2020 Dodgers Top 100 Prospects: No. 8, C Diego Cartaya

Diego Cartaya (Photo: Cody Bashore)

We have arrived at No. 8 in the Dodgers Top 100 prospects countdown. Diego Cartaya is his name and he’s the youngest player in the Top 10. If all goes right, he could be near the top of this list very, very soon.

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Previous Entries

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I’ve included Future Value (FV) grades and risks for the Top 50 prospects. For example, if a guy gets a “50 low,” he has a really good chance to be an average player at his position. If a guy gets a “55/High,” there’s a good chance he won’t reach that ceiling, but the potential is there. The grades are 20-80 (50 is average), and the risks are as follows:

  • Low: Players who are usually older, have debuted, are relievers and/or have higher floors than ceilings
  • Medium: Players who are a mix of younger and older, usually have higher floors
  • High: Players who are usually younger with potential, but also question marks
  • Extreme: Players who are generally younger with star potential, but a ton of question marks

This is to show what value a player might provide at the MLB level. The higher the risk, the less likely a player will reach that ceiling.

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Editor’s Note: I am not a scout (#notascout). I am an amateur when it comes to evaluating players. I don’t claim to be a pro, I just want to pass along the information I observe/obtain to the people. Notes and comments are based on personal observation, talking to sources, reading scouting reports and watching video. For future entries in this series: All ratings in the charts below are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is roughly average, 80 is elite and nearly unattainable and 20 is unacceptably poor. Enjoy.

Other Notes: “Role” is a realistic future role (slightly optimistic in some cases). Age is the 2020 season age for the player (June 30 is the cutoff date).

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Rating Key

80 — Elite
75 — Borderline Elite
70 — Plus-plus
60-65 — Plus
55 — Above-average
50 — Average
45 — Fringe-average
40 — Below-average
30-35 — Poor
20-25 — Very Poor

8. Diego Cartaya

DOB: 9/7/01Age: 18Height: 6’2Weight: 200Bats: RightThrows: RightPosition: C

Acquired: International free agent (Venezuela), July 2018, $2.5 million signing bonus

Physical description: Mature build for age, broad shoulders, flexible

Strengths: Above-average hit and power potential, strong defender

Weaknesses: Lacking experience, raw at the plate, stiff hands

Key statistics: .281/.343/.432, 7.7 BB%, 20.3 K%, .151 ISO (DSL/AZL)

Role: First-division catcher

Player comparison: Yan Gomes

Summary: After their massive spending spree of 2015-16, the Dodgers were on a spending restriction. They couldn’t sign an international amateur free agent for more than $300,000. So, when the restriction was lifted, they couldn’t wait to throw $2.5 million at Cartaya, a 16-year-old some thought was the best prospect in the 2018-19 signing class. His first taste of pro ball came in 2019 and it produced promising results. Not only that, scouts have raved about this now-18-year-old potential phenom.

Cartaya owns a quiet up-and-down stance in which he holds his hands up by his ear. He employs a leg kick that should help him produce power as he matures and gains better control of the strike zone. He has quick wrists that help him produce above-average bat speed. While most of his power is to the pull side, he has pop to all fields. He should be an offensive force behind the plate, carrying a potentially above-average hit tool and power. He’s far from a finished product, though. He still struggles with offspeed stuff occasionally and hasn’t quite figured out how to handle pitches up in the strike zone, but that should all come with maturity and experience.

Behind the dish, Cartaya is surprisingly advanced for a teenager. While his hands aren’t full accustomed to handling professional velocity, they’re strong and should improve overall as he gets older. He has a quick transfer and a potentially plus-arm that could produce above-average pop times. Despite being solid, physically, he’s still agile and athletic at catcher, which helps his future defensive profile. As a runner, he’s below-average and probably isn’t going to get much faster.

Cartaya has the look and feel of a first-division catcher. His risk factor is going to be high since he’s so young, but the Dodgers have invested in him heavily and they’ve done a great job developing catchers of late. He might go back to the Arizona Rookie League for a tune-up or advance to Ogden, but with how aggressive the Dodgers are with their position player prospects, it won’t be at all surprising if he spends significant time with Great Lakes next season.

Spray Charts

Video

Video courtesy of Jason Pennini of Prospects Live.

Video courtesy of Hot Stove Baseball Talk.

ToolPresentFuture
Hit3055
Power3055
Speed4035
Defense3560
Arm3560
FV/Risk60High

2019 Ranking: 12 (11 Midseason)
2020 Location: Rookie Ogden/Low-A Great Lakes
ETA: 2023

Next Up: Prospect No. 7

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.