The undertaking of rebuilding the Los Angeles Dodgers — or any team, for that matter — is twofold. Obviously, acquiring legitimate major-league talent is vital in keeping the team competitive at the highest level, but replenishing the farm system for future sustainability is just as important.
Gabe Kapler, who is in charge of the development of the players in the farm system, gave an update on how several key players are progressing to Josh Jackson of MILB.com in a couple parts and shed some light on what the Dodgers would like to see as prospects grow.
With so much going on in terms of movement at the major league level, it’s easy to forget that potential building blocks are developing in the farm system, so checking in on them is an important exercise which lends itself to further understanding what all might go into moves they make or pass on this winter.
In the first post, Jackson lists the best player at each position in the farm system and summarizes their season. Then, Kapler gives his thoughts on the progress made and how to make sure it continues.
A couple players who would garner the most interest from Dodgers fans are obviously the system’s best pitchers and Corey Seager, though according to the article, there’s plenty to be excited about at each level and for the future of the franchise.
Here’s Jackson and Kapler on Julio Urias, the teenage phenom whose youth and talent has captivated anyone who’s heard of him.
Left-handed starter — Julio Urias, AZL Dodgers (two games, two starts), Rancho Cucamonga (one game, one start), Tulsa (13 games, 13 starts), Oklahoma City (two games, two starts): Urias was 18 years old for all but five of his starts, and he’d already put together such an amazing start to his career that he surprised nobody by compiling a 2.77 ERA and 74 strikeouts against 15 walks over 68 1/3 innings at Double-A.
The southpaw from Mexico underwent elective surgery to remove a defect on his left eye in late May that put him out of action until the beginning of July and limited him to 80 1/3 innings on the season, 7 1/3 fewer than he threw in 2014.
“One of our main intentions — independent of the procedure — was to protect Julio’s health and limit his workload,” Kapler said. “We’re always considerate of how many reps our pitchers take down. Our goal with Julio is to prepare him to be the healthiest, strongest version of himself so he can get after it on the mound.”
Urias is insanely young and is still probably a coupe years away from competing at the major league level, but it’s nearly impossible not to get overly excited about his potential.
Kapler’s quote on Seager sums up why so many in the Dodgers organization is so thrilled to see what the young shortstop is capable of.
“We never have a doubt in our mind about challenging Corey because he has such an exceptionally calm motor. We know there’s not any situation we’re going to throw him into where he’s not going to thrive,” Kapler said.
Another thing I took away from the article is how personally invested Kapler seems in each player’s growth. This quality is something I’m sure the front office and ownership is pleased to see and greatly values as they try to find a new manager and is a huge part of the reason why Kapler is the front runner to earn the job by basically all reports.
Both articles are filled to the brim with great information and are more than worth your time.