Although the Los Angeles Dodgers have been shoring up their pitching depth at the Major League level by reportedly agreeing to deals with Clayton Kershaw and Shelby Miller, they may soon lose some of their Minor League pitchers.
The 2022 MLB Rule 5 Draft is set to take place on Wednesday, December 7, during the final day of the Winter Meetings in San Diego, and the Dodgers have a few pitchers who will be intriguing to other teams. They also lost two of their Minor League pitchers to an injury that will likely cost them their 2023 season.
According to Kyle Glaser of Baseball America, two right-handers in the organization, Edgardo Henriquez and Carlos Duran, underwent Tommy John surgery recently:
Dodgers prospect news: RHPs Edgardo Henriquez and Carlos Duran both had Tommy John surgery recently. The two big, hard-throwing righthanders were among the Dodgers top pitching prospects at the Class A levels.
— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) November 30, 2022
Duran is eligible for the Rule 5 Draft and teams may be more likely to select him now that he will be out for the 2023 season.
It was unlikely Duran would’ve been picked in the Rule 5 Draft before the injury because a player is required to spend the entire year on the selecting organization’s MLB roster or he is returned to his previous franchise.
Henriquez is not eligible for this year’s Rule 5 Draft.
The 21-year-old Duran was signed as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic in March 2018. He is ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 19 prospect by MLB Pipeline with a MLB estimated time of arrival in 2024.
He spent the 2022 season pitching for the High-A Great Lakes Loons, posting a 4.25 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 1.38 WHIP, 32.2% strikeout rate and 11.4% walk rate across 48.2 innings.
Henriquez projects as a future high-leverage reliever with a slider as his best pitch that projects as a future 70 value on the 20-80 scale, and he compliments that with a quality fastball that reaches the upper-90s and a below-average changeup.
Henriquez ranks as the 23rd prospect in the Dodgers system with a projected debut year of 2025. He signed with the organization during the 2018-19 international signing period out of Venezuela.
He sits in the upper 90s with his fastball and compliments that with a slider that projects as an above-average pitch and a curveball.
Henriquez spent the 2022 season pitching for the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, throwing 35.2 innings with a 4.54 ERA, 4.09 FIP, 1.60 WHIP, 27% strikeout rate and 11% walk rate.
The 20-year-old has a chance to stick in a rotation long-term with three quality pitches, along with a changeup, but he also has potential as a late-inning reliever.
Dodgers among favorites to sign Justin Verlander
As part of their search for pitching, the Dodgers reportedly met with Houston Astros free agent Justin Verlander on Monday, and according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, they are among the teams most likely to sign the veteran ace.
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