The start of a new baseball season brings with it a number of novelties, and few are more exciting than fresh prospect rankings.
The Dodgers have held onto one of baseball’s best farm systems in recent years, even with plenty of those prospects graduating to the major league squad throughout the past decade. Many of those former prospects played big roles in the team’s world series run last season, with the likes of Will Smith and Dustin May carving out consistent roles going forward.
Today, The Athletic’s Keith Law dropped his Top 100 Prospect Rankings for the 2021 season, and the Dodgers once again made a few appearances.
Former Prospects retired from rankings: Gavin Lux(4), Dustin May(7), Tony Gonsolin(77)
No. 39 – Josiah Gray, RHP
Josiah Gray is the Dodgers’ biggest riser on this list, after appearing at No. 63 in the 2020 version of these rankings. Gray was a part of the salary dump trade with the Reds that also brought them Jeter Downs (who also appears on this list at 56), who is now a member of the Boston Red Sox organization. While the 2020 season halted the minor league season, Gray continued to show improved command of his secondary pitches and even earned a spot on the taxi squad during the playoffs. Many project him to make an impact in the majors at some point next season, and the sky is still the limit for the 23-year-old pitcher.
No. 74 – Michael Busch, 2B/1B
Michael Busch makes his debut in the Top 100 at number 74, a sign of the meteoric rise the infielder’s stock took in 2020. The Dodgers took Busch with one of their first-round picks in 2019, and the power-hitting lefty showed his offensive capabilities at the team’s alternate training site during the 2020 season. His defense is still a work in progress, but his potential at the plate could mean a promotion could come sooner rather than later for the former Tar Heel.
No. 75 – Diego Cartaya, C
After first appearing at No. 91 in 2020, Diego Cartaya is another prospect who raised his stock this past year, even without a full minor league season. It wasn’t long ago that the Dodgers’ most prized catching prospect was Keiber Ruiz(more on that in a moment), but Cartaya’s potential has given the team much to think about. Cartaya is still a teenager, but the Dodgers have to feel good about what they’ve already seen from him. His hitting tools are already playing up against much older competition, and his presence behind the plate has continued to improve as he got the opportunity to catch majors-caliber pitching at the team’s alternate site last season. With a chance to get a full minor league season under his belt in 2021, Cartaya could see a meteoric rise in next year’s prospect rankings.
No. 80 – Keibert Ruiz, C
Although Ruiz finds himself inside Keith Law’s Top 100 after missing the cut last year, this still has to feel like a disappointing ranking for the former top prospect. This is not to say that the future isn’t bright for the young catcher, but his progress seems to have stalled a bit without an opportunity to play every day in 2020. Ruiz continues to be an offense-first player with the defensive side of his game needing more work. We can probably expect to see Ruiz in the majors at some point next season, but with Cartaya continuing to impress and Will Smith looking like the everyday starter, it might be time for the Dodgers to cut ties before he loses any more value.