Dodgers Prospect Notes: Nick Frasso rolls in AAA debut, Yusniel Díaz on fire, Dalton Rushing back in a groove, more

Yusniel Díaz (Credit: Tim Campbell/MiLB)

Top Farm Batter

After he didn’t work out as a top prospect for the Orioles, Yusniel Díaz returned to his original organization with the Dodgers and has been on fire lately. He was sent to Baltimore in 2018 in the Manny Machado trade, and even though he is now 26 years old, Díaz seems to have unlocked something this month.

He led Double-A Tulsa to a dominant win on Sunday, going 5-for-5 at the plate and launching two homers. Díaz drove in four of the Drillers’ eight runs. So far in August, the outfielder has slashed .404/.500/.697 for a 205 wRC+ while walking more than he’s struck out. There isn’t a path to the big leagues this year for Díaz, but this stretch will surely get him a look from other organizations this offseason.

Top Farm Pitcher

Nick Frasso was called up to Triple-A this week, and he introduced himself to the Pacific Coast League in a big way. Frasso tossed six shutout innings on Saturday night, only allowing two hits and winning the PCL Pitcher of the Week award. He retired 13 batters in a row to finish the start.

This was the first time Frasso has pitched in a park with Statcast, and his readings were interesting to dissect. All but 11 of his 80 pitches were fastballs of some variety and most of them registered as sinkers , either because his four-seam can get that much ride or because he has made some tweaks to his pitch usage. His maximum velocity was an even 97 miles per hour. It is easy to see why Frasso is gaining so much momentum as a top prospect.

Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers

After he was DFA’d by Seattle at the beginning of the month, Kolten Wong was scooped up by the Dodgers on a minor league deal. He played his first games with Oklahoma City over the weekend at a pretty new spot: shortstop. Before those starts, Wong had only made three total appearances at shortstop in his entire 14 years as a pro. It will be interesting to see if there is a plan for Wong at shortstop beyond just being extra depth.

Jonny Deluca got the first two hits of his rehab assignment in Sunday’s rout. With J.D. Martinez still out for a while, Deluca could be chosen as the extra position player call-up on Friday with rosters expanding. His speed and defense are valuable off the bench and to take at-bats against southpaws.

Double-A Tulsa Drillers

Ben Casparius made a very good start for Tulsa on Sunday. He threw five shutout innings on his way to a win, making it back-to-back outings where the UConn alumni has allowed zero earned runs. Although his numbers have been rough overall since joining Tulsa, Casparius’ 19.5% BB-K rate over his last two starts is a sign of progress.

High-A Great Lakes Loons

Dalton Rushing homered on Friday to break his long hitless streak and he carried that momentum all the way through the end of the series. Rushing homered in each game of a doubleheader on Saturday and picked up another hit in the series finale, totaling a 1.682 OPS on the weekend. It was a long rut that included another IL stint as Rushing tried to get healthy, but it appears he is now back to himself at the plate.

Jerming Rosario tossed a gem in game two of Great Lakes’ Saturday doubleheader. A single was the only baserunner Rosario allowed, and he struck out seven of the 15 batters he faced. Five shutout innings got the hard throwing right-hander his sixth career High-A victory. In his last 12 outings, Rosario has struck out nearly 1/3 of the batters he’s faced while limiting walks to a 9.4% clip and posting a 3.45 ERA.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Kendall George, the Dodgers’ first round pick in this year’s draft, was bumped up to Rancho Cucamonga when the rookie league season in Arizona came to an end. George was very impressive in his first 16 games there, batting .364 with a 15.5% walk rate and 11 stolen bases. He doesn’t turn 19 until late October, but that didn’t stop the Dodgers from letting George experience Single-A for the final stretch of 2023.

Rookie Ball

The DSL LAD Bautista squad is the last remaining Dodgers Rookie league affiliate that hasn’t been eliminated from their playoff run yet. They clinched their spot in the Dominican Summer League championship series with a massive comeback win yesterday. Playing the DSL Padres Gold, the Dodgers fell behind 9-0 in the second inning. They managed to climb their way all the way back to tie the game with a six-run ninth inning, and then the Dodgers walked it off in the 10th to clinch the series.

Joendry Vargas homered in game 1 of the series on Saturday. His run was the difference as the Dodgers won that game 4-3. This squad has been dominant all summer, and they are now just one series away from winning the 2023 DSL title.

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.