Dodgers' Diego Cartaya Makes Staying Healthy His Top Priority
For the first few years after he signed with the Dodgers, catcher Diego Cartaya’s status as a top prospect was based on lofty expectations and potential.
It wasn’t based on his on-field performance, largely because Cartaya had a difficult time staying on the field.
In his first three seasons, Cartaya played a total of 80 games—none above Low-A—because of the canceled 2020 season and an assortment of injuries, most significantly a back issue.
Heading into the 2022 season, Cartaya wanted to put up numbers, specifically games played.
“That was the main goal. I really just wanted to stay healthy,” the 21-year-old Cartaya said. “ I wasn’t too concerned about stats or to end up in a certain affiliate or something. I just wanted to stay healthy.
“Sometimes we have our hitting goals or catching goals. My main thing was just to stay healthy.”
He did that well enough to play 95 games for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and High-A Great Lakes. It was a step forward in Cartaya’s development as he tries to grow into big expectations.
“I think my receiving, my game-calling got way better this year,” he said. “I feel more comfortable calling games, talking to my pitchers—that relationship—I feel all were better this year.
“I wasn’t used to catching every day or back-to-backs. It was a good experience. I learned a lot about my body—how it feels after a game, what I can do to get through the season. It was fun.”
Cartaya put up offensive numbers, too, hitting .254/.389/.503 with 22 home runs, 63 walks and 119 strikeouts. His production tailed off in September as the season wore on him.
“I knew at the end of the season my body was kind of tired," Cartaya said. "I was learning how to deal with that. But for my first full season, I feel happy.”
The highlight of the season for Cartaya was being selected for the Futures Game played at Dodger Stadium this year.
“Amazing,” he said of that experience. “It was one of the best days of my life.
“It was a great year.”
— Michael Busch hit a home run in the last game of Triple-A Oklahoma City’s season, giving him 32 for the year. He hit 11 in 31 games for Double-A Tulsa and then 21 in 111 games after a May promotion to Triple-A. The 32 home runs tie him with OKC teammate Jason Martin for the most by a Dodgers minor leaguer this year.
— Righthanders Gavin Stone struck out 11 in six scoreless innings in his final start of the season for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Stone progressed from High-A Great Lakes through Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A this season, posting a minor league-best 1.48 ERA over 121.2 innings. Stone was named the Dodgers’ minor league pitcher of the year.