Los Angeles Dodgers Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects

Dodgers top prospects for fantasy baseball

The Dodgers’ embarrassment of riches includes one of the most loaded farm systems in baseball. Bringing in Yoshinobu Yamamoto from Japan to join the L.A. rotation puts a cherry on top. There is a little bit of everything across all levels with a bevy of prospects that could play a role in L.A. this season. The extreme depth will help give the Dodgers fodder to go after whatever they need at the trade deadline this summer. With an emphasis on identifying and developing talent, expect to see many more names pop up from the Dodgers system in the coming season.

Be sure to head over to the Pitcher List dynasty page to check out the rest of the released prospect rankings!


Top Dodgers Prospects

The Top Tier

1) Yoshinobu Yamamoto, SP, Age: 25

2023 JPPL Stats (Japan): 164 IP | 1.21 ERA | 26.6 K% | 4.4 BB%

The Dodgers won the Yamamoto sweepstakes with a 12-year, $325 million contract to go with a $50M posting fee, bringing over the best pitcher in Japan to head the L.A. rotation. Yamamoto has won the Sawamura Award as the top hurler in Nippon Professional Baseball for three straight seasons, posting successive ERAs of 1.39, 1.68, and 1.21, respectively. Over his seven-year NPB career, Yamamoto put up a combined 4.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 0.94 WHIP.

The main concern with Yamamoto is whether his 5-foot-10, 176-pound frame can withstand the rigors of an MLB ace workload. He certainly has the arsenal to do it, featuring a dominant low-90s splitter that he uses almost as often as his mid-to-upper-90s fastball. Then there’s his unique curveball, in which he gets elite spin and a 65-inch drop from a funky release. Mixing in a serviceable cutter, Yamamoto has the stuff to rack up big strikeout totals to go with low ERAs and WHIPs right from the get-go, like a better version of the Mets’ Kodai Senga.

2) Dalton Rushing, C, Age: 22

2023 Stats: (A+): .228 AVG | .404 OBP | .452 SLG | 15 HR | 1 SB | 24.4 K% | 18.9 BB%

Rushing has an exciting blend of power and plate discipline packed into a muscular, 220-pound frame. His stat line was hindered by an 0-for-26 skid on the heels of a late-July concussion that included an uncharacteristic 11 strikeouts. Once his head cleared, Rushing went on a power binge with 9 homers in his final 20 games, including posting a 1.400 OPS in the Midwest League playoffs (that unfortunately doesn’t count in his season totals).

A steal in the 2021 draft as the 40th overall pick out of Louisville, Rushing is still a work in progress behind the plate, so it’s still to be seen if he will wind up qualifying as a catcher for fantasy. He has the bat to become a middle-of-the-lineup thumper, but it may come as a first baseman or a DH. Expect to see Rushing start 2024 in Double-A Tulsa with a chance for a taste of Los Angeles by the end of the season.

3) Josue De Paula, OF, Age: 18

2023 Stats (A):.284 AVG | .396 OBP | .372 SLG | 2 HR | 14 SB | 17.9 K% | 13.5 BB%

De Paula became an industry darling with an impressive pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2022, putting up a triple-slash of .349/.448/.522 with 5 homers and 16 steals in 53 games as well as more walks (32) than strikeouts (31). He then impressed so much in the instructional league that he skipped the Arizona Complex League all the way to the Low-A California League last year. Having just turned 18 when reaching Rancho Cucamonga, De Paula held his own despite hitting just 2 homers, posting a .396 OBP with amazing plate discipline for such a young hitter.

De Paula was born in Brooklyn and is a cousin to New York basketball legends Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair. He moved to the Dominican Republic at 15 years old to sign as an international free agent, inking a $397,500 deal with the Dodgers. Listed at 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, De Paula has a projectable frame that combined with his plate skills should allow him to grow into plus power. He profiles as a premium bat in a corner outfield spot, but his middling speed will likely disappear as he fills out. If the power starts to come this season for High-A Great Lakes, De Paula could elevate his profile into elite-prospect territory.

4) Michael Busch, 2B/3B, Age: 26

2023 MiLB Stats (AAA): .323 AVG | .396 OBP | .372 SLG | 2 HR | 14 SB | 17.9 K% | 13.5 BB%

2023 MLB Stats:.167 AVG | .247 OBP | .292 SLG | 2 HR | 1 SB | 33.3 K% | 9.9 BB%

Prospect fatigue is real. Just look at Busch, who has been on everybody’s radar since being selected in the first round out of North Carolina in 2019. After the lost pandemic season, the Dodgers have slow-rolled Busch through the upper levels, spending most of the last three years putting up impressive numbers at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. In between three stints in a utility role for L.A., Busch bashed in the minors to the tune of a 1.049 OPS for OKC. Already 26 years old and having a paltry .539 OPS in a scant 27-game taste of the majors, the luster has worn off Busch in the fantasy community.

