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2019 top Dodgers prospects: No. 21-25

Our review of the top prospects continues with No. 21-25

Cody Thomas
Cody Thomas put his power to use in 2018, earning the 24th spot on the 2019 top prospect list.
Steve Saenz

25. Gerardo Carrillo

A big jump forward in performance and stuff put Carrillo on the Dodger prospect map in 2018, but his electric arm could make him a sleeper on the national prospect stage in 2019. Carrillo held his own in his first taste of full season ball, and though he may not be ready for a move to the California League, an innings bump is likely in the cards.

Carrillo overcomes his slight frame with an extremely quick arm and short action that can push his velocity into the mid-90’s. He’s athletic and can repeat his mechanics fairly well, though his command is still in the developmental stages. Carrillo’s plus heater has excellent sink and helped him to product a 49 percent ground ball rate in the Midwest League.

Carrillo is also developing a power curve and change up, but both need maturing at this point. He will flash plus with the curve in getting sharp 11-5 break, but he is not consistent with the release point and speed of the pitch, occasionally flattening it out. His change up also shows decent fade, but doesn’t feature much in video I’ve seen, and he likely hasn’t needed it much to this point.

Despite a 1.65 ERA over 49 Low-A innings, Carrillo will likely benefit from returning to Great Lakes to start 2019, and he may not break camp with the team if the Dodgers hope to limit his innings around 100. His talent may very well dictate a push to Rancho Cucamonga at some point, and he likely will increase his profile amongst the national prospect media when that happens.

Carrillo is the one prospect in this grouping that has the potential to make a great leap forward on this list come next season, especially if he improves his command and the consistency of his breaking ball. His upside is likely that of a mid rotation starter or possibly power reliever, but at just 20 years of age, it’s too soon to peg a future role or major league ETA on him.

24. Cody Thomas

The former Oklahoma quarterback produced a season roughly in line with his career totals in terms of contact and walk rates and batted ball profile, but an improvement in his fluidity and hard contact could portend a possible breakout in 2019. Though already 24, Thomas is still young in terms of on field development, given his split collegiate duties with Oklahoma football, and his performance in Rancho Cucamonga should be enough for an advancement to Double-A to start the year.

A big framed guy with a long swing, strikeouts may always plague Cody Thomas, but his swing mechanics and upper body showed much more fluidity in 2018 film. Thomas hits from a low crouch and stride that covers ¾ of the batter’s box, but he transfers his weight well and generates line drives and fly balls with a high lofted swing and plenty of extension. He looks less comfortable on off-speed pitches and will “bar” his arm, limiting his ability to adjust or drive the ball to the right side.

Thomas came one home run shy of matching his 20 home run season in Class A, but he almost doubled his extra base hit totals thanks to friendlier hitting environments and more consistent hard contact. Thomas spent most of the season in right field, but can handle center field on occasion and he’s a good athlete for his size.

Ultimately, Thomas’s strikeout percentage is still a cause for concern when trying to forecast his big league future, but he’s made enough improvements on the margins to hope for enough of a correction over the next two seasons to allow him to tap into his power often enough to be a capable big league outfielder. His age still limits his overall ceiling, but Thomas has platoon or second division starting potential.

23. Morgan Cooper

Still waiting for his first professional appearance since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft, it has been difficult to decide where to peg Morgan Cooper on the 2019 prospect list. While his grade suffered a significant knock in lowering his risk score, it’s hard to say just what ceiling he has left until we see where his stuff is in comparison to what he had shown at Texas.

The pitcher Cooper was that final season at Texas was a potential workhorse starter with plus strikeout stuff and polish. Cooper’s best pitch was a big curveball that he could manipulate the shape and speed on, generating soft contact and empty swings. Cooper could run his fastball into the mid 90’s with above-average control, and he was one of the top strikeout arms in the Big XII.

While Cooper’s size suggested an innings-eating starting pitcher, his now extensive injury history throws that into question. It’s possible that Cooper’s future development might benefit from monitoring his workload from the pen, and a return to his past stuff could make him an impact reliever. For now, the hope is that we see Cooper start his pro journey at some point in 2019, or we can question his inclusion in any future lists.

