Simple Adjustment Has Dodgers’ Maddux Bruns On Track


The development path taken by pitching prospects is rarely straightforward or predictable.

Three years after the Dodgers drafted him 29th overall in 2021, lefthander Maddux Bruns is still in Class A. But the 21-year-old Alabama prep product was beginning to make significant strides early in the season at High-A Great Lakes.

“The high school drafts—things come together at different times. It’s far, far from linear,” Dodgers GM Brandon Gomes said. “And for some reason, it feels like the lefthanders have an even different path.

“There is something to it, because it does feel like there’s a slower burn with lefties.”

Bruns’ challenge was a familiar one. His pitch mix rated highly, but he had difficulty throwing his offerings for strikes. He walked 112 batters in 141.1 innings at Class A the past two seasons.

But a simple adjustment this spring might have Bruns on track. Rob Hill and other members of the Dodgers’ pitching department suggested that Bruns move to the first base side of the rubber.

“It’s allowed him to access the zone with more consistency. So his pitches are presenting as strikes way more than they used to,” Gomes said. “His delivery is in a much better place.

“It’s never been a question of stuff. It’s always been about throwing the ball over the plate. He’s just in a really good place right now. I think he’s starting to understand how all of those things work together—that he doesn’t have to make things over-nasty, for lack of a better phrase.”

Bruns spent time at extended spring training before joining Great Lakes this season. In his first five starts, he had a 1.98 ERA with 23 strikeouts—but still nine walks—in 13.2 innings.

It’s a big step forward for Bruns who carried a career 4.92 ERA into 2024.

“I think the lumps always help, no matter what,” Gomes said. “I think it opens your eyes to the things where, ‘I need to do this.’ I think it helps as things are being presented from the coaching side and you’re taking feedback. Taking lumps here and there is very very beneficial.”


Reynaldo Yean, a 20-year-old righthander from the Dominican Republic, had a fastball clocked by TrackMan technology at 104 mph while pitching for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga in May. He is the seventh pitcher to register a pitch at 104 or higher. In parts of three minor league seasons, Yean has struck out 105 in 60 innings.

— Acquired from the Tigers in for cash considerations early in spring training, Andre Lipcius was off to a hot start with Triple-A Oklahoma City and ranked among the Pacific Coast League leaders in several categories. The 26-year-old hit .331 through his first 42 games with 13 home runs—which tied for the PCL lead—and a 1.028 OPS. Lipcius has played first base, second base and third base for OKC.

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