2020 Dodgers Top 100 Prospects: No. 2, RHP Dustin May

We’re now into the Top 2 on this Dodgers Top 100 Prospects countdown. It’s Dustin May, who has only improved since the Dodgers got him as a steal in the draft four years ago.

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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

2. Dustin May

DOB: 9/6/97Age: 22Height: 6’6Weight: 180Bats: RightThrows: RightPosition: RHP

Acquired: 3rd round (No. 101 overall) of 2016 MLB Draft, Northwest HS (Texas), $1 million signing bonus

Physical description: Tall, skinny, lanky

Strengths: Premium fastball velo with boring action, high-spin curveball, improving cutter

Weaknesses: Changeup lagging behind other pitches, not as many strikeouts with the stuff he has

Key statistics: 3.63 ERA, 2.90 FIP, 22.6 K%, 3.5 BB% in 34 2/3 IP (MLB)

Role: Low-end No. 1/high-end No. 2 SP

Player comparison: Kevin Brown, but skinnier

Summary: The 2016 draft looks like it could be an epic one for the Dodgers, and May could end up being among the best pitchers in the entire class. He began last season with Double-A Tulsa and was predictably good (3.74 ERA, 19.8 K-BB%), which earned him a short promotion to Triple-A OKC. After just 27 1/3 innings, he was promoted to Los Angeles and showed flashes of what could be a future top-of-the-rotation starter. He worked mostly in relief, but not because he couldn’t handle the rotation. He took a line drive off his head on Sept. 1 against the Diamondbacks that temporarily halted his season. However, he came back and didn’t allow a run in his final 10 innings of work at the MLB level, which netted him a spot on the Dodgers’ postseason roster.

May has a heavy, sinking fastball that sits in the mid-90s and tops out at 100 MPH. It’s a pitch that bores in on right handed hitters and produces plenty of ground balls. He can change the grip on it and throw it up in the strike zone with some effectiveness. His best offspeed pitch has been debated. Some think it’s his high-spin curveball, while others think it’s his improved, hard-biting cutter. His curveball profiles to be a better pitch at getting ground balls than it does at missing bats. It’s 12-6 breaker that sits in the low-80s. He struggles with it at times and leaves it up in the strike zone, but when he snaps it off, it’s quite effective. His cutter/slider hybrid is a low-90s pitch that has a varied shape and misses plenty of bats. It’s effective against both lefties and righties. He also has a low-80s changeup that’s more of a show me pitch at this stage. With three plus-or-better pitches, he may not need it going forward.

May has a high leg kick that he’s able to employ because he’s a plus athlete. He doesn’t get off balance and is able to deliver his pitches from a three-quarters arm slot in a bit of a slinging fashion (think of a Brown-Jake Peavy hybrid). It helps him get run on his sinker. He’s able to repeat his delivery well, giving him one of the best command/control profiles in the system.

He’s more than ready for a full MLB workload, but with the Dodgers’ having a lot of quality veteran starting pitchers ahead of him, coupled with the fact they don’t want him to pitch in relief, he’ll head to Triple-A Oklahoma City (if/when the season begins). He’ll be among the first pitchers recalled when the Dodgers need it. He has top-of-the-rotation upside and should, at worst, be a mid-rotation starter.

Video

Video courtesy of MLB.com.

Video courtesy of MiLB.com.

ToolPresentFuture
Fastball6570
Curveball5560
Cutter6060
Changeup4045
Command/Control6065
Delivery5055
FV/Risk65Medium

2019 Ranking: 3
2020 Location: Triple-A Oklahoma City/Los Angeles
ETA: Debuted 2019

Next Up: Prospect No. 1

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.