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.
Bobby Miller, fastball/slider overlay pic.twitter.com/6nThbM8Ipa
— Josh Thomas (@jokeylocomotive) June 30, 2021
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.
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.