Dodgers Prospect Notes: Sheehan dominant after adjustment, Duran allows a run, Rooney cruising, Diaz coming alive?

July 8th, 2022 Scoreboard


Some recent adjustments are bearing fruit for Emmet Sheehan, who has been romping through the Midwest League for weeks:

In Sheehan’s five appearances since he last allowed an earned run, he has tossed 17.2 innings, allowed eight hits, walked six, and struck out 30 (!!!), giving him a ridiculous strikeout rate of 44.8% in that timeframe.

Sheehan, whom the Dodgers picked in Boston College in the 6th round of the 2021 draft, was last discussed here in the Prospect Notes on June 5th, after his last outing where he allowed an earned run. The side by side video I put together at the time detailed some of my concerns:

I had several more concerns outlined in the previous post, but here’s the summary:

To this #notascout, the change/cause/effect appears to be less than ideal. One of Sheehan’s biggest strengths is his fastball’s vertical approach angle, and a higher gather that has him sitting down and getting into his legs later, would run counter to that. But, we’ve yet to see all the dominos fall, and I’d love to be wrong. Getting to watch and document how a pitcher’s mechanics change for the better long-term, even if it’s tough in the interim, that would be great. Right now, though, I’m struggling to see the benefit when they’re weighed against his strengths.

I wasn’t lying — I’d love to be wrong. And, I was wrong; while I noted that Sheehan was getting into his legs later, I missed a pretty key component of why:

The heel raising up sooner being evidence of that earlier launch is present in the lefthand portion of the first side by side, and not in the righthand portion, so it’s something that was there, it left, and has made a strong reappearance.

I’d like to point out that the change to Sheehan’s right foot, while it appears that it didn’t work for him, it has been a positive for other guys — namely, Cole Duensing:

Duensing was 89-91 when he was in the Anaheim farm system. They released him, he goes to Driveline, this is one of the changes he makes, and he’s sitting 94-96 as a reliever in the Dodger org.

If anything, Duensing’s success after that change, and Sheehan’s struggle with the lower heel, and quick move off of it, indicate a willingness by the Dodgers to eschew a cookie cutter approach to how their athletes get it done. Different strokes, and all that.

Perhaps ankle mobility is fresh in my mind because of the podcast linked in yesterday’s Prospect Notes, where the Director of Asia Pacific Scouting for the Dodgers, Jon Deeble, discussed it. However it occurred to this #notascout, I’m just glad it did, and I’m far more glad to see Sheehan back on track, running roughshod over the Midwest League.


Speaking of running roughshod over the Midwest League, large human being Carlos Duran allowed his first run of the season, but he missed around and fanned six anyway:

I say messed around, because Duran continued to employ timing disruption mechanisms, working in hesitations and such at various points in his delivery. At 6′-7″, 230 lbs, that’s a lot of body to stop and get going again, but he is making it work, to the tune of 20 strikeouts and just four walks in his first 15.0 innings this season.


John Rooney picked up his 4th W of the season for Tulsa:

In addition to Rooney’s 24/3 K/BB, over that timeframe he has an ERA of 1.59, and he is holding opponents to a measly .214 average against. Really though, the drastic cut in walks is the star of the show. Prior to this run of dominance, Rooney’s walk rate was 10.7%. Since, it’s just 3.4%.

If you’re looking for a negative, the lack of baserunners has severely curtailed Rooney’s pickoffs, but he is still tied for the MiLB lead with 10 total snipes.


Wilman Diaz got off to a rough start this season with the ACL Dodgers, but he is beginning to make better contact in July. After going 3/4 last night, he has run off three consecutive multi-hit games, going 8/15 over that timeframe, albeit with just one extra base hit.

Diaz was the crown jewel of the 2021 IFA class for the Dodgers, signing for nearly $2.7 mil and he was considered to be an incredibly explosive athlete for someone who would stick at shortstop. But, the Dodgers reportedly felt that Diaz would struggle with plate coverage, and, per his writeup FanGraphs, they made changes to his rotational swing that may take time to effectively implement, with his atrocious 48.8% swinging strike rate going into last night’s action being ample evidence of that.

The athleticism, and the ease with which Diaz plays shortstop, both remain in place, though it will likely take quite a bit for the whole package to come together.


Lastly, Saturday’s scheduled starting pitchers for the full season affiliates:


Enjoy your Saturday, folks.

About Josh Thomas