J.T. Chargois enters the prospect list this week at No. 29 after the Dodgers claimed him from the Minnesota Twins on Feb. 23.
Chargois instantly becomes the top-ranked relief only prospect in the system, and has the raw stuff to compete for an immediate role in the bullpen. Chargois is a low slot sinker/slider pitcher with more velocity than the typical pitcher of that ilk. His herky-jerky delivery gives him some deception, with an arm action a little shorter than other pitchers with a similar slot. Likewise, he does a better job preventing his slider from flattening out in that slot, making it a true swing and miss weapon.
While he has the arm strength and breaking ball to pitch in the late innings, health has prevent Chargois from finding consistency on the mound or in the big leagues. Additionally, Chargois moves from a system that has traditionally preached a more contact oriented approach from their arms to one that has proven more innovative in maximizing the swing-and-miss potential from their pitchers. Thus, while Chargois has put up solid but not spectacular whiff rates in the minor leagues, but an above-average ground ball rate, it would not shock me to see both rates trend in the other direction with new emphasis placed on pitch sequencing and location.
Beyond the intricacies of the Dodgers targeting strategies in their acquisitions, Chargois is a worthy power arm to gamble on, with a solid collegiate pedigree at Rice prior to an uneven pro career marred by inactivity.
*Editor’s note: Chargois pitched 27 major league innings in 2016, shy of the 50 innings required to exhaust rookie eligibility. Also while Chargois has 84 days of major league service time, only 25 of those days were spent on an active roster before September, shy of the 45 days required to exhaust rookie status.