Glaser: Frasso is not far off the Top 10 and is a candidate to take off next year. His fastball is an impact pitch. The biggest things with him are finding a slider he likes (he's still trying to settle on a hard, short slider or a sweepier one with more depth) and improving his command of both his slider and changeup. He certainly has a chance to remain a starter as long his secondaries come along. That's really the key. If they do, he has a chance to not just be a starter, but a pretty good one. If they don't, his fastball should still make him a weapon out of the bullpen.
Ken (Lakewood CA):
- Thanks Kyle. Your chats are the best for me. In ranking the top 3 Dodger pitching prospects, how close are they for you? I'be seen Stone ranked ahead of Miller and Pepiot. What were the main things you considered in ranking them the way you did? Thanks.
Kyle Glaser: Thanks Ken. Miller is pretty clearly atop the group, both in the eyes of opposing scouts and Dodgers front office officials, as well as in my looks and the data. His combination of stuff, physicality and control (again, he actually had a lower walk rate than Stone last year) just puts him on another level. He'a a full grade higher than Stone and Pepiot. Pepiot vs. Stone was a discussion I spent a lot of time on and they flipped back and forth multiple times. Ultimately, Pepiot got the nod because he's much more physical and he's proven it at higher levels. That said, you'll notice he and Stone have the exact same grade on them. It's very, very close, and it would not be shocking in any way to see Stone end up having the better career of the two. All three of them are really good and will be in the Top 50ish or so of the Top 100 when it's released.
Ken (Lakewood CA):
- Does Vargas' glove hold him back from being ranked higher? Seems like his bat is really promising. But does not having a definite position for the future affect his ranking - and how much? Thanks.
Kyle Glaser: It does to a point. If Vargas was a no-doubt third baseman or even appeared like he had a chance to be average anywhere on the diamond, it would remove the one big question with him. That said, he's still ranks in the top three of one of baseball's best farm systems and will be fairly high in the Top 100 when it comes out, so even with those questions, he still projects to be an impact major leaguer because of his bat.
- What on earth happened to Luis Rodriguez and Wilman Diaz? Was it simply they were over hyped and still have a long way to go developmentally? Thanks!
Kyle Glaser: As we all know, 16-year-olds can go in a million different directions. In both cases, Rodriguez and Diaz appear to be guys who peaked early and got paid before it became clear they were just early bloomers. Rodriguez thickened up and starting chasing power and quickly became a low-average left fielder in A-ball. Diaz is a good defender but his swing is a mess and the red flags were apparent as soon as he arrived. The Dodgers plan to rebuild his swing entirely from the ground up, but it's a long shot. Neither are in the Dodgers Top 30 or were particularly close.
Warren (New London):
- The bat looks hopeless, but Jeren Kendall is still listed as the organization's best defensive outfielder and fastest baserunner, and he did improve as a base stealer in 2022. Could he at least have a career something like Terrance Gore?
Kyle Glaser: Jeren Kendall retired on December 16. The Dodgers chapter was turned in before his retirement was announced, so that's why he was still listed there. We have since updated it online to reflect Jake Vogel is now the fastest baserunner in the Dodgers system and James Outman is the best defensive outfielder.
Dem Bums (Ebbets Field):
- The cohort of Vargas, Busch, Pages, and Outman feel like they will be slightly above average at best, but bringing significant value as pre-arb contributors. Is this a fair assessment, or will there be some All Star seasons out of this group?
Kyle Glaser: Vargas has a chance to be an All-Star and Busch has a chance to be a solidly above-average player, not just a slightly above-average one.
William Gonzalez (Long Beach):
- Is there an outlook on Emmet Sheehan, and just how far outside the Top 10 is he?
Kyle Glaser: Sheehan is in the 11-15 group. He has a really good fastball and his changeup is a solid secondary offering. His control is below-average and will eventually force him to relief unless he makes sudden, significant strides, but he projects to be an impactful reliever in the bullpen, which is always valuable.
- Gavin Stone is my absolute favorite. Best arm I saw in the TX League apart from Kirby. Is he your favorite too?
Kyle Glaser: Gavin Stone is really, really good. I saw him at Rancho Cucamonga in 2021 and liked him and he took things to another level this year. He's got a chance to be a good starter for a long time.
- Did Cartaya really have 93 wild pitches? Was that a typo? Will his bat push him to the big leagues ahead of his glove? And when?
Kyle Glaser: Yes. Unfortunately it's not a typo. Now, some of that isn't his fault - the staff at Rancho Cucamonga was probably the wildest I've ever seen, no one had any idea where the ball was going and it was downright dangerous at times - but there were also plenty of balls in the dirt he should have gotten in front of. There is a chance his bat will push him to the big leagues ahead of his glove. It's going to depend on the work he puts in behind the plate and how much he improves.
Dem Bums (Ebbets Field):
- Nary a mention of Jose Ramos in the Top 10 and tools rundown. Is he simply outshined by Pages in the same areas of strength, or is he a non-factor?
Kyle Glaser: Ramos is outshined by Pages in terms of power and arm, although not by much. He's still a prospect, but he has to get his plate discipline in order.
Dem Bums (Ebbets Field):
- Does Cartaya have the bat to be one of the legit best players in MLB in his prime?
Kyle Glaser: Cartaya has the power to be among the major league home run leaders. I don't think he'll have the average to be one of the true best players, a la the guys hitting .290+ with 30+ bombs.
- What ultimately is going to be Vargas' best position? Third? Left field? I read he was working out at second base this off-season. Could that work?
Kyle Glaser: That's the million dollar question the Dodgers are trying to figure out right now. Even within their front office, the answer is split. Some feel it is 3B, others think it's probably 2B. Left field might be where he ends up getting the most reps depending on how the Dodgers final roster flushes out, but the general thought is it will be one of the two infield positions in the end.
Jose Ramos (#11-15?):
- Thanks for the chat today. How close was I to the top 10? I know there are some concerns about whether I'll make enough contact, but my tools are loud and I have shown I impact the ball when I do make contact. Are we talking about a 40 hit right now?
Kyle Glaser: Ramos is in the 20-25 range. We're talking about a 30 hit, which is the concern.
- Hi Kyle, From a fantasy perspective please name one or two players currently under the radar. Thanks.
Kyle Glaser: Josue de Paula and Nick Frasso are two players with a chance to make big jumps next year. If you want a super sleeper, keep an eye on Justin Wrobleski.
- Cole Percival looked good at times. What does he need to be successful?
Kyle Glaser: It's funny, I've covered Cole in some form or fashion since I was at my old job at the Riverside Press-Enterprise and he was at Riverside Poly HS. (And King HS before that). He's got plenty of arm strength and size, it's always been about control with him. If he can harness his stuff and long limbs, he has a chance to be a solid middle reliever.
Kyle Glaser: Ok everyone, that will do it for today. Thanks for coming out and have a great rest of your week.