Dodgers Prospect Notes: Busch productive in return, Choi efficient, Diaz bounceback campaign off to good start, Figueroa walks it off

Michael Busch (Photo: Cody Bashore)

June 6th, 2023 Scoreboard


After missing a week due to a minor lower body injury, Michael Busch was back in the lineup on Tuesday, and he didn’t miss a beat:

Busch went 2/3 with a pair of doubles, driving in three, and he reached base a third time via a walk.

The 2019 first round pick played third base for Oklahoma City for the 15th time this season, and for the 18th time overall, accounting for 48.1% of his total innings in the field. He had three balls go his way, two pop flies and a grounder, all of which he handled just fine. He was also involved in an … atypical double play:

If any of you folks are up to the task, I’ll instantly follow, for whatever that’s worth.


Hyun-il Choi needed just 47 pitches to cruise through 5.0 innings for Great Lakes on Tuesday:

Choi issued no walks and struck out 2.

The lack of free passes is a hallmark for the 23-year-old native of Seoul, South Korea, as he posted the 10th-lowest walk rate among 155 MiLB pitchers who tossed 100 or more IP in 2021, a clip of just 4.3%.

You’d like to see more whiffs, more velo, all the normal signs of prospect ascension, but just seeing the 2021 Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year on the bump and getting out after out, it’s a welcome sight.


Just heading this off at the pass — it is not time to sound the alarm. It’s early. But, it looks better, so far.

Wilman Diaz, one of the consensus top-three prospects in the 2021 IFA class, is off to a solid start in the Arizona Complex League:

Through two games, Diaz is 5/7 (all singles, but lots of line drives), with a walk and a strikeout.

There’s no use pretending — since joining the organization, it has been a tremendous struggle with the bat. Diaz was touted as one of the better hitters in the aforementioned international class. Prior to signing, FanGraphs had the following to say about him:

His frame isn’t as angular and projectable as the other top-of-the class infielders but Diaz is the best pure hitter among them. While there’s not overt power projection on the frame, you can project more future in-game power from Diaz because he’s an explosive rotational athlete whose backswing threatens to clip the mask of the catcher behind him. He’s arguably a bit safer than some of the other top amateur shortstops in our international rankings because of how he’s hit in games.

The pure hitter among top-of-the-class infielders.

Safer than other shortstops because of how he’s hit in games.

These are not things you would use to describe a prospect who struck out 38% of the time in 2022.

Still just 19, and younger than some of the guys the Dodgers drafted out of high school last July, I can only reiterate that, in general, it takes about 10 years before you can hope to get something out of an IFA at the big league level. Agree to a deal with a kid at 14, they sign and enter the system at 16 or 17, they have to be added to the 40-man roster at 21 or 22, and you hope they’re producing in Chavez Ravine at 23 or 24. Yeah, that’s difficult.

After a season in which the young Venezuelan posted an OPS of .441, I will posit that he was only mostly dead, and mostly dead means slightly alive. And remember, you rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.


Derlin Figueroa endeared himself well to prospect-hugging Dodger fans on Monday night, as he turned out the lights in his first official stateside ballgame, and against the Giants, no less:

ICYMI, Figueroa has been previously featured at DoDi twice in the past month, both here and here.

Wilman Diaz and Derlin Figueroa are opposite sides of the same coin. Shortstops. 19. RHH/LHH. Big bonus/small bonus. Nothing but struggles for one, breakout for the other. Like it is too early to declare Diaz dead, it is also too early to declare Figueroa the future king. But boy, Derlin is damaging the opposition. Royally.


Here’s Wednesday’s start times for the minor-league clubs (all times Pacific), along with the Dodger affiliate’s starting pitcher, if known:


Enjoy your Wednesday, folks.

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