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Dodgers have 3 prospects in 2021 ESPN top 100

Pitcher Josiah Gray tops the list at No. 36 overall

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MLB: Exhibition-Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have three prospects ranked in Kiley McDaniel’s top-100 list at ESPN, led by pitcher Josiah Gray.

Gray is ranked the 36th-best prospect in baseball by McDaniel, followed by catcher Keibert Ruiz at No. 74 and Michael Busch at No. 88. This is Gray’s highest national ranking among Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB Pipeline, The Athletic, and ESPN. His average ranking on those five sites is 51.

As a 2018 draft pick — in the second round by the Reds — Gray will need to be added to the 40-man roster in November. He could reach the majors before then, though an already deep Dodgers rotation added Trevor Bauer on Thursday, which moves Gray one rung down the depth chart.

“The only real concerns so far are a short pitching track record and no knockout 70-grade pitch, but a bag of 55s and a 60 or two, along with a good MLB debut can get you in the top 15 of this list,” McDaniel wrote of Gray.

Ranked 74th by ESPN, Ruiz is the only other Dodgers prospect named on all five national top-100 lists, with an average rank of 68th.

Busch is ranked on four of the five top-100 lists, ranging from No. 74 to 91. At ESPN, Busch, a Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2019, is ranked 88th. He’s listed as a first baseman — by comparison, BA, BP, and MLB classify Busch as a second baseman, as he was drafted, while Keith Law at The Athletic listed Busch as 2B/1B — though McDaniel compares him to Max Muncy in his positional versatility, including corner outfield and second base.

“At the plate, he has a solid sense of the strike zone, plus raw power, and solid-average contact skills, so it isn’t hard to imagine a player like this moving pretty quickly and joining the legions of power hitters currently on the Dodgers’ big league team,” said McDaniel.

On Friday, McDaniel followed with his organizational rankings at ESPN, which orders by expected future value in each system. The Dodgers check in at No. 16, but with several expected returning prospects, McDaniel notes, “this system will likely be arrow up next year, providing more data to describe how the Dodgers are doing the big-market version of what the Rays are doing and the rest of baseball is trying to copy.”

As a comparison, the Dodgers’ farm system was ranked ninth by Baseball America and 10th by The Athletic earlier this week.

Here’s an updated look at the five Dodgers prospects named on at least top-100 lists for 2021:

Dodgers ranked in 2021 top 100 prospects

Player Pos 2021 age* Baseball America Baseball Prospectus ESPN FanGraphs MLB Pipeline The Athletic
Player Pos 2021 age* Baseball America Baseball Prospectus ESPN FanGraphs MLB Pipeline The Athletic
Josiah Gray SP 23 68 55 36 29 58 39
Keibert Ruiz C 22 53 74 74 80 57 80
Michael Busch 2B 23 87 91 88 85 74
Diego Cartaya C 19 75
Miguel Vargas 3B 21 77
*age as of June 30, 2021