With about roughly six weeks remaining in the 2017 Minor League season, it’s time to take a look at which of the Los Angeles Dodgers prospects have taken a leap forward so far this year.
Walker Buehler has been particularly effective though struggled in his debut with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Brock Stewart, who’s impressed with the Dodgers after time with OKC, is also among the risers.
Without further ado, below is an updated ranking of the Dodgers’ top 20 prospects for the 2017 season. Videos for the first seven prospects can be viewed by clicking on their respective name.
With a fastball that touches 100 mph, a devastating curve, a plus-slider and an adequate changeup, Buehler has the best stuff I’ve ever seen from a Dodgers’ pitching prospect, and he may very well make his Major League debut come September.
Verdugo has a lower ceiling than Buehler but a higher floor. Verdugo possesses an exceptional ability to make contact to go along with a cannon for an arm and solid defense in center field.
The arm strength is evident and the slider can be nasty, but there’s still some development needed with Alvarez’s changeup and command.
Calhoun is going to hit, but where is he going to play? He’s spent some time in left field which may be his ultimate defensive home.
Relegated to a relief role due to depth on the Dodgers pitching staff, Stewart still has a three-pitch mix that would allow him to start in the future. Manager Dave Roberts said the club views Stewart as a starting pitcher long-term.
White has been dominant outside of a few starts against Lancaster on the road, producing plenty of strikeouts and groundballs. White is currently rehabbing from a broken toe.
Diaz started off slow but has heated up, posting a 1.111 OPS in June. He’s currently OPSing .793 with High-A Rancho Cucamonga as a 20-year-old.
- Jeren Kendall, OF
The Dodgers’ first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft has signed but is yet to make his debut. Kendall offers plenty of tools and athleticism but the hit tool is a question.
- Dennis Santana, RHP
Few prospects have increased their value over the last few years like Santana has, with a strong fastball/slider combo as well as a surprisingly effective changeup and the ability to throw strikes.
- Will Smith, C
The .231 batting average may not be inspiring, but Smith is getting on base, hitting for power and throwing out nearly 50 percent of attempted base stealers.
- D.J. Peters, OF
There are swing-and-miss concerns (121 strikeouts in 88 games) but the rest of the tools are explosive and Peters is still just 21 years old.
- Edwin Rios, 1B
The bat will have to carry Ros, as he’s likely only a first baseman in the Majors. He’s hit 17 home runs in 84 games and is continuing to improve his walk rate.
- Starling Heredia, OF
Heredia is only 18 years old and it’s just 17 games, but he’s been dominant offensively, hitting .450 with 15 extra-base hits so far in his first taste of rookie ball.
- Dustin May, RHP
The lanky right-hander has the best hair in the system and he’s a pretty good pitcher, too. May mixes a low-to-mid 90s fastball with an out-pitch slider.
- Gavin Lux, SS
Lux has struggled offensively in his first full season, though the tools are there for him to develop into an everyday shortstop in a few years.
- Keibert Ruiz, C
After batting just .237 in April, Ruiz has hit over .300 in each of the last three months and earned himself a promotion to Rancho Cucamonga before his 19th birthday.
- Trevor Oaks, RHP
Oaks has increased his strikeout rate and is still getting plenty of groundballs. He should garner plenty of interest from teams as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
- Imani Abdullah, RHP
After starting the season on the Dodgers’ conditioning program, Abdullah has been inconsistent with the Low-A Great Lakes Loons but still has the potential for three average or better pitches.
- A.J. Alexy, RHP
The long, lanky Alexy has been dominant at times for Great Lakes, holding opposing hitters to a .162 average against him this season.
- Jordan Sheffield, RHP
The arm strength and changeup are there, but he’s still in Low-A at 22, has issued 37 walks and allowed nine home runs in 71.1 innings. Thus, there are questions about Sheffield’s long-term role.
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