Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Michael Grove

As the pitching carousel continues to turn for the Los Angeles Dodgers, another generation of players are getting their chances on the big-league stage.

Last week, fans had the chance to see 24-year-old righty Ryan Pepiot throw in the majors for the first time. On Sunday in the series finale against the Phillies, they’ll be able to see 25-year-old right-hander Michael Grove.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Grove was originally chosen by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2018 draft out of West Virginia University and was moved to the organizational 40-man roster over the winter to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.

So far this season, Grove has posted an 0-1 record with a 2.76 ERA and a 0.980 WHIP with and impressive 22 punchouts over five starts and 16-1/3 innings of work at Double-A Tulsa. In his last start on May 8, he went four innings against Wichita, allowing one earned run on two hits and three walks while striking out five.

Both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America have Grove within their rankings of the team’s top 30 prospects, citing his big fastball that sits around 97 mph with the ability to hit triple digits.

According to MLB Pipeline, Grove “owns a pair of high-spin breaking balls with depth that lack consistency but can overwhelm hitters when they’re on, with his slider that can reach the upper 80s grading better than his low-80s curveball. He doesn’t have much trust in his changeup yet, which has some fade at times but usually lacks much life or velocity separation from his fastball.”

A midseason arm slot adjustment last year helped Grove achieve better results at Double-A over the final few months. He has kept it going this year with the best numbers of his minor league career. The walk-rate drop is a good sign, given the control problems that hampered Grove during his early years in the organization.

Scouts aren’t sure if Grove’s stuff will allow him to remain as a starter or if he could eventually be used as a bullpen weapon. Theoretically, Grove could be an intriguing choice as a multi-inning reliever if Los Angeles doesn’t feel he can succeed in a normal starting role, and the Dodgers’ creative pitcher usage allows for many possibilities for Grove’s future.

As of Saturday night, the team still wasn’t sure how they’ll use the youngster in Sunday’s finale against the Phillies, but he’s definitely in the mix to get a fair amount of pitches.

Upon making his MLB debut on Sunday, grove will become the 23rd pitcher the team has used already on the young season.

Michael Busch Making Noise at Double-A Tulsa

24-year-old second baseman Michael Busch has gotten off to his hottest start as a professional.

Through his first 20 games at Double-A Tulsa this year, the lefty-hitting Minnesota native is slashing an impressive .286/.446/.671 with eight homers, three doubles and 20 RBI. What’s even more impressive is that he’s already drawn 19 walks, indicating a growing patience at the plate after punching out 129 times last year.

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Dodgers Prospects Who Could Make MLB Debuts in 2022

Through nearly the first month of the 2022 MLB season, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves having one of the top records in the majors. To no surprise, that was expected with a team that has so many high caliber players.

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Triple-A Oklahoma City Names Opening Day Starter

As the big-league club continues to put the finishing touches on its 2022 Opening Day roster, the minor league affiliates are following suit.

The Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers announced on Sunday that 24-year-old righty Ryan Pepiot will take the mound at home on Tuesday night against the Albuquerque Isotopes at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Broadcaster Alex Freedman also reported that 25-year-old right-hander Andre Jackson will start Thursday’s game, but he gave no indication who might start the second game on Wednesday night.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at James Outman

If you’re a minor league baseball fan, one of the coolest things about spring training is seeing some of the most promising young prospects taking hacks against big-league pitching. What’s even more interesting is when some of these players are freshly anointed to the 40-man roster, knowing that their respective regular-season debuts could be coming soon.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: A Closer Look at Hyun-il Choi

With the absence of major league action and the beginning of minor league camp, most of the emphasis is on the Los Angeles farm system, at least for fans of the Dodgers. This comes with good reason, as some of the Los Angeles blue chip prospects are among the best in the game.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: How Close Is Miguel Vargas?

As everyone patiently waits for the MLB lockout to end, speculation remains at its highest point of the winter. Fans of the Dodgers, specifically, continue to wonder if the new CBA — along with a few other factors — will have a significant impact on how much money the team will spend on player payroll once everything gets moving again.

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Dodgers Score Big With International Free Agent Signings

The Dodgers have always been known as one of the biggest and most formidable players in the international free agent market, and 2022 is no exception.

In 2021, the signing period began on January 15 and ran through December. The same rules apply to this year. Prior to the pandemic, the signing period didn’t begin until July.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: What Lies Ahead for Michael Busch?

So far this winter, most of our prospect talk has surrounded pitching and catching, which always seems to make up the higher rankings of the Dodgers’ farm. However, with Corey Seager now out of the shortstop picture, some of the emphasis could switch to the middle infield spots, if things ever get rolling again roster-wise.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Could 2022 See the MLB Debut of Diego Cartaya?

While the MLB roster freeze doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, many of us continue to speculate how the Dodgers might fill out their roster once the new CBA is in place.

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