Dodgers Top Prospect Diego Cartaya Promoted To High-A Great Lakes

Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Diego Cartaya was promoted from Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes to the High-A Great Lakes Loons.

The 20-year-old hit .260/.405/.550 with a .428 wOBA and 149 wRC+ through 33 games while hitting nine home runs, collecting 31 RBI and scoring 31 runs for the Quakes. Cartaya has also posted a 14.1% walk rate, which is an encouraging sign that shows his knowledge of the strike zone.

However, he has also struck out 27% of the time.

The sixth of Cartaya’s nine homers came off Blake Snell, when the southpaw was on a rehab assignment. On a 1-0 pitch, Cartaya blasted a ball into deep left field off the San Diego Padres starting pitcher while batting as the Quakes’ designated hitter.

Cartaya is widely regarded as the Dodgers’ No. 1 prospect and one of MLB’s top Minor League talents overall. He is ranked within the top 40 of most top-100 lists, including No. 23 by Baseball America, No. 26 by Keith Law, No. 28 by MLB Pipeline and No. 37 by FanGraphs.

The young backstop is often compared to Kansas City Royals All-Star catcher Salvador Perez in the sense that he has great power and a strong arm but won’t necessarily hit for a high average. However, Cartaya might end up being a more patient hitter than Perez is, which should help make him more than a home run or bust type player.

Cartaya enjoyed an excellent, albeit injury-shortened 2021 season with Rancho Cucamonga where he hit .298/.409/.614 with 10 home runs and a 157 wRC+ in 31 games despite playing in his age-19 season when the average age at the level is two years older.

In his Minor League career, Cartaya has batted .279/.381/.516 with 23 home runs, 98 runs scored and 84 RBI in 430 at-bats.

Cartaya not focused on Dodgers depth chart

While the Dodgers have Will Smith practically set as a franchise cornerstone for the foreseeable future, Cartaya could change the calculus and force his way into their outlook.

How he fits into the organization’s future plans remains to be seen, but as of now, Cartaya is a top prospect with the potential to become one of the best catchers in baseball.

However, the early notoriety and Dodgers prospect rankings are not something Cartaya is motivated by or gives attention to, he just wants to put in the work and become the best version of himself that he can.

But if the Dodgers ever need to make room for both Cartaya and Smith in their lineup, their situation may be helped by the addition of the designated hitter.

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