While the Guggenheim group put an immediate focus on using their resources to get the Los Angeles Dodgers back into contention, shortly thereafter an emphasis shifted to further replenishing a once-proud farm system.
A handful of the organization’s prospects have contributed to the team’s success over the past two seasons, whether directly or by way of acquisition. Albeit in some part due to injuries, the impact has primarily come from position players.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said his desire is for some of pitching prospects to begin to factor into the picture as well. The most likely of which figure to be Walker Buehler, Brock Stewart, Ross Stripling, and perhaps Julio Urias.
Behind them is another wave of young hurlers, including Yadier Alvarez, Jordan Sheffield, Mitchell White and Dustin May. During an in-game interview on SportsNet LA, Friedman specifically mentioned being impressed by bullpen sessions Alvarez and May threw:
“This is the team where it’s easy to get giddy on a lot of guys. There have been a lot of guys who have come in in really good shape, and I think one of the things about the depth that we have is, competition is a good thing. Competition tends to bring the best out of people. I was over on the Minor League side, and Yadier Alvarez and Dustin May were throwing bullpens and both were just electric. It was a lot of fun to watch.”
The Dodgers signed Alvarez out of Cuba to a $16 million signing bonus, and he immediately drew comparisons to Pedro Martinez. Although Martinez has lights-out velocity, he’s struggled with command thus far in his professional career.
The 21-year-old was ranked the No. 26 overall prospect by Baseball America heading into the 2017 season, but fell out of the publication’s top 100 this year.
May was selected in the third round of the 2016 Draft out of Northwest High School in Texas. He went 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 10 games (six starts) for the Arizona League Dodgers in his debut season, and was a combined 9-6 with a 3.63 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) for Low-A Great Lakes and High-A Rancho Cucamonga.