With the signing period over and the international signing period underway, this is a good time to check-in with Baseball America’s national baseball writer Kyle Glaser on his take on the Dodgers minor league prospects and their draft.
The following is a transcript of the recent email interview I did with Kyle Glaser. If you have a Baseball America subscription, you can read his updated Top 30 Dodger prospect list here.
You recently wrote about the history of the prospect cost for acquiring pitchers, the Dodgers have a need for one or two relievers, how many top 100 prospects would the Dodgers need to deal to get the type of reliever they need?
KG: If they wanted to get an elite reliever with multiple years of control left, such as Felipe Vazquez, history tells us they would have to deal one Top 100 prospect and likely one or two other guys in their Top 30 as well. If they aimed a little lower and went for an excellent middle reliever or setup guy, one or two prospects in their Top 30—but not in the overall Top 100—would likely do the trick, similar to what the Astros traded for Ryan Pressly last year.
To follow up the first question, would Keibert Ruiz bring a top reliever back to the Dodgers and how do you view his season?
KG: Ruiz could certainly front a deal, yes. The offensive regression isn’t what you want to see, but he’s still a newly turned 21-year-old catcher in Double-A with more walks than strikeouts and all the tools to hit for average. His defense is still inconsistent—he’ll look above-average one day and below-average the next—but that’s not uncommon for his age. He’s still a very good prospect teams have interest in.
Can Gavin Lux contribute to this season’s Dodger team and it what capacity would that be, also can you speak about what you and others have seen in his game this season?
KG: He can, and it would be as their everyday second baseman if they decide Kikè Hernandez’s offense and Max Muncy’s defense are going to be problems down the stretch. The main thing with Lux is he just continues to get stronger and make all the right adjustments at the plate. It’s pretty straightforward and sounds easy, but it’s not. His instincts and understanding of what he needs to do to succeed are really impressive, and he puts it into effect on the field very quickly.
Besides Kody Hoese, Michael Busch and Jimmy Lewis, which other 2019 draft picks have a chance to be on the Dodgers Top 30 prospect list next year? Also, do you project Hoese at third and Busch at second?
KG: Brandon Lewis has some enormous power and could find himself on the Top 30 next year if he shows he can make enough contact. Ryan Pepiot has a shot too as long as he keeps throwing strikes. For most teams it would be a little more questionable whether Hoese sticks at third and Busch’s second base experiment works out, but we’ve seen the Dodgers put lots of players in unfamiliar or uncharacteristic positions before and make it work.
Josiah Gray had advanced from the Midwest League to the Texas League this season, what is his ceiling and what do you like about his pitching?
KG: He’s got a chance to be a really good mid-rotation starter. Just the fact that Gray is so new to pitching yet already flashes you three legitimate offerings and the ability to hold both his velocity and his control into the late innings, that’s extremely impressive.
Can you give your impressions of Miguel Vargas, Niko Hulsizer and Andy Pages?
KG: I actually haven’t had a chance to see any of these guys in person yet, but I should see Vargas and Hulsizer this week. Hulsizer’s power is huge and scouts believe it’s real, but he’s going to have to make more contact.
Finally, Morgan Cooper has yet to make an appearance, any update on his status?
KG: He’s still rehabbing from the shoulder issues that have plagued him since he was drafted. There’s no hard timetable or return date.
I’d like to thank Kyle for taking time to do this interview and if any of you want to read more about his views on baseball prospects, follow Kyle on Twitter at @KyleAGlaser. Also Kyle made the below announcement last week, so we also want to welcome Kyle back home!
Some exciting personal news: I'm relocating back to southern California for @BaseballAmerica. We'll have more on-the-ground coverage of MLB, the PCL & Cal League, and the largest hotbed of amateur talent in the country than ever before. Exciting times ahead. I'm coming home.— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) July 15, 2019