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.
While the Dodgers might be slacking in several areas of prospect development, the catching department is certainly not one of them.
Will Smith and Austin Barnes have a stronghold on both the MLB catching spots, causing 21-year-old Keibert Ruiz to take a backseat at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Even though he’s had two tours of duty with the big league squad so far this season, Ruiz has settled in nicely at OKC, already collecting eight homers, 10 doubles, and 21 RBI through his first 29 games.
However, one name that’s often forgotten among the organization’s young catchers is 19-year-old Diego Cartaya. The Venezuela native is frequently overlooked by fans in the shadows of Ruiz. Nevertheless, the fact that Cartaya was selected to the organization’s 60-man player pool last year suggests that he could be a bit more advanced than many think.
Back when the international prospect rankings were beginning to take shape in early fall, initial indications were that arguably the best catching prospect, Jesus Galiz, was preparing to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a New York Yankee.
If you were fortunate enough to catch the Dodgers‘ series opener against the Rockies on Monday, not only did you see the impressive debut of infield prospect Gavin Lux, but you also witnessed a starting lineup that featured an impressive seven homegrown products from the Los Angeles farm.
One would need to go back nearly a decade to realize the last time the Dodgers had significant strength and depth at the catching position. Russell Martin was coming off back-to-back All-Star campaigns in 2007 and 2008, while A.J. Ellis was emerging as one of the most reliable backup catchers in the bigs. Plus, there was a Top 5 prospect named Carlos Santana who was revered by every rival GM across the league.