The season opening roster for the Double-A Tulsa Drillers has been finalized. The list features several top prospects within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, including five players currently on the Dodgers 40-man major league roster.
Of the 28 players who have been assigned to Tulsa, 18 have previously played for the Drillers.
While the Los Angeles Dodgers have had one of the league’s best overall farm systems for decades, their stronghold on blue-chip pitchers and catchers has been among baseball’s elite. There always seems to be at least a handful of pitchers and several catchers ranked in MLB’s Top 100, and there isn’t anything right now that suggests the trend will stop anytime soon.
Three of the organization’s highest-ranking prospects will be making their Dodger Stadium debuts much sooner than anticipated.
Although Diego Cartaya, Bobby Miller and Miguel Vargas won’t be competing at the major league level, they’ll be representing the Dodgers in the MLB Futures Game on July 16 as part of this year’s All-Star extravaganza.
After starting the 2022 season with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, 20-year-old catcher Diego Cartaya continues his climb to the majors with a recent promotion to High-A Great Lakes.
Catcher is one of those interesting spots for the Dodgers because they’ve had one of the healthiest stocks of players after being so barren at the position for nearly a decade. Even after dealing Keibert Ruiz to the nationals in the Max Scherzer deal and Connor Wong to the Red Sox in the Mookie Betts trade, Los Angeles is seemingly sitting pretty for the foreseeable future.
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.