Dodgers Prospect Notes brings the latest on a few prospects in the system that had performances worth paying attention to.
Michael Grove has been a bit of an enigma for Dodger fans. He was an interesting draft pick — a Tommy John guy who was projected to be a mid-1st rounder whom the Dodgers selected 68th overall. He was handled carefully in 2019, his first full season back from the procedure, and the results have been mostly uneven since.
As fans, it’s easy to slip into TJ being “just TJ”, as so many guys have come back from it. But, it’s a major procedure, and the road back is hardly the same for everyone. In Grove’s case, mechanical consistency appeared to be elusive, and, as a result, both the quality and the command of his stuff are things that have come and gone. He had both today, his first outing since 8/18.
Grove’s velo ticked up from low-90s this season to consistently 95-97 in late July, and despite the IL stint, that has held, as has his command, which is the last thing that is supposed to return after TJ. I’m cautiously optimistic that Grove is getting things dialed in. One additional note: at 24, Grove is still on schedule level-wise, as he is 0.7 years younger than average for the AA Central League.
Brandon Lewis is a local guy, having spent a couple of seasons at Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, a little over 20 miles from Dodger Stadium. From there, he went on to UC Irvine for a season, before being selected by the Dodgers in the 4th round.
Lewis possesses big time pop, some of the best in the system, and it translates in-game, as he hit his 20th homer today for Great Lakes, and 30th of the season.
Swing and miss is a bit of a concern for Lewis, but the Dodgers have a tendency to bet on loud tools, and try to coach ’em up from there. Lewis is one to follow on that front.
One last note: Rancho Cucamonga’s games will be streamed for the last time this season, from Tuesday, 9/7, thru Sunday, 9/12. There are several guys I’m excited to see, but topping the list is Jose Ramos, a 20-year-old Panamanian with a cannon of an arm in RF, whose OPS is .882 with the Quakes after getting promoted from the Arizona Complex League.