With a farm system that’s been replenished and given plenty of attention in recent years, it wasn’t much of a surprise to learn two Los Angeles Dodgers prospects will participate in the SiriusXM Futures All-Star Game on Sunday, July 12 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
What came as a surprise however, were the players named to the game. Julio Urias’ cosmetic eye surgery ruled him out, but it isn’t likely many would have predicted Double-A Tulsa catcher Kyle Farmer and Triple-A Oklahoma City reliever Juan Gonzalez to make the game.
As for Corey Seager’s absence, the Dodgers reportedly refused to approve the highly touted shortstop’s selection to be part of the U.S. Team. The reasoning is unknown, though it can be presumed the club has some concern over possible injury to one of their top prospects.
Though not necessarily a household name, Gonzalez has been lights out in the Minors this season with a combined 1.03 ERA during time spent with the Drillers and OKC Dodgers. According to J.P. Hoornstra of InsideSoCal.com, director of player development Kapler has been impressed by the 25 year old:
Juan has really opened some eyes with his consistency, his velocity and some deceptiveness in his delivery,” Kapler said via text message. “We’re thrilled to see a valuable member of our organization be recognized for the leap forward he’s taken in 2015.”
With a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 24:8, Gonzalez has limited opposing teams to just three runs in 26.1 innings. Meanwhile former shortstop turned catcher, Farmer, has had a consistent bat in Single-A and Double-A this season.
Combined this season Farmer is slashing .332/.384/.505 with six triples and 36 RBIs. Kapler acknowledged the catcher’s ability to drive the ball and his versatility:
With Kyle, this is a swing that will play at the major league level,” Kapler said. “He has made a concerted effort to hunt specific pitches to drive and it has shown up in his domination of two separate levels. Kyle has made strides behind the plate and has proven to be a strong defender for us at third base. Remember, this guy was a shortstop [in college]. He’s a true athlete.”
Although Seager or Jose De Leon, who has also impressed, aren’t slated to play in Futures All-Star Game, Gonzalez and Farmer are a reminder of the overall depth the Dodgers have worked on adding throughout the organization.