Fast Rising Minor Leaguers

It looks like Mark has not had a chance to generate a new post, so I thought I would step in and post something that I was looking at to get a different conversation going.

Wilmer Font has got to be a huge consideration for a September call up, and should be a major consideration for a bullpen spot next year. He now leads the PCL with 160 Ks in just 119.1 IP.  His 3.39 ERA and 1.09 WHIP lead the PCL for all qualifiers.  He has only 31 BB in those 119.1 IP.  That makes his K/9 at 12.07, and his BB/9 around 2.34.  His K/BB ratio is better than 5/1.  His batting average against is .219.  In other words, Wilmer Font should be the front runner for Pitcher of The Year in the PCL, and for the Dodger Minor League Pitcher of the Year.  With 27 games remaining in the OKC schedule, Wilmer should have another 4-5 starts.  I could see a scenario where Font starts 4 more games and goes no more than 5 innings to keep his innings down and is then in the LA Dodger dugout in San Diego on September 1.

I have been mentioning Matt Beaty’s name quite a bit lately, and it should come as no surprise that the Tulsa 3B/1B was selected at Texas League’s Player of the Week. In the 7 games from July 31 – August 6, he had multi-hit games in each of the 7 games. He batted .536 with 18 hits, 10 RBIs, and only 1 K.  He is now leading the Texas League with a .330 average.

In 2015, Beaty was a 12th round draft choice out of Belmont University as a Catcher.  He was a 2nd team All American in 2015.  But he was yet another of those catchers that also plays infield. He is currently listed as a LH 1B, but plays just as much at 3B (and does not catch).  John Sickels, at Minor League Ball, wrote that Beaty has a good defensive reputation at third base.  Sickles estimated that Beaty would be selected in the 6th round.  His pre-draft report on Beaty is as follows:  “Matt Beaty, 3B, Belmont: Senior, hits left, excellent multi-year track record, hit .382/.469/.668 this year with 12 homers, 12 steals, 32/17 BB/K, also has good defensive reputation. Has to be a target for sabermetrically-oriented teams in middle rounds. TT: Sixth round.”  Finding a multi-tooled top 10 round prospect in the 12th round…Sounds like a perfect FAZ match.

Matt will be 25 next year, so he is not a young prospect which is undoubtedly why he is not already included in the Dodgers Top 30. But his bat is getting him noticed.

Posted by Always Compete

This article has 30 Comments

  1. Craig Minami had a note today on TrueBlue LA about Font in his minor league round up. In comments, he noted Font was signed as a minor league free agent so if not added to the 40-man roster, he would be a minor league free agent again.

    Given how this front office values “scrap heap” signings and turning them into gold, I won’t be at all surprised if they see how he does in relief before the end of the year as you describe. Don’t see that he has much future with the Dodgers as a starter given those ahead of him on the depth chart (DEPTH!!) but I don’t see them letting him go without exploring all the options.

  2. Font is used as a starter for OKC, but he is really a relief pitcher. He throws in the upper 90’s and does have a slider and change as his secondary pitches. In no way does he have command of all three pitches, so he is not a starter candidate. But if he can get command of either the slider or change he could be a very effective late inning reliever. I see him as a Pedro Baez type. Throws hard but needs a secondary pitch to dominate. What really stands out is his 160 K and only 33 BB in 119.1 IP. That by itself is dominating. But his ERA does show that unless he has the command, he is going to get hit (again just like Pedro Baez). I really like his swing and miss capabilities.
    The Venezuelan has pitched at the ML level in both 2013 and 2014. He was once a highly rated prospect for the Rangers both before and after 2010 TJ surgery. Is there another story book ending for another FAZ find?

  3. FAZ takes a chance on some of these retreads. Some work out and some do not, Taylor and Toles have worked out. Ramos and Font may work out. They must see something in these guys and think it is worth a shot to sign them. On the player’s side there is so much money to be made if they make it. These are the kinda guys you need in your clubhouse. They had to fight to get there. They have no egos. They just want to play. Although FAZ did not sign JT, he is of the same mold. I just love these stories. One more thing, you have to have good coaches to make this all work.

  4. Verdugo looks like he may be going into a late season fade similar to last season. I know he said last year that he was out of gas for the AFL. He’s played a lot of ball going back to the WBC for Mexico. I watched him play for the Loons a couple of years ago and he had a big hit to win a game, but I can’t say that I recall how fast/slow he is. Is he any slower than Joc? Joc, Toles, Verdugo. Certainly some serious competition next year at ST if they all return. Every time I’m about to give up on Joc, he puts together a nice hot streak.

  5. As for Font, can the move him to the 40-man without losing anyone they want to keep around? You would think so, but the Dodgers have a couple vets coming off the 60-day DL soon that will occupy a couple of spots. I know this front office isn’t fans of calling up as many players as possible when the rosters expand to 40. Also, if Walker Buehler is really getting called up in September there goes another spot. Same for Verdugo. I’m kind of against calling up Buehler considering how recent he had a TJ surgery. Is it really the best thing to change his routine? If it’s to give him a cup of coffee and limit some other guys innings fine, but to throw him to the fire and expect him to big a piece of the playoffs seems unlikely to me.

    1. Let’s say Gonzalez, Ethier, and Segedin come off the 60-day DL while Guitierrez , Toles, Liberatore, Kazmir, and Yimi don’t. Eibner can be moved to the 60-day after his TJ if necessary. So, the Dodgers are choosing between Floro, Farrell, Ysla, and Castillo as DFA candidates for the other pending moves.

      1. Urias is also not listed as being on the 60 day. If that is accurate, that would open another spot. I have not heard whether Font is even being considered for a spot come September. But he is having such a good year, that IMO he should be rewarded. Although FAZ has not called me for my opinion. Go figure. But if you have a pitcher that has 160 Ks in 119 innings, that is someone who deserves a look. I would imagine that FAZ will look at who can help in September, and if they believe Font is a better option than Floro or Castillo, I would suspect that one of them would be DFA’d. Farrell and Ysla are more long-term projects.

        1. So moving Urias to the 60-day and Eiber as well would take care of Gonzo and Andre coming off the DL. Floro would take care of Segedin if he returns. For some reason they didn’t want to lose Castillo when they moved him to the 40-man roster. So, I’m guessing Farrell is gone if they move up Buehler or Font. I think Ysla was grabbed just because of a lack of organizational depth when it comes to LH relievers.

  6. Tuesday 8/8 9:40pm
    Kenta Maeda (R)
    @ Diamondbacks – Zack Godley (R)
    1. Chris Taylor (R) LF
    2. Corey Seager (L) SS
    3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
    4. Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
    5. Yasmani Grandal (S) C
    6. Logan Forsythe (R) 2B
    7. Joc Pederson (L) CF
    8. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
    9. Kenta Maeda (R) P


    – The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed left-handed pitcher Luis Avilán on the paternity list.

    Stewart, 25, last pitched on August 2 with Los Angeles, allowing two runs on three hits in 4.0 innings with one strikeout against the Braves and did not factor in the decision in his second start of the season. Stewart, who will be making his third stint with the big league club, has posted a 0.87 ERA (2 ER/20.2 IP) and has recorded a save in eight games (two starts) this season. He has held hitters to a .181 average and has struck out 13 batters against seven walks.

    In 47 relief appearances this season, Avilán has gone 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA (11 ER/32.0 IP) and has struck out 39 batters against 15 walks.

  8. 18-year-old Melvin Jimenez now 12.2 inn. into his single-a career: 3 hits, 0 runs, 9 walks, 16 strikeouts. 2nd youngest Loon ever. Dodgers continue to aggressively promote their prospects

  9. I think the September call ups will be Buehler, Verdugo, Font, Ramos and Oaks.

    Castillio, Ysla, Florio and Farrell are all candidates to be designated , Urias can go to the 60-day DL as can Eibner. Segedin could also be designated.

    1. I agree that all signs point to a Buehler call up, but, I’m gong to say they don’t. Only because, unless they trade some staff, their will be too many pitchers and why start the clock on Buehler this year. It’s not likely that they will need him for post season BP nor should we expect him to be post season ready at a high performance level.

  10. Puig, man, he does things no one else can do. What a catch, actually, what a SECOND catch tonight.

      1. Hawkeye

        I been telling you guys, I am concerned about the HRs our bullpen, have given up!

        Thanks to Puig, we are still ahead!

        1. The bullpen is vulnerable. Baez’s peripheral numbers show he’s not as good as his ERA. Watson has been poor for about a full calendar year now. I wasn’t a big fan of pulling Morrow.

    1. He is obviously the best RF in the NL if not all of baseball. Here is an interesting item about Puig– he has hit into 20 double plays this year which is second to only M. Kemp in all of basebal. Second on our team is Seager with 9.

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