The Arizona Fall League has begun, and I will be trying to get some info and video as it becomes available. Some of the Dodger prospects who are participating this year have gotten off to pretty hot starts. Others have… well, they are definitely in Arizona.
First, the good:
Jorbit Vivas had a solid season with Great Lakes, but he has hit the ground running in the AFL, slashing .467/.579/.600 in the first week of action, and his 1.179 OPS is the seventh-highest among the 70 qualified hitters.
At 21 years old, the Venezuelan second baseman is two and a half years younger than the average pitcher in the league, so holding his own with this step up in competition is rather impressive.
Emmet Sheehan tossed 3.0 scoreless, no-hit innings in his Fall debut, walking and striking out one. His fastball was reportedly 93-95 in his first inning of work, but not much info was available for the subsequent two frames. The former Boston College Eagle missed a little more than a month in April and May, and he finished the season with 68.0 innings, so it’ll be interesting to see where the Dodgers have him wrap things up, as it may indicate what sort of workload goal he will have for 2023.
And now, the less good:
Through three games, Andy Pages has an OPS of just .331. Following a lukewarm season in Double A, a level he is likely to repeat to start the 2023 season, a little bit of a breakout would be nice, but this tepid start is nothing to get worked up about. Yet.
Hyun il-Choi missed just about all of 2022 with an undisclosed injury, so even getting back on the field of play is a success. He tossed 3.1 IP in a pair of outings, allowing four runs (all earned), walking four, and striking out three. His fastball sat in the 88-90 range.
Ben Harris made waves with his seemingly invisible heater that helped him rack up 19.2 K/9 for Great Lakes, but Arizona has been a little less than welcoming thus far. In 1.1 IP, he has allowed seven runs (five earned), while walking three, and striking out one.
Tanner Dodson tossed 3.2 IP, allowing four runs (all earned), while walking one, and striking out two. Throwing strikes was a big issue for Dodson during his time with Tulsa, as his walks per nine was higher than his strikeouts per nine (9.4 vs 7.6). But ‘throw hard in case it’s a strike’ is a bit of an org mantra at this point, and Dodson certainly does that. His goal for Fall should be to repeat his delivery and fill up the zone.
The last participant, Jose Ramos, has yet to make his Fall debut.
Diego Cartaya was given a half a grade increase, with his future value grade (FV) going from 50 to 55, helping him rise from 39th to 31st overall. One of the big questions for Cartaya was health, since prior to 2022, he had played all of 80 games since joining the organization. This season, he played in 95 contests, and he didn’t spend any time on the injured list. Though the Venezuelan backstop was a bit gassed as the season wound down, by all accounts, it was a successful campaign.
Bobby Miller‘s FV grade held steady at 50, but he rose from 63rd overall to 40th. As has been discussed in this space at length, the prospect folks at FG still have questions about his fastball shape, but when it’s right, it’s top of the rotation stuff. Here’s a small reminder of what the former Louisville Cardinal has in the tank:
Miller should get a long look come Spring.
Michael Busch‘s FV also held steady at 50, though he rose from 86th overall to 75th. Though the season was a huge success with the bat, they (rightly) bring up that the change in the shift rules could hurt infielders who lack mobility. To be fair, Busch did improve at second base as the season progressed:
Yet another thing to watch for come Spring.
Andy Pages‘ grade also stayed at 50, jumping up from 92nd to 76th. Though he had a wRC+ of just 102, he was 3.2 years younger than average for the Texas League, and his swinging strike rate held steady from his ’21 season at High A at 11.9%.
Lastly, the big riser — Gavin Stone jumped from not ranked, and given an FV of 40+, all the way up to 93rd overall, with an FV of 50. FG is typically (and understandably) conservative when it comes to prospect grade adjustments, so nearly two full grades from a single season is wild praise. And, fitting, considering the exclamation point he put on his season:
Like Miller, Stone should get a long look in big league camp come Spring.
That’s all for the week that was, enjoy your Monday, folks.