This article was originally published at Dodgers Nation.
April 2022 brought the beginning of the minor league seasons for all the Dodgers affiliate teams. It’s been a great month to be able to try and follow all the action as each of the four teams is loaded with excellent prospects. This article will take a look at some of the highlights from the past month.
At both Dodgers Nation and Dodgers 2080, we like to shine the spotlight on some of the more known prospects, but bringing you information about some prospects that you may not have heard of is something we enjoy. One player that you probably have not heard of is young shortstop Rayne Doncon. He has now appeared on some of the top prospect lists and we took a deeper look at him. Another prospect we took another look at was Michael Grove. He seems to have taken a huge step in his progress and is doing well at Double-A Tulsa. He does seem to still be on some limits as he’s started four games but with only 12.1 innings pitched. However, in those innings, he has struck out 18 batters.
The Double-A Drillers team is loaded with an amazing bullpen. We wrote about them and how it would not be a surprise to see one or two of them in the Major Leagues this season. Keep your eyes on Mark Washington as he continues to excel.
There were also some hitters getting off to a great start. Ryan Noda, Michael Busch, Damon Keith, Andy Pages, and Jose Ramos continue to hit well and now some other players are starting to get hot. We will look at some of those other hitters soon. We also took a look at all the excellent prospects on the Single-A Quakes roster, led by the Dodgers’ number one prospect, Diego Cartaya.
Some players made news during the month. Bobby Miller made his debut at Dodger Stadium at the last pre-season game of the year and made quite an impression. The first batter he faced was the great Shohei Ohtani and he struck him out.
Well over a year ago we predicted great things for Ryan Pepiot and we were giving him some exposure, early, in what should have been the 2020 season. Now, he has made the top 100 for MLB Pipeline. Pepiot is off to an excellent start at Triple-A. Don’t be surprised to see him in LA in 2022.
Kyle Hurt, a right-handed pitcher at High-A Great Lakes, was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week. Hurt is a very hard-throwing pitcher who was drafted by the Marlins in 2020. He was acquired with Alex Vesia before the 2021 season. It looks like this could end up being another Andrew Friedman steal.
Last season, Darien Nunez made his Major League debut after a three-year journey from Cuba to the United States. Despite a pretty good spring training, he did not make the Opening Day roster. He got off to a very good start at Triple-A but then had to have Tommy John surgery. Around the same time, the Dodgers designated him for assignment, released him, signed with the Giants, then was released again. I don’t know the details but it was a very rough week for a really good guy. Best of luck, Darien.
Many of you have not heard of Mark Kertenian, but he has been a big part of the Dodgers development process for the last few seasons. He was the manager of the 2019 Quakes but has now fallen on hard times. Now he has a Functional Neurological Disorder and needs our help. Here is a link to the Go Fund Me page. A lot of money has been raised but more is needed.
There was some news about the 2022 draft as it was announced that it would be from July 17-19. Dave Roberts also had some thoughts about the reduction down to 20 rounds. Next season we will see some of those players on the field. The 2021 draft might be an all-timer as Maddux Bruns, Nick Nastrini and Pete Heubeck have already reached to top 30. Many are contributing to their teams and playing key roles.
Some of the top prospects got off to a slow start, but they are starting to heat up. The Double-A Drillers are really loaded in all areas so watch them when you can. As I’ve stated before, this organization is loaded and the Dodgers Player Development staff is continuing to be a strength of the organization.