Dodgers Prospect Notes: Outman grand slam, Pepiot working on locating, Vargas & Busch go yard, Duran returns, more

James Outman (Photo: Tim Campbell/MiLB)

June 21st, 2022 Scoreboard


James Outman put Tulsa ahead for good with a laser of a grand slam:

Always good to see a little lefty on lefty loud contact from the Boys in Blue. Outman went 2/5 at the plate, raising his OPS to .946, which leads leads all qualified hitters. The former Sacramento State Hornet leads the Drillers in nearly every offensive category — runs, hits, doubles, homers, RBI, stolen bases, wRC+, wOBA, ISO, walks, and, ever the gray cloud, strikeouts.

Outman is the best defensive outfielder in the system, so while swing and miss is a part of the package, he still does plenty of damage. That, and a plus glove/arm in the OF, well, as we’ve seen recently, there’s definitely room for that.


Ryan Pepiot is increasingly focusing his efforts away from the 80 changeup, much to his benefit:

Pepiot’s pitch mix for the evening was as follows: 61% fastball, 20% changeup, 18% slider. Sometimes, you just have to focus on shoring up your weak areas, and it seems to be working here.

The fastball that got his penultimate K above, which ran all the way across the zone (and then some), appeared to be a result of Pep reaching back as he neared 100 pitches — that was his hardest fastball of the night, clocked at 97.4 mph. Even if it was a tad errant, it’s great to see he still has that in the tank at the end of an outing.


Miguel Vargas hit one of the taller homers you’ll see:

This homer had one of the steeper launch angles you’ll see for a ball that leaves the yard, 42 degrees. At the major league level, via the Statcast hit probability chart, only one ball hit this hard (98 mph) has had an equal or great launch angle and gone over the fence, so it wasn’t quite a unicorn, but it was close.

For the evening, Vargas went 2/4 with a walk, giving him multi-hit games in three of his last four contests.


Not to be outdone, Michael Busch hit a big fly of his own:

After scuffling out of the gate in Triple A, Busch, a former UNC Tarheel, has been coming on strong in the last couple of weeks, running an OPS of .947 over that timeframe. Really, he’s too good of a hitter to be held down by the level for long.


Carlos Duran, the #16 overall prospect for the Dodgers over at MLB Pipeline, made his second full season affiliate outing:

Duran, a massive 6’7, 230 lbs 20 year old from Nagua, Dominican Republic, employed that hesitation at the top several times throughout his outing. It didn’t always work — one time he simply lost it, flying open as he accelerated out of the pause, and drilled a batter. Still, it’s an interesting addition to his evolving game.

I say evolving because, while last season Duran threw two seamers the majority of the time, he went with a heavier four seam approach this time around. As he is just getting ramped up, it’s difficult to get much of a gauge on what’s going on here, but he gets it into the upper 90s, and he’s 3.1 years younger than average for High A. This could be a rapidly developing situation.


Jorge Puerta had a big game for the DSL Dodgers Mega, going 2/5 with a pair of homers, raising his OPS thru 10 games to 1.470.

Puerta, whom the Dodgers signed in 2019 as an 17-year-old out of Colombia, was originally listed as a catcher. Thus far this season, he has played first base in nine of his ten contests, catching just once. That said, in both stints in the DSL, he has shined offensively — last season, he posted a wRC+ of 160, and this year, before last night’s offensive outburst, it was sitting at a ridiculous 250. Perhaps even more ridiculous – his walk rate is 16.7%, and his strikeout rate is a miniscule 4.8%.

Admittedly, at this point, Puerta is old for the level, coming in at 2.2 years older than average. On top of that, he appears to be a R/R 1B at this point, so while he is a bit of a statistical darling, we’ll need to see something stateside. Then again, who knows. When it comes optimism with Puerta, for now, we’ll just keep the door open.


Lastly, starting pitchers for the full season affiliates for Wednesday:


Happy hump day, folks.

About Josh Thomas