On Tuesday, Major League Baseball released its new list for baseball’s Top 100 prospects. The Dodgers, who have always had a great farm system with tremendous depth, had a total of four prospects on the list. Two of those prospects have already seen action in the majors—infielder Gavin Lux and pitcher Brusdar Graterol.
The highest-ranking Dodger prospect was Lux who came in at second overall behind the Rays’ Wander Franco. Lux hasn’t appeared in the majors this season after reporting late to Summer Camp and being optioned to the Dodgers alternate training site.
Lux being optioned before the beginning of the regular season was a surprise, as many pundits saw him starting at second base for Los Angeles. It is probably more than likely he’ll make an appearance at some point this season. Lux was drafted 20th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft. Getting called up late last season, he hit .240 with three home runs and nine RBI. He still is only 22 years old, so the Dodgers have absolutely no need to rush him.
The second-highest ranked Dodger prospect on the list was pitcher Josiah Gray, coming in ranked 74th overall. While Gray hasn’t appeared in the majors yet, he did make a couple of starts in Summer Camp, pitching in intrasquad games and an exhibition game against the Angels.
Gray, who is 22 years old, pitched up to Double-A last season where he went 3-2 with a 2.75 ERA. In Double-A, he threw 39.1 innings and did not give up a single homer, while walking 11 batters and striking out 41. He was originally drafted in the second round by the Reds in 2018, but was later traded on his 21st birthday to the Dodgers. The trade brought Gray to the Dodgers along with Homer Bailey, who was released the same day and Jeter Downs, who was traded this offseason in the Betts trade. The deal is famous for the Dodgers unloading Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer, and Alex Wood.
In his first full pro season, Gray won the award for Minor League Pitcher of the Year for Los Angeles. His fastball is around 93-97 mph, while also featuring a slider, a curveball and occasionally a changeup. He could see the majors as early as next season, but still stands a small chance at making a big league impact this year.
Coming not too far behind Gray was Keibert Ruiz, who was ranked 80th overall. Ruiz is 22 years old and is a switch-hitting catcher, signed out of Venezuela by the Dodgers in 2014. He has shown more power and better numbers from the left side of the plate. He saw time at Triple-A last year and had an average of .316 with two homers, although it was a small sample size of 38 at-bats.
At Double-A where he had 276 at-bats, he hit only .254 with four homers. Ruiz made some minimal appearances at Summer Camp after he reporting late. He does have great arm strength, but he only threw out 23 percent of base stealers his first three seasons on the farm. With the struggles of Austin Barnes continuing, it will be interesting to see if Ruiz gets called up in the near future. Will Smith came up through the minors around the same time as Ruiz and has cemented his spot as the starting catcher in the Dodgers lineup, so it looks like the Dodgers will have some interesting choices at catcher in the future.
Graterol, the other prospect who’s seen major league action, came in ranked 93rd overall. He’s appeared in six games this season, pitching five innings with an ERA of 5.40 and striking out five batters. Graterol was supposed to be traded to the Boston Red Sox in the original Mookie Betts trade this offseason. However, after the original trade was restructured he was traded to the Dodgers in a separate deal. He averages 99 mph in his fastball but can hit triple digits quite easily, as his fastest pitch has been registered at 102 MPH.
Graterol did start a lot of games in the minor leagues, but has been used as more of a reliever in the majors. Perhaps due to previously having Tommy John surgery, teams questioned his durability, which was part of the reason he ended up with the Dodgers after the Red Sox showed concerns. Graterol, however, does have some lighting stuff, which could make him a future closer for the Dodgers. He still is only 21 years old.
The Dodgers have a great farm system beyond these prospects, as their ability to draft and develop is among the best in baseball. It will be interesting following the careers of these four and see how they cement their respective legacies.