Dodgers Prospect Notes: Gelof mashing, Vivas cycle, George’s fast start, Heubeck & Bruns impressive, more

Peter Heubeck (Via @RCQuakes)

Top Farm Batter

Jake Gelof had an incredible final week of the regular season in Rancho Cucamonga. Across six games, the second-round infielder drove in 16 runs, crushing four homers and two doubles. In September, Gelof has posted a 175 wRC+ and 1.085 OPS.

Although he started his time in Single-A a bit slow, Gelof is showing what he’s capable of at the plate over this stretch. He was projected by many outlets to go earlier than the 60th overall slot that the Dodgers got him at out of Virginia. Gelof has talent in his bat, and next year will be an interesting one to watch for how big a step he can take forward.

Top Farm Pitcher

Peter Heubeck picked up wins in back-to-back outings this week. They were his first two at the High-A level, as these have been some of his best performances as a pro. His first was a five-inning start, and the second was a two-inning relief appearance.

I ranked Heubeck at the No. 31 spot on my updated Dodgers prospects list from mid-August. Outings like these two, where Heubeck showcases his premium stuff without walking too many hitters, are what he needs to move up the list. There is a lot of potential with the 2021 third rounder, who will try and reach Double-A next season.

Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers

Only Jake Gelof’s nuclear week could have stolen the top batter spot from Jorbit Vivas, who hit for the cycle on Thursday night. The 22-year-old infielder received his first Triple-A promotion when Michael Busch was brought up to the majors roughly two weeks ago. Although Vivas hasn’t started out great in Oklahoma City, his bat-to-ball skills make him a lower risk, high floor prospect that should debut in 2024.

Kyle Hurt has consistently been one of the most impressive pitchers in the organization this year. His outing for Oklahoma City last week was a good encapsulation of what he brings, as he allowed only one hit across five shutout innings. His 37 CSW% was fantastic, and he is near the top of the minor leagues in that category. Hurt has rectified the strike throwing issues he had last year, and now showing passable control, he is a good bet to make an impact in the majors next season.

Double-A Tulsa Drillers

For only his second season pitching professionally, River Ryan has had an impressive campaign. He’s spent the entirety of it in Double-A, and his last start showed the adjustments he’s made this season paying off. He allowed only one hit in five shutout frames, touching 99 on the gun and flashing impressive breaking stuff (plus an electric flash of emotion after his final strikeout).

High-A Great Lakes Loons

In his last 13 games, Dalton Rushing has homered six times. It’s great to see Rushing finishing the season this way after he battled through a long dry spell midseason likely due to injury. Spring Training next year will be interesting to watch for Rushing, as he will likely get a solid mix of opportunities in big league games as he tries to earn a spot in Double-A to start 2024.

Maddux Bruns flashed his best stuff in an impressive start Friday. Although he only went three innings, the former first-round pick generated 13 whiffs out of his 56 pitches. Possibly even more importantly for Bruns, he also allowed zero walks. Control has been the issue for Bruns, and if he can continue to make improvements like he has throughout 2023, the left-hander has a bright future ahead of him.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Kendall George stole home plate in a double steal and secured a walk-off win for Rancho Cucamonga Friday night. The Dodgers’ first-rounder this year has been excellent to begin his professional career, putting up a 155 wRC+ and six steals in his first 12 Single-A games. Those are rare numbers for a player who hasn’t even turned 19 years old.

Thayron Liranzo has continued to mash for the Quakes. He extended his California League home run lead with two more homers this week, and is now up to 24 in his first full-season campaign. If the Dodgers weren’t so stacked at catcher throughout the minors, Liranzo probably would’ve been given a High-A promotion at some point. Instead, he’ll be set up to begin 2024 with the Loons.

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.