The Los Angeles Dodgers promoted multiple players within their Minor League system, including some of their top pitching prospects in Ryan Pepiot and Andre Jackson, who have joined Triple-A Oklahoma City; and Landon Knack, who is now with Double-A Tulsa.
Cameron Gibbens, Jose Martinez and Justin Yurchak were also promoted to Tulsa. Meanwhile Hyun-il Choi, Aldry Acosta were promoted to High-A Great Lakes. Edward Cuello was demoted from Tulsa to Great Lakes.
The moves help fill multiple open roster spots at each level, partly due to the Dodgers’ trade for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner where they parted with Keibert Ruiz, Josiah Gray Gerardo Carillo and Donovan Casey.
Pepiot is widely considered the Dodgers’ second-best pitching prospect, after Bobby Miller, and he reportedly was a target of many teams at the MLB trade deadline.
For the Drillers this season, the 23-year-old right-hander threw 59.2 innings with a 2.87 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 34.8 strikeout rate and 11.2 walk rate in 15 games (13 starts). Pepiot has a good fastball that sits in the mid-90s, but his carrying pitch is an elite changeup, which is arguably the best in the Minors.
There is a good chance the emergence of Pepiot this season helped make the Dodgers more comfortable trading Gray to the Nationals.
Jackson is another who has started to gain some attention as he has moved up the prospect rankings and even represented the Dodgers at the Futures Game this season. The 25-year-old right-hander has thrown 63.1 innings this year with a 3.27 ERA, 4.71 FIP, 29.6 K% and 7.9 BB%.
Most people who follow the Dodgers’ farm system closely consider him to be one of their highest upside pitchers, but that also comes with a low floor.
Knack was selected in the second round of the 2020 MLB Draft and so far, all he has done is dominate for the Loons and rise up Dodgers prospect lists. In 39.2 innings for Great Lakes, Knack posted a 2.50 ERA and 2.36 FIP with a 35.7 K% and 3.2 BB%.
He also struck out eight and walked none in each of his last three starts. There have been concerns Knack will be a reliever long-term, partly due to multiple shoulder injuries in college, but right now he is showing he still has more than enough potential to stick in any rotation.
Gibbens became the second Dodgers prospect to be promoted twice this season, joining Darien Núñez. The 26-year-old right-handed pitcher threw 20.1 innings for Great Lakes, posting a 1.33 ERA and 2.61 FIP along with a 45.5 K% and 13 BB%.
Martinez, a 22-year-old right-hander, threw 62.1 innings for the Loons with a 4.19 ERA and 3.57 FIP. He only struck out 17% of hitters but he also only walked 5.1%.
Yurchak is a 24-year-old first baseman who hit .356/.446/.476 with a 156 wRC+ and five home runs for the Loons. Yurchak has an excellent control of the strike zone as he walked 14.1% of his plate appearances and only struck out 17.5% of the time.
Choi is a 21-year-old right-handed relief pitcher who posted a 3.17 ERA and 3.88 FIP with a 30.5 K% and 2.8 BB% for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Acosta is another 21-year-old right-handed reliever who was promoted from the Quakes after throwing 34.1 innings with a 3.15 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 28.1 K% and 7.8 BB%.
Cuello, who was assigned from Tulsa to Great Lakes, is a 22-year-old right-handed reliever who has pitched for the OKC Dodgers and Drillers this season. In 9.1 innings for OKC, he posted a 12.54 ERA and 8.29 FIP. While his time at Double-A was better, Cuello still struggled to a 6.35 ERA and 6.31 FIP.
Scherzer making Dodgers debut against Astros
Max Scherzer joined the club on Saturday and he is expected to make his Dodgers debut against the Houston Astros on Wednesday.
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