The youth movement will be officially underway in 2023 for the Los Angeles Dodgers. LA didn’t sign or resign some of their veteran guys because they believe in their young prospects. Many Dodger fans know the names of these young up-and-coming prospects, and we got the chance to see their game last season.
Miguel Vargas got some ABs in there, Michael Grove pitched early in the season, James Outman made an impressive debut and will most likely get a lot more playing time, and then you got Ryan Pepiot, who will be a vital part of the 2023 rotation.
Pepiot got his first taste at the big league level in May and ultimately got nine starts in his rookie year.
The young righty pitcher sat down with DodgersNation’s own Doug McKain and discussed how Dodger aces Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw shaped his rookie season and what he learned from them.
He said that Buehler and other pitchers bonded with him in his rookie year.
“Walker [Buehler] took me under his wing pretty good when he was around. And then Tony [Gonsolin] as well. And Evan Phillips. Every time I was up, I’d go to breakfast with Tony and Evan and [Alex] Vesia, and [Andrew] Heaney would come, too. So it was a good little group, and everybody was super welcoming, but those guys went the extra mile.”
The 25-year-old was also asked about what he learned from Kershaw, and he said just sitting behind the legend was more than enough.
“Watching him do his thing on start days is something special. His routine, he’s got it down to like the second of where he’s got to be, what he’s doing at what certain time. So just being able to, like, be there and be in the back row and sit there and watch that all unfold, I’ll take that away with me. And then. just, he gave me a lot of advice, especially my first couple outings. He was just like, ‘Hey, just go out there and be yourself. Don’t try to do too much.’”
Many young prospects don’t have the luxury that these Dodger prospects have. Being part of an organization that drafts great ball players who can start in half of the other teams but instead learn from all-star/superstar-level players is astonishing.
The Dodgers are doing it right; it’s all up to the prospects to show they can hold their own at the big-league level.
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