22. Ben Holmes

You probably won’t see a mid-season minor league free agent signee reach this high in the prospect rankings again, which should underscore just how tremendous Holmes was after signing with the organization after his Miami release. Though Holmes’ upside is relatively low, the polished left hander could add to a deep reserve of starting pitchers in Triple-A capable of contributing to the big league club in 2019.

Focusing primarily on his brief Los Angeles tenure, it’s hard to say what the Dodgers changed in Holmes’ approach over his time with Miami, but there was a big jump in his strikeout rate upon joining the organization. With Tulsa, Holmes competed with command of four pitches, his slider flashing above average and his sneaky fastball ambushing hitters. He also would show a solid curveball early in counts, and had plenty of fade on his change up to get right handed hitters to chase the pitch.

Holmes’ frame is already filled out and he’s not likely to improve on his fringe velocity, but he’s shown enough know-how to get hitters out in both the Texas and Arizona Fall League that he could be in line for a big league call-up in 2019. That line, however, is a long one, and Holmes’ low upside could see him leapfrogged by more famous prospects like Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May.

The Dodgers must have seen enough to like to still send him to the Arizona Fall League after last season and he’s earned a rotation spot in an upper minors rotation. Holmes could also fill a middle relief role if need be, though his stuff is likely better suited to eat innings from the back of a rotation. His rehabilitation with Los Angeles has also given him a modest trade value than he wouldn’t have had otherwise, especially with rebuilding teams looking for a capable arm to serve as a bridge for more high ceiling arms.

21. Jaime Schultz

Acquired from Tampa Bay after being designated for assignment in January, Schultz represents an intriguing change of scenery case. Gifted with a power arm and the ability to miss bats, Schultz finally reached the big leagues with the Rays in 2019. His problems with command and high walk totals have ultimately prevented him from carving out a more permanent role in the big leagues.

Schultz has two of the better looking breaking balls in the system, but has pitched primarily off his quality fastball to date. He sits consistently in the mid 90’s with “rising” action on his heater, but his command of the pitch is below average. His breaking balls are both power pitches, with his slider resembling more of a cutter and approaching 90 mph, while his curve has almost 12-6 break and plus velocity for the pitch.

Schultz’ mechanics can get a little complicated. He has a very quick arm, but a stab in the back of his delivery can affect his timing and release, causing him to open up too much and allow his fastball to run too much to his arm side. He looks like a decent athlete and has already filled out his small frame.

It’s only a small sample size, but it looks like Schultz has increased the usage of his slider this spring with Los Angeles, which has been a focus for other arms in camp as well. The Dodgers may feel that changing Schultz’s extreme fastball usage could be the ticket to unlocking his relief potential. He’s proven capable of missing bats with gaudy minor league strikeout rates, and more consistency in the strike zone would make him a potential late inning option. Being on the 40-man roster, Schultz has a leg up on other relief prospects in earning major league time this year, but he’ll likely open the season in the minors where he can further work with the development staff and get better acclimated with his pitching plan of attack.

