Dodgers Prospect Notes: Busch & Hurt win POTY, Loons & Quakes lose in playoffs, Rushing & Wrobleski end season strong, more

Michael Busch (Photo: Cody Bashore)

Top Farm Batter

Michael Busch was named the Dodgers’ Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year this week. He is well deserving of the award, as he has mashed in Triple-A throughout 2023. Busch’s 1.049 OPS this year was by far the best in the system among full-season clubs.

As if Busch needed to prove that he deserved the recognition, he has gone on a tear heading into the Pacific Coast League Championship Series. Over the final week of the regular season, Busch homered three times, bringing his total on the year to 27. There is a good chance he will be named the PCL MVP after leading the league in OPS by a wide margin.

Top Farm Pitcher

Alongside Busch’s recognition, Kyle Hurt was named the Dodgers’ Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The Minor League leader in strikeout rate among pitchers with at least 90 innings, this was a huge breakout season for Hurt.

Hurt’s final appearance of the regular season saw him strike out seven in 3 2/3 frames for Oklahoma City. After making an impressive but short Major League debut, Hurt will have the chance to win a roster spot in the spring. Whether it is in the starting rotation or out of the bullpen, Hurt’s electric stuff is ready to help the Dodgers’ pitching staff for years to come.

Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers

Hunter Feduccia homered twice in Oklahoma City’s final regular season series. Spending the entirety of the year in Triple-A, Feduccia posted an impressive .279/.387/.451/.838 overall line with 11 homers in 90 games. If the Dodgers decide to move on from Austin Barnes this offseason, Feduccia could be slated to step into the backup catcher role in 2024.

River Ryan was solid in his second start since being promoted to Triple-A. My No. 9 prospect in the system, Ryan has developed quickly and gained some big expectations. The athletic right-hander has struck out 12 in his first seven Triple-A frames.

Not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for another year, Ryan will more than likely head back to Triple-A for the start of 2024. However, if he can produce and continue the pace of progress he’s shown so far, the 25-year-old is a good bet to debut at some point next summer.

Double-A Tulsa Drillers

Jose Ramos managed one last homer before Tulsa’s season ended, finishing with 19 long balls in his first Double-A campaign. Ramos has been cold down the stretch, but the Dodgers will have to make a decision on him this winter; the 22-year-old outfielder might not make it through the Rule 5 Draft again if he is not protected. His .594 OPS since the start of July could scare teams away from forcing him to jump to the majors, but it may be seen as a risk worth taking for Ramos’ potential upside.

High-A Great Lakes Loons

Great Lakes was defeated in three games by Twins affiliate Cedar Rapids for the Midwest League championship.

Dalton Rushing did everything he could for the Loons in the playoffs. Rushing homered three times and posted a 1.400 OPS while playing in all six of Great Lakes’ postseason games. He drove in eight runs in the three-game championship series alone.

Justin Wrobleski‘s stuff has looked better than ever in his two playoff starts. The second one came in the championship series, where Wrobleski struck out six and tossed four shutout innings. He has hit 97 and 98 mph consistently between his two postseason outings, which is encouraging to see for the left-hander two years out from Tommy John surgery.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Rancho Cucamonga lost the California League Championship Series in two games to Mariners affiliate Modesto.

Jake Gelof homered twice in game one of the short series, accounting for both runs in what ended up as a 9-2 loss for the Quakes. Gelof amassed 14 total bases in five postseason games with a .953 OPS.

About Bruce Kuntz

Avatar photo
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.