Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Alex Vesia

(Mary Holt/USA TODAY Sports)

On Saturday, we discussed the possibility of how a 36-year-old veteran could conceivably impact the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen in righty Brandon Morrow. In today’s column, we’ll take the opposite approach, examining the potential of 24-year-old southpaw Alex Vesia.

For those unfamiliar with Vesia, he was acquired by the Dodgers—along with 22-year-old righty starter Kyle Hurt—in a trade that sent journeyman reliever Dylan Floro to the Marlins. The deal occurred on the same day Los Angeles shipped reliever Adam Kolarek and outfielder Cody Thomas to Oakland in exchange for infielder Sheldon Neuse and righty starting pitcher Gus Varland.

Vesia was originally selected by the Marlins in the 17th round of the 2018 MLB draft out of Cal State East Bay.

The 6-foot-1, 205-lb. Vesia made his big-league debut during the shortened 2020 season, despite his initial year the majors being a bit of a rocky one.

Vesia threw in the bigs for the first time against the Phillies on Jul. 25, appearing in the sixth inning of a 7-1 loss. However, he was one of 18 Marlins who tested positive for the coronavirus in the subsequent days, eventually sidelining him for several weeks.

The native of Alpine, CA, returned to the hill on Aug. 29 in an interleague matchup against the Rays, but his overall numbers for 2020 were severely skewed when he got thumped for five runs after giving up three walks and three hits—including a two-run bomb to Ronald Acuna Jr. against the Braves early in September.

Nevertheless, the young lefty is looking for another fresh start with the Dodgers. When considering the overwhelming lack of southpaw relievers in the Los Angeles system—especially with Kolarek’s departure—there may be a crack of an opening for Vesia to slide through.

Over two full seasons on the Miami farm, Vesia appeared in 52 games, with all but one coming in relief. During that time, he compiled an 11-2 record with a 1.62 ERA and a very impressive 138 punchouts against just 26 walks in an even 100 innings of work.

According to Brooks Baseball, Vesia uses a four-seam, a slider and a changeup, although he threw his fastball 72.8 percent of the time last year with the Marlins. Last September, his four-seam peaked just shy of 93 MPH, but it is known much more for its movement, specifically the whopping 10-inch drop.

In his first few bullpen sessions so far this spring, Vesia has already garnered praise from the Los Angeles coaching staff.

Pitching coach Mark prior has said Vesia’s fastball is unique and comes out free and easy.

“It’s been jumping out on guys,” Prior said on Sunday. “It is very eye-opening.”

Known for his excellent work ethic, Vesia built a wall made of plywood, a memory foam mattress, and a thick welding blanket during the quarantine period so he could continue throwing his heater at peak velocity.

“I take it to heart,” Vesia said in an interview last July. “Because over the course of my career so far, I feel like I’ve always found a way to get better, or to just make the most of everything. It was a critical point, because I wasn’t going to just sit there and let days go by and not try to get better.”

Vesia joins left handers Victor Gonzalez, Scott Alexander, Garrett Cleavinger, and James Pazos in the group of southpaws that could see major league action this year for the Dodgers.

Vesia has all three option years remaining on his contract.

19 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Alex Vesia

  1. This is an example of what I mentioned yesterday. There really aren’t a lot of holes on the roster right now so AF is likely to trade older “extra” pieces for younger ones, and if those younger ones can help right away all the better. Cody Thomas was another instance of that happening as was Kolarek.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Former Dodger Stan Williams passed away Saturday in Laughlin Nevada at the age of 84. Williams pitched for the Dodgers from 1958 to 1962 winning in double figures 3 times 60-61-62. He was traded after the 1962 season to the Yankees for Bill Skowron. RIP Stan.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The owner of the Mariners sure shot his mouth off yesterday, his rantings showed how little the owners think of the players, and a total lack of respect. If you guys haven’t read it, you should look it up, it is unbelievable that an owner would say some of these things, very eye opening. The MLPA is going to be all over the owners, it’s going to make for an even more contentious CBA negotiations in the off season. I’ll bet the other owners want to puta muzzle on him.

    Usually I come down on the players side of things,I’m not one to ever feel any sympathy for the owners when they whine about not making enough profits. This clown admits how they are holding young players back, and waiting for the unsigned players to come back to the teams with their hats in their hands, those are his words. Between this guy, and the Astros owner pretending he had no idea what was happening with trash cangate I’m not sure who is the biggest ass.


    1. Actually Keith, he’s not the owner, he’s the President and CEO, or should I say WAS. He resigned a couple of hours ago. He may have a small minority stake in the team but the guys with the majority of the shares in the team must have been incredulous when they heard his statements.