Top Prospects 21-104

21 Jaime Schultz RHRP 27.09 MLB 50 40 55 good K potential, + CV and SL, flashes + FB poor command, relief only prospect, HR prone
22 Ben Holmes LHSP 27.07 AA 50 45 50 4 pitch mix, pitchability, sneaky FB, durable build upside of bottom rotation or middle relief, age
23 Morgan Cooper RHSP 24.07 ROK 50 40 55 good frame, + BB with BB manipulation, production has yet to throw professional pitch, shoulder ?
24 Cody Thomas RF/LF 24.06 HiA 50 40 55 good athlete, improving fluidity, still upside swing and miss concerns, may not have enough hit
25 Gerardo Carrillo RHRP 20.07 LoA 50 40 55 electric arm, smooth athlete, chance for + SNK undersized, possibly reliever, command
26 Stetson Allie RHRP 28.01 AAA 50 40 50 power arm, chance for ++ FB, tight SL age, still raw on mound, inconsistent command
27 Yadier Alvarez RHRP 23.01 AA 50 35 55 swing and miss SL, consistently + velo, loose arm poor command, FB doesn't miss bats, maturity
28 Brayan Morales CF 23.04 LoA 50 40 50 good athlete, + to ++ speed, chance for + D inconsistent hit tool, thin build, swing and miss
29 Donovan Casey LF/RF/CF 23.01 HiA 50 40 50 twitchy athlete, bat speed, still upside batted ball profile, still raw at plate, power pot
30 Omar Estevez SS/2B 21.01 HiA 50 40 50 improved bip profile, good pop for 2B, swing plane some swing and miss concern, low dev. path
31 Marshall Kasowski RHRP 24.01 AA 45 45 50 big K production, chance for + FB and CV relief prospect, atypical delivery, age for level
32 Jared Walker 3B/1B 23.02 HiA 45 40 55 + game power, good athlete for size, '18 production still swing and miss ?, defensive home
33 Carlos Rincon RF 21.06 HiA 45 35 60 big raw power, physical upside, bat speed pretty raw offensively, serious swing and miss
34 Jacob Amaya SS/2B 20.07 SS 45 40 55 excellent plate approach, developing feel for hit ? on overall power potential, distance from majors
35 Kyle Garlick LF/RF 27.02 AAA 45 45 50 productive, developing above avg game pop 4th outfielder profile, age, fringe speed
36 Adam McCreery LHRP 26.03 MLB 45 45 50 heavy SNK from high slot, tough 1-7 CV, K potential age, command issues, likely middle relief
37 Jordan Sheffield RHRP 23.10 HiA 45 40 55 flashes + FB and sharp downer BB in short stints pro production, likely relief only at this point
38 Deacon Liput SS/2B 22.09 LoA 45 45 50 good defensive actions, athleticism, some pop, hit likely utility ceiling, uneven college production
39 Darien Nunez LHRP 26.00 LoA 45 45 50 good K production, lively FB and downer BB older signee, likely middle relief prospect
40 Guillermo Zuniga RHSP/RP 20.05 ROK 45 40 55 quick arm, good present velo, chance for + CH, SNK SL flashes fringe, profile poss. relief
41 Logan Salow LHRP 24.06 HiA 45 45 50 good pitchability, K potential, tight SL FB velo can be fringe for relief, age for level
42 Braydon Fisher RHSP 18.08 ROK 45 35 55 athletic and projectable, good run and sink on FB, CH inconsistent mechanics, some effort, still raw
43 Starling Heredia LF/RF 20.02 LoA 45 35 55 strong build, big raw power, decent upside serious swing and miss, bat speed concerns
44 Melvin Jimenez RHRP 19.08 LoA 45 35 55 good arm strength, projectable, chance for + SNK long arm action, command ?, likely reliever
45 Errol Robinson SS 24.06 AA 45 45 45 smooth infield actions, throwing arm, solid athlete ? on overall offensive ceiling, limited power
46 Zach Willeman RHRP 23.00 LoA 45 40 50 good arm strength, repeatable delivery, K potential likely reliever only, longer injury history
47 Zach Reks LF/RF 25.05 AA 45 45 45 good feel for hit, production, high floor age for level, more 4th OF profile
48 Jake Peter 2B/SS 25.11 AAA 45 45 45 fluid LH swing, arm strength, versatile utility/bench upside, ? on overall pop
