The management crew of the Dodgers made a few more notable minor league promotions on Friday, moving both corner infielder Edwin Rios and reliever Yaisel Sierra from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
In 77 games for the Drillers this season, Rios was slashing a very impressive .317/.358/.533, and collected 21 doubles, 15 home runs and 62 RBI over 306 AB. At the time of his promotion, the 23-year-old left-handed hitting slugger was first in the Texas League in OPS, tied for second in long balls, third in batting average and second in RBI. He was appointed Texas League Player of the Week on April 30, and was named to the 2017 Texas League All-Star squad in June. Rios was also named the Dodgers’ minor league Player of the Year in 2016.
Now seeing most of his action at third base, Rios was primarily a first baseman in college, spending three years at Florida International University, leading the Panthers to a Conference USA title during his third and final season in 2015. During that campaign, he hit .314 while leading the team with 18 home runs and 69 RBI. He was later drafted by the Dodgers in the sixth round of the MLB draft that same year.
In his first game for Oklahoma City on Friday evening on the road at New Orleans, Rios started at first base and hit sixth, and ended his night going 1-for-4 with a single.
Sierra had compiled a 5-0 record with four saves over 26 appearances before being called up to OKC. In 49-2/3 innings pitched, the 26-year-old righty posted a 2.54 ERA with 64 strikeouts against only 16 walks.
After defecting from his native Cuba in 2015, Sierra signed a six-year, $30 million deal with the Dodgers in February of 2016 while being one of the top available international prospects on the market. His primary weapon is a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and tops out as high as 98. He also features a hard slider with cutting action that his coaches see developing into a plus pitch on his road to the majors.
Sierra started last season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and was promoted to Tulsa in early August. His overall numbers for 2016 showed a 5-6 record over 30 appearances, which included 13 starts, posting a 5.89 ERA in 88-2/3 innings with 86 punch outs and 30 walks.
In his most recent outing, Sierra notched a save in Tulsa’s victory over Frisco on Wednesday evening, preserving the win for righty prospect Walker Buehler. He struck out four batters over a full three innings of work in the process.
OKC remains in Nashville with a double-header slated for Saturday, and will close the series against the Sounds on Sunday afternoon. Madison Younginer, Wilmer Font and Fabio Castillo are lining up to start for Oklahoma City through the weekend before the club heads in to the Triple-A All-Star break.
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