February 19, 2021

Hoese at #6 Prospect for Dodgers according to ESPN

Los Angeles Dodgers (No. 16 system)

1. Josiah Gray, RHP, 55 FV (36)
2. Keibert Ruiz, C, 50 FV (74)
3. Michael Busch, 1B, 50 FV (88)
4. Bobby Miller, RHP, 45+ FV (123)
5. Andy Pages, RF, 45+ FV (140)
6. Kody Hoese, 3B, 45 FV
7. Willman Diaz, SS, 45 FV
8. Diego Cartaya, C, 45 FV
9. Jacob Amaya, SS, 45 FV
10. Ryan Pepiot, RHP, 45 FV

Top 10 reports

Miller was a rising prospect for Louisville, hitting 100 mph and throwing strikes, but lasted to the 29th overall pick due to questions about how consistent his off-speed pitches and command were, in part due to his longer arm action. I’m clearly leaning toward “he’s gonna figure it out and be good, in whatever role.” Pepiot was another late-charging college pitcher, but with little track record from a smaller school. He flashed three above average pitches and starter traits at times but was inconsistent in his draft year. The Dodgers got him at No. 102 in 2019 and has made solid progress in pro ball.

Pages is still just 20 and has only rookie-ball experience, but has the raw tools and performance to suggest a late-count slugger with some defensive value: plus raw power, plus arm, average speed, 29 homers in 115 pro games. Hoese is yet another late-rising pop-up college prospect with some raw tools who could be on the verge of a breakout with solid-average hit, power, and defensive tools. Cartaya got $2.5 million in the 2018 international class and has had solid reviews in pro ball thus far, with a well-rounded, solid average tool set (plus raw power and arm strength are headliners) and strong performance. Amaya has an elite hit tool and will likely stick at shortstop, which makes his margin for error in development enormous.

Diaz is my breakout pick for the system, even though he signed his first pro contract at age 16 last month. I normally don’t pick recent international signees because they are mostly 16-year-olds who will play at such low levels that their stats don’t mean much. Diaz was my top prospect in this recent international class (bat first, well-rounded, polished infielder) but he hasn’t been seen widely for almost two years and teams now scout the DSL, so he will get seen. He could find his way to top-100 status with a strong debut; his TrackMan data, instructional league performance and being widely seen by all 30 clubs might be enough for a prospect with his kind of elite talent.

Others of note

RHP Clayton Beeter (11, 45 FV) missed the 2019 season at Texas Tech with Tommy John surgery, emerged in the 2020 preseason and short spring with a fastball into the upper 90s with bat-missing characteristics, and had a plus curveball that drew grades as high as 80 before the shutdown. The raw elements are there to project him as a starter, but he has had command and/or health issues his whole career and was just turning the corner when the season was suspended, eventually going No. 66 overall (for a slightly above slot $1.2 million bonus) to one of the best pitcher-developing organizations in baseball. RHP Landon Knack (23, 40 FV) was another 2020 gainer, popping up in the spring as a nearly 23-year-old senior at East Tennessee State running his fastball up to 98 mph with starter traits but more ordinary secondary stuff.

3B Sheldon Neuse (15, 40+ FV) was acquired earlier this month from Oakland and is a strong candidate for the Dodgers’ magical hitting pixie dust. He has plus arm strength, has at least average defense at third base and is passable at most other positions (fits the Dodgers’ preference for versatile role players) with plus raw power and some solid Triple-A performance, but his offensive approach needs some dialing in. During work for the A’s list last month, an Oakland official spoke of Neuse’s upside even as a 26-year-old, comparing him to Max Muncy.

Two sleeper additions to the system in the last amateur classes are CF Jake Vogel (24, 40 FV) and C Jesus Galiz (26, 40 FV). Vogel is an 80 runner and excellent athlete but still has some work to do at the plate. Galiz had one of the earliest deals in the international class with the Yankees, but it fell apart late. The Dodgers then stepped in because they were one of the few other teams in the running for his initial deal. He’s the best catcher in the international class and offers a wide base of potential above average tools with advanced defensive ability for his age.

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