The latest (and possibly last?) entry in this preseason’s Top 100 Prospect lists has been released, and the Dodgers fare even better in this one than the rest. Keith Law of The Athletic put together his list with eight Los Angeles prospects in his top 100, including one in the top 10.
Twenty-one-year-old catching prospect Diego Cartaya was number 13 on Law’s list last year, and he jumps up to number six this year. Law is pretty impressed with Cartaya’s tools and his progress through the minors so far.
Cartaya hammers fastballs and offspeed, posting high exit velocities and often out-muscling pitchers with his pure strength, while already showing a good feel for the strike zone even before he turned 21 in September. He’s already better on defense than he was a year ago, but he can catch the ball too close to his body, limiting him probably to fringe-average receiving at his peak, and has had some trouble throwing out runners despite plus arm strength. None of that will matter if he continues to hit for power and get on base like he has so far, and there’s every reason in tools and performance to date to say that he will.
Here are all the Dodgers on Law’s list:
6. Diego Cartaya
23. Miguel Vargas
28. Bobby Miller
39. Gavin Stone
62. Dalton Rushing
67. Andy Pages
74. Michael Busch
89. James Outman
Law is the first of the prospect hounds to include Outman on his list, with a lot of emphasis on the improvements the outfielder has made in the minors.
Outman has made some real swing changes since the Dodgers took him off an unremarkable couple of years at Sacramento State, and he’s performed better and better even as they’ve moved him up aggressively due to his age. He’s one of the best athletes in their entire system who might have four pluses on the scouting report, definitely a plus run, plus arm, plus power guy who might be a plus defender in center as well. There’s too much swing and miss in the zone here to say he’ll be more than an average hitter, but with his other tools, that makes him a potential star, especially if he can do more against lefties than just hit for power.
Ryan Pepiot was a notable omission from Law, who was already cooler on the righty than most lists even last year. But Law is very high on both Miller and Stone. About Miller, he says, “For pure stuff, Miller has few peers, if any, among minor-league starter prospects.” As for Stone, Law expects him to “end up at least a No. 3 starter,” which is a strong expectation at this stage.
LA’s eight prospects on the list is the most of any team, a remarkable achievement for a team that won 111 games at the big-league level last year. It’s easy to get frustrated by postseason disappointments, but Dodger fans have it better than pretty much any other organization whether we know it or not.
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