Despite graduating several top prospects in recent years such as Walker Buehler and Cody Bellinger, the Los Angeles Dodgers still maintain one of the more talented Minor League systems in baseball.
That talent will be on display in the upcoming Texas League All-Star Game, which will feature eight players from the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate Tulsa Drillers. The Drillers will also host the game, which will take place at ONEOK Field in Tulsa on June 25.
The current top three prospects in the Dodgers’ system per MLB Pipeline are among the group representing the Drillers on the North Division All-Star team: catcher Keibert Ruiz, infielder Gavin Lux and pitcher Dustin May.
Joining them are teammates Zach McKinstry, Cody Thomas, Chris Parmelee, Shea Spitzbarth and Christian Santana.
Drillers manager Scott Hennessey and his coaching staff are in charge of the North Division team, and Hennessey likely will not need much adjusting to his temporary new starting nine.
Top prospects from the Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals will also take the field as Texas League All-Stars.
Along with the Drillers, the eight-team league includes the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals) Springfield Cardinals (Cardinals), Amarillo Sod Poodles (San Diego Padres), Corpus Christi Hooks (Houston Astros), Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers), Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics) and Arkansas Travelers (Mariners).
Almost half of the North Division’s starting lineup is made up of Drillers. Ruiz starts at catcher along with with Lux at shortstop, Santana at third base and Thomas in right field.
Starting pitchers for the game have yet to be named, so May could also be under consideration for that role.
Ruiz was at the center of trade rumors involving the Dodgers last offseason, but L.A. elected to keep both him and no. 6 prospect Will Smith. Smith, a fellow catcher, had an impressive first stint in the big leagues in early June and his hot hitting has continued since returning to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts noticed the confidence both Ruiz and Smith had in Spring Training but also said Ruiz would likely not see the big leagues in 2019.
With the Dodgers expected to once again be active at the midseason trade deadline, Ruiz’s name seems like a sure bet to be mentioned in the latest round of rumors.
The Texas League All-Star Game is in its 79th year of existence, returning to Tulsa for the first time since 2012. It has featured several future Major League stars such as Mike Trout, George Springer, Nolan Arenado, Dallas Keuchel and Mike Moustakas.