It was a week of debuts and returns down on the farm. Three of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ top 10 draft picks made their first professional starts in rookie ball last week. Sixth-rounder Edwin Rios made two appearances with the Arizona League Dodgers before a promotion to Ogden.
Competitive Balance Round B pick Josh Sborz and third-rounder Philip Pfeifer pitched in the same game for Ogden on Friday. Meanwhile, Julio Urias made his long-anticipated return to Double-A Tulsa on Sunday and Corey Seager, who’d missed more than a week due to illness, returned to Oklahoma City’s lineup on Saturday.
Hitter of the Week – Ariel Sandoval
Sandoval was one of the Dodgers’ top signings during the 2012-2013 international signing period out of the Dominican Republic. After debuting with the Dominican Summer League Dodgers in 2013, he came to the states last season but never really got going in the Arizona League.
This season, he’s back in the AZL and putting up impressive numbers. Sandoval is batting .343/.346/.552 with five home runs, five doubles and four stolen bases. The 19-year-old outfielder needs to work on his plate discipline, as he’s drawn just one walk in more than 100 at-bats. However, his speed and developing power give him intriguing potential.
Pitcher of the Week – Jharel Cotton
After missing nearly two months with a broken wrist, Cotton has soared up the Minor League ranks and reestablished himself as a legitimate prospect. Last week, he made two starts and allowed just one run while striking out 16 in 13 innings.
On the year, Cotton has posted a 2.21 ERA in 12 appearances with 81 strikeouts over 69.1 innings. With the Dodgers struggling to find a fifth starter, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Cotton to get some consideration if the role isn’t filled by trade.
Top 10 Update
Julio Urias: Urias struggled in his last two starts, giving up four runs in High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday and three earned runs with the Drillers on Sunday. The teen phenom showed the same stuff he has all year but the command isn’t quite back to where it needs to be.
Corey Seager: After missing eight days with a stomach bug, Seager returned to the OKC Dodgers on Saturday, showing some rust, going 0-for-8 in his last two games.
Grant Holmes: Holmes made a pair of starts last week, allowing three runs in 11.2 innings with 10 strikeouts. His season ERA sits at a very comfortable 2.78.
Alex Verdugo: Verdugo finally cooled off after a blazing hot seven weeks. The 19-year-old outfielder batted .273 with one home run and a double, giving him four longballs on the season.
Jose De Leon: He didn’t make a start last week. More on this later.
Julian Leon: Leon had a successful week at the plate, batting .292 with one double and three walks.
Chris Anderson: Anderson struggled in his start on Wednesday, allowing five runs on 10 hits in 4.2 innings. Still, his 3.62 ERA ranks eighth in the Texas League.
Zach Lee: Lee had a strong start in OKC on Monday before making his Major League debut on Saturday. The 23 year old struggled, but also suffered some serious bad luck in the loss. It’s doubtful he’ll get the call when the Dodgers next need another starter.
Chase De Jong struggled in his first two starts with the Dodgers, then came out of the bullpen to toss five perfect innings on Friday. The 21 year old also struck out nine batters.
John Richy made two starts last week and allowed just one run while striking out 10. Last year’s third-rounder has a 3.77 ERA with the Quakes, ranking ninth in the California League.
Miguel Urena, a 6’8 20-year-old Dominican pitcher for the AZL Dodgers, made two appearances last week and allowed only one unearned run in nine innings. He now has a 2.38 ERA in 34 innings.
Johan Mieses, who turned 20 two weeks ago, went 9-for-24 last week with three home runs and three doubles. The outfielder now has 10 home runs on the season.
Matt Beaty, drafted in the 12th round this year, has already made it to full season ball and is hitting very well. The 22-year-old infielder hit .438 last week with a pair of home runs and doubles.
Jacob Scavuzzo struggled early in the season with Great Lakes but has thrived since his promotion to Rancho. He’s hitting .329 in 22 High-A games and went 11-for-29 last week with a 1.059 OPS.