Dodgers Prospect Notes: Busch & Amaya hit dingers (again), Varland tosses 5 no-hit frames, Knowles perfect in relief, Williams promoted

April 27th, 2022 Scoreboard


Michael Busch and Jacob Amaya continued their torrid runs for Tulsa.

First things first, Busch’s daily dong:

Busch went 1/2 and drew another pair of walks, putting his slash line at a healthy .305/.468/.746. He can’t possibly be long for the Texas League.

Speaking of, in what is likely a step towards helping to ensure that Busch’s bat is in the lineup at the next level and beyond, he started in left field for the first time as a pro. This is the first time he has played the position since 2019, when he was at the University of North Carolina, but it looks like he hasn’t missed a beat:

Seeing a smooth play on defense is a bit of a palate cleanser after watching the big league club recently.

As for Amaya, he had another big day at the plate, hitting his 5th homer:

And later on he added another double to the tally, his 5th of the season, and he punctuated it with a celebration that’s all the rage these days:



Gus Varland had a fantastic day for Tulsa:

Varland, who came to the Dodgers via the trade with Oakland that sent Adam Kolarek up to the East Bay, had to pitch around a little traffic due to issuing four walks, but it was a dominant outing nonetheless, and one he finished off emphatically, reaching back for the aforementioned exclamation point of a K.

Varland’s pitch count got up to 75, so amid early season caution and ramp-ups, he’s among the most stretched out prospects in the organization. The logical next thing to watch for is improved pitch efficiency, filling up the zone and cutting the walks.


Antonio Knowles‘ slider did some work for High A Great Lakes:

This actually happened. A frisbee giveaway right before an outing like this, you can’t make these things up.

Knowles was picked by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2021 draft out of Florida SouthWestern State College, where he put up some absurd numbers as the closer for the Buccaneers — in 40.0 innings, he posted an ERA of 1.35 and struck out 72 batters, en route to picking up 13 saves.

That absurd bent has continued as a pro, as Knowles’ ERA in his 12.0 innings since being drafted is 0.75, and he has struck out 21.


Speaking of Great Lakes, they have added a new member to their pitching staff — Kendall Williams, one of the two prospects who came to the Dodgers via a trade with Toronto as the return for Ross Stripling, has been promoted from Rancho Cucamonga. He last pitched on April 26th, so if he slots right into the Loons’ rotation, his turn would come up on Sunday, May 1st.

Williams has been bitten by the homer bug a bit, but in his second turn with the Quakes, his K% has risen from 21.1% in 2021 to 28.6% this season. Hopefully he has some warm clothes for the frigid North, the temperature at first pitch yesterday was 33 degrees, and that was for a noon start. Brr.

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