With Shohei Ohtani now occupying the DH spot and Mookie Betts having moved to second base full-time, there aren’t a lot of paths to playing time in 2024 for Busch unless there’s an injury. It’s been expected that Busch would be a prime candidate to be traded this off-season, so by the time you read this he may be on his way to Chicago in a Dylan Cease deal. If he stays in L.A., Busch may have to spend more time in OKC as an insurance policy at four positions — first, second, and third base as well as DH. As an all-bat prospect, he could make an impact in fantasy this year if he only gets a chance — free Michael Busch!

5) Joendry Vargas, SS, Age: 18

2023 MiLB Stats (R/DSL): .328 AVG | .423 OBP | .529 SLG | 7 HR | 19 SB | 14.9 K% | 14.4 BB%

Signed for $2,077,500 out of the Dominican Republic as one of the top prospects in the 2023 international signing class, Vargas was as good as advertised in his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League last year with power and stellar plate discipline. With a smooth swing and an all-fields line-drive approach, Vargas should soon be challenging De Paula for the top of the Dodgers’ prospect rankings. The 6-foot-4, 175-pounder may grow out of shortstop as he fills out and winds up at third base, reminiscent of Manny Machado as a middle-of-the-order force.

The Dodgers could challenge Vargas by skipping him over the Arizona Complex League to Low-A Rancho Cucamonga for his stateside debut this spring, otherwise, we’ll have to wait until June to see him in minor-league action. As he gains strength, we will likely see his 50-grade speed drop a bit, so don’t expect a whole lot in the steals department. Vargas still has a lot of development left ahead of him, but there’s a special hitter to dream of joining Ohtani in a loaded L.A. lineup as early as 2026.

6) Nick Frasso, SP, Age: 25

2023 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 93 IP | 3.26 ERA | 26.8 K% | /7.8 BB%

The Dodgers stole Frasso from the Blue Jays in August 2022 in the Mitch White deal, then watched him get to Triple-A last year and now he’s knocking on the door of reaching L.A. as a much-needed reinforcement for the back of the rotation. Toronto had taken the 6-foot-5, 200-pound right-hander in the fourth round of the 2020 draft out of Loyola Marymount despite having a strained forearm that required Tommy John surgery. He returned to action just 11 months later with an explosive fastball that sits 95-97 mph and touches 100 with armside run.

Frasso is still honing the command of a mid-80s slider that could become a knockout combo with his 75-grade fastball. He has a mid-80s changeup with fade and sink that could develop into a plus offering. Frasso has mid-rotation upside if he can continue increasing his workload, otherwise, he could deployed in the back of the L.A. bullpen by this summer.

7) Diego Cartaya, C, Age: 22

2023 MiLB Stats (AA): .189 AVG | .278 OBP | .379 SLG | 19 HR | 0 SB | 29.0 K% | 9.2 BB%

Cartaya entered 2023 as the organization’s consensus top prospect but took a step back in Double-A, struggling against non-fastballs to finish below the Mendoza line. Signed for $2.5 million out of Venezuela in 2018, Cartaya smashed a combined 22 homers in 95 games between Low-A and High-A in 2022. The 6-foot-3, 219-pound backstop has long been compared to Salvador Perez, but let’s stop that — Salvy was a .300-hitting MLB starter without a strikeout problem at the same age that Cartaya is now.

Considering that catchers have the longest development curves, time is still on Cartaya’s side as he doesn’t turn 23 until September. The silver lining to his lost 2023 season was that he still managed to connect on 19 homers in 93 games. If Cartaya can cut down on his strikeouts to get to his massive raw power more and improve on defense, he could reach L.A. in 2025 to back up Will Smith. If Cartaya does get back on track at the plate, he has the ceiling to be an offensive-minded catcher or a power-hitting DH/first baseman.


Prospects Dynasty Managers Should Know

8) Kyle Hurt, SP, Age: 25

2023 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 92 IP | 3.91 ERA | 39.2 K% | 11.3 BB%

2023 MLB Stats: 2 IP | 0.00 ERA | 50.0 K% | 0.0 BB%

In yet another highway robbery by the Dodgers, Stone came over with Alex Vesia from the Marlins for Dylan Floro eight months after being taken by Miami in the fifth round of the 2020 draft out of USC. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-hander led the minor leagues for anyone over 63 innings with a 39.2 K%, using an explosive mid-90s fastball with extreme ride and run out of a low slot to dominate in Double-A and Triple-A. Control is the big issue that will determine if he can reach his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter or wind up in the bullpen and he made big strides last year, lowering his walk rate from 17.7% in 2022 to 11.3% last season.

