2021 Dodgers Top 50 Prospects: No. 9, RHP Ryan Pepiot

Ryan Pepiot

We’re up (down?) to No. 9 in the Top 50 Prospects countdown, and we have one of the more recent Dodger third-rounders up today.

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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). “Comps” are usually the best-case scenario based off stature and production. They in no way guarantee the player will mirror the career of the comp.

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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

9. Ryan Pepiot

DOB: 8/21/97Age: 23Height: 6’3Weight: 215Bats: RightThrows: RightPosition: RHSP

Acquired: Third round, No. 102 overall, Butler University, $547,500 signing bonus

Strengths: Double-plus changeup, improving breaking stuff

Weaknesses: Command/control wavers at times, breaking stuff “just” average

Key statistics: 1.93 ERA, 6.3 H/9, 31.6 K%, 13.3 BB% (2019 Rookie Ogden/Low-A)

Role: No. 3 starter

Player comparison: Carlos Carrasco

Summary: The third round of the MLB Draft has been a bit up-and-down for the Dodgers in recent years. They landed the likes of Dustin May, Connor Wong and, most recently, Jake Vogel. They’ve also had some misses, but they may have landed another good one in Pepiot.

Like many Dodger pitching prospects, he has improved since entering the organization. He has seen his fastball velocity bump up from a sitting velocity of the low-90s to more of a 93-96 MPH that came with some increased vertical movement — a staple of the Dodgers’ pitching development. That happened in shorter stints at the alternate site and in the instructional league, so it remains to be seen if he can maintain that velocity in longer outings. If he can, he’ll be more likely to reach his ceiling. But the big pitch for Pepiot is a legitimate plus-plus changeup that features incredible fade and that, consistently, delivers with the same arm speed as his fastball. It’s a low-80s offering that induces swinging strikes and weak contact. He’s also seen his curveball and slider improve since turning pro. His slider is a sharp low-80s pitch, while his curveball is mid-70s looper. Both have flashed average, with the slider being just a tick ahead of his curve.

Pepiot has good extension with his cross-body delivery, but his command/control suffers at times. He gets out of sort and it takes a little extra effort to consistently repeat his delivery. That, along with his breaking pitches, will be the ultimate determiner of where he ends up on a pitching staff — the rotation or bullpen.

He hasn’t pitched above Low-A (just 23 1/3 professional innings), but he’s advanced and should begin the season with the Tulsa Drillers in the Texas League. There’s a non-zero chance he reaches Los Angeles this season, but 2022 is more likely. He has solid No. 3 starter upside.

Video

ToolPresentFuture
Fastball5055
Curveball4050
Slider4050
Changeup7070
Command/Control4050
FV/Risk55High

2020 Ranking: 22
2021 Location: Double-A Tulsa
ETA: 2022

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Next Up: Prospect No. 8

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.