49 Edwin Uceta RHSP 21.03 HiA 45 40 50 loose and fluid athlete, good pitchability for age smallish build, avg career production, ceiling
50 Wills Montgomerie RHSP/RP 23.10 HiA 45 40 50 spin rate, durable build, flashes + velo and CV still struggling w/ command, likely reliever
51 Daniel Corcino RHRP 28.07 AAA 45 45 45 above avg FB and SL combo, solid command middle relief upside, age, no + offering
52 Yaisel Sierra RHRP 27.10 AAA 45 40 50 good velo, SL will flash +, quick arm command, incon. release, FB can be straight
53 Jesen Therrien RHRP 26.00 AAA 45 45 45 SL flashes +, good command and K production TJ wiped out '18. middle relief/ROOGY upside
54 Michael Boyle LHRP 24.11 AA 45 45 45 solid pitchability, velo ticking up, developing SL avg production, stuff profiles better in short relief
55 Bryan Warzek LHSP/RP 22.02 LoA 45 40 50 huge K production, good action on the FB, compete not projectable, might fit best in relief role
56 Leo Crawford LHSP 22.02 HiA 45 40 50 solid production, command of 3 pitch mix fringe velo, not as projectable, likely back end
57 Romer Cuadrado RF/CF 21.07 LoA 45 35 55 good athlete for his size, chance for plus power huge swing and miss concerns, too raw
58 Drew Finley RHSP/RP 22.09 SS 45 40 50 good spin rate, chance for + CU, still upside poor production as pro, fringe velo, command
59 John Rooney LHSP/RP 22.02 LoA 45 45 45 excellent college production, size, 3 pitch mix no outright + pitch, late rotation or mid relief upside
60 Justin Yurchak 1B 22.06 LoA 45 40 50 excellent plate approach, smooth LH swing defensive home, ? on power ceiling, upside
61 Ryan Moseley RHRP 24.06 HiA 45 40 50 chance for ++ snk, big groundball potential command and walk rate, middle relief ceiling
62 Jesus Vargas RHSP/RP 20.07 SS 45 40 50 chance for + FB, tight SL, solid command, upside 3rd pitch underdeveloped, still raw, injury in '18
63 Max Gamboa RHSP 23.04 HiA 45 40 50 excellent arm strength, + to ++ velo, good frame production does not match stuff, incon. SL
64 Shea Spitzbarth RHRP 24.06 AA 45 45 45 agressive mound demeanor, arm strength, CV middle relief upside, maxed out frame, size
65 Andre Scrubb RHRP 24.03 AA 45 40 50 deceptive, solid K production, CV flashes above avg likely middle relief upside, command wavers
66 Layne Somsen RHRP 29.10 AA 45 45 45 tough overhead BB, production, athletic limited mid relief ceiling, age, avg FB velo
67 James Outman CF/RF 21.11 SS 45 40 50 good size, athletic and defensive rep, chance for + pop raw for a collegian, swing and miss concerns
68 Nolan Long RHRP 25.02 AA 45 45 45 improving K production, flashes + SL, big frame middle relief upside, velocity generally avg
69 Alfredo Tavarez RHRP 21.04 LoA 45 35 50 king sized frame, arm strength, K potential still raw mechanically, repeating arm slot, command
70 Andre Jackson RHSP/RP 22.11 LoA 45 35 50 solid athlete, flashes + FB and CH, upside poor command, SL can flatten, poss. reliever
71 Marcus Chiu 2B/3B 22.03 SS 45 35 50 good athlete, still projectable, above avg pop power over hit profile, ultimate defensive home
72 Jefrey Souffront 2B/3B 21.10 SS 45 40 45 some feel for hit, quick bat, mature plate approach distance from the majors, build not projectable
73 Jose Chacin RHSP 22.00 LoA 45 35 50 projectable frame, tight SL, mid rotation upside present FB avg to fringe, K potential
74 Riley Ottesen RHSP/RP 24.05 ROK 45 35 50 good velo, will flash + SL, arm speed poor production, serious command issues
75 Hunter Feduccia C 21.10 LoA 45 40 45 good feel for hit and plate approach, bat plane little on field action due to injury, upside
76 Zach McKinstry 3B/2B/SS 23.11 AA 45 40 45 pretty swing, good defensive versatility, some pop fringe/utility ceiling, age for level, not projectable
