Dodgers Prospects Weekly Best: May, Miller, Valera, Sheehan, Cartaya, Doncon, De Paula, more

Author’s Note: With my time a bit more limited these days, I am switching things up and doing a different kind of prospect feature, highlighting the performances of the week at each level while adding in what notes I have.

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Triple-A Oklahoma City

While it’d be nice to have a prospect in every spot, Dustin May didn’t leave much room for choice in the matter:

https://twitter.com/jokeylocomotive/status/1557196007921790978
https://twitter.com/jokeylocomotive/status/1558961788682530817
https://twitter.com/jokeylocomotive/status/1558981906904936448

So that’s 10.0 innings, with two runs allowed, 18 strikeouts, and just two walks. Whew.

May is reportedly going to toe the rubber next for the Dodgers on August 20th, at Chavez Ravine vs the Marlins.

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On the offensive side of things, Ryan Noda gets the nod:

Adrian Beltre, sigh.

Anyway, Noda was the complete package this week, slashing .444/.630/.722, with twice as many walks (8) as strikeouts (4), a homer, two doubles, and he also stole a pair of bags, which gives him 15 thefts for the season.

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Double-A Tulsa

It’s a lot of fun when Bobby Miller puts it all together like he did last week:

That’s a total of 13.1 innings, with 20 strikeouts vs just two walks, and an ERA of 2.03. In his past five outings the K/BB has been 35/6, so things appear to be getting dialed in for Baseball America’s #24 overall prospect.

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Leonel Valera did the heavy lifting for Tulsa’s offense this week, making his mark right out of the gate at times:

https://twitter.com/jokeylocomotive/status/1558936679586545664

For the week, the Venezuelan shortstop slashed .292/.370/.792, leading the Drillers in hits (7), homers (3), RBI (7), and OPS (1.162).

Valera is one of the more tooled up players in the system, as his 12 homers and 22 stolen bases this season will attest. As is the case with many prospects, bat to ball has been a concern. To his credit, he has made strides in that department, as his swinging strike rate with Great Lakes in 2021 was 18.0%, and with Tulsa this season it’s down to 14.6%. Only recently turned 23, he is nearly two and a half years younger than average for the Texas League, so there’s still some time for things to click. If it does, look out.

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High-A Great Lakes

Emmet Sheehan turned in a pair of dominant performances for the Loons, with the help of a new wrinkle.

If you’ll note the first strikeout in the video above, Sheehan has recently added a high 80s cutter/slider, that he is using to great effect. Though he didn’t pick up any Ks with it in his second outing of the week, he utilized it early in counts to get ahead, and he picked up a new career high in innings pitched:

For the week, Sheehan tossed 11.0 innings, with a K/BB of 15/3, and an ERA of 0.00.

Fastball up to 99, a changeup that FanGraphs puts a 70 on, a rainbow of a curve, and now, the aforementioned slider/cutter that’s capable of missing bats as well. Just your basic 6th rounder, or something.

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Diego Cartaya is showing why Baseball America and MLB Pipeline have him ranked 9th and 12th overall, respectively, as he had himself a week for the Loons:

It might just be a good thing that the young backstop is staying put after all.

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Low-A Rancho Cucamonga

Dalton Rushing is firing on all cylinders for the Quakes, and he’s showing some impressive power:

https://twitter.com/jokeylocomotive/status/1558982252754661378

Rushing, who was the top pick of the Dodgers in the 2022 draft, taken 40th overall, slashed .429/.625/.714 for the Quakes, with more walks (5) than strikeouts (3).

To keep his bat in the lineup more often, the Dodgers are having him do something he did while at Louisville — spend a little time at first base. However they get him his reps, this is one heck of an advanced bat, and, thus far, the California League hasn’t been much of a challenge.

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Jerming Rosario had the best pitching performance of the week for the Quakes:

Despite the ups and downs, he still possesses a flat plane heater at 95-96, with a plus curve and changeup. The ingredients are there, and he was 1.8 years younger than average for the Cal League this season, but consistency will be thing to look for going forward.

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Arizona Complex League

Rayne Doncon is heating up as the year is progressing, and he slashed .333/.360/.792, with three homers and 10 RBI for the week, bringing his August line to .381/.422/.762, with a wRC+ of 206. Sheesh.

The Dominican shortstop is still just 18, and he reportedly possesses one of the better hit tools in his age group. The bat speed is most definitely there:

Doncon should make his way to Rancho Cucamonga in 2023.

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On the pitching side, Osvanni Gutierrez stood out the most with his 4.0 hitless innings, striking out five.

Gutierrez, a native of Mella, Cuba, got roughed up a bit when he was with Rancho, with walks getting the best of him (7.4/9), but it looks like he’s reining the command back in at Camelback (2.4/9). He’s reportedly in the low to mid 90s, with his carrying tool being a changeup that flashes plus-plus.

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Dominican Summer League

For the handful of devotees of DSL stats, this might be my first controversial pick, if only just, but I regret nothing.

Josue De Paula, from Brooklyn, New York, is one of the more unheralded IFA signings the Dodgers have made, but he is announcing his presence with authority:

For the week, he slashed .400/.458/.650, and he led both DSL clubs in extra base hits with four, tallying three doubles and a triple.

And you read that correctly, De Paula is from Brooklyn, and he later moved to the Dominican Republic, where he attended El Niche Baseball Academy. Via Baseball America‘s review of the IFA class for the Dodgers, he is the cousin of former NBA players Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair. BA also had this to say about him:

He’s a 6-foot-4, 190-pound lefty with promising offensive upside, showing good bat path and adjustability to his swing and flashes of power now that should only grow given how much strength projection is left in his frame.

The swing is definitely impressive, and that is one heck of an intriguing athletic bloodline going on.

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The top arm in the DSL this week was 17-year-old Venezuelan Jholbran Herder. In 6.1 scoreless IP, he had a K/BB of 10/2.

When Herder signed this past January, his fastball was reportedly up to 88, but he’s already topping out at 92, which goes to show how quickly things can become a developing situation. In addition to the heater, he has shown solid command of a curve and a changeup as well. The ability to mix and locate is often plenty to succeed at this level, and his 26.9% swinging strike rate, which ranks fourth in the Dodger system (min 30 IP), is ample evidence of that. But, at a listed at 6’2, 170 lbs, even if he has added to his frame and gained velo since signing, there’s undoubtedly room for more. He will be one to watch for come Spring.

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Have a good week, folks.

About Josh Thomas