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Dodgers: 3 Untouchable Prospects for LA as Trade Deadline Nears



Trade season is fast approaching, and the Dodgers are sure to make some moves as they try and take back first place in the west after the All-Star break. Los Angeles was one of the most complete teams prior to the season, but injuries and other circumstances have left them searching for depth to get through a full 162 game schedule.

As we get closer to the July 30th deadline, let’s take a look at three prospects who should be considered untouchable in trade talks with other teams.

3. Bobby Miller

This season has shown the lack of pitching depth in the minor leagues for the Dodgers, which is not something that we are used to. A farm system that is normally top-heavy with arm talent has struggled to produce in the many opportunities they’ve had at the major league level. This brings us to the Dodgers’ 2020 first-round draft pick, Bobby Miller.

While Bobby Miller is not yet major league ready, he seems to have the highest ceiling outside of Josiah Gray. In his first minor league season with Great Lakes, Miller has posted a 2.48 ERA across 36.1 innings of work with 40 strikeouts along the way. He’s already shown a bulldog mentality, similar to that of Walker Buehler, that he feeds off of when the pressure is at its highest.

The one question with Miller is his pitching mechanics, which are similar to those of former Dodger, Alex Wood. It’s been a concern for many, considering that he consistently throws in the mid-90s. Miller has shown, however, that he is capable of repeating his delivery without issue.

Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin have both graduated from prospect status with Josiah Gray joining them sooner rather than later. This leaves Miller as the guy to watch as he progresses toward the major leagues.

2. Michael Busch

The reason that Michael Busch makes this list ahead of Keibert Ruiz is positional need. The Dodgers have an abundance of catching throughout their organization, whereas middle infield depth is a bit harder to come by. Busch was one of the best hitters in the 2019 draft class, and he’s finally getting an opportunity to show that with AA Tulsa.

In what has been his first full season of professional baseball, Michael Busch is showcasing the patience and the power that made him such an enticing prospect. While his .223 batting average isn’t impressive on its own, a 19.7% walk rate and 36.7% strikeout rate tell you that he’s exercising extreme patience at the plate – for better or for worse. When he does make contact, however, he hits the ball hard. Almost half of his total hits have gone for extra bases, and his team-leading .373 OBP helps to round out his offensive value.

Related: Dodgers Prospects Michael Busch and Andre Jackson Impress in the Futures Game

The sky is the limit for Michael Busch, and he makes a terrific security blanket in the event that Gavin Lux doesn’t reach his full potential.

1. Josiah Gray

If not for an ill-timed shoulder injury, Josiah Gray would currently be a member of the Dodgers rotation. He’s had a meteoric rise through the minor leagues, and at 23 years old, he still has plenty of room to grow even more. During his lone full season back in 2019, Gray posted a 2.28 ERA over 130 innings pitched. And while his time in AAA this season has been cut short due to injury, he’s still shown why he is a special talent. Through 3 starts, he holds a 1.64 ERA and has held opponents to a .108 batting average.

His most recent start was another reminder that he’s ready for a call-up, as he retired 12 of the 13 hitters that he faced.

Gray’s importance to the Dodgers cannot be overstated. He has the talent to step right in and be a difference-maker from the start. With all of the injuries to the team’s pitching staff, there is still a chance that he makes his major league debut during the season’s second half. That alone is enough to make him the most untouchable prospect for LA.

NEXT: Offense Will Need to Pick Up the Slack for the Depleted Rotation

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. I can’t really see mortgaging the future to pick up what is likely to be an overpriced and underperforming pitcher or two. But if a big move is to be made I’d shop Will Smith around. Keibert Ruiz looks more than ready to start in the majors. And right now Smith is still at max trade value, with the gaudy numbers he’s put up.

    Why? I think the league has begun to figure Smith out. Maybe he’ll learn to hit the low and away slider. Maybe not. Bigger reason is his defensive weakness. He’s still trying to backhand pitches in the dirt. That wouldn’t be acceptable from a ten year old, much less a starter at this level. And while he’s maybe improved a bit this year, calling games is not his strength.

    This would be a risky approach, but one worth taking in my opinion given the value I think Smith could return. And if Ruiz underperforms for whatever reason Diego Cartaya will be along in a few years.

    • too soon to cut Will – if Ruiz was ready he’d be up here by now. Definitely a risky approach. Besides, I see a repeat of Barnes getting most of, if not all of the playoff starts!! So Will would be perfect as the back up and the RH bat off the bench

  2. Not sure if there are any “untouchables” in the farm system or the Major league roster. It’s not Friedman’s style. Any team calls about any player, and he will pick up the phone and listen.
    All that being said it’s hard to argue with Daniel’s list. A 36+% K rate for Busch is concerning though.

  3. Dodgers need to keep Ruiz as he will be better than Smith and Barnes .remember recently the OF they let go who already is better than Bellinger who in my option has reached his level at .190 Big mistake if they trade Ruiz .

  4. A .223 hitter (and another left handed hitting infielder) is untouchable?.
    Pretty much indicates what the farm systems’s looking like these days. Go from Rancho to Oklahoma City and the cupboard’s pretty bare. Just drafted nothing but pitchers when there’s NOBODY hitting down there! Get Corey back, trade Cody for reliable bullpen help (they’ll never do it) and maybe another right handed bat and we’re good to go. Gray as number 5 starter better than one of those retreads Andy seems relish.

    • I was going to also say that it was odd that no position player was drafted. Because we have had to lowest of draft picks recently there isn’t really a notable worthy position player ready for or will ever make it as a major league player. Just look at those position players called up this year when injuries struck and not a single one did anything worth keeping them on the roster for long.

    • The once mighty Dodger farm system has been exposed. Agree with Pauldodgerfan that none of the players called up with the exception of Mckinstry have been duds. This includes the pitchers as well. Other teams have seen this and so we really do not have much talent to trade. Now the Giants farm system and the players they have brought up seem to have worked out extremely well for them. Is it possibly a coincidence that their farm system- which was once considered very poor- got better when management hired Zaidi, the former Dodger?

        • Zach was practically carrying the Dodgers in the first few weeks of the season before he went out injured! Made us all forget Kike!

      • Most definitely…..the magician. Wait to you see what he also does this trade and off season. The core vets.have been a big surprise in their walk year, where they were suppose to be in rebuild mode, but they’re in it for the title. Watch him make moves to position the Giants for the race and future. That guy is a very sharp and savvy guy.

      • I think you meant to type “…ALL of the players called up with the exception of Mckinstry have been duds” Dodger Farm system still one of the best and should help with trades. Farhan has a done a great job milking the old veterans and backfilling with loads of picks due to poor records year after year. Tough for Dodgers since they keep picking last or so the last few years. That’s ok – win it all this year, and then we’ll see if there is a season in 2022

  5. I think that the next “big move” comes when Cory is ready to take back his shortstop position and Gavin gets an opportunity to “straighten it out” at Oklahoma City.

  6. When Corey comes back need to play Taylor at second to get him in the lineup plus he is a better second baseman than Lux, defensively and offensively.

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