The Dodgers made a major splash on Wednesday trading for Manny Machado. The move further cements them as the favorites to win the NL West for the sixth straight year as they landed one of the best shortstops in the league. Upon adding an elite level player, the Dodgers surrendered five prospects to Baltimore.
2018 Double-A Stats: .314 Batting Average, 6 Home Runs, 30 RBI
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: 4
Yusniel Diaz rose his stock over the weekend with his multi-home run performance in the All-Star Futures Game. He ranked as the fourth best prospect in the Dodgers system on MLB.com, while Baseball Prospectus listed him as the 31st best prospect in all of baseball in their midseason report.
The Dodgers spent $31 million signing Diaz out of Cuba in 2015. He is hitting .314 in Double-A Tulsa and is a career .288 hitting in the Dodgers system. Diaz has made several adjustments to his swing over the past three years and has improved each year in the minors. He provides an above-average bat, arm and speed, and projects to hit 10-15 home runs. He lacks the range to play in centerfield and measures out more as a corner outfielder.
Yusniel Diaz 2016 v. 2017 Swing Mechanics
Yusniel Diaz 2018 Swing Mechanics
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: 27
2018 Single-A Stats: .296, 20 Home Runs, 61 RBI
Since being selected in the eighth round of the 2017 Draft, all Rylan Bannon has done is hit. Through his first 129 games as a professional, Bannon is hitting .308 with 30 home runs. He finished as a runner-up in the California League Home Run Derby this year and was also selected as an all-star in that league.
Dodgers prospect Rylan Bannon mashing dingers in the home run derby pic.twitter.com/6xOCRPgJH8
— Bryan Kephart (@thundercrat) June 20, 2018
Bannon’s best tool is his defense at the hot corner. He possesses range and a decent arm at that position. The question in his game is how his bat will perform as he moves up the minor league ladder. He has a long swing and has already struck out over 100 times this season.
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: 28
2018 Single-A/ Double-A Stats: 6-3, 3.03 ERA
With the Orioles looking to add pitching, they added a strikeout machine with Dean Kremer. Through 86 innings this year, he has struck out 125 batters. His best pitch is his fastball, which tops at 96 MPH, but he also has a slider, curveball and changeup in his arsenal. He remains at least a year away from making a Major League roster and projects as a late inning reliever.
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: N/A
2018 Single-A Stats: 1-2, 1.04 ERA
The mystery player in this trade is Zach Pop. He is not ranked among the 30 best prospects in the Dodgers system despite posting a career 0.93 ERA in the minor leagues. He has pitched out of the bullpen this year and has an overpowering fastball-slider combination. He can reach the high-90s with his fastball and has allowed only one home run as a professional.
Position: 2B, 3B
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: N/A
2018 Triple-A Stats: .284, 6 Home Runs, 25 RBI
The one player in this trade with Major League experience is Breyvic Valera. He played for the Cardinals in 2017 and the Dodgers in 2018, posting a combined .154 average in 25 games. He actually performed with the bat than his numbers may indicate. He consistently makes contact and has walked more times (5) than he has struck out (4) in the Majors. This trend also holds true with his minor league numbers. He provides the Orioles with a quality utility bat off the bench.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 8, 2017
The Dodgers won the deal given the fact that the added a four-time all-star by only surrendering one prospect among their top 20. With that said, the Dodgers gave up valuable assets to add Machado.
Diaz will undoubtedly be the right fielder of the future in Baltimore and Valera is capable of adding an immediate bat to the Orioles lineup. Bannon, Kremer and Pop are question marks given their limited experience. Although they lack the track record, each of these players have performed at a high level in the minors and have high ceilings if they continue to perform.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”newwindow” url=”https://dodgersnation.com/first-half-awards-and-mr-manny-machado-the-superstar-episode-11-blue-heaven-podcast-cp1085/2018/07/18/”]First Half Awards and Mr. Manny Machado the Superstar | Episode 11 | Blue Heaven Podcast[/button]