Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Andy Pages

When we put together a story about MLB Pipeline‘s new prospect rankings for 2020 a few weeks back, we noted how the list for the Dodgers contained quite a few new faces, specifically a new crop of youngsters that seemingly created yet another exciting wave of farmhands.

On that list was 19-year-old outfielder Andy Pages, making his Top 30 team debut as the organization’s 14th best prospect.

Coincidentally, the list appeared about a month after it appeared Pages would no longer be a part of the Los Angeles organization. Just when the Mookie Betts blockbuster deal was coming to a head in early February, there was a supposed deal to quickly follow that would see Pages, outfielder Joc Pederson and swing man Ross Stripling traded to the Angels for a package centered around infielder Luis Rengifo.

While some did not understand the logic of the deal with Anaheim, others felt it was a salary dump to keep the Dodgers under the 2020 Luxury Tax after adding the salary of Betts and about half of David Price‘s remaining contract.

Regardless, the deal eventually fell through, and Pages remains in the Los Angeles system for the near future. It’s a good thing, though, because the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder may have some of the best raw tools in the organization.

The righty hitting Pages agreed to terms with the Dodgers as an international free agent in October of 2018 for a $300,000 signing bonus.

According to Baseball America, Pages was one of the top hitters in his age group in Cuba. In the country’s 15U league in 2015, he hit .364/.484/.581 with 25 walks and just three strikeouts over 161 plate appearances, ranking third in the league in slugging percentage. He played the 2016 season as a 16-year-old in the much more mature 18U league, hitting .248/.384/.376 in 129 plate appearances, with his three home runs tied for second in the league.

Ben Badler opined that “Pages’ bat is his best tool. He has an efficient swing and good hand-eye coordination, leading to a high contact rate in games with average power.”

Upon signing with the Dodgers, Pages arrived stateside with enough time to appear in 10 games with the Arizona League Dodgers after hitting .236/.393/.486 with nine homers and nine stolen bases in 42 games in the 2018 Dominican Summer League.

Playing exclusively for the Ogden Raptors in short-season Rookie league last year, the Cuba native slashed an impressive .298/.398/.651 with 22 doubles and 19 long balls over 63 games.

As stated by MLB Pipeline, “Pages has an advanced understanding of his right-handed swing and how to create bat speed and use his leverage to generate well-above-average raw power. Though he had a 28 percent strikeout rate in 2019, Los Angeles is confident he’ll make enough contact to damage because he has a sound right-handed swing and is an intelligent hitter. He needs to clean up his plate discipline and perhaps tone down his leg kick.”

Additionally, “Pages offers one of the best combinations of strength and speed in the system, though he’ll probably settle in as more of average runner once he’s physically mature. His instincts help him cover ground in center field and may allow him to stay there in the long term. He easily profiles in right field with his power and an arm that earns plus-plus grades from some evaluators.”

As it stands, there’s no telling how the 2020 minor league season will play out, if there turns out to be a season at all. However, once the Los Angeles farm kicks back into gear at some point down the road, Pages will be certain to continue his rapid climb through the system.

 

MLB Considering Cancellation of 2020 Amateur Draft

While there has not been much activity surrounding the Dodgers in recent days, an interesting development occurred this week with regards to MLB’s 2020 amateur draft—the powers that be are considering cancelling the event altogether.

Ronald Blum of the Associated Press was among the first to report the news on Wednesday.

Specifically, Blum stated that “Major League Baseball is considering skipping its amateur draft this year and putting off the next international signing period as a way to preserve cash while games are affected by the new coronavirus.”

Indeed, teams are in jeopardy of losing TONS of money regardless of how long the regular season turns out to be. While some clubs might have the financial means of signing an unspecified number of draft choices, other smaller market teams might not have those same resources.

As it stands, pundits are not offering any type of guesstimate as to when a regular season could even begin.

As far as the players themselves go, both high school and collegiate seasons around the country have been cancelled across the board weeks ago. Some college teams in the cooler regions of the country only played a handful of games. There are some high school clubs that did not compete at all.

Without a draft, many graduates at both levels might conceivably find themselves out of baseball for an undisclosed period time unless some type of free agency window is created. Even in this case, the number of signings could be limited.

In a recent Baseball America column, a prominent agent said he heard ideas of a combine taking place, similar to what occurs in the National Football League.

“I have heard of an NFL-type draft combine for the top 300 or however many players in June,” the agent said. “Just to get some type of look on guys… Do they push the draft back to August and turn the Cape into basically a month long or a six-week long kind of pre-draft tryout similar to the PDP League (for high schoolers)? Who knows? Everything is on the table.”

Blum wrote that talks between management and the players’ association are ongoing and include the issue of major league service time, which determines eligibility for free agency and salary arbitration in upcoming seasons. MLB has proposed crediting full service for 130 games or more and proportional service for a shorter season.

Blum also mentioned that “the union has taken the position that a full season of service might be credited even if no games are played.”

Just imagine how much the Mookie Betts deal could affect the Dodgers if the 2020 season turns out to be a wash.

The draft is tentatively scheduled to be held June 10-12 in Omaha.

Stay tuned for more details as they develop.

 

Remembering the 2014 Opening Day Roster

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With the existing viral pandemic not appearing to be improving, coupled with the fact that most players have left their respective spring camp locations completely, Opening Day 2020 isn’t even on the radar for pretty much anyone associated with the game of baseball.

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MLBPA Working to Facilitate Obstacles Around Regular Season Delay

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While there’s not much current news to report coming out of the Dodgers‘ camp, the biggest activity surrounding Major League Baseball at the moment has been the discussions between the Players Association regarding safeguard of its players.

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Start of 2020 Regular Season Could Be Delayed Longer Than Expected

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Not much news emerged out of Camelback Ranch on Friday, but one bit of information that surfaced was something we began to fear on Thursday evening—the start of the regular season will likely run past the delay that the MLB front office initially anticipated.

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Dodgers 26-Man Roster: Exactly How Good Is the Bullpen Depth?

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(Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports)

As we’ve been talking about the prospective Opening Day roster for quite some time now, there’s no doubt the bullpen is an area of the team which may not be solidified until the final days of camp.

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MLB Pipeline Ranks Dodgers’ Farm System Third-Best in Baseball

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(MiLB.com photo)

Not long after MLB Pipeline released its annual player rankings for each team last week, the overall league rankings were issued a few days later with the Dodgers netting the third place spot.

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Dodgers 2020 Cactus League Play: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not at the Halfway Point

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(Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports)

For the Dodgers, Saturday’s 7-1 victory over the Rockies marked the exact halfway point of the 2020 Cactus League season. While some folks don’t put an overwhelming amount of importance on either individual or team performances during spring games, others still like to peek at the overall stats just to get an idea where the numbers are trending.

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More Thoughts About Left Field

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(Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports)

While most of the team progress surrounding the Dodgers so far this spring has been optimistically steady, one of the most frequent topics of conversation has been the nagging side injury of Joc Pederson and how it may affect the dynamics of the Opening Day roster.

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Graterol, Cartaya Enter MLB Pipeline’s Team Top 10

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(Boston Globe photo)

Staying in tune with the landscape of the Dodgers‘ farm system is sometimes one of the most intriguing parts of following the organization. For every big trade the club makes, it often seems like the strength of the minor league affiliates remains untarnished.

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