Which Pitching Prospect Will Emerge First for Dodgers?

So far this season, we have already seen 25 different pitchers appear for the Los Angeles Dodgers in some capacity — 26 if you count Hanser Alberto’s outing on Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. Last year, there were 39 pitchers to throw for the Dodgers, indicating that fans could be in store for even more new faces as the 2022 season progresses.

Without question, this year’s trade deadline will bring its usual hype as the summer months draw near. However, there’s been a lot of attention given to several prospects on the farm lately, as some of the organization’s top pitching prospects have already made their MLB debuts.

Over the last few years, we have seen arms like Mitch White, Andre Jackson and the departed Edwin Uceta given their chances without any overwhelming success. Sure, White and Jackson have shown signs of quality stuff — and there’s still time for them to emerge — but much of the franchise’s focus has shifted on some of the organization’s blue chippers on the farm.

So which prospect will emerge first? Specifically, which youngster will secure a rotation spot and cement himself as a member of the starting five for the foreseeable future?

Ryan Pepiot

Currently sitting at No. 6 in the organization’s top prospects list is 24-year-old righty Ryan Pepiot. So far, he has been given two starts and outside of a few minor bright spots, hasn’t wowed the Los Angeles fan base. It’s easy to see that Pepiot has the talent to succeed, but until he harnesses his command, he might not be the best available option.

Over his two MLB starts, Pepiot has thrown seven full innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits. That doesn’t sound bad, but his eight walks are intolerable.

Michael Grove

Like Pepiot, Michael Grove had his own case of control problems, or the jitters if you will, when he walked three batters in his MLB debut against the Phillies last week. Also like Pepiot, Grove was able to crank his fastball past the 95 mph mark. If it wasn’t for an untimely infielding error by Gavin Lux, Grove’s debut might have “felt” much better than the scoreboard indicated, even though he wasn’t charged with any earned runs.

I’m speaking subjectively, of course, but it seemed to me that Grove was just a tad more polished in his delivery than Pepiot. Coincidentally, Grove is ranked way down at No. 23 on the club’s prospect list.

Bobby Miller

Currently sitting at the No. 2 prospect ranking is 23-year-old righty Bobby Miller. Although he isn’t anywhere near the major league roster, Miller captured the hearts of many when he was clocked at triple digits multiple times in the 2022 Cactus League Freeway Series — on his birthday, no less.

After a slow start to the year, Miller is finally coming around at Double-A Tulsa. He has been able to shrink an ERA that was once above 6.00 close to 4.00. In his last start against Frisco last weekend, he threw five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out five.

Miller’s nowhere near the 40-man roster at this point, but stranger things have happened in the past.

With Andrew Heaney still weeks away and Clayton Kershaw still not on a clear timetable, we could see Pepiot and Grove be given at least another look, unless the team has interest in seeing Jackson throw first.

6 thoughts on “Which Pitching Prospect Will Emerge First for Dodgers?

  1. Jackson has been absolutely horrendous his last few starts. If that isn’t due to an injury, he may be headed back to Tulsa soon, rather than to L.A. I hope he gets straightened out because he did show some potential.

    Although I have no problem with Pepiot and Grove having gotten those starts, I think their careers are best served by spending the year making regular starts at OKC (or Tulsa if the braintrust feels Grove should be there this year).

    I was looking forward to seeing how Knack was going to do, but after being held back by injury he’s gotten off to a rocky start in his first two outings at Tulsa.

    Just heard from AF. He’s working on a deal for Scherzer. We get Max for the next 6-8 weeks but will then trade him back to the Mets. Andrew feels that he would add some extra substance to our IL.

  2. This is where you find out what a guy has inside. Can he figure it out and compete? Throw strikes? Grove was in his first game and a booted ball blew his concentration. It happens. Grove was able to regroup and do well. I like Grove he has good stuff and high velocity with movement. All rookies need to learn control. Goslin is still a work in progress but his stuff is good enough he can be a 6 inning guy until he learns to pitch to contact.
    I think both Pepiot and Grove showed they need more experience. Goslin, May everybody gets hit a bit and they have to adapt. Allow the young guys to get some innings. The Dodgers have decisions to make with their young guys. They need to see them compete before they decide.
    The Dodgers have Heaney, Kershaw, Treinen, Kahnle, Gonzales, on the IL until the last series their offense was struggling and they are still in first place. There is time for the young guys to get some innings and compete. May, Duffy, Treinen will probably be back last quarter. The rookies will be that much more seasoned. We are all good. They need to evaluate these guys to see if they trade or hold. Everyone always wants the splashy trade. Everyone wants the easy way. Its usually not the best way just easy.

  3. I wouldn’t give Andre Jackson a start. He has been plain awful at OKC. ERA of 9.00 and WHIP of 2.33. 19 walks in 15 innings.
    Maybe continue to give Pepiot and/or Grove starts and piggyback Mitch White White looked good last outing except for the HR.

  4. I agree about Jackson and White. White had a good outing Young pitchers need experience and coaching at the MLB level to improve. The Dodger pitchers have been very helpful in mentoring the young guys coming up. Pepiot learned Treinen’s slider grip, Gonsolin is talking to Kershaw about pitching to contact to get deeper into games. The young pitchers that make it have the potential or they would not be there. It is all about the mental side and learning the tricks on the trade under pressure.

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