With all the recent emphasis on the prospective Dodgers big league roster, I thought it would be worth investing a few minutes to start laying out some names to get an idea of what the Opening Day Triple-A squad might look like at Oklahoma City.
In recent years, there’s been a bit of roster flexibility at OKC, giving the organization the opportunity to freely promote several of the youngsters from the lower levels. However, as the 2018 regular season approaches, the system is so deep that a handful of proven Triple-A prospects may be forced down a level to Double-A Tulsa.
I’m not going to take the extra time to throw out a bunch of overloaded player statistics just now, but instead create a shortlist of names which may appear on the Oklahoma City 25-man when the team begins the season at Iowa on April 6.
At this point, there are still a number of gray areas, most specifically when considering the destinies of both Trayce Thompson and Wilmer Font. I could be wrong, but presently I don’t have either making the big league Opening Day roster, which means that they will need to go unclaimed on waivers in order to return to OKC. Just looking at the potential ceilings of both players, one would think that somebody out there will probably take a flyer on one or both.
And, even when considering the current injuries, in some models the final big league 25-man roster spot may theoretically come down to two choices between Andrew Toles, Kyle Farmer and Joc Pederson. Whatever happens, the organization will indeed make room at Oklahoma City when the need arises.
As for the OKC starting rotation, there are several names which could double-back as relievers, but considering the lack of big league rotation depth, will probably begin the year as starters at Triple-A, if only to set-up reasonable cover. Walker Buehler, Brock Stewart, Dennis Santana and Zach Neal will headline the rotation, while talented arms like Henry Owens and Manny Banuelos will be right there as suitable swing-men.
The bullpen sets up nicely with the premiere arms being right-handers Joe Broussard, Yaisel Sierra and Dylan Baker, alongside lefties Adam Liberatore and Edward Paredes. Also battling for roster spots at OKC will be Cesar Ramos, Jordan Jankowski and C.C. Lee.
The catching crew, with or without Farmer, will likely consist of Rocky Gale and Shawn Zarraga, giving highly rated prospects Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz more time to season themselves at the lower levels.
The infield group may very well be one of the most talented in the entire Pacific Coast League. Battling for regular playing time will be Rob Segedin, Edwin Rios, Matt Beaty, Tim Locastro, Jake Peter and Donovan Solano.
All of the aforementioned crew has played a little outfield at some point or another, but the prospective regular outfield at Oklahoma City may be a little too stacked to allow playing time for everyone who needs it. Featured players in the group are Alex Verdugo, Henry Ramos and Travis Taijeron, while Jacob Scavuzzo can provide cover in all three spots. With the addition of Toles or Pederson, the OKC outfield crew may be among the best in the American Northern division.
A quick glance at the prospective big league and Triple-A prospective rosters creates a huge level of excitement for fans of the Dodgers everywhere. The abundance of talent the organization has at both levels is enormous.
11 thoughts on “A Few Ideas About the Oklahoma City Dodgers 25-Man Roster”
Toles hasn’t started for the last 5 games and is 4 for his last 22. When asked why he hasn’t started, he said he has no idea why. He is scheduled to start on Saturday, when the regulars will be headed back from Camelback to L.A. Therefore………………………………….we might find that Toles is playing outfield in OKC rather than Joc. I certainly hope not.
Assuming that Farmer starts the year in L.A. (certainly not a given), I think it would be a bad decision to have Ruiz and Smith split the catching in Tulsa while having Gale and Zarraga (2 guys with no future in an L.A. Dodger uni) share the catching in OKC. Smith and Ruiz both need regular at bats, so I think the better decision would be to start the more advanced of the two (probably Smith) in OKC. If he fails miserably, he can always be moved back to Tulsa.
Smith has also been playing some second and third the past few seasons. Also DHing. Opens up a few more doors for him.
I guess that’s the current Dodger blueprint. Draft a guy as an infielder, convert him to catcher and then slowly start moving him back to the infield to increase his value. The one exception seems to be Ruiz who, as far as I know, has always been a catcher.
Pederson’s hitting .157 this spring. If I’m not mistaken, I think Tolesy’s about 100 points above that.
I have no clue what they have in mind. The problem (if you want Toles to be the one that stays) is that neither of the guys is making a very good case lately. After a great start, Toles has really pretty much stopped hitting, even though Joc’s stats are definitely worse. Unless it was a misprint, Joc’s SLUGGING pct this spring is .275 but he still draws walks, which Tolesy is never going to do. Maybe by starting Joc every game instead of Toles, they’re letting him play his way off the roster. Maybe they’ve decided that Toles’ ego could handle OKC better than Joc. Maybe they flipped a coin. I’m hoping they explain their reasoning once the decision is announced.
Just heard an interview with Farhan and, for whatever it’s worth, I’ve drawn the following conclusions from his statements: 1) They will probably start the year with an 8 man bullpen, 2) Chargois is considered the current successor for the Morrow-Kohler spot on the roster as of now (implied, not actually stated), 3) They’ve been a bit surprised and very impressed with Farmer this spring (from the tone of his voice I would say he has a better than 50-50 chance of staying), 4) Had positive things to say about Font and since Venditte has already said he’s going down to OKC to work on stretching out to multiple innings and Yimi has been both unimpressive and has only pitched once in the past 8 days, it seems as though an 8-man pen would have Font as the last guy standing. No comment on Joc vs Toles but someone mentioned that they might want Toles to play every day and for that reason might start him at OKC. He’s still my choice over Joc but guess what, I’m not making the decision.
I’d think Pederson should be the one playing every day considering his propensity for quickly adding body mass.
Excellent point! Send a tweet to Farhan.
I don’t think Farhan makes many of the decisions. I believe he more or less acts as a liaison when Friedman doesn’t feel like speaking.
I actually think they do most things by committee but Andrew has the deciding vote. I do think Farhan enjoys interacting with the media far more than Friedman does.