Via AllinOne Sports
According to MLB insider Jerry Crasnick, the Los Angeles Dodgers are “looking for impact moves, not incremental upgrades.” In order to accomplish a deal that brings back a high impact player, the Dodgers are surely going to be calling on the tremendous depth they have built up in their minor league system. Top prospects such as Jose De Leon, Cody Bellinger, Alex Verdugo, and Grant Holmes will all likely be discussed in trade talks, but the Dodgers have a number of lesser known prospects that could also be vital in facilitating a deal. Here are three prospects not in the Dodgers’ top ten rankings that may be used as trade bait at the deadline.
LF Jacob Scavuzzo-AA-22 Years Old
Scavuzzo was drafted by the Dodgers in the 21st round out of high school in 2012. Since then, he has risen through the Dodgers system to where he currently stands at AA Tulsa. At 6’4” and 185 pounds, Scavuzzo is a big guy with good power. He does not have a great hit tool, but thanks to his size and a new leg kick he has become much more of a power hitting, high strikeout prospect than he was at the earlier stages of his professional career. Last season between high and low A ball, Scavuzzo put up a .286/.337/.500 slash line with 18 home runs and a stellar .214 iso-power mark. This year at AA he has not performed quite as well with a slash line of only .275/.325/.389 to go with 6 home runs. The Texas League is much more of a pitcher-friendly environment than the California league where Scavuzzo spent much of his time last season, and this may be a factor in the decline of his power numbers. Scavuzzo does not walk much at 6% for his career, but his strikeout rate is a little bit high at 22%. Scavuzzo has the raw tools to become an everyday corner outfielder, but his low walk rate and decently high strikeout rate is concerning. His upside is likely a player similar to Franklin Gutierrez except at a corner outfield spot rather than center (where Gutierrez now plays as he has gotten older). Currently, Scavuzzo is behind Alex Verdugo and Andrew Toles in terms of young, future corner outfielders in the Dodgers system, making him expendable in a trade. Scavuzzo’s decline from last season may be slightly concerning for other teams in trade talks, but his solid raw tools and consistent success throughout the minors could be valuable as a mid-tier prospect in a trade.
RHP Chase De Jong-AA-22 Years Old
Another prospect currently plying his trade at the Dodgers AA affiliate in Tulsa, De Jong was acquired last season from the Toronto Blue Jays for an international draft slot. He has been solid thus far in 2016, putting up a 9-4 record with a 2.68 ERA and 8.05 strikeouts per nine. De Jong does not have the upside that many of the other top pitching prospects in the Dodgers’ system have, but he may be getting closer to major league ready thanks to his dominance thus far at AA. Ranked in the low 20s in the Dodgers’ organizational prospect rankings, De Jong is a pitcher that relies on control to make his low 90s fastball effective. His lone above average secondary pitch is a big curveball that he mixes and matches well with his fastball to keep hitters off balance. With only two above average offerings, De Jong’s upside profiles as a number four starter. With his decent fastball, curveball combination, one comparison that comes to mind is Chris Tillman. De Jong would likely have to maximize all of his potential in order to reach Tillman’s level in the major leagues, but his two-pitch combo and 0.7 groundball/flyball ratio throughout his career is very similar to what Tillman has done in Baltimore. Despite De Jong’s success in 2016, he has held opposing hitters to an unsustainable .215 BABIP, and being that he is behind upwards of five to six other pitching prospects in the system, the Dodgers may feel comfortable selling high on De Jong.
CF Kyle Garlick-AA-24 Years Old
Sticking with the Tulsa Drillers, another prospect that may be used as trade bait is CF Kyle Garlick. Drafted just last year in the 28th round out of Cal Poly Pomona, Garlick has moved quickly through the system, reaching AA almost exactly a year after being drafted. The La Habra, California product torched each level he reached in 2015 to the tune of a .349/.397/.591 slash line across four levels. He has continued his success into 2016 where he has put up .292/.350/.524 between AA and A+, but he has slowed down in AA where he has only recorded a slash line of .272/.324/.485. Garlick is similar to Scavuzzo in that he is a power bat likely destined for a corner spot in the major leagues. Another similarity between the two is Garlick’s high strikeout and low walk rates that are concerning if he is to sustain his tremendous performance over the past year. Drafted at 23 as a four-year college player, Garlick is older than most prospects, another factor that may have contributed to his meteoric rise through the system. The future outfield of the Dodgers is crowded and with Garlick’s massive production over the past year, other teams may be interested in adding him to their organization. Most scouts did not believe Garlick had much potential when he first entered the system, and there still may be concerns thanks to his questionable peripheral numbers, but the Dodgers would be trading Garlick at a time that could be near his peak value. One upside comparison to Garlick would be Baltimore Orioles OF/1B Nolan Reimold. Reimold is primarily a platoon bat from the right side who plays the corner outfield and flashes decent power but high strikeout numbers. Were Garlick to reach a fourth outfielder type level similar to Reimold, that would be a great value for a 28th round pick that signed for a mere $1000.
Being trade season, things change very quickly in negotiations. The Dodgers could end up trading away all three of these players just as easily as they could decide to keep them and trade other mid-tier prospects. Ultimately, each player mentioned does not appear to have elite upside at this stage of their developments. None of the three would qualify as the centerpiece of a major trade, but were they to reach their potential, each player could become a valuable piece of a major league ball club. For a system that has the depth of the Dodgers’, guys of this caliber are relatively expendable and may be on the move in the coming weeks.
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