Dodgers Prospect Watch: Marshall Kasowski Continues to Dominate

kasowski

If you’re a regular reader of the content here, you’ll recall when we put together a quick profile on Rancho righty reliever Marshall Kasowski just under two weeks ago. At the time, the 23-year-old Texas native had a 1.69 ERA and a 15.1 K/9 fresh off a promotion to High-A, and many believed it would be difficult for him to stay the course of having such success.

Yet, as the season is progressing, Kasowski continues to dominate.

As a matter of fact, since we published our initial story, he has allowed only one hit while striking out six batters over an even four innings of relief. What’s more, since the beginning of June, Kasowski has tallied a 0.96 ERA and a ridiculous 0.54 WHIP with 16 punchouts over seven appearances and 9-1/3 innings of work. That translates to about 15-1/2 strikeouts for every nine innings he throws.

By no means are we saying that he’s on the fast track to the big leagues, but at the same time, by no means are we ruling it out. It’s just very rare that an arm at the High-A level in the extremely hitter-friendly Cal League has so much success, especially in the bullpen. It almost reminiscent of what right-hander Shea Spitzbarth accomplished during the first-half of last season before he was promoted to Double-A Tulsa.

And, speaking of Spitzbarth, the Drillers have a duo of righty relievers—Spitzbarth and Dylan Baker—who can close and who may be potentially blocking Kasowski’s path, at least temporarily. However, when considering how the bullpen at the top of the organization has struggled at times during the early portions of the year, this can certainly be characterized as one of those “good problems to have.”

When we first talked about Kasowski, there seemed to bit a bit of a command issue, as he allowed 19 walks over 33-1/3 innings; however, in the entire month of June, the Quakes’ closer has issued just one free pass, which is a dramatic improvement over the early stages of the year. Furthermore, it could be a sign the right-hander may soon be in line for a promotion to Tulsa, opening the door for guys like Baker and Spitzbarth to conceivably get bumped up to Triple-A, if there’s a chance the arms of Joe Broussard or Josh Sborz are considered for the bigs.

If you missed our first story, Kazowski was drafted by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2017 MLB draft out of West Texas A&M, not long after being named the 2017 Lone Star Conference Co-Male Athlete of the Year. Collegiately, he led the entire nation in 2017 by breaking both the school and the conference season record with 165 punchouts. He also topped the country in strikeouts per nine innings at 15.91.

As far as his repertoire goes, Kasowski’s best offering is undoubtedly his heater, which sits in the low-to-mid nineties, sometimes topping out as high as 96 MPH. But it’s his unorthodox delivery which caught the eye of the major league scouts. He throws from a slot right next to his ear, which creates a very deceptive motion that leads to him missing plenty of bats.

Right now, the Quakes are finishing up their four-game set on Sunday at home against San Jose. First pitch is slated for 2:05 p.m. Pacific time.

 

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16 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: Marshall Kasowski Continues to Dominate

  1. Thanks for the nice write up Dennis. In late breaking news, The Big K pitched an inning in today’s game, faced 3 batters———————3 k’s. Onward and upward.
    When I originally spoke about Kasowski, I also mentioned another RC reliever, Zach Pop. Pop was drafted in the 7th round out of Kentucky last year and although he doesn’t have nearly the strike out ratio that Kasowski does (his is a little under 9k/9), his batting average against and WHIP numbers are great. In 20 innings this year, bat avg is .167, WHIP is 0.75, ERA is 0.45. I realize this is relatively low minors and guys don’t always keep progressing as they move up in class, but he’s also someone to keep an eye on, at least for now. And he’s only 21. If you can dig up some more information on him, I’d love to see it.

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  2. He’s ahead of schedule. You thought he might get to GL by the end of 2018 and he’s already at RC. Between Kasowski and Pop, we seem to have two pretty impressive young arms. Anyone have any stats on whether the front office practice of trying most relievers as starters first actually leads to good results? I like the idea that they didn’t try to mess with either of these guys and just let them develop as relievers.

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      1. Funny you should mention Paco. I was just thinking about him the other day. He was a very bright shooting star that flamed out far too quickly. What a shame.

