Updates on the journeys of current and former players, and a ton of prospect stuff that will make you feel just as good about the future as you do the present. Plus, uh, Japanese baseball is wild.
AP News: Among those whose contracts were renewed was Andrew Toles at $700,000. He remains on the restricted list, but keeping him in the organization means he continues to receive healthcare. Wish him nothing but the best and hope to have great news to announce about him someday.
Dodger Insider: The journey of two-time Olympic medalist Eddy Alvarez that has led him to becoming a Dodger has been a remarkable one, and Rowan Kavner talks to him about it.
MLB Trade Rumors: Guessing you knew this by now, but Matt Beaty was traded to the Padres for two-way player River Ryan, and the Dodgers notably plan to let him do both. The 2021 11th-round pick has just 43 PA in Rookie-ball as a professional so far.
OC Register: Apparently one of the reasons Beaty was expendable was the emergence of Jake Lamb, as the Dodgers do believe he is back to being healthy, both physically and mentally. He’s certainly doing well so far, but it’s always healthy to be skeptical about a player who hasn’t even been passable since 2017 and just hope for the best.
The Athletic: Bobby Miller was already a potential front-line starter, but his stuff has ticked up quite a bit, according to Keith Law.
“Multiple people have told me Bobby Miller (Dodgers, No. 49) hit 102 and sat 99 in a four-inning look, and he might be the best right-handed pitching prospect in the minors right now.”
The Athletic: Keith was impressed by 2021 first-rounder Maddux Bruns, saying he looked like he could be one of the top pitching prospects in baseball if it carries over into games that count.
Bruns was 94-96 mph in a Low-A game against the White Sox on Friday afternoon, locating the pitch to both sides of the plate – a world away from the way he was scattering the ball in the summer before his senior year. He showed a plus-plus curveball at 75-78 mph that had tight two-plane break, and he threw it for strikes. He also showed a plus changeup with hard tumble and flashed a slider that might have been above-average too.
Law also highlighted 18-year-old Dominican shortstop Rayne Doncon as a prospect to watch.
MLB Pipeline: Jim Callis provides a Spring Training report on the Dodgers system, including notes on Miller’s improvement, Ryan Pepiot polishing his stuff, Michael Grove standing out, and Nick Nastrini being poised for a big leap forward. Also talks about Landon Knack and Andre Jackson, as well as Kody Hoese trying to rebuild his status.
MLB Pipeline: Callis interviews Nastrini and talks about the adjustments he’s made to get to the point that he’s feeling great today.
Callis: If you were evaluating your pitches, how would you rank them from best to worst?
Nastrini: I’d say my fastball is my best pitch. I get quite a few swing-and-misses with that. Then I’d have to go, probably my slider, then curveball, then changeup.
Tsuyoshi Shinjo is now a manager and his Opening Day intro as glorious a thing as you’d expect from him.