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Dodgers: Diego Cartaya Ranks As Los Angeles’ Most Underrated Prospect

Big things are coming behind the plate for the Dodgers.



The Dodgers have made a name for themselves in recent history of having one of the best farm systems in the league. Fans get to see the results of that every year that a top prospect comes up through the system and makes an immediate impact.

We already know that Josiah Gray is the number 1 prospect in the Dodgers organization right now, and should be up before the 2021 season is up. But Jim Bowden of The Athletic ranked catcher Diego Cartaya as the most underrated prospect heading into the new year, and we can expect a lot from him. More from Bowden here: 

Cartaya is a future Gold Glove-caliber catcher with an arm and release that can stop a running game. He’s going to hit for a high average with at least average major-league power, which should result in 15 to 18 home runs once fully developed. He has above-average bat speed with loud sweet-spot contact. He’s athletic behind the plate with strong leadership skills, and he profiles as an elite game caller.

Cartaya was signed out of Venezuela for $2.5 million in 2018 and made his debut at age 17. Since then, Cartaya has impressed the entire Dodgers organization with his advanced athleticism and maturity at just 19 years of age. 

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As noted by Bowden, Cartaya is often overlooked in the Dodgers organization due to the extreme depth they have at catcher. Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz get most of the attention behind the plate, but Cartaya could very well be the man of the future. Don’t sleep on Diego. 

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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    • For either a righty at 3B, or a top LHP prospect. We have no lefties in our farm system…

  1. Yep, with Ruiz a step up, we are pretty plush. Still think getting Will Smith some reps at third to see how he does could help our “problem”.

    • I agree with you on Will Smith at 3rd. Smith is one of the reasons I am not concerned if Turner signs everywhere. Ruiz could be brought up.
      People tend to forget Barnes is 31 and should be coming into his prime years. Austin showed his true worth handling pitchers in the playoffs and hitting well enough to prove he belongs.

      • Tmaxter, I concur but if the NL can’t have a DH in 2021, Barnes , through no fault of his own might not be as successful offensively, if when he’s catching is batting 8th and in front of the pitcher. Just a thought here but with no DH the bottom part of lineup would not see too many pitches to hit with the opponent know that the pitcher is due up and can be an escape hatch from an inning. Not only that but I must ask how safe MLB thinks it would be for pitchers having to try and bat after not having had to even pick up a bat in over a year now.

        • Yes exactly it will be putting pitchers at risk. The NL is using the DH as a Labor Negotiation chip when they should be more concerned about safety and the flow of the game.
          Baseball will have a short season in 2021 and may experience a strike in 2022. The future of baseball for the next two years is not clear.
          Ruiz is only 22 Will Smith will be 26 in March. Some writers are saying the hype on Ruiz was overstated and he is no longer a top prospect. I find that hard to believe with his young age. Ruiz is a switch-hitting contact hitter. I am sure he will have many years in the MLB. Barnes emerging as a top game/pitch manager with enough offense to be a factor is the only reason Ruiz is not already on the MLB roster.

  2. Good to hear the scouting report on young Diego, especially in light of how Ruiz has lost his shine as a notable prospect. I agree with the above posters that Smith should expand his utility by adding 3rd base. He looks to me to be far too good a hitter to only play 5 out of 7 days, and get beat up behind the plate day after day. It was great to see Barnes elevate his game last year, and he might warrant a bit more playing time until Diego is ready, which might be a couple more years. DH might be another way to get Smith some more ABs, I wish the NL would finally just stop fooling around and adopt it for good, its unbelievable to me they haven’t figured it out for next season yet.

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