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  3. No doubt in my mind Kasowski’s ticketed for AA Tulsa at the rate he’s been on. Drillers could certainly use his closer expertise after seeing Sborz graduate to AAA OKC not too long ago. Btw Dennis, I highly recommend doing a prospect watch piece on another player down there at High-A Rancho who’s been tearing it up all season long and could force himself on the Dodgers’ radar a year from now: Rylan Bannon. He was originally drafted as a 3B, but the more I’ve been following him this year the more I see a future All-Star 2B at the big-league level (even more so than fellow teammate and top middle infield prospect Gavin Lux, truth be told). Guy’s only around 5’10″/180lbs, but when he swings that bat he generates such tremendous bat speed that his power numbers continue to improve with every game played so far. I’m actually kinda surprised he’s still on that club because I also had him pegged for Tulsa once the 2nd half of the season began. Talk about a bonafide sleeper right there, folks…

    Other prospects to keep a close eye on down there at Rancho other than the ones already mentioned in this thread:

    -Tony Gonsolin (he’s been dominating of late, could be another fast mover; overall stuff continues to impress as well as improve)

    -Dean Kremer (Kasowski’s not the only one with a gaudy K/9IP rate; first Israeli-born player drafted by an MLB team is quietly having a breakout campaign this season and profiles to be a high-level mid-rotation arm in the Ross Stripling mold; some of the most fluid mechanics I’ve seen to date from a Dodger pitching prospect if you can believe that)

    -Dustin May (started off slow this season, but he’s beginning to round into form his last few outings; still not sure what his true ceiling is right now, but he attacks the zone consistently and is nowhere near being done filling out his long lanky frame; fastball was routinely topping out in the mid-90s with natural sink in his last start, too)

    -Cody Thomas (another sleeper pick; no longer selling out exclusively for power like he did last year for low-A Great Lakes and as a result his power numbers were slow to translate in the 1st half this season; since the start of the 2nd half, however, he’s definitely turned it on with the longball while maintaining a decent average still; wouldn’t mind seeing him at Tulsa by season’s end, extremely athletic for his size as well)

    -Jared Walker (patience the Dodger coaching staff has had with Walker since drafting him several years back fresh out of high school might be finally paying off this year; broke out for real for low-A Great Lakes this season and was just recently promoted to Rancho for his hard work; can play some 3B, but 1B will be his main position at the next level; can hit for both average and power, but can also work counts and draw walks at a fairly high rate; can’t help but see another Muncy in the making here, but we’ll see in due time)

    -Cristian Santana (only thing keeping him from unlocking his full potential at this point is his current lack of maturity; this guy might arguably have the best bat speed and contact skills in the entire Dodger system along with the best arm/glove combo at the hot corner to boot; moment he finally “grows up” like Puig and most recently Pederson have already done to some extent on the parent club, he could end up being a special player at the big-league level…or prime trade bait, whichever comes first for him)

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      1. Yup, that’s what I figured about Santana. I find it rather amusing that many of these Dominican-born players arrive stateside thinking that for them to have success over here they have to swing harder and harder on virtually every pitch (lol). Wish OKC hitting coach Shawn Wooten could get his hands on him and show him a thing or two like he did with Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and most recently Max Muncy because there’s NO doubt in my mind he possesses legit big-league talent at the plate as well as the hot corner. Just needs to work on his IQ a little more, that’s all. Glad to hear you’ve been keeping tabs on Bannon and Thomas like I have this season. Bannon might end up being the best player taken by the Dodgers in last year’s draft when all’s said and done. Shades of Jimmy Wynn and Steve Garvey (if the coaching staff finally convinces him to adopt a more compact two-handed swing as he continues to move up the ranks) whenever I see that little dynamo go to work…

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  4. I’ve been keeping an eye on Bannon also. Looks to have some real promise.
    I remember following Peters, Cody Thomas and Mitchell Hansen at Ogden in 2016, wondering which of them was going to have the best MLB career. Peters now at Tulsa, although he’s hit a bit of a wall lately, Thomas at Rancho and Hansen was released within the last week (subsequently signed with the Yankee organization). Always fun to pick up these guys really early in their career and see how far they go and how successful they are.

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    1. Yeah, doesn’t surprise me to see Peters scuffling a bit of late down at AA Tulsa. Aaron Judge went through the exact same thing while he was working his way up the Yankee pipeline, but he ended up persevering in the end. Peters has so much natural physical talent for the game that if he continues to put in the work and listens carefully to the instruction the coaching staff gives him, he’s gonna make the Dodgers’ parent club roster as early as next year right out of ST. I think he’s just getting frustrated that opposing clubs down there have stopped pitching to him about a month or so ago and hasn’t really embraced the value of taking the BB during that time. Moment he finally does, he’s back on the fast track.

      Sad to hear what happened to Hansen, but that’s what happens when you’re in a farm system that’s so loaded with talent at every position you qualify at that if you don’t do all you can to separate yourself from the pack before the next batch of promising young farmhands arrives then ADIOS AMIGO! Truth be told, his days were numbered the moment Bellinger blew by him in low-A ball a few years back. Dodger brass gave him more slack than I thought they should, anyway. Oh well, best of luck to him in the Yankee system.

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      1. Or maybe Bannon is just that damn good, lol. If he’s still at Rancho by the end of this month, I’m not gonna be too pleased about it…

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