The Dodgers have long been known for their outstanding player development. This has always been reflected in the annual farm system rankings, but things have started to change in recent years. Many of those blue-chip prospects are now a part of the major league roster and those that aren’t have been used to acquire players in trades. That’s how this business works if you’re a prized minor leaguer, and overall it’s gone pretty well for Los Angeles.
The only downside here is that the farm system no longer looks like the powerhouse that it has been in recent years. A system that ranked number 3 before the 2020 season has slipped all the way to 16 in MLB’s latest rendition of these rankings.
The numbers look terrible at first glance, but you need the full picture to understand that the player development has just stopped producing for the Dodgers. It’s quite the opposite, actually.
Dodgers 2020 Top Prospects (Top 100 Ranking)
- Gavin Lux, SS (No. 2)
- Dustin May (No. 23)
- Josiah Gray (No. 67)
- Keibert Ruiz (No. 73)
- Brusdar Graterol (No. 83)
None of the Dodgers’ top 5 prospects 2020 prospects are eligible for this year’s mid-season rankings. Instead, 3 of them have graduated to the majors while the other two were used to bring in Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in a deal this past July. While this may hurt the team’s current farm system status, it speaks to the health of an organization that continuously promotes its young prospects to step in at the major league level.
Now let’s take a look at how the 2021 farm system looks.
Dodgers 2021 Top Prospects (Top 100 Ranking)
- Diego Cartaya, C (No. 29)
- Ryan Pepiot, RHP (No. 67)
- Michael Busch, 2B (No. 81)
- Bobby Miller, RHP (No. 85)
The big difference here is that all of these prospects are fairly new to the system. While players like Gavin Lux and Keibert Ruiz were on the radar for a few seasons, this is the first opportunity for players such as Ryan Pepiot, Michael Busch, and Bobby Miller. As recent draft picks, they are barely getting the opportunity to showcase themselves at the minor league level. Just like all other prospects, their ranking will continue to rise as they show what they can do on the field.
Although it may take a few years for the Dodgers to reclaim their title as one of the deepest farm systems in the league, much of the talent needed to do so is already there. With the departures of Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz, there are plenty of young prospects who now have the opportunity to step up and show why they deserve to be the next big thing. And who knows? By this time next year, this team could be considered one of the league’s best once again.