What Do The Dodgers Minor Leagues Look Like After This Blockbuster Trade Deadline?
The Dodgers made a major trade last week, dealing away their top two prospects from the minor leagues. Despite this move, there’s still a lot of talent in this system ready to show why they’re the next big contributors. With the trades depleting the upper levels, the Dodgers promoted Ryan Pepiot and Andre Jackson from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Pepiot started the season explosively but struggled in recent games. He gave up nine earned runs in his last 13 innings pitched. He still struck out 17 batters in that time and was really good at limiting, a big positive point in his struggles. He reaches 96-97 MPH, but with spotty command. He’s emerged as a top pitching prospect for the Dodgers, but to solidify himself, he must command that fastball better and get better results from secondary pitches other than his change-up.
This RHP put up bumpy numbers this year, but he had a really good July. He started well in May, nose-dived pretty bad as a whole in June then swung back to spectacular in July. That month, he pitched twenty innings only giving up five runs, which equates to a 2.21 ERA. The strikeouts have gone down but so have the hard hits, and he knows how to pitch himself out of a jam. It remains to be seen if Jackson will be a rotation piece or a multi-innings reliever. In either slot, he’ll bring important value to a team. Especially in today’s game, where there are more uses of an “opener.” Imagine having Jackson as an opener for 2-3 innings, then Tony Gonsolin piggyback for 3+ innings. Could be quite beneficial for the Dodgers. It’s unorthodox but it would probably work pretty well.
A favorite of mine, Busch went 6 for 19 this week for a .316 average. He knocked 3 doubles, a home run, 4 RBIs, and worked 3 walks. In a bigger sample, he looks even better. He’s currently in the midst of the best month of his career, hitting .290 with 6 home runs, 19 RBIs 7 doubles, and 18 walks with an OPS of .990. He simply gets it done. His major problem is the strikeouts, an unfortunate recent development. He’s currently striking out almost 28% of the time. It was above 30% earlier, so he’s gotten it down some. I’m a little surprised he hasn’t been called up yet. I thought he would finish this second half in Triple-A, but with Neuse and now McKinstry and others back down from the majors, it might be a little tough for him to get regular playing time there.
Noda was a part of the Ross Stripling trade last year, and boy did he have a hot week. Like Busch, he went 6 for 19 in the box. But Noda showed his power stroke by hitting four home runs, driving in eight. Noda stepping out in his best month of the season, hitting .253 and OPS-ing at .981. Up until now, Noda struggled, but his bat power never wavered. He has 18 home runs on the season – that’s top 3 in the Dodgers minor league organization.
Outman jumped up from Great Lakes to Tulsa. Since that promotion, he’s hitting .306 with an on-base percentage of .419 with eleven hits in nine games. He impressed some Dodgers fans in Spring Training, so they should be excited about his current play.
Pages had an incredible week going 9 for 19 (.474) with 3 home runs, 9 RBIs, and 2 doubles. He started out slow in July but picked up the pace over the season. He barely hit over .100 for like half the month. Now he’s currently at .263 for the month with an OPS over .900. Much like Busch, I thought he would get promoted but it was Outman and Yurchak instead. Outman and Yurchak are 24 years old – a bit older for Single-A. Pages is only 20 and he’s been so good. he probably deserves a promotion soon.
Beeter also had a rough start to the season, but in his last three appearances, he threw 7 shutout innings with 2 hits, 13 strikeouts, and no walks. Straight dominant numbers for that stretch. His fastball hovers 92-94 MPH and he throws a curve with a nasty drop. Mighty interesting in how the Dodgers are playing him. At the start the season, he only pitched one inning per appearance. Then it went to two innings for a few appearances, then a season-high three innings his last appearance. He could be a mid-rotation starter if he reaches his full potential, but most see him as a really good high leverage bullpen piece.
Miller, a fan favorite of ours on the Dodger Yard podcast, put up a great month. In fact, the best month of his very short professional career so far. He pitched 16 2/3 innings striking out 19, giving up only 3 earned runs and walking 4. His 4-seam fastball touches 99 but mostly sits 97. For someone who throws so hard, he only gave up one home run all year through 44 innings of work so far. With the promotions of Andre Jackson and Ryan Pepiot, I could see Bobby Miller promoted to Double-A Tulsa. The Dodgers seem content on slow-playing their top of the top prospects, however.
Miller’s former teammate Reid Detmers already made his Major League debut for the Angels this year. Obviously, that won’t happen with Miller but moving him to Double or Triple-A shouldn’t really be out of the question. He’s definitely earned at least a promotion to Tulsa.