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Dodgers: The Biggest Strength of Los Angeles’ Farm System Revealed

LA’s Director of Player Development talks about the farm’s greatest assets.



From the day that new ownership took over, the Dodgers front office has expressed a desire to revamp the farm system. And just a few years later, Los Angeles has one of the better player development systems around the league. 

Dodgers director of player development Will Rhymes spoke with milb.com recently, discussing some of the strengths and weaknesses of the current system. For Rhymes, the real strength is in the number of solid arms coming up over the next few years. 

I think if you look at the area where we have a tremendous opportunity over the next couple years, it’s with starting pitching prospects and our ability to develop something that’s really rare to actually develop starting pitching and quantity of it. 

The Dodgers picked up a few arms in this year’s draft that already made it into their top prospect rankings. Clayton Better (#8) and Bobby Miller (#7) are just two of the four right-handed arms they scooped up. Rhymes went on to say that he felt the team didn’t just have a lot of good pitching, but a lot of projectable starting pitching as well. For him, that’s what separates them from everyone else. 

We have a lot of real legitimate projectable starting pitcher prospects, and if a system can produce starting pitchers at a clip that’s kind of above the industry standard … that’s a real separator for an organization and something we have a chance to do. 

The Dodgers already have plenty of good arms up int eh big leagues as it is. But factoring in guys like Josiah Gray, Mitchell White, Gerardo Carillo, Andre Jackson, and Micahel Grove, and you have one heck of a chance at a young, dominant rotation for the long run. 

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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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  1. At some point they become trading capitol to fill in the gaps in your MLB club. The Dodgers have young pitchers Buehler, Urias, May, and Gonsolin that have proven they can pitch in the regular season and playoffs. Gonzalez & Grateriol also showed their potential, As this article states they have Carrillo, Gray, White, Jackson & Grove all young arms with great potential and a terrific draft of Beeber, Knack and Miller last year. Not all of them make the Dodger Club.
    The Dodgers have the Outfield in good shape for the next few years unless they decide to move Bellinger to 1st base. Do they make a trade this year to get a talent like Bryant for 3rd? We shall see what the very focused future planning Dodger Organization plans to do.,

  2. Dodgers farm system, at this moment, doesn’t have a lot of primo prospects close to the show, Gray is the only guy in MLBs top 100, and he’s somewhere in the 60s. Padres, in comparison have 4 guys in the top 60, including two starting pitchers ranked #3 and #23. Kiebert Ruiz has fallen out of the top 100, as he should have, being a turtle slow singles hitting catcher with a weak arm, certainly nothing to get excited about. But with the state of catching in MLB, he has some value as a #3 catcher or trade chip. Beeter and Miller have potential, and while you never know who’s going to rise up dramatically, all the other starters in the minors are fringy at best. From the group Carrillo, White, Jackson, and Grove, I wouldn’t expect any of them to ever make more than a few starts for the Dodgers, there are years where you have to go 10-13 SP deep if injuries hit hard. I’d put the group of Knack, Pepiot, Kendall Williams, and Uceta above those other guys in potential, but no one is projecting a #1 or #2 type guy from anyone, perhaps Gray has a ceiling as a #2, and definitely keep an eye on Beeter and Miller this year. Fortunately we are full of young pitching at the major league level, Beuhler, May, Urias, Gonsolin, Gonzalez, and Graterol, so they are in great shape for years to come with young high quality arms. Other position players high in their system, like Hoese, Busch, and Peters have flaws, maybe one of them has MLB starter potential if they develop.

  3. Great farm but they all can’t make it to the bigs as stars. Should have traded Kiebert awhile ago, now low trade value. The Fried doesn’t make room and hangs on to the Pedersons, Kikis, C Taylors and let’s get over Kenley finally, Wood too. Nice farm but players become buried and destroyed by having nowhere to go. Guys like Lux are fighting for jobs these low level guys have and he has to press to land a spot. Just give the minor league player of the year Lux, a job that he can work through the slumps and see if he is as good as his Minor stats. Mckinstry is an incredible talent and is also taking a back seat to 230 hitters like Kiki. It’s ridiculous.

    • I agree with you about Joc and somewhat about Kike but Chris Taylor has a career slash of 335/444/779 with a 109 OPS+. Those numbers are above average for MLB players and he’s an above average defender at several positions. Taylor doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his contributions.

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