I can’t speak for all baseball fans out there, but I think I’m quite accurate in saying that most of them are welcoming the return of minor league baseball with open arms. Minor league play is important on so many different levels. Not only is it an economical venue for some folks who may not otherwise be able to attend an MLB game, but it is also critical for the development of younger players.
If you were able to catch my column on Sunday, you would have seen my projections for the 2020 starting rotation at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The main goal of the story—as with most of my prospect posts—is to examine the organizational depth of the Dodgers at all levels of their farm.
If you’re one of those fans who follows the minor league scene very closely, you’ll know that Sunday marks one of the biggest annual events for the best prospects around baseball—the MLB Futures Game.
As the first month of the minor league season is quickly coming to a close, we thought it might be a good idea to take a peek at the progress of the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Many people close to the Dodgers were thrown for a loop not long ago when third base coach Chris Woodward packed his bags for Texas and hitting coach Turner Ward headed eastbound to Cincy, leaving Los Angeles in a scenario where the club needed to fill two critical coaching spots.
Long before the 2018 starting rotation picture began to sort itself out, many folks close to the Dodgers believed that Hyun-Jin Ryu was embarking upon a potentially career-best season, just in time for him to successfully test the free agent market during the coming winter months. Through the end of April of this year, the 31-year-old southpaw had posted a 3-0 record with a 2.12 ERA, a 0.867 WHIP and an outrageous 10.9 K/9, at least by his own standards. Before the emergence of Ross Stripling, and with staff ace Clayton Kershaw fighting off several different ailments, Ryu was leading the charge of the entire Los Angeles pitching staff.
On Sunday, one of our dedicated readers, the venerable Jeff D., brought up utility infielder Donovan Solano and the fact that he was having an exceptional year at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 30-year-old Solano is slashing an insane .376/.421/.517 through 54 games this year and would probably have garnered a bit of big league consideration if he was in an organization other than the Dodgers. Solano’s success reminded me of a handful of other players, most specifically several on the Los Angeles 40-man roster, who would likely already be in the majors if they were in a different system.
After Monday’s convincing 17-1 victory over the Pirates, not many fans of the Dodgers are in the mood to discuss any potential roster moves as the club readies themselves for the second-half of the 2018 campaign. However, there are a handful of players on the upper levels of the farm who are conceivably worthy of a spot on a big league roster, whether it be for the Dodgers or somebody else.
Despite a recent series struggle against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, the Oklahoma City Dodgers have been the gem of the PCL this season as they still control the American Northern division and lead the entire league with a 24-12 record.