Top Farm Batter
Joe Vetrano led the way in a huge comeback last night to send Rancho Cucamonga to the California League Championship Series. After the Quakes fell behind 4-0 early, Vetrano hit two homers in the same inning as his squad vaulted ahead into the lead. Vetrano finished the game 3-for-4 with five total runs driven in.
Notables in the RC Quakes lineup tonight:— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 16, 2023
J Vetrano: 3-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI
J De Paula: 2-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI
J Thompson: 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI
T Liranzo: 2-3, 2 BB
The #Dodgers Single-A affiliate is now moving on to the Cal League Championship Series pic.twitter.com/Fag19Qq3EE
A fifth round selection in this year’s draft, Vetrano is a bat-first prospect who is limited to first base defensively. He homered twice in his first 35 professional games, matching that total in just the second inning last night. Vetrano played three seasons at Boston College, where he posted a .989 career OPS.
Top Farm Pitcher
Jared Karros tossed a gem as Great Lakes clinched their spot in the Midwest League Championship Series last night. Karros went five shutout innings, allowing only two hits and compiling six strikeouts. He needed only 77 pitches to qualify for the win.
Jared Karros was excellent in the playoffs for Great Lakes tonight:— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 16, 2023
77 P / 51 S
Karros has been extremely impressive since being promoted to High-A pic.twitter.com/oVSHLRoM7m
Karros had an impressive first year as a pro, posting a 3.44 ERA and 3.74 K/BB ratio in 22 games. After he was promoted to High-A in late August, Karros had a 0.69 ERA in 13 innings leading into the playoffs. With his outing last night, Karros has allowed only one earned run in his first 18 frames with the Loons.
Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers
River Ryan made his Triple-A debut on Wednesday. Although he allowed an ugly seven earned runs in three innings, there were certainly positives to take away. Ryan struck out seven and compiled 15 total whiffs as over 40% of the swings against him did not make contact. His fastball got up to 97.2 mph.
River Ryan, my No. 9 #Dodgers prospect, in his Triple-A debut today:— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 13, 2023
73 P / 46 S
On the bright side, Ryan’s 15 whiffs (41% rate) is very good for only 3 innings. He maxed out at 97.2 mph on his fastball. pic.twitter.com/PzqHdPNw1r
Both runs that Nick Frasso allowed in his Thursday night outing were unearned. Frasso has a 3.26 ERA since arriving in Triple-A, averaging nearly five full innings per start (which is impressive given the shortened leashes the Dodgers tend to put on their pitching prospects in September).
Nick Frasso, my No. 7 #Dodgers prospect, tonight in Triple-A:— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 15, 2023
2 R (0 ER)
Double-A Tulsa Drillers
Imanol Vargas launched his 21st homer of the year last night for Tulsa. Vargas has been very productive at the plate the last few years, but he has flown under the radar due to his older age and status as a first baseman or designated hitter. He already turned 25 in June. If he goes unselected in the Rule 5 Draft this offseason, Vargas will likely start 2024 in Triple-A.
Vargas goes deep for the 21st time this season! ? pic.twitter.com/BlCiScPvSR— Tulsa Drillers (@TulsaDrillers) September 16, 2023
High-A Great Lakes Loons
After losing game one in their best-of-three series with Fort Wayne on Tuesday, the Loons won their next two matchups to advance to the Midwest League Championship Series. They will face Twins affiliate Cedar Rapids in another best-of-three series beginning on Sunday.
The Great Lakes Loons, who are the #Dodgers High-A affiliate, are moving on the Midwest League Championship!— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 16, 2023
After losing game 1 of their divisional series, the Loons won back-to-back games over Padres affiliate Fort Wayne to clinch their spot! pic.twitter.com/IFkxVEYRX7
Despite the eventual loss, Justin Wrobleski pitched well in Game 1. He struck out eight without any walks, channeling some extra playoff energy to reach 98 mph on his fastball. The breakout left-hander posted a 2.90 ERA and 3.11 K/BB ratio in 102 1/3 innings for the Loons this season.
Maddux Bruns made a clutch start Thursday to help the Loons extend the series. He allowed only one hit and one unearned run while striking out seven. Bruns walked three in his four innings, but that is a drawback that Great Lakes is certainly willing to take when he is preventing barrels at this rate.
Maddux Bruns, my No. 8 #Dodgers prospect, in a playoff start for High-A Great Lakes today:— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 15, 2023
1 R (0 ER)
69 P / 42 S
Absolute gem from the former first-rounder, and it came when his squad needed it the most pic.twitter.com/dQuQ2Ysl4w
Damon Keith had a big series, finishing with a long homer and three total hits in 10 at-bats.
Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Just like Great Lakes, the Quakes came back from a game one loss to take their divisional series over Inland Empire and move on to the California League Championship Series. After falling behind 4-0 early in game three, the Quakes put up eight runs in the second inning alone on their way to an 11-6 comeback victory.
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (#Dodgers Single-A affiliate) have moved on to the California League Championship series!— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 16, 2023
They overcame a 4-0 deficit (including an 8-run second inning) to defeat Angels affiliate Inland Empire in the deciding game tonight pic.twitter.com/9hYCyNZ1mK
Josue De Paula‘s home run was the swing that put the Quakes ahead for the first time. He went to the opposite field for a two-run shot that gave Rancho Cucamonga a 5-4 lead. De Paula, who was ranked No. 3 in the system on our Dodgers Digest Midseason Top 55 Prospects list, also added an RBI double in his next trip to the plate.
Josue De Paula, my No. 3 #Dodgers prospect, had a huge performance in the biggest game of the year for the Quakes— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) September 16, 2023
He went 2-for-4 with a homer, a double and three RBI. His home run in the second inning gave his team a lead they never gave back pic.twitter.com/AIUbZm3QeX