Oklahoma City Dodgers 25-Man Roster Projections: March 2017 Edition

Trevor Oaks
(Mandatory Credit: Tony Capobianco)

Not long after the 25-man big league roster is submitted the morning of April 3, the entire management crew of the Dodgers will find itself spinning its wheels drawing up a prospective draft for the Triple-A Oklahoma City squad. Opening Day for OKC falls on Thursday, April 6 at home, so there’s basically just a few days to decide which players remain on the upper fringes of the farm and which players head for the plains of Double-A Tulsa.

The amount of talent contained within Oklahoma City’s 2017 roster can simply be described as “overwhelming.” Even the OKC bullpen, which was stretched a bit thin heading into last year’s Pacific Coast League Championship against El Paso, is stocked with a number of arms that even a group of other major league clubs would envy.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that a number of our projections are based on a few players opening the season on the major league disabled list. In addition, several determinations may also come down to the wire due to a handful of roster battles, most specifically competition in the big league bullpen as well as a few utility roles.

Beginning with the outfield, and assuming that Andrew Toles replaces the injured Andre Ethier on the Los Angeles Opening Day roster, the OKC crew quite possibly could consist of Alex Verdugo, Trayce Thompson, Brett Eibner, O’Koyea Dickson and Tyler Holt. As far as who starts and who doesn’t, your guess is as good as ours, as at least three of the names shown are certainly considered to be MLB-ready by many standards.Depending on how the roster in constructed, though, there may not even be room for Henry Ramos, who could conceivably begin his campaign on the shelf because of a groin injury, or super-utility man Stetson Allie, who can capably man all the corner spots in the infield and the outfield. Consequently, when considering that management likes to keep players such as Rob Segedin and Cody Bellinger well-versed in the outfield, there’s really not much room for maneuvering. And that’s not even mentioning Scott Van Slyke, Enrique Hernandez or Chris Taylor, if for some reason one or two are left off the big league 25-man roster.

Moving along to the infield, the primary core will consist of Segedin at the hot corner, Taylor/Hernandez at short, Willie Calhoun at the keystone, and Bellinger at first base. Charlie Culberson and Darnell Sweeney should competently handle all the utility roles. Leftover players on our list include the likes of Ike Davis and Drew Maggi, who may eventually opt for free agency or even accept an assignment with the Drillers. Either way, the high number of these fringe players who may not even make the Triple-A roster absolutely speaks volumes about the overall depth of the entire organization.

At catcher, Kyle Farmer is likely to handle the primary duties, while journeyman Bobby Wilson will presumably stick around to mentor Farmer and be the first to get the big league call in case of injury. Because of the crowded bench, we couldn’t find room for Jack Murphy, who may even have a hard time being squeezed in at Tulsa due to the presences of Paul Hoenecke and Wynston Sawyer. In any event, it’s good to finally see the system stocked full of so many receivers who can adequately handle the duties behind the dish.

Looking at the starting rotation, our guess is that lefty Alex Wood still finds a way to nail down a spot on the big league squad, and that Ross Stripling find a place in the Los Angeles bullpen. That leaves Brock Stewart, Trevor Oaks, Josh Sborz, Fabio Castillo and Andrew Thurman as the OKC starting five. As there’s a good chance Stewart won’t be ready for Opening Day, Oaks may get the honors to throw in the first game against Iowa, while either Madison Younginer or Patrick Schuster, both starting pitchers in their early minor league days, could be used in a pinch until Stewart is stretched out and ready to go.

As far as the bullpen goes, based on our current major league projections, the Oklahoma City staff will consist of Jacob Rhame, Adam Liberatore, Josh Fields, Steve Geltz, Josh Ravin, Joe Broussard and Ralston Cash. Because of the huge amount of depth, we have Kyle Grana, Layne Somsen and Edward Paredes all listed on the bubble and potentially destined for Tulsa.

In the end, depending on which types of matchups the management crew has a desire to see, there’s no question that OKC skipper Bill Haselman will have his hands full when constructing his lineups throughout the upcoming campaign. Undoubtedly, fans of the Dodgers everywhere have tons of reasons to be excited in 2017, as the amount of promise that the organization has at all levels is enormous.

