Dodgers Prospect Notes: Liranzo & Busch mash, Cartaya shows signs of life, Knack & Heubeck adjust, other prospect lists, more

Thayron Liranzo (Via @RCQuakes)

Top Farm Batter

Thayron Liranzo is turning heads with his powerful numbers. Despite being over two years younger than the average Single-A player, the switch-hitting Liranzo leads the California League with 20 home runs. He leads the Quakes in runs, RBI, and walks as well.

It seems the Dodgers can just grow valuable catching prospects on trees. While Liranzo may not be as likely to stick behind the dish as some other top names in the system, his bat appears legit enough to hold up his value even if a move to first base becomes necessary. His physical 6-foot-3, 195 pound build helps him to drive the ball over the fence from both sides of the plate. Liranzo will have to work on improving his strikeout and line drive rates a bit as he works through the minors, but his power potential is massive.

Top Farm Pitcher

Even though his rehab assignment expired, Ryan Pepiot looked like a big leaguer when he tore through Tacoma’s offense last Sunday. He carried a perfect game through six innings and was untouchable until a single in the seventh forced him into the stretch for the first time. Pepiot wound up being lifted two batters later, but that ending did not take away from his incredible performance.

With September just around the corner, Pepiot is competing with Gavin Stone, Emmet Sheehan and other arms for a permanent trip to Los Angeles as rosters expand. With Tony Gonsolin headed to the injured list, Pepiot is looking to take his spot in the rotation. After his great return to Los Angeles yesterday, he has a good argument to stay up in the big leagues for the next trip through the rotation.

Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers

Michael Busch has stayed hot in Triple-A, with his on-base streak reaching 39 games before he finally lost it on Thursday. Now up to a 1.048 OPS on the year, it’s hard to imagine what else he could do to earn a call up. As soon as Dave Roberts can figure out a spot for him (which may end up happening after J.D. Martinez was scratched from last night’s lineup), he should be back in Los Angeles.

Gavin Stone struggled a bit with his command but still managed to strike out eight in a decent start last night. He has struck out nearly 11 batters per nine over his last seven starts (including 25 strikeouts across his last three games) with a 2.84 ERA. Stone is looking like he did last year again.

Landon Knack was excellent on Friday night, going seven full innings with only one earned run allowed. The Salt Lake Bees only totaled three hits against him in the start. Knack’s ERA since being promoted to Oklahoma City is down to 3.07, which is very impressive for the Pacific Coast League. He should be making his debut at some point before the season ends.

Double-A Tulsa Drillers

Diego Cartaya is showing some good signs at the plate, tallying 12 total bases over his last seven games, including two home runs. He’s gone deep four times and posted an OPS near 1.000 since August 5.

Kendall Williams made another impressive start last Friday, striking out seven in six shutout innings. From the start of July through this outing, Williams had a 1.60 ERA while striking out more than a batter per inning. Following his start on Thursday, he has a 2.55 ERA on the season.

High-A Great Lakes Loons

Peter Heubeck got off to a rough start in High-A, but his outing Thursday night was a step back in the right direction. Heubeck generated 10 whiffs in four innings, and both runs he allowed scored in his final frame before being pulled. He only walked one, which was an improvement from the 21-year-old’s previous two starts.

Heubeck found his grove over his final 16 games in Single-A, striking out nearly 1/3 of the batters he faced while posting a 3.99 FIP. He will continue to work on controlling his strikeout stuff while also limiting fly balls and home runs, with last night’s game being his first sign of progress with Great Lakes.

Catcher Griffin Lockwood-Powell hit for the cycle on Friday night. It was the third cycle in Loons franchise history, and the 25-year-old has an .808 OPS on the season. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2021.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Jared Karros tossed five shutout frames with four strikeouts on Thursday. After he started off the season red hot, Karros cooled off a bit, but he has looked to be back to himself in his last two games. He’s struck out 11 and allowed only one earned run over his last nine innings of work.

Jesus Galiz had an extremely impressive game on Friday, tying the Quakes franchise record with eight runs driven in. He had two homers and a double in the huge performance. Although he hasn’t dominated with the bat this year, the 19-year-old has a decent .712 OPS in his first Single-A campaign.

Rookie Ball

Eduardo Quintero has remained one of the most productive hitters in the organization throughout the summer. Even while he won’t turn 18 until mid September, Quintero has posted a 1.090 OPS with a 0.94 BB/K rate and 22 stolen bases. He homered and tripled within a single game on Monday.

Samuel Munoz has quietly had a decent year in the Arizona Complex League. While he’s only homered twice, Munoz has amassed 19 extra-base-hits, including an impressive total of seven triples. Still only 18 years old, some of those triples should start going over the fence as he adds mass to his frame.

Southpaw Moises Brito earned himself a promotion after he has performed well in the Dominican Summer League this year. Brito has yet to tally a loss since being traded to the Dodgers last July as part of the Mitch White for Nick Frasso deal. He’s a little older having already turned 21, but Brito’s 28.0 K-BB% is very impressive nonetheless.

Prospect Lists

A little bit out from the trade deadline, a flock of publications have updated their Top 100 Prospects lists and reranked the Dodgers players that they put into that category. Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and Just Baseball have each released updates recently.

Further, Hyun-Seok Jang was added to MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Dodgers prospects list. Although they conservatively put Jang in the No. 22 spot, he was given a plus grade for three of his four pitches, which is very rare for a high school pitcher.

About Bruce Kuntz

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I'm a Long Beach State journalism student and I've been writing about the Dodgers and their farm system since I was in high school.