Thursday in the Dodgers minors saw strong games from their top two hitting prospects and another stellar performance by a 2020 draft pick.
Player of the day
Gavin Stone has easily been the best pitcher in the Dodgers minors this season, such that the right-hander allowing two whole runs on Thursday was actual news. Both those runs came in the third inning for Arkansas, but Stone allowed nothing else in his seven innings, setting a career high in Double-A Tulsa’s win.
Stone struck out 11 on Thursday, the third time in his last five starts he’s reached double digits. He’s allowed more than one run just three times in 14 starts this season across High-A and Double-A, with a combined 1.46 ERA on the season.
The right-hander, drafted in the fifth round in 2020, has dominated since joining Tulsa, striking out 42 percent of his batters faced, totaling 63 strikeouts against only 10 walks in 43 innings.
On the Between the Lines podcast in Oklahoma this week, Tulsa broadcaster Dennis Higgins said Drillers pitching coach Ryan Dennick said, “Gavin Stone is the best-kept secret in professional baseball.”
Triple-A Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City had five players with two hits to beat the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres). Let’s focus on a pair of players folks have been asking about as potential call-ups to the majors.
Miguel Vargas doubled twice, scored twice, and drove in a run to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, during which he’s hitting .383 with seven extra-base hits. The 22-year-old leads the Pacific Coast League in hits (84), runs scored (63), and ranks in the top five in the league in walks (41), doubles (16), extra-base hits (32), total bases (144), and runs batted in (54).
Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless fifth inning, his fourth appearance for Oklahoma City, and his first time pitching on only one day of rest for OKC.
The Drillers overcame those two early runs allowed by Stone with a four-run third inning of their own to beat the Arkansas Travelers (Mariners). Wildness set the table for the big inning, with two hit by pitches and two walks bringing home one run, an infield single tied the game, then Jeren Kendall doubled home two more to give Tulsa the lead for good.
Andy Pages walked twice and singled in the game.
High-A Great Lakes
The Loons hit three home runs, but a late rally doomed Great Lakes in a loss to the Dayton Dragons (Reds). Imanol Vargas hit a grand slam and Sauryn Lao hit a two-run shot in a six-run first for Great Lakes.
The third home run for Great Lakes came in the seventh by Diego Cartaya, who went deep for his third straight game.
But Cartaya’s home run came after a five-run top of the seventh by Dayton against Troy Percival, who allowed two homers of his own.
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
Maddux Bruns pitched two scoreless innings in his first game in nearly five weeks, but the Quakes lost late to the Visalia Rawhide (D-backs). Bruns, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2021, last pitched on May 27. He was activated Thursday and struck out three in his two frames, walking one.
Huei-Sheng Lin followed Bruns on the mound and was brilliant, striking out eight in five innings, allowing only a run on two hits. But a two-run rally off Kelvin Bautista in the eighth turned the tide in favor of Visalia.
The Quakes’ two runs came on solo home runs, by second baseman Hector Martinez, his first long ball since the Dominican Summer League in 2019, and designated hitter Yunior Garcia
Triple-A: Justin Bruihl was called up to the Dodgers.
High-A: The Loons activated outfielder Aldrich De Jong from the injured list.
Low-A: Maddux Bruns and outfielder Jake Vogel were activated off the injured list by the Quakes. Pitcher Joan Valdez and catcher Nelson Quiroz were placed on the IL.
- Oklahoma City 7, El Paso 2
- Tulsa 5, Arkansas 3
- Dayton 11, Great Lakes 8
- Visalia 4, Rancho Cucamonga 2
- 4:05 p.m. PT: Great Lakes (Ben Casparius) vs. Dayton (Christian Roa)
- 5:05 p.m.: Tulsa (John Rooney) vs. Arkansas (Stephen Kolek)
- 5:35 p.m.: Oklahoma City (Beau Burrows) at El Paso (Ryan Weathers)
- 6:30 p.m.: Rancho Cucamonga (Benony Robles) vs. Visalia (Yilber Diaz)