Earlier in the week, Keith Law from The Athletic released his top 30 farm systems in major-league baseball. He surprised many people when he had the Dodgers ranked at No. 1.
On Thursday, Law released his top 20 prospects in the Dodgers’ system. I hope you like pitching, because the Dodgers have plenty of it in their system. Most notably, there are a lot of names from the Dodgers’ 2021 draft class.
Dodgers’ Top 20 Prospects
Of the 20 prospects, 12 of them are pitchers. Of the 12 pitchers, four of them were selected by the Dodgers in the 2021 draft class. If you remember, the Dodgers went pitcher heavy during the draft, selecting 17 pitchers with their 19 picks.
The highest ranked prospect from the 2021 class is right-handed pitcher Nick Nastrini, who Law ranked at No. 13. Nastrini, 21, was drafted by LA in the 4th round out of UCLA. He had a small sample size with the Quakes, but it was an encouraging one.
In six games, Nastrini allowed three runs in 13 innings. He struck out 30 (!!!!) in those 13 innings of work while issuing seven walks. Law said that Nastrini has a high-end starter’s arsenal if he can harness it, adding that the Dodgers think they’ve figured out some things UCLA couldn’t.
More on Nastrini:
“He’s probably going to hit 100 mph at some point, and if the Dodgers smooth out some more things in his delivery, like getting his front foot down sooner, he has an above-average starter’s ceiling.”
Following Nastrini was LA’s first round pick Maddux Bruns at No. 14. The 20-year-old left-hander struggled in his limited work in the Arizona league. In five innings of work, he allowed nine runs and issued seven walks.
According to Law, “There’s plenty to work with here in size, delivery, athleticism and stuff; you can see a No. 2 starter here, and you can see him going all Bill Bene.”
The next 2021 draft selection was right-handed pitcher Emmet Sheehan, who was drafted in the sixth round out of Boston College. He was ranked at No. 16. Sheehan appeared in seven games in the minors last season between Rancho Cucamonga and Great Lakes. He did post a 5.17 ERA, but Sheehan struck out 34 batters in 15.2 innings of action.
Law adds that Sheehan has a three-pitch mix that should let him at least go out as a starter in 2022, with high upside in the bullpen if his short arm action doesn’t allow him to stick in the rotation.
The final 2021 pick in the top 20 is right-handed pitcher Peter Heubeck who came in at No. 19. Heubeck was the Dodgers’ second selection in the draft and is only 19 years old. He appeared in only two games in the Arizona league. In four innings, he struck out nine and allowed only one hit.
Law says that Heubeck has good secondary characteristics on the fastball and some scouts saw advanced feel and command from him as an amateur.