Ginger Thor

A few days ago Mark suggested a trade in his column. The trade included a few Dodger prospects for right-handed reliever Raisel Iglesias of the Cincinnati Reds. Iglesias would be a valuable acquisition as the 28-year-old has had two consecutive very successful years with the Reds. Although I tend to be overly-protective of Dodger minor leaguers, I thought it might  indeed be a good trade with one exception. Mark included Dustin May. I agree with AC that Dustin is perhaps the next Dodger “untouchable” among the minor league ranks.

The young right-hander has become somewhat known for his flowing red hair streaming out from under the back of his hat. As a result he has been likened to right-hander Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets and as mentioned by TD, has gained a nickname of “Gingergaard”.  Eric Vrsalovich of Dodger Low-Down has alternately referred to May as “Ginger Thor”. The young right-hander seemed to  like that moniker suggesting Thor couldn’t be beaten. His breaking pitch is already  a hammer.May was selected by the Dodgers in the third round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Northwest High School in Justin, Texas. He had committed to Texas Tech but debuted with the Arizona League Dodgers on July 6, 2016. With the AZL squad he posted a 3.86 ERA along with 34 strikeouts and four walks.

He  began the 2017 season with the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League. He was assigned a full workload and over 23 starts with the Loons  posted a 3.88 ERA along with 113 strikeouts in  123 innings pitched. He walked but 26. As a 19-year-old he was selected as a Mid-Season All-Star in the Midwest League.

He capped off his first full season with 11 innings  pitched in the hitter friendly California League in which he  allowed one earned run, walked one and struck out 15.

Besides his flowing mane, May is also noticeable by his high leg kick, perhaps the highest in the Dodgers entire system. His 6’6”/180-pound frame means he has relatively long legs. He uses the leg kick to help him get comfortable and gain momentum as he strides toward the plate. Further to that, he feels it helps to distract the batter. Basically he just morphed into the higher kick as a comfort technique and in his words,” It stands out more. A lot of people don’t have it”.

According to May his best pitch is his slider. It has become his out pitch step up by his fastball which reaches the mid-nineties. His plan for the remainder of spring training and the upcoming season is to work on consistency and as he puts it, “…landing his breaking ball and change up over the plate”.

He now ranked as the Dodgers 11th overall prospect on  MLB Pipeline Prospect Watch. His Pipeline report credits him with another tangible: “May boosted his 2016 Draft stock by recording some of the highest spin rates at the World Wood Bat Association World Championships in the fall before his senior year”

An adjustment the Dodgers have made with May had him shift from a four-seam fastball to a two-seamer, while generating a lot of groundouts.  Additionally they are working on a hard curve as his slider and curveball have little differentiation and that too should induce more ground balls.

Besides his physical stature, his developing pitching arsenal and his unique delivery, Dustin May has another quality that many young players often have to work for some time to develop. He came ready equipped with a quiet confidence. He is not afraid to tackle new challenges and in fact welcomes them.  During his time with the Loons he had three starts that were less than memorable. On each occasion he came back in his next start with good outings, recording two wins while allowing just  four runs over 16 innings.

Ginger Thor, a.k.a Gingergaard, most likely will begin his third professional season with the High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes before moving on to the AA Tulsa Drillers at some point in the 2018 season.

This article has 43 Comments

  1. Nice article. I really can’t wait to see how he and White do this upcoming year. And if Alvarez can finally figure stuff out, look out!

    Meanwhile, Joc looked completely lost again today. The reason he MUST go down to AAA is that he HAS to be taught a proper batting stance, and how to hit using that stance over and over. This requires reaching, which can’t be done as he’s a bench guy, late inning pinch hitter, in the bigs.

    As B17 always says, the Joc Shuffle needs to be put to bed

    1. Joc’s first at bat was a good one. He recognized pitches quickly and got his walk by not being fooled.
      On Joc’s second at bat, he struck out protecting the plate so chalk that at bat as neither terrible or good. Joc has tended to take for a strike the slow breaking ball that starts out outside and breaks over the outside of the plate.
      His third at bat was bad as he chased a ball that started out as a strike and faded out of the strike zone and he didn’t try to take an outside pitch the other way.
      Joc is having a terrible Spring all on his own without us trying to make it sound worse than it is.

      1. Bum

        They are auctioning the Dodgers game worn World Series jerseys , at Dodger Com.

