The 2022 draft class for the Dodgers was a bit of a departure for the club, as utilized only four of their 19 picks on pitchers. They also veered away from one of their trends under Andrew Friedman — nabbing a projectable high school righty in either the in the top three or four rounds, or in the often higher bonus 11th:
- 2015 – Imani Abdullah, 11th
- 2016 – Dustin May, 3rd, AJ Alexy, 11th
- 2017 – James Marinan, 4th
- 2018 – Braydon Fisher, 4th
- 2019 – Jimmy Lewis, 2nd
- 2020 – N/A
- 2021 – Peter Heubeck, 3rd
The abbreviated 2020 draft is the lone exception, and all of the above draftees received over slot signing bonuses.
In looking at this year’s draft class, despite the lack of the Dodgers’ recent hallmark selection, there does indeed appear to be an arm who fits the bill — athletic 17th round pick, Payton Martin:
Listed at 6’0, 170 lbs at the time of the draft, and with a fastball that sat 91-93 mph, it indeed looked like he could stand to have a steak or three, which he appears to have done since joining the system:
That back foot slider, sheesh.
Martin has reportedly added 10-15 lbs to his frame already, and the fastball is now sitting 94-95. As he easily has room for another 15-20 lbs, and with the Dodgers either employing traveling chefs or providing high-end catering for all minor league stops, this has a shot of getting pretty interesting in a hurry.
Several exciting young players from recent international free agent classes have arrived in Arizona as well:
Samuel Munoz: 17 years old, the headliner from the ’22 IFA class, and signed out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Munoz delivered in his first pro exposure over in the Dominican Summer League, slashing .347/.429/.491, with a wRC of 147 while striking out only 16.2% of the time. Though he was signed as a first baseman, all of his time defensively was spent in the outfield, with roughly 80% being split between left and right field.
Mairoshendrick Martinus: 17 years old, signed out of Willemstad, Curacao, Martinus is one of the most explosive athletes in the ’22 IFA class, Martinus is showing pop already as he finished 3rd among DSL Dodgers with seven homers while also tying for the lead in triples with five, and his 10 stolen bases ranked 4th. He exhibited a decent bit of bat to ball for his age as well, striking out 22.3% of the time. Martinus played second, third, and short, with the bulk of his time coming at the latter position.
Jeral Perez: 17 years old, signed out of La Habana, Dominican Republic, Perez is another infielder who showed pop, as his eight homers ranked second in the DSL. He posted a wRC+ of 131, struck out just 16.6% of the time. Perez spent all of his time on the dirt, with a roughly even split between second base and short.
Oswaldo Osorio: 17 years old, signed out of San Felipe, Venezuela, Osorio is another toolshed. Despite having ~50 fewer PAs than the rest of the system leaders, his six homers tied for 4th, and he was third with 11 stolen bases. His propensity for drawing walks (20.9% walk rate), along with a roughly even GB/FB split at such a young age has helped him some heads as a statistical darling.
Accimias Morales: 18 years old, 6’5 RHP signed out of Maracay, Venezuela, Morales was the number two player in the 2022 IFA class for the Dodgers. He hasn’t missed a ton of bats yet, but the fastball is up to 96, and he has been stingy with the walks.
Alvaro Benua: 19 years old, 6’4 RHP, signed out of San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, Benua is another electric arm in a system teeming with them. The fastball is reportedly up to 99, and he’s showing a solid slider.
While the Dominican Summer League ended weeks ago, the buzz around the Dodgers’ 6-foot-3 outfield prospect is substantial. Not only was De Paula one of the top performers in the DSL, there’s projection within his game, particularly with his power. De Paula hit .349/.448/.522 with 20 extra-base hits in 53 games, with more walks than strikeouts this summer. The tall outfielder shows an advanced approach and feel to hit, and it’s backed up by the data, with an 85% contact rate, 91% zone contact rate and 20% chase rate in his pro debut. De Paula hits from the left side with an open stance and a heavily hands-driven swing. He displays plus bat speed and adjustability in his hands, which allows him to cover the plate fairly well. The power is still coming as De Paula has a level swing and rarely gets into his raw juice. It’s easy to see De Paula’s power projection, however, with a strong and physical frame at 17.
For a reminder of what all that looks like:
All aboard the hype train!
Lastly, in an IFA preview article, Baseball America has the Dodgers linked to one of the top shortstops in the upcoming January 2023 class, Dominican Yoandry Vargas:
At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Vargas is tall, lean and athletic with a good mix of athleticism, physical upside and power potential. He’s a tick above-average runner who should stick at the position because he ranges well to both sides, has good hands and the arm strength for shortstop. His power continues to trend up, with some swing and miss to his game, but a chance to develop above-average power from the right side, with a bonus north of $2 million.
With the minor league season coming to a close, there should be more IFA info on the horizon as signing classes take shape, though it sounds like the club is making a splash from the get go.