2021 Dodgers Top (30? 50?) Prospects: Introduction

Michael Busch. Photo by: Cody Bashore

In normal times, I would have began my Top 100 Dodgers prospects countdown a week ago. Alas, we are not in normal times. And I’ll admit, I’m still not 100% sure how to tackle this year’s rankings.

There were no in-person looks. There’s no video. There were no minor league games. Other outlets have more connected sources than this lowly blogger, so they’re able to have more updated rankings. And that’s what I have to go on.

Having said that, I’m not going to change the rankings drastically from last year. And I’m certainly not going to go 100-deep. That’s absurd when things are normal, but it makes even less sense now. Instead, I’ll do — at minimum — a Top 30, but maybe even a Top 50. That should start later this week or early next week.

The format may not be the same as it has been in the past, but I’ll definitely figure a way to get some content out, for all three of you waiting with bated breath for my rankings.

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Eligibility
All players who have not reached 50 innings pitched or 130 at-bats in the MLB, and have fewer than 45 days of pre-Sept. 1 service time in the MLB are eligible for this list. Ages are the league-age season for the player, i.e. “his age-23 season.” A lot of guys earned prorated service time during last year’s COVID-shortened season.

Prospect System Grade

Impact Potential: C+

Josiah Gray is a strong pitching prospect, but he’s not the kind of guy who you look to anchor a system with a lot of impact potential. He doesn’t have an ace-ceiling (more like solid No. 2 SP ceiling), but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a quality MLB pitcher. There are some interesting bats and arms who have higher ceilings, but also come with higher risk. Michael Busch is my impact sleeper. He’s a known prospect, obviously, but I think he has a chance to be a 60 FV guy, based on everything we’ve heard about him since last spring.

Depth: B

The Dodgers may have hit a homer with all six of their selections in the 2020 MLB Draft. All have a chance to make it to the majors, and they paid four of them like Top-2 round selections (Bobby Miller, Landon Knack, Clayton Beeter, Jake Vogel). They also added a few interesting players in this year’s international class (Wilman Diaz, Jesus Galiz) who could end up being GUYS.

Overall: B-

The system has, predictably, thinned out a bit with the graduations of many prospects over the last couple seasons (Tony Gonsolin, Gavin Lux, Dustin May, Will Smith, to name a few). However, there are still some quality guys remaining. There are also a few high-ceiling prospects (Diaz, Beeter, Miller, Andy Pages, Luis Rodriguez, Miguel Vargas, etc.) who have a chance to jump into that next tier of prospect. If even one or two of them do, that will improve the overall standing of the system.

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.