Dodgers News: Diego Cartaya Is Driven To Prove 2023 Was An Outlier

Not too long ago, Diego Cartaya was on the fast-track to the Major Leagues and a spot on the Los Angeles Dodgers roster.

Heading into 2023 he had garnered a lot of praise from inside and outside the Dodgers organization. In 2022, the Dodgers awarded Cartaya with the Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year and he was ranked as a Top 100 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Cartaya quickly rose the ranks of the Dodgers Minor League system since first signing with the team as an international prospect in 2018 and earned himself a promotion to Double-A Rancho Cucamonga for the 2023 season. The difficulties he experienced after making this jump presented him with the first major bump in the road that appeared to be paved for him all the way to the Majors.

He had a rough year in 2023 that saw his average and walks plummet, while he continued to strikeout at a very high rate. To add insult to literal injury, he spent the end of the season on the injured list, and no one more more disappointed in Cartaya’s 2023 season than himself, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline:

“He has such high expectations for himself,” said Rhymes, who pointed out he still managed to hit 19 homers in his rough year with Tulsa. “I think he would tell you that he was a little disappointed last year.

“But he was almost three years young for the level. Very few people just skate through the Minor Leagues with zero challenges, and he faced the challenge. He’s working really hard and he is laser-focused on having a great year this year.”

The fact that Cartaya was able to maintain his power numbers at a premier position like catcher is the one positive to take away from his season, but his slugging overall was down as he had just 10 doubles on the season.

A young player being met with challenges as they earn promotion to the higher levels of the Minors is extremely common, and the best ones eventually figure it out as they go.

Cartaya’s 2024 numbers are down once again, but it is still extremely early. The good news for him and the Dodgers is that there is no need to rush his development with Will Smith’s presence on the Major League roster.

Diego Cartaya trying to re-take top prospect status

The former No. 14 overall prospect and second-highest ranked catching prospect according to MLB Pipeline in 2023, Cartaya’s struggles last season saw him drop out of the Top 100 entirely heading into 2024. He is currently ranked as the Dodgers No. 8 prospect in their system.

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