A 2014 seventh-round pick out of California Baptist, Oaks pitched his way onto the prospect radar in 2016 when he rose from high Class A Rancho Cucamonga to Triple-A Oklahoma City and led the Dodgers system in innings (151) while going a combined 14-3, 2.74 in 24 starts.
The 24-year-old Oaks will be added to the 40-man roster for the first time this offseason despite falling short of those numbers in 2017.
“Year over year, we’ve seen real growth out of Trevor,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “He had a little setback with a minor injury that cost him some innings (in 2017). But all in all, the body of his work was really impressive. His ability to adjust to Triple-A hitters really stood out. And, as we’ve become accustomed to, his competitiveness and work ethic stood out as well.”
Oaks missed most of two months with a groin injury and was limited to 91.2 innings, but Friedman called the injury “a one-off” that doesn’t detract from projections that the 6-foot-3, 220-pound righty will be a potential big league workhorse.
“He has a tremendous ability to put the ball on the ground with his plus sinker, and when you combine that with his above-average command, we feel like that combination will bode very well for him in the future,” Friedman said of Oaks, who went 4-3, 3.64 while striking out 72 and walking 18.
“He’s obviously at the level just before the major leagues and has done nothing but impress us and the minor league staff in terms of how he prepares and competes.”
• The Dodgers will be rebuilding the hierarchy of their player development system this winter after losing farm director Gabe Kapler to the Phillies (as their new manager) and his top assistant Jeremy Zoll to the Twins (as their new director of minor league operations).
• The Dodgers also lost Triple-A pitching coach Matt Herges to the Giants, where he will be the bullpen coach on a revamped major league coaching staff. Herges, 47, spent 11 seasons in the majors as a pitcher with eight different teams including the Dodgers and Giants. He spent the past seven seasons coaching in the Dodgers system, the past two at Oklahoma City.