Will Rhymes: Dodgers Minor League Spring Training Was ‘Really High Quality’

Los Angeles Dodgers Spring Training at Camelback Ranch initially had a different look this year due to the MLB lockout as only Minor League players not on the 40-man roster were permitted to participate in workouts at Camelback Ranch.

The organization still had a wealth of talent on hand in Minor League camp, including Maddux Bruns, Michael Busch, Diego Cartaya, Hyun-il Choi, Landon Knack, Bobby Miller, Andy Pages, Ryan Pepiot and Miguel Vargas.

The group normally would have included Jacob Amaya, Jorbit Vivas, Eddys Leonard, Michael Grove and James Outman as well, but they were all added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster during in the offseason to protect from potentially being picked in the 2021 Rule 5 Draft.

Despite several notable prospects being absent from the start Spring Training, Dodgers director of player development Will Rhymes was impressed with the level of play, per Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:

“The level of play is extremely high on both sides of the ball,” he said Sunday. “It’s almost surprising, at this point of the year, where so many of the guys are at. It’s really high quality.”

Even after recent graduations and trades, the Dodgers still boast one of the best farm systems in all of baseball. Among the players making an early impact in Spring Training were Cartaya, who has widely emerged as the organization’s top prospect.

The 20-year-old slugged a mammoth home run off veteran pitcher Robbie Erlin, which was believed to reach the Camelback Ranch parking lot just beyond the left field fence.

Cartaya is coming off an injury-shortened 2021 season with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga that saw him hit .298/.409/.614 with 10 home runs and a 157 wRC+ in 31 games. He is said to be fully recovered from lower back and hamstring trouble that resulted in missing time last year.

Rhymes feels sense of normalcy in Dodgers Minor League Spring Training

Although Major League players were noticeably missing from camp, Rhymes believed the Minor League portion of Spring Training felt relatively normal.

Even with the period that saw MLB players locked out, Minor League camps were arguably at their most normal state since 2019. The Minor League Spring Training in 2020 was interrupted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the following year’s camps began later than usual due to the season not starting until May.

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