      You are correct, this just further serves to divide ownership from the players. Enjoy the 2021 season because it’s quite possible that we won’t have a 2022 season. If there is one, it almost assuredly won’t be a full 162 games.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess the rest of the mariners owners weren’t too happy with their partner/CEO/president, he just resigned as CEO/president, although he is still a minority partner. Kevin Mathers resignation still doesn’t change the general disrespect of owners against the players.


    1. The animosity between ownership and the Players Union is the reason the Luxury Tax is done after this year. There is no way the Players will agree to it or the draft picks being taken away for signing a free agent or spending money on salaries. There will be a strike unless the owners are willing to give the Union what they want and as the Owners are already complaining about profits that is probably not happening. It looks to be shaping up as a long very contentious strike unless more reasonable people get involved.


      1. Reasonable people? That’s us Tmax. And I don’t know of anyone more reasonable than Keith. Where and when do we meet to settle this? Anyone else here care to join our negotiating team? You’re all welcome but you have to agree to play nice.

        No more luxury tax, institute a minimum payroll amount and if team owners of franchises like Pittsburgh can’t afford it they can sell their team for a nice profit to someone who can. No draft pick penalty for signing a free agent. Also, players are coming up earlier than they used to so at least one year of team control of a player should probably be eliminated. Now in all fairness, all of those suggestions work in favor of the players so we need to come up with a couple of things for the owners.


  5. Your post came up while I was typing Jeff, he is a minority partner I looked it up. I agree with you about next season being in jeopardy to the CBA negotiations. The players will make a firm stand, to get rid of the QO or soften up the draft pick compensation, and raise the salary cap substantially, or lower the tax penalties.


  6. Okay I’m in.

    #1 in my proposal is give the owners the expanded playoffs they want. Boom there’s 300 mil per year to the owners right off the bat.

    #2 change the QO don’t eliminate it
    No more draft penalty compensation for a team that signs a QOed FA
    Give the team that loses a QOed FA a sandwich pick between the first and second if that player signs a three year or larger contract. Give a sandwich pick between the second and third round if the player signs less than a three year contract

    #3 if a rookie player plays in enough games to qualify for rookie of the year (40 games) he gets a full year credit towards his playing time
    This would stop the owners from manipulating rookie players arbitration time qualification. I believe this a very important one because, what the owners are doing now causes a lot of bad blood, and animosity, between owners and players, right from the beginning of a player’s career. If an owner did that to me I would never sign an extension or a new contract with that team. It doesn’t promote a good working relationship, that’s for sure. If I treated my employees like that they would all quit.

    #4 either raise the luxury tax threshold by say, 7.5% per season ( next season would go up 15.75 million, a little more the following year ) or change the luxury tax to a flat 20% no more tiers. With a little less in the yearly increases. Let’s say 3.75 percent per season.
    As a side note to this, the bottom five teams in payroll get none of the profit sharing money, that comes from the luxury tax money, that money, gets split between the bottom 6th through 15th team.
    I’m tired of teams tanking, then getting bonus money as a reward for screwing over their fans.

    # 5 add the DH to both leagues, and make the 26 man roster permanent.

    You notice as much as I distrust most of the owners, I didn’t try to hose them, I tried to give them something they wanted while trying to get some off the things the players wanted without crippling the owners.
    The key to getting a deal done is both sides getting some of what they want, without giving to much power to either side. Right now the owners have the upper hand in a lot of things, the players can’t get everything back, but they have to get back something or the animosity will only get worse.

    I do want to state that I do trust Marc and Stan, I think the Dodgers have the best ownership in baseball.


    1. Boy, you’ve done a lot of thinking on this Keith.
      I don’t agree that the bottom 5 in payroll should forfeit revenue sharing. I’d rather set a minimum amount and any team that doesn’t get there doesn’t get revenue sharing. After all, if you list the teams in order of $ spent, 5 teams are going to wind up on the bottom but even those teams might actually spend decent money. That’s why I prefer a minimum.

      The problem with negotiating the new contract is that both sides should go into it with the idea of making baseball better, but instead they’re approaching it as though they are fighting a war and only a binary outcome will suffice. One side wins and the other side loses. They need to approach it with the idea that both sides can/should win, otherwise they might wind up destroying baseball and then both sides lose.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. There is room for both sides to come away from the bargaining table, and feel like they’ve won, but The owners won’t be happy unless they feel like they’ve beaten down the players.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And after the way the last agreement went, the players will feel the same about the owners. This is why I’m absolutely convinced that they need people at that negotiating table who have never been there before. Anyone who has taken part in a previous negotiation should be banned.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I never thought about that before Jeff, that’s a great perspective on this, if they could keep the old stalwart owners out of the negotiations, and get forward thinking owners like mark Walters involved at the negotiation table, they could probably find a mutual deal where nobody has to get hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

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