Dodgers Prospect Notes: Stone’s Tulsa debut, Sheehan returns, Hurt on a roll, OKC walkoff, others

May 19th, 2022 Scoreboard

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Gavin Stone made his Double A debut with Tulsa on Wednesday, and it went alright:

It’s easy to see why FanGraphs a present/future of 55/60 on the changeup, it got some ugly swings.

One of the reasons I’ve been so high on Stone is his athleticism, and one of the ways this can be seen is through a pitcher’s hip to shoulder separation:

If I tried to do that, I’d be in traction.

Getting to that position and exploding out of it to the degree he does, it shows how he’s able to get mid to upper 90s out of a (listed) 6’1, 175 lbs.

Really though, this is what the Dodgers do — with limited draft pools, they have their army of scouts, traditional/analytic/all of the above, they find athletes, and they identify the ballplayers who have signs of that glow up. If you are reading this, and you are a fan of another team, and your club efficiently fired fantastic talent evaluators, sorry/not sorry.

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Emmet Sheehan picked up right where he left off:

The 70 changeup is ridiculous — coming in at 79-81, there’s 15-16 mph of separation from his super flat plane fastball. His breaking ball is still a work in progress, and command of it is spotty, as you can see on the last K.

Anecdotally, the Dodgers seem to let guys have full use of their repertoire in the first outing after a return from the IL, or after a promotion, to help get settled in. An outing or two later is typically when the work begins on weak points, so in the next several outings, the thing to watch for is both increased breaking ball usage, and ideally, improved command and consistency with the pitch.

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The Dylan Floro/Alex Vesia trade is already lopsided. Kyle Hurt is making it look like highway robbery:

Hurt has been fantastic in his last five outings — in 14.0 innings, he has an ERA of 1.29, with 22 Ks, and just four walks, or 2.57/9 innings. While at USC, Hurt walked 5.6/9, and last season, with the ACL Dodgers and Rancho Cucamonga, it was 4.3/9. There have been some mechanical adjustments since he was a Trojan:

If all these add up to the Hurt filling up the zone with his ridiculous stuff, well. Sign me up.

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Reminder: Stone was the second to last pick in the abbreviated 2020 draft, 159th overall. Sheehan was a 6th rounder, taken 192nd overall. Hurt was traded for before he threw a pitch as a pro. Scouts rule.

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There’s another interesting arm with the Loons, Jose Hernandez:

Hernandez, who is 24, was signed by the Dodgers all the way back in 2016, out of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. As is so often the case, walks were an issue for Hernandez, but he currently has a career low of 2.9/9. If he continues as he has been, a bump to Tulsa should be in his near future.

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Eddy Alvarez walked it off for Oklahoma City:

Alvarez has been scalding hot in May, slashing a ridiculous .465/.596/.744 for the month.

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Ben Harris is putting up some video game numbers with Rancho Cucamonga:

Harris, whom the Dodgers drafted out of the University of Georgia, gets big time vertical movement on his fastball that, at draft time, was reportedly up to 95 mph at times. Via Baseball America:

His fastball sits in the low 90s and touches 95 mph but has close to elite spin characteristics, with exceptional riding life that analytics departments should love. His fastball whiff rate stacks up with some of the more elite pitchers in the country and he gets plenty of swings and misses up in the zone. Harris also throws a slow 12-to-6 curveball. While his walk rate was well below-average this spring, scouts noted that he showed improvement in his control as the season progressed when he stopped nibbling around the zone.

There’s video evidence of at least three 94s, at any rate:

https://twitter.com/11point7/status/1397347529067569153?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1397347529067569153%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.truebluela.com%2Fmlb-draft%2F2021%2F7%2F12%2F22574581%2Fben-harris-georgia-los-angeles-dodgers-2021-mlb-draft

In fairness, as a conference, the SEC is roughly on a par with High A, so the California League is a bit of a step down in competition compared to where he was for his college career. That said, he can only face the hitters set before him, and anyone who misses bats at this rate is definitely a follow as they move through the system.

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Not Miguel Vargas with another 110 mph exit velo:

Vargas exit velo haters in shambles, gnashing of teeth and such.

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Lastly, Andy Pages homered off of City Hall (sound on for the incorrect call and the gentle correction):

Pages had a rough couple of weeks at the end of April/beginning of May, but in the last week, he’s slashing .304/.448/.783, so perhaps something clicked.

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