77 Jose Martinez RHSP 19.11 ROK 45 35 50 smooth delivery, advanced feel for age, command not as projectable as peers, distance from majors
78 Leonel Valera 3B/SS 19.09 SS 45 35 50 solid bat speed, decent loft in swing, loose athlete lithe build, distance from majors, power ceiling
79 Niko Hulsizer LF/RF 22.02 SS 45 35 50 big raw power, production, good size ? on overall hit tool, some swing and miss concern
80 Sauryn Lao 3B/1B 19.08 ROK 45 35 50 good bat speed, solid frame, power potential slower to develop, ? on defensive home
81 Devin Mann 2B/3B/SS 22.02 LoA 40 40 50 solid athlete, good plate approach, chance for avg pop defensive home, bat speed ?, poss. utility upside
82 Josh McLain CF 22.06 LoA 40 45 45 excelent bat to ball skills, solid defensive rep little power production, 4th OF upside
83 Gregorio Sequera RHRP 21.04 SS 40 40 50 arm strength, some feel for spin, 3 pitches age for level, likely reliever, command
84 Chris Mathewson RHSP/RP 23.10 HiA 40 40 45 SNK/SL mix, developing K production, command back of rotation, middle relief upside, fringe velo
85 Joe Broussard RHRP 29.05 AAA 40 40 45 solid production, flashes tight SL, durable frame limited upside, velo fringe to avg
86 Stephen Kolek RHRP 21.11 LoA 40 40 45 durable build, four pitch mix, some arm strength long relief or swingman profile, avg college prod.
87 Parker Curry RHSP 25.04 HiA 40 40 45 solid career production, good command, competitive no true plus offering, low rotation ceiling
88 Nathan Witt RHRP 22.11 ROK 40 35 50 good build, projectable, arm strength project arm, distance from majors, relief upside
89 Luke Heyer 2B/3B 22.06 LoA 40 40 45 college production, chance for above avg pop, strong avg athlete, ? on defensive home, bat speed
90 Mike Ahmed 3B/SS/1B 27.02 AA 40 40 45 productive in '16, swing plane, avg pop bat speed, age, limited upside
91 Rolando Lebron CF/RF 20.11 ROK 40 40 45 twitchy, good feel for hit, bat speed undersized, old for level, lower upside than peers
92 Brandon Montgomery SS/2B/CF 23.02 HiA 40 40 45 solid bat to ball skills, High A production, utility limited ceiling, poss. 4A player, age for level
93 Dillon Paulson 1B 21.10 SS 40 40 45 chance for above avg pop, strong build bat speed ?, overall hit tool and ceiling
94 Albert Suarez SS/2B 19.04 ROK 40 35 50 fluid athlete, some projectability, rep for D modest production, distance from bigs, ceiling ?
95 Jair Camargo C 19.09 ROK 40 40 45 some defensive potential, has flashing hitting acumen not as projectable, did not take step forward in '18
96 Jeremy Arocho 2B 20.06 SS 40 40 45 good feel for hit, barrel control, decent athlete limited ceiling, ? on power potential
97 Logan Landon CF/LF/RF 26.01 AA 40 40 45 good athlete, playing speed, some feel for hit not projectable, age, low ceiling, 4th OF type
98 Jacob Gilliland RHSP/RP 19.02 ROK 40 35 50 quick arm, chance for above avg FB and CH poor command, CV can be fringy, raw
99 Daniel Robinson LF 22.05 SS 40 40 45 solid feel for hit, all fields approach, productive limited ceiling, 4th OF profile, power ceiling ?
100 Moises Perez 2B 21.08 LoA 40 40 45 loose athlete, some feel for hit offensive ceiling, lower on defensive spectrum
101 Yeison Cespedes RHRP 21.01 SS 40 35 50 quick arm, good sink on FB, tight SL a little behind on age curve, likely relief only
102 Juan Morillo RHSP/RP 20.00 ROK 40 35 50 projectable build, loose arm, solid K production distance from majors, command, still raw
103 Jerming Rosario RHSP 16.11 NA 40 30 50 projectable, athletic, arm speed, dev. 3 pitch mix very raw, effort in delivery, inconsistent release
104 Ismael Alcantara RF 20.06 ROK 40 30 50 good build, athletic, leverage in swing, power potential old for level, ? on overall hit tool, distance from bigs