Diego Cartaya, C
2023 stats: .189/.278/.379, 71 wRC+, 19 HR, 10 2B, 57 RBI, 37 BB, 117 K
It has gotten to a point where I think there should be some genuine concern for Dodgers fans when it comes to Cartaya. Last season he was the team’s best prospect, was one of the two best catching prospects in the game and overall one of the best minor leaguers in baseball. 2023 was Cartaya’s fourth minor league season, a year when guys should really see an uptick in their numbers. Instead, his average and OPS plummeted, his strikeout rate of 29 percent is the highest he has had at any level.
His wRC+ of 71 means he is 29 percent worse than the average hitter in his league. There can be an argument to be made that he was somewhat unlucky this season as his BABIP was just .216, but one bad luck stat is not enough to ignore everything else. I’d expect Cartaya to be a borderline top-100 prospect at the start of next season on MLB Pipeline and if his struggles get carried into 2024 he will likely become unranked rather quickly.
Gavin Stone, SP
MLB & Triple-A Oklahoma City
2023 Triple-A stats: 21 G, 19 GS, 100 ⅔ IP, 4.74 ERA, 46 BB, 120 K, 1.311 WHIP
At the close of last year, Stone looked like he was going to be a core contributor to the Dodgers 2023 pitching staff. He started 25 games across three levels (six in Triple-A), pitching to a 1.48 ERA with 168 strikeouts across 121 ⅔ innings and a 1.12 WHIP. This season, as we can see above, those numbers took a pretty significant step back and in the majors they were even uglier as he had a 9.00 ERA across 31 innings with a 1.903 WHIP.
Stone’s left-on base rate of 66.3 percent is rather low and should increase next season which would help his numbers a bit. But his 4.78 xFIP indicates next to no bad luck for him this season. The Dodgers are likely to have multiple spots that need to be filled in next year’s big league pitching staff. Unfortunately, Stone’s struggles this year have almost taken him out of the equation for one of those spots on the opening day roster.
Rayne Doncon, IF
Low-A Rancho Cucamonga
2023 stats: .215/.283/.368, 76 wRC+, 14 HR, 21 2B, 52 RBI, 36 BB, 103 K
Doncon is tough to judge seeing as this was just his age-19 season (he turned 20 last Friday) and his first year of full season ball. The numbers he posted this year though do not exactly shed much of a positive light. In 62 games in 2022 between rookie and Low-A, he struck out just 43 times, his 12 home runs and picked up 16 doubles. In 107 games with Rancho CUcamonga this season he struck out 103 times, hit 14 home runs and got 21 doubles. The extra base production is nice, but overall the Dodgers were certainly hoping he would take a step forward not back in his third season of pro ball. He obviously still has a lot of time to develop as a prospect as he turned 20 on September 22nd of this year, but, he must improve on his 2023 numbers next year.