Dodgers Prospect Ryan Pepiot Honored To Start Opening Night For Triple-A Oklahoma City

Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Ryan Pepiot has ascended from a third-round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft to starting Opening Night for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers on Tuesday.

Pepiot earned an initial promotion to OKC last after excelling for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers by going 3-4 with a 2.87 ERA. “It’s very exciting. We have a ton of guys with experience, especially a lot of guys with Major League time,” Pepiot said of being tapped to start a season opener.

“To go out there and be the first guy to take the ball is a special honor.”

Following his promotion to OKC, Pepiot had some speed bumps that many prospects encounter after climbing a level.

“I had a great learning experience last year,” he said. “The success was hit or miss, but I think to be able to go through that and look back on those lessons, learn from that and get better was beneficial.”

Pepiot’s 7.13 ERA over 41.2 innings for OKC last year isn’t indicative of his skill, and the young right-hander is ready for the beginning of a new slate in 2022.

“It’s very exciting. The start of a new season, things are getting closer back to normal, it’s baseball season,” Pepiot said. “We’re playing in April, beautiful ballpark with a great group of guys and coaching staff. It’s very exciting.”

Pepiot was a standout at Minor League camp and then included as part of the Dodgers’ non-roster invitees to big league camp for Spring Training.

Although he was in the Dodgers’ second round of Spring Training cuts, it was an enjoyable experience.

“It was good. I think it was a great learning experience. I live in Scottsdale with my wife now, so I was at the complex all offseason and then started out there in January for early Minor League camp and then Major League camp started in mid-March,” he said.

“Just being able to be around those guys and learn, handle their day-to-day, see what they do and get bits from every person, having meaningful conversations with Major League guys was very impactful.”

He has been mentioned by manager Dave Roberts as helping the big league roster at some point in 2022, but Pepiot wants to establish a focus of this upcoming season.

“Just being myself. I’m not trying to do too much, I’m not trying to impress or show anything. Just stay true to who I am,” he said.

Pepiot learned Blake Treinen’s slider

Pepiot already possesses an 80-grade changeup but worked with Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen to learn the grip he uses to throw his devastating slider.

Along with his changeup and slider, Pepiot also has a plus-fastball and a solid curveball.

Pepiot has a chance to be an excellent starting pitcher if he can improve control, which is his main issue right now. But if not, his floor seems to be that of a high-leverage relief pitcher.

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