Dodgers make a gaggle of minor-league signings, an international addition, more prospect stuff, Ghana partnership

Diego Cartaya (Photo: Cody Bashore)

Unfortunately, the promised rush of action after baseball resumed didn’t materialize and will likely happen when I’m away from the computer, so here’s what else has been going on.

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While we await news on the Dodgers filling out their roster with signings and/or trades, moves have been made. Robbie Erlin returned from Japan (33 IP, 3.32 ERA in 2021) and inked a minor-league deal, and Stefan Romero also returned from Japan (.538 OPS, 80 PA in 2021) on a minor-league deal.

Ty Kelly has also signed a minor-league deal. He last played in the majors in 2018 and spent 2021 with the Mariners (.670 OPS in 90 PA). His Twitter account is great, tho.

Jose Adames is a flame thrower that has trouble harnessing the stuff (of course), and he had a 4.11 ERA with the Red Sox last year between AA and AAA, posting an 11.8 K/9 and a 5.1 BB/9.

Meanwhile, the only signing the Dodgers have made since the lockout ended is Daniel Zamora, who allowed four runs in 4.1 innings with the Mariners in 2021.

The Dodgers also added Agustin Acosta to their class of 32 international signings.

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The Athletic: Following Keith Law ranking the Dodgers system as the best in baseball (to go along with rankings of others), he now ranks the Top 20 prospects in the system.

ESPN: Kiley McDaniel, meanwhile, ranks the system of the Dodgers at #8.

“[T]he Dodgers always have a solid-to-good farm system and are constantly turning what many thought were marginal players into real prospects. Their international program is undoubtedly top-notch, producing half of their top dozen prospects, and their domestic scouting group is almost annoying at how often it takes players I didn’t like much and proves me wrong. It’s a real And1 Mixtape-level aggression in their scouting staff, which seems intent on embarrassing me. Along those lines, I’m fascinated to see what they do with their most recent first-round pick, Maddux Bruns, who had maybe the best raw stuff and worst command of the prep pitching class.”

FanGraphs: Top 100 prospects are up and include four Dodgers, with Diego Cartaya (#37), Michael Busch (#79), Andy Pages (#86), and Bobby Miller (#94) making the list.

Speaking of the devil, this happened.

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The Athletic: Fabian Ardaya talks with Will Rhymes, the Director Of Player Development for the Dodgers, on the team’s ability to develop.

“One of the key pieces is the strength of our amateur scouting department. They’re incredibly creative and their processes are really good. They get players that are going to thrive in our environment … and I think the connective tissue between amateur and international and player development — and as we all kind of walk hand in hand with the players, from signing through heading off to the major leagues —  is really important.” The development side has tapped into a front office that, in addition to its expansive resources, has landed on a money word: culture. It’s about reinforcing that the challenge is varied and then working with players to find solutions.

FanGraphs: Dodgers hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc talks hitting and how the Dodgers operate.

Van Scoyoc: “The swing I believe in is an adjustable swing — swings that can match a lot of different planes. A flaw that you see in a lot of hitters currently is that they kind of train a grooved swing path. I think the goal should be to have an adjustable swing that can adjust up and down, back to front, in and out.”
Laurila: How does a hitter develop an adjustable swing?
Van Scoyoc: “That’s a little bit of how the sausage is made. But if there’s a problem — he has problems getting to a certain pitch, or location — that’s where you’ve got to get creative. We have to put our heads together and come up with a solution for it. How to do it kind of varies, depending on what that hitter is having trouble with. “The capabilities, from a physical standpoint, are also going to put a ceiling on what they can and can’t do. If a guy is limited in a certain way of moving his body, then you’ve got to either manage that through how he game plans, or come up with a different solution. Generally speaking, you’re going to work within the parameters of their physical capabilities.”

MLB: Ryan Pepiot feels confident heading into 2022 after seeing a psychologist over the off-season to get right and adding the sweeper breaking ball from the Dodgers.

Pepiot said he visited with psychologists this offseason in order to get back to his normal self. On the mound, he feels like he’s more prepared, and he has more weapons, too. Pepiot came into this spring with an added focus on his mechanics, but he has also learned a “sweeper” breaking ball, which is essentially a mix of a slider and a curveball. 

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Graphic Online: The Dodgers are parterning with Ghana to help develop baseball in the country.

Speaking at the announcement on Friday in Accra, the Dodgers Africa Operations Director, Mr Joe Harrington said the visit was to enable the Dodgers to assess the state of the sport in the country and find the best way to give opportunities to Ghanaian youth in sports and education.

This is honestly great and I hope it’s the kind of stuff that won’t go away with an international draft.

About Chad Moriyama

"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times