2017 Oklahoma City Dodgers Projected Roster

Outfielders (5) — Trayce Thompson, O’Koyea Dickson, Brett Eibner, Alex Verdugo and Tyler Holt

Infielders (6) — Rob Segedin, Chris Taylor, Willie Calhoun, Cody Bellinger, Charlie Culberson and Darnell Sweeney

Catchers (2) — Kyle Farmer and Bobby Wilson

Starting Pitchers (5) — Brock Stewart, Trevor Oaks, Josh Sborz, Fabio Castillo and Andrew Thurman

Bullpen (7) — Jacob Rhame, Adam Liberatore, Josh Fields, Steve Geltz, Josh Ravin, Joe Broussard and Ralston Cash

Bubble (10) — Madison Younginer, Patrick Schuster, Kyle Grana, Edward Paredes, Layne Somsen, Ike Davis, Henry Ramos, Jack Murphy, Stetson Allie and Drew Maggi

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

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15 thoughts on “Oklahoma City Dodgers 25-Man Roster Projections: March 2017 Edition

    1. You very well may be right, Michael. But for some reason, my instincts tell me that management sticks with Hernandez. Both are easily interchangeable on either 25-man roster, so it’s not really as big of an issue as many are making it out to be.

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  1. Dennis, three questions:
    1. Why no mention of Wilmer Font? The Dodgers picked him up exactly for back of the rotation at OKC.
    2. Why the rush of Josh Sborz? He is a good prospect, but don’t you think he needs to succeed at AA as a starter before he makes the OKC rotation?
    3. Do you really believe that the Dodgers are going to keep all of Ryu/Wood/Stripling on the ML roster? I can see Stripling because of the questions on right hand relief after Jansen/Romo, but if Ryu is deemed good to go, then he makes the LAD rotation, and Wood probably drops down to OKC. The ML club will not need two young long men spot starters sitting in the pen. One should move down to OKC to start, with both Stripling and Wood moving back and forth as needed throughout the year.

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    1. Hey Jeff…. Very good points. I totally overlooked Font. I don’t expect much from him as far as numbers go, but he could conceivably be this season’s version of Sam Lecure, I guess. It seems like he’s still being flipped from to reliever to starter almost every single season he gets under his belt. As far as Sborz goes, I think he SHOULD start at Tulsa, and my personal preference is to have him in the bullpen, but that’s just not gonna happen with relievers in every direction you look. I have him at OKC just because of the lack of starters, and the fact that he’s on a faster track than even some of the current Triple-A guys, as made evident by his NRI. As for Alex Wood, I think he stays stretched out as a starter. It’s still tough to say how the MLB rotation shakes out, but it very well could include McCarthy and Ryu, with Wood beginning the year at OKC—we had Wood at Triple-A in our earlier models when Kaz was healthy. I haven’t changed our current big league 25-man projections because I still have this premonition (and I hope it’s not correct for the sake of general health) that something prevents either McCarthy or Ryu opening the year in the starting five. In the end, though, I do believe that if he’s right, Wood is indeed one of the best starting five or six in the organization.

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      1. I agree that Sborz is on the fast track, and the Dodgers are going to give him every opportunity to become a starter. To me, that is why they acquired Font; to be the #5 (or #6) in the OKC rotation. This should allow Sborz to develop as a starter in more of a pitchers league, at a slower pace. I believe he will get to OKC this year (sooner rather than later), but he needs to succeed at AA. I also think that Andy Sopko has a chance to get there later in the year.

        I agree with you about Wood. I have been a fan since they traded for him. But if Ryu is healthy he is going to be the #4/#5 with McCarthy. Ryu cannot go to the pen, and Wood can. If McCarthy gets hurt, Stripling steps in, and if Ryu gets hurt, Wood steps in. If not starting, Wood and Stripling would be the long man/spot starter at the ML level. The Dodgers are not going to keep two young starters in that role, so one goes to OKC. Because the right hand relievers are in flux, I think Stripling stays. But I also believe they switch often during the year, so both keep starting. But it was interesting today to see Sierra go 2.2. Perhaps they are looking at Sierra to be the long man and keep both Stripling and Wood starting, but at OKC. I believe that if you think you know what the front office is going to do, wait five minutes and it is going to change. The Dodgers are 9 days from opening day, and are no closer to making key decisions for the 25 man which keeps the minor league affiliates in limbo as well.

        This was a great topic.

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      2. Josh Sborz, Andy Sopko, Scott Barlow, Isaac Anderson, and my throw away is Chris Anderson. Anderson is the AA version of Font and Castillo. He gets replaced by Mitchell White as the season goes on. Walker Buehler will also get to Tulsa before the year is out. Michael Boyle will be a longshot for promotion for later in the year as the guys at Great Lakes need to move up to Rancho.

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  2. That will be the Rancho starting 5 come April 6. I will be going to that opening night game in Stockton, and hoping that Walker Buehler gets the start. I may end up going the entire series and hope to see White, then Alveraz, then Abdullah. Buehler and White are on the fast fast track, Alveraz is on the fast track, and Abdullah is on the let’s just wait and see how he does in a hitters league. Boyle is just behind too many arms.

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