Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Ryan Pepiot

pepiot
(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

With all the minor league affiliates of the Los Angeles Dodgers back in full swing, not only does it allow for a more productive level of player development, but it also affords fans the chance to follow along each day through live games or box scores.

Even though many prospects last year were limited to activities at the club’s alternate training site, there is still an elite group that separates itself from the rest of the pack. Among those elite players is 23-year-old righty pitcher Ryan Pepiot.

For those not familiar with the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Pepiot, he was chosen in the third round of the 2019 MLB draft out of Butler. He was the fourth overall pick for the Dodgers that year, having been selected behind third baseman Kody Hoese, middle infielder Michael Busch, and right-handed pitcher Jimmy Lewis.

While at Butler in 2019, Pepiot set school records with 126 punchouts in a season and 306 for his career. His third-round draft selection made him the highest player chosen in school history.

After the draft, Pepiot got his bearings quickly enough to see time in the Arizona League before being ushered to the then Low-A Great Lakes. Between both those endeavors, the Indianapolis native appeared in 13 games—10 of which were starts—tallying an impressive 1.93 ERA with 31 strikeouts over 23-1/3 innings pitched.

For those of you who visit this site frequently, you’ll know there have been many discussions about Pepiot ultimately contributing as a reliever, even though all his appearances this season so far have come as starts. For Double-A Tulsa this year, Pepiot has gone 0-1 in his first five starts, registering a respectable 2.12 ERA and a .172 BAA with 25 strikeouts over a full 17 innings of work.

Right now, Pepiot employs a full arsenal of pitches which includes a fastball, an exceptional changeup, a curve, and a slider. Should he eventually morph into an exclusive reliver, that repertoire might shrink over time.

Some scouts believe that Pepiot was the best pitcher at the alternate site in 2020, often overmatching hitters who had plenty of MLB experience. According to MLB Pipeline, “his changeup is a legitimate weapon that he sells with fastball arm speed, only to have it arrive at the plate in the low 80s with a ton of fade. After working at 91-94 MPH and touching 96 with high spin rates on his fastball in 2019, he sat at 93-96 with increased vertical movement in shorter stints last year. His low-80s slider got sharper, and he also used his upper-70s curveball to get early-count strikes.”

If there’s been one slight downfall to his game, it’s his command, which scouts accredit to his crossfire-style of delivery. This year, he has issued 10 walks—seemingly the only reason his WHIP has elevated over 1.00.

Currently, MLB Pipeline ranks Pepiot as the seventh best prospect in the entire Dodgers system.

There’s no hurry to start the clock on Pepiot. Having played in college, he’s right on time at Double-A, and if he stays consistent through the first half of the year, he might even see time at the Triple-A level before the season is complete.

As far as Pepiot’s ceiling goes, there’s been chatter among scouts about him having the talent to be a successful No. 3 MLB starter.

13 thoughts on “Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Ryan Pepiot

  1. Saw him pitch a couple of times in spring games. Seems to have some good stuff. How he develops from here on should be interesting. Nice win last night. Good to see Mookie hit a couple of balls really hard.

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    1. I heard Nomar referencing the same thoughts I had about the the difference the new ball makes. Basically he said stop launching and go back to driving. I’ve mentioned this before so please indulge the old man – at a clinic in the early 60’s Tommy Davis drove home the idea of barreling with top hand roll over creating line drive top spin. It changed everything for me. I started hitting sinking line drives all over the field. With my speed my philosophy was hit the ball and run to second. I’d like to see that from this team especially with two strikes. And speaking of that, we sure seem to be looking at a lot of strike 3’s. With 2 strikes that plate goes from 17” to 22”, and you should all know that by now. Betts more than any of them because statistically he gets more balls called strikes than anyone in the league. Guys, you had 2 strikes to play Babe Ruth with, now you gotta barrel something you may not like all that much. I saw Bellinger do that exact thing yesterday. It was a thing of beauty in my estimation.

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      1. I think Nomar is underrated as a color man. Although I don’t have the problem with Orel that Bear does, I still wouldn’t mind seeing Nomar get half the games.

        Although I’m certain that I’m in the minority, I enjoyed it when Nomar and Orel were both in the booth (3 man booth) when one could give the pitcher’s viewpoint and the other the batter’s viewpoint on any particular pitch or play. That also cuts down on barbecue or playlist conversations which the guys do in order to fill air space, not realizing that the picture by itself is just fine.

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      2. I agree, this grip and rip crap gets old. I like see ball hit ball much better. I get a little frustrated when I see them taking so many pitches. Muncy out today, Phat Albert at 1st

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      3. Al’s reaction time ain’t phat.

        Gonsolin’s stuff looks good enough. Try throwing it for strikes, you know, just to see what might happen.

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  2. Yeah Jeff, I do not care for Orel’s style. I can tolerate Davis now, but still think he is indicative of the kind’s of announcers there are today. All of them Joe Buck clones. Him I totally cannot stand, and the Rockies announcers are the worst. I no longer get that station, so those games I will miss. I just think Nomar is less gabby and does not bring up a lot of inane crap. Last nights game was hard to watch. Tom made a great effort on Turners 2nd jack. My biggest gripe was all of the walks. How can you not just pound the zone to so many really bad hitters????

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  3. Offense sputtering again, this game should be in the bag already. Hitting with bases loaded has been pitiful except for Urias’s single

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      1. It rained a couple of times while I was there, but not very hard. We have been getting rain here almost every afternoon

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      2. I remember the first year I played softball in Wisconsin. I was in left, it started pouring, I mean the sky opened up and dumped on us. I took off for the dugout and everybody looked at me like I was stealing the beer cooler and yelled “hey, where you going.” I looked around and nobody had moved. They play through it back there. I couldn’t believe it. Metal bat, no problem, rubber cleats. To be honest I ended up loving playing in the rain back there. Most of the fields were sandy so they could take it. If puddles were created we just played around and through them. It was fun.

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