9) Gavin Stone, SP, Age: 25

2023 MiLB Stats (AAA): 100.2 IP | 4.74 ERA | 27.8 K% | 10.7 BB%

2023 MLB Stats: 31 IP | 9.00 ERA | 14.5 K% | 8.6 BB%

Stone was a huge disappointment last year, getting hammered for a 9.00 ERA in 31 innings for the Dodgers while stumbling to a 4.74 ERA in Triple-A. The 2020 fifth-round pick out of Central Arkansas was coming off a breakout season in 2022, when he combined for a 1.48 ERA and 33.9 K% over 3 levels, culminating with a 1.16 ERA in six starts in the hitter-friendly PCL. It’s to be seen if the 6-foot-1 right-hander’s combo of a mid-90s fastball and a plus changeup can work to make him realize his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter.

10) Thayron Liranzo, C, Age: 20

2023 MiLB Stats (A): .272 AVG | .400 OBP | .562 SLG | 24 HR | 2 SB | 26.8 K% | 16.7 BB%

The massive switch-hitting backstop flexed his muscles for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga last year, posting a 155 wRC+ with 24 dingers in 94 games. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Dominican’s calling card is his power, but it’s likely he moves out from behind the plate to first base or DH. If he can hold his own defensively at catcher, he has the bat to reach L.A. as early as 2025 and eventually could become an All-Star.

11) Andy Pages, OF, Age: 23

2023 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): .277 AVG | .425 OBP | .482 SLG | 3 HR | 7 SB | 23.3 K% | 17.8 BB%

Pages had just played his first game in Triple-A last June when he was shut down with a shoulder injury that wound up needing season-ending surgery on a torn labrum. The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Cuban slugger was showing improved plate discipline in Double-A before the injury, lowering his strikeout rate from 24.5% in 2022 to 22.5% while raising his walk rate from 10.9% to 17.6%. It’s to be seen if the shoulder surgery will sap any of his 60-grade power — if not, he could reach L.A. this summer to provide right-handed punch in a corner outfield spot.

12) Trey Sweeney, SS, Age: 23

2023 MiLB Stats (AA): .252 AVG | .367 OBP | .411 SLG | 13 HR | 20 SB | 19.1 K% | 13.8 BB%

The Dodgers acquired Sweeney from the Yankees in December for lefty reliever Victor Gonzalez and infield prospect Jorbit Vivas in a deal designed to open a 40-man roster spot for the signing of Shohei Ohtani. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound shortstop was selected in the first round out of Eastern Illinois in 2021 and spent last season putting up solid numbers in Double-A. Sweeney is expected to settle in as a power-over-hit infielder with good plate discipline capable of playing a serviceable second base, shortstop or third base and could reach L.A. this summer.

13) River Ryan, SP, Age: 25

2023 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 104.1 IP | 3.80 ERA | 24.6 K% | 10.3 BB%

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Ryan was whisked away from the Padres at the end of 2022 spring training for basically nothing (Matt Beaty, who batted .093 for San Diego that season). Ryan was taken in the 11th round in 2021 out of UNC Pembroke as a two-way player, but the Dodgers immediately had him focus on the mound and proceeded to work their magic. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-hander has four solid offerings, led by a mid-90s fastball that reaches 99, and he could reach L.A. this summer as a rotation reinforcement.

14) Justin Wrobleski, SP, Age: 23

2023 MiLB Stats (A+): 102.1 IP | 2.90 ERA | 26.0 K% | 8.3 BB%

Wrobleski had Tommy John surgery two months before the 2021 draft and the Dodgers took him in the 11th round out of Oklahoma State. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound lefty came back from TJ with an improved fastball, adding 3 ticks up to the mid-90s. His mid-80s slider is the best of his four solid offerings and he is reaching the upper levels of the minors with a chance to stick as a back-of-the-rotation starter.

15) Payton Martin, SP, Age: 19

2023 MiLB Stats (A): 39.2 IP | 2.04 ERA | 30.2 K% | 9.4 BB%

Martin was drafted in just the 17th round in 2022 out of a North Carolina high school and has seen his fastball surge up to the mid-90s, featuring carry and armside run. The 6-foot, 170-pound right-hander broke out in his pro debut for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga last season, posting a minuscule 2.04 ERA over 39.2 innings. Martin gets matching 60 grades on his fastball and slider, so now he just needs