        And Joc’s it at, $229 dollars.

          1. I don’t think anyone on this board dislikes Joc. He’s a Dodger and we all wish he was performing better. No one is “kicking him” while he’s down, just expressing their honest feelings. You need to stop taking everything said about Joc so frickin’ personal. It’s pathetic.

  2. Some thoughts as spring training winds down.
    Ryu, pitched well last night. If he can pitch like that for most of his starts from the 5th spot, that will be huge.
    Baez will make the team and at this point, I have absolutely zero confidence in him.
    Rumors the Dodgers are trying to trade Thompson, which means Peterson makes the team, another player I have zero confidence in, hope he can change my thinking.

  3. Agree with you guys. Joc has to go down to AAA or be traded. He cannot be a bench player with his batting. Toles has to be your fourth outfielder. He must play three times a week. Thompson needs to be traded. Baez will be on the team and I do not trust him. He reminds me of Hatcher. Utley, Toles, and Farmer will be three of your bench players. Put Kike at second and let him play. He looks good wherever you put him. He is hitting righties this Spring. I have said Ryu will have a good year this year. He looked good last night.

    1. I wasn’t that concerned with Ryu, because I knew he was behind the other starters, in pitching in the more real spring training games, because he was working on his curve, in the back fields.

      I was hoping he wouldn’t give up a HR last night, but I guess it is hard in the majors right now, to not give up a HR.

      It was good to see him strike out, Mike Trout last night!

  4. My son commented to me yesterday watching the Dodger/Angel game.

    Death, Taxes and Baez giving up another home run! He understands life!

  5. So far i’m not to excited about Alexander either. Both Baez and Alexander have not performed. I’m a Joc fan but enough is enough. I had hopes he would have retooled his swing this off season and come into camp buff and ready to roll. But I don’t think he gets it. He seems like a nice guy; a likable guy, but I don’t think he gets it. He needs to go down or get traded for a change in scenery. Maybe that might jump start his career.

    1. The Dodgers need a relief pitcher. I have very little confidence in anyone not named Kenley. I hope Cingrani continues to improve on how hit pitched after the trade. Hopefully, Alexander is the groundball machine they need in a DP situation. I’m hoping Yimi can provide some help. All in all, though, the pen needs a quality arm.

  6. Sickels has the Dodgers ranked 10th in Farm Systems.
    I find this amazing, given the prospects promoted and traded and the restrictions.
    That said, I think I would trade the top ten prospects in an instant (for the record: Buehler, Verdugo, Ruiz, White, Alvarez, Heredia, Diaz, Kendall, May and Santana (Denis not Cristian)) for Mike Trout.
    Scary thing? I’m not sure the Angels would.

      1. The Angels would take that deal yesterday, and look back laughing (but only if this deal was proposed in July and they’re 17 games out of it)

  7. Had the pleasure of seeing May pitch in Fort Wayne against the Padres Class A team and he was dominating over the 5 innings he threw. He and Ruiz worked together well and cut through the hitters like they were oleo. He worked quickly, exuded confidence and his pitching motion made it hard to see when and where the ball was going to be released. He led the Loons to a dominant victory early in the season.

    Bluto…. I am so glad that you have no role in the Dodger’s front office. This is the worst trade proposal that I’ve ever seen suggested on this site and that is quite an accomplishment.

  8. You can never have too much good pitching. Dustin May. someone to keep an eye on.

  9. Short term vision Bluto. One person dos not make a ball team. He would help. In five years we would be like Tampa Bay, or Miami. If I was the Angles I would take that deal, but I throw in Puhols and his contract.

    1. Oh. My thinking is the opposite. You take a short term hit to the farm, but in five years it’s replenished and you have Trout.

      Trout is so good it is scary.

  10. The time to trade Joc would have been in the off-season fresh off his WS. However, the slow moving free agent market for FA really mucked up any chance that FAZ had of moving Joc. So he is a Dodger for now, and with less trade value than Trayce Thompson. With Trayce’s salary at ML minimum, and with teams looking for a young controllable RH hitting OF as a #4 or #5, FAZ should be able to move him for something above PTBNL. In reading other sites comments, it appears that Indians fans, Braves fans, A’s fans, and Giants fans would like to see Trayce on their roster. But we all know that fans and GM’s look at things very differently. If the Dodger roster was made by the fans, neither Baez or Joc would make it, but I think they both will. It is not what is deserving or my choice, but it is an educated guess as to what I think the Dodgers will do. I will NOT be disappointed if I am wrong.
    I know there has been some discussion that Toles could step in for all 3 OF’s giving them each one day a week off. However with the number of off days in April, the Dodgers do not play more than 7 consecutive days until 4/27 when they play 10 consecutive days. Until 4/27, the Dodgers open the season and play 7 games before a day off, then 3 days, 2 days, 6 days, and 6 days. There is no need to rest the regulars until at least the 1st week of May, and JT should be back by then. The first extended period is 19 games in 20 days from 5/15 through 6/3. The OKC shuttle should be in full operation from 6/22 through 8/5. Beginning 6/22 they play 23 games in 24 days before the AS Break. Right after the break, they play 26 games in 27 days through 8/5. That will be a tough stretch.

      1. Joc at $2.6M and Trayce at about $550K. At this time of the pre-season, teams are not looking to pick up $2.6M reserve OF. $550K OF are more desirable.
        As far as Toles staying on the 25 man or going to OKC, it all depends as to what FAZ thinks is best for the organization. Money should be no factor.
        Per Ken Gurnick:
        Based on recent playing time, Joc Pederson makes the club and Andrew Toles does not. The last decision is probably Trayce Thompson (who is out of options) vs. Kyle Farmer.
        Per Ken Gurnick:
        If the Dodgers keep 8 relievers, and Yimi Garcia is essentially eliminated b/c he’s pitched once in the last 8 days, the bullpen figures to be: Jansen, Alexander, Cingrani, Baez, Stripling, Fields, Chargois, Font.

  11. Joc’s AB’s last night were painful to watch but Kike was staying back on the ball really well, against RHP too! He is squaring up the ball and hitting line drives. Puig looked good too and Seager made the pitcher pay for grooving a 2-0 fastball belt high with a sweet perfect swing. Ryu was the highlight for me, having swing and miss stuff with some movement, even his fastball. I agree they could use another solid bullpen arm, Greg Holland is still out there, just sayin’. I know it’s Boras but a 1 year prove it deal might work, and you know he would like to stick it to the Rocks.

  12. Just guessing, but wouldn’t a one year deal with Holland put the Dodgers over the luxury tax threshhold?

  13. Or, if not over it, very close to the threshhold, thereby removing any roster flexibility going forward.

    1. A couple of days ago, Eric predicted a 7 man pen. I think Gurnick has the right 8, and it is going to come down to Thompson or Farmer. It is entirely plausible that Thompson is traded before the season starts.

  14. Kershaw – no runs allowed this spring. Doesn’t he know that it doesn’t count yet?

  15. Dodgers will not be facing MadBum next week. Out with a broken left hand. Line drive from Whitt Merifield. Jeff Samardzija also questionable with strained right pectoral muscle.

    1. I haven’t been following as closely as normal. I’m waiting for my phone carrier to pick up my tab this season for my MLBtv subscription. This is hard for a guy that has missed 5 games, since 2008. I have read a little bit, since though. But truth be told…I really haven’t been that focused without being able to stream a picture. Which, I just found out, can only be seen on blue-ray players, the latest Playstation and newer tvs. My app, disappeared on my 2014 Sony this year…MLB can be so greedy!

      But yes after peaking at Gameday, the past two days…these gentleman…look to be quite alive on offense. The pitching has shown promise as well as a few concerns…but that usually works it’s way towards prominence, here before too long.

  16. Seager is still not playing the field much.

    MLB has an article listing Puig as a Breakout Candidate.

    1. I’m gonna guess Mike Petriello makes more $ these days than he did with his own MSTI but part of him has to miss MSTI. I know part of me does as it was a simple way to follow his gift of wording things so elegant.

  17. Such is true…from what little I have seen, most everyone has been hitting the ball hard. Not sure what Joc’s doing? I guess trying to adjust again? This guy used to be able to hit and run…remember the thought that he was ready before Puig? Then after that he became the PL first 40/40 guy or something to that effect 30/30 maybe?

  18. If they keep Joc, I am going to be upset. He cannot pinch hit because he cannot hit. He needs to go to AAA to figure it out. This is his fourth year.

Comments are closed.