Dodgers Prospect Notes: Busch stays hot, plus a pair of flamethrowing teenagers

Michael Busch (Photo: Cody Bashore)

April 21, 2022 Scoreboard


Michael Busch went off for Tulsa again, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a pair of homers:

Busch eventually recorded an out after this tweet, lowering his OPS to a still-OK 1.211. The big question with Busch is his defense. When he was in college at North Carolina, he was primarily a first baseman, and he also spent a bit of time in left field. This season, he has played exclusively at second base, and he is doing well there by one metric — Davenport Runs.

Clay Davenport co-founded Baseball Prospectus back in 1996, and while he no longer writes there, he still does a bit of this and that at his own site. He writes blog entries, does projections, and, pertinent to this article, he applies his defensive metric to every player on every team, from Low-A on up.

So, by this Davenport Runs, Busch grades out at +3 runs at the keystone. How accurate is this, and should we use it for a 10-game sample? Dunno, and probably (certainly) not, but with advanced defensive metrics, if they’re saying something you like, you definitely cite them.


Another Dodger find is generating buzz in Arizona Complex ball — 19-year-old, Hermosillo, Mexico native, Joel Ibarra:

Eric Longenhagen at FanGraphs posted his and Tess Taruskin’s notes about Ibarra and others, and the blurb about his repertoire is eye-opening:

On Tuesday, he sat 94-98 mph with around 17 inches of vertical break, and threw several plus sliders in the 82-84 range at roughly 2,700 rpm, some plus cutters at 92-93 mph, and a good changeup or two in the 86-88 mph band. This is a 19-year-old former shortstop with monster stuff.

Longenhagen would go on to say that Ibarra’s stuff is better than any draft-eligible college pitcher, and that it is at least comparable to the top two draft-eligible high school pitchers. Since the Dodgers don’t pick until 40th in this year’s draft, and since they also lost both their second-round pick and the compensatory pick for Corey Seager when they signed Freddie Freeman, the timing of having a talent emerge that would typically be found somewhere in Top 15 or 20 picks is incredible. Kudos to the scouts and player dev crew, this looks like it could be a huge win.


And yet another hard-throwing teenager has emerged for the Dodgers, this time with Rancho Cucamonga — Ronan Kopp:

The sword on that first strikeout, my goodness.

Kopp, who was born in Baldwin Park (approximately 20 miles from Dodger Stadium), casts a rather large shadow. He’s listed at 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, and he has the big velo to match. His heater tops out at 99 MPH. He also throws a slider, a forkball/splitter, and in this interview, he says he’ll be working in a 12-6 curve.

Also from the interview, he says one of his goals is to tighten up his command, via gaining consistency with a delivery that happens to be reminiscent of someone with whom Dodger fans are just a bit familiar:

Bum never sniffed 99, let’s see what the kid’s got.

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