Ryan Noda Making Early Noise at Triple-A Oklahoma City

There’s no question that Ryan Noda is one of the primary reasons Triple-A Oklahoma City currently sits atop the Pacific Coast League East division with a 7-4 record.

Entering Sunday’s game against El Paso, the lefty-hitting Noda is slashing a highly impressive .371/.500/.743 (13-for-35) with four homers and nine RBI. For those horrible at math, that calculates to a ridiculous 1.243 OPS.

What’s even more impressive is that the Illinois native is leading the team with eight walks and is tied for the team lead with 10 runs scored.

Last year was a breakout season for the 6-foot-3, 217-pounder in the power department, as he led the entire Texas League with 29 bombs playing exclusively for Double-A Tulsa.

Noda, who just turned 26 two weeks ago, ended up hitting just .250 last year, but his eye at the plate accounted for a whopping 74 walks, elevating his OBP to a hefty .383. Coupled with a respectable .521 slugging percentage, his final OPS for 2021 was .904 to lead the entire Driller team.

For those who don’t remember, Noda was acquired by the Dodgers as the second player to be named later in the 2021 trade that sent swingman Ross Stripling to the Blue Jays. The first PTBNL in the deal was righty pitcher Kendall Williams.

Noda can capably handle first base and both corner outfield spots. However, he’s probably a bit lower on the totem pole than players like Zach McKinstry and James Outman since he’s not yet on the 40-man roster. So far this season, the former 2017 15th round draft pick out of the University of Cincinnati has played four games at first base, four games in left field, one in right field and one at designated hitter.

Noda has a decent glove and a slightly above-average outfield arm, along with deceptive mobility and range.

He swiped a career-high 14 bases for the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays in 2019.

The early knock on Noda was his high number of strikeouts, but as his walks have skyrocketed in recent years, his strikeout numbers have begun to dwindle. After tallying a career-high 135 strikeouts in 2019, he logged 127 in 2021 over about a dozen more at-bats.

Noda was a non-roster invitee to the big-league side of spring training for the Dodgers this year and went 2-for-9 with a double and a runs scored over six Cactus League appearances.

Like many lefty power hitters, his splits are a bit lopsided, as he hit .213 against southpaws last season and .263 against righty pitching.

Nevertheless, when considering his power display last year and his early hot start this season, he’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. Knowing that the big-league club used an insane 15 different outfielders last year, anything can happen.

At 26, it could be a make-or-break year as far as getting his MLB clock started goes.

11 thoughts on “Ryan Noda Making Early Noise at Triple-A Oklahoma City

  1. Dodgers have some intriguing players on the cusp of the MLB. Noda, Outman, my favorite Vargas all have showed great potential. Vargas is a contact hitter and should develop more power as he has a solid frame and is only 21. Noda showing a better eye at the plate and good power certainly puts him inline. The problem for the Minor League players with the Dodgers they have to pray to get traded. There is little room on the Dodgers roster. Do they sign T Turner? How about JT? Is a Vargas-Rios platoon possible in 2023? Does Lux move to short as T Turner gets a colossal contract from someone?? Friedman and Kasten I am sure have a plan. Part of which we are seeing as Lux is getting every chance to succeed.

  2. Possible bench piece down the road.

    Now on the subject of Andrew Heaney, I have been critical on his signing based on past performance. After watching his first two outings as a Dodger he has been very impressive. I can only say Wow. Please let this be the real guy and stay healthy!

    1. If Heaney can become anything close to the pitcher he’s shown in his first two starts, he’s going to get himself quite a contract next off season. Question is, will it be from us? With Buehler and Urias and May and Pepiot and Miller, not to mention a possible return of Kershaw for another year or two, is AF willing to be high bidder? On the other hand, Heaney could turn into a pumpkin.

      It would sure be a nice story if the team says “we can fix this guy” and the pitcher says “this team can fix me” and it all actually works out that way.

      1. Last year there were batting practice pitchers that had better years than Heaney. So far it certainly looks like he/they have figured it out. Hopefully he can sustain.

  3. Not sure it’s possible to be lower on the totem pole than outman is it? This guy looks like a late bloomer based on the first week of play. Happens once in a while. But below outman? Lol

    1. Since he’s on the 40-man, Outman will probably be one of the first outfielders recalled in the event of an injury, aside from McKinstry. If I was a betting man, I’d put some cash down on Outman’s MLB debut happening this year. I think he (Outman) hit two homers in the same game last night.

  4. I’m really enjoying Heaney’s success.
    I’m really enjoying Lux’s success.
    I’m really enjoying the 7-2 start.
    But what I’m enjoying most of all is the fact that the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the majors in STOLEN BASES! They’ve stolen 10 and only been caught once. With Mookie, Trea, Lux, Belli and CT3 all with better-than-average to excellent speed, this is exactly what they should be doing. I hope they keep it up. Now all we need is to teach these guys how to bunt against the shift.

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