Dodgers Prospect Notes: Michael Busch named PCL MVP, AFL debuts, top prospects at instructs, more

(Via MiLB)

Michael Busch was officially named as the 2023 Pacific Coast League MVP Wednesday. It was expected that Busch would win the award, as he led the PCL in both OPS and wRC+ by fairly wide margins.

It has been a good week of recognition for the top prospect after Busch was also named to the All-MiLB Prospect 1st Team on Monday. His season in Triple-A was fantastic and he is getting some well deserved accolades from his performance. Busch has been in Los Angeles to start the week, where he took part in the scrimmage that was held today and hit a home run off Brusdar Graterol.

Lastly, Busch was named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star Team alongside Gavin Stone. After a turbulent start to the season that included a rough MLB debut, Stone worked hard on changing his arsenal and pitch usage, and it translated to much more success in the second half. From July through the end of the year, Stone appeared in nine games for Oklahoma City and posted a perfect 5-0 record with a 2.49 ERA.


Every pitcher that the Dodgers sent to this year’s Arizona Fall League has appeared in one of the first three games. Kendall Williams had the longest outing of the group, tossing four one-run innings as the starter for the Desert Dogs on Wednesday night. Williams racked up 13 swings and misses while only throwing 57 pitches.

Ben Casparius (our No. 50 prospect in the system), Ronan Kopp (No. 13) and Jake Pilarski (No. 25) each appeared on Tuesday. Casparius went two shutout innings and struck out three. Kopp struck out one in a scoreless frame, and Pilarski allowed an unearned run while pitching late in the eventual Glendale loss.

Yeiner Fernandez (No. 20) hit the first Dodger homer of the 2023 Fall League on Wednesday night. Fernandez only homered six times in the regular season while playing out his first High-A campaign. Further, he went deep yesterday while playing a brand new position, starting at shortstop for Glendale with that being his first action at the position as a professional.


An assortment of top teenage prospects are all in Arizona as well for instructs. Joendry Vargas (No. 10) is among them, despite being only 17 years old. The shortstop had a great first summer as a pro after signing for over $2,000,000 last January.

Even after he spent most of 2023 in Single-A, Josue De Paula (No. 3) is at instructs for the second straight year. The outfielder doesn’t turn 19 until next May, so he is still young among the age group in Arizona. De Paula showed flashes of brilliance in his first full-season campaign, reaching base at a .396 clip, but he is still learning how to translate his raw power into games more effectively.

Lastly, Alexander Albertus (No. 53) is present at instructs as well. He homered in a game against the Brewers instructional squad, showing off his bat-to-ball skills. Albertus had twice as many walks as he did strikeouts in 45 games this summer.


The Dodgers began the process of offseason roster trimming on Wednesday, releasing five players from their minor league system. Veteran catcher Patrick Mazeika was released along with fellow catcher Javier Pena and pitchers Lesther Medrano, Enrike Sevilya and Arod McKenzie.

Another roster spot was vacated by right-handed pitcher Tyson Miller, who elected free agency. Miller was on the waiver wire a few times throughout 2023, appearing in 10 total Major League games, including two with the Dodgers.

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.