Dodgers Prospect Notes: Stone bounces back, Sheehan unhittable, Bruns strong, more

Gavin Stone (Tim Campbell/MiLB)

April 5th, 2023 Scoreboard

April 6th, 2023 Scoreboard


Gavin Stone righted the ship in a hurry, as he returned to dominant form in his second outing for Oklahoma City on Wednesday:

Stone’s fastball sat in the 93-95 mph range in the early going, though after ~50 pitches it was more 92-93, with the drop-off just a bit evident in the velo chart:

Still in the ramp-up phase, it will be a minute before the athletic righty is pumping 95+ with 90+ pitches like we saw last season, but the command is there, and he was absolutely fearless with his double-plus changeup, throwing as many as five in a row to the same batter, ultimately resulting in a strikeout.

If you’re going to nitpick, you’ll look at the relative lack of slider usage (just 9%), but in the early going of a prospect’s season, the Dodgers often let pitchers throw what they like to get a good start or three under their belt before clamping down and requiring specific reps of various pitch types. Look for the aforementioned limited breaker use to ramp up as things steam along.


Emmet Sheehan started his season in emphatic fashion for Tulsa on Thursday, tossing 5.0 no-hit innings en route to picking up the W. The only baserunner he allowed reached via hit by pitch, and he struck out eight:

While there was no velo on Tulsa’s scorebug, their play-by-play announcer, Dennis Higgins, mostly noted 96-97s for Sheehan, with several 98s sprinkled in for good measure.

As for the tall righty’s pitch mix, he was mostly fastball/changeup along with the odd slider, though his heater did the heaving lifting. A pitch that, to this #notascout, is the best #1 in the system. There are guys who throw a tick or two harder, but the shape of the former Boston College Golden Eagle’s fastball — its vertical approach angle is exceptional — makes it a bat-missing weapon. As is the case with the aforementioned Stone, look for increased secondary usage (especially the slider) in the comings weeks.


A familiar name to Dodger prospect nuts made a triumphant return to the organization on Thursday — Cuban outfielder Yusniel Diaz, who went 2/4 at the dish, including a homer in his first AB as a member of the Drillers in nearly five years:

Diaz was a part of the Dodgers’ massive 2015 IFA class that ultimately amounted to very little, though he was the headliner as part of a five prospect package for Johnny Hustle.

After a largely unsuccessful run with Baltimore, the now 26-year-old Diaz is back in the fold. Whether they can rekindle the fire that saw him post a 152 wRC+ as a 21-year-old in Double A, time will tell. In the interim, for Dodger fans who can recall some leaner times on payroll sheet and on the farm, Diaz was a part of a fiscal and developmental rebirth, and his return is akin to an aroma that elicits fond, if fleeting, memories — the headlong rush forward, enthusiastically focused on whether or not they could, while seemingly eschewing the question of whether or not they should.

There’s probably an entire post here, where we can reconstruct the front office of that era and make them into Jurassic Park characters. Another time, perhaps.


Maddux Bruns got off on the right (left?) foot, as he took the ball for Rancho Cucamonga on opening night and had the best outing of his young career: 4.0 scoreless IP, allowing three hits, two walks, and striking out seven. Command has been the issue for the southpaw, who boasts three 60 grade or better offering when it’s all working (fastball, slider, curve).

Still just 20, there’s ample time for the young man to marinate, but you’d like to see him fill up the zone with more frequency; with the quality of his stuff, it’s the only thing keeping him from Great Lakes.


2022 7th round pick (and Montebello native) Chris Campos had a fantastic season debut as well, tossing 3.0 scoreless innings for the Quakes, allowing three hits, no walks, and striking out six.

Like Tony Gonsolin, the 22-year-old Campos was a two-way player at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. The recent draftee was a shortstop and a reliever, though the Dodgers converted him to pitching only. The early returns have been strong enough that Baseball America listed him as one of the 50 lesser-known prospects to stand out in Spring Training. Things that make you say hmm.


The offensive star for Rancho was another player who was featured in the just-mentioned Baseball America post — Thayron Liranzo. The athletic, 19-year-old switch-hitting catcher went 2/4 with a homer, driving in a pair. Yet another talented backstop, the depth keeps depthing.


A loaded Great Lakes Loons squad will kick off action on Friday, with 20-year-old, 6’7 flamethrower Ronan Kopp taking the ball on opening night vs. the Lansing Lugnuts, so all four full season affiliates will be bringing the heat.

We back, baby.

Enjoy your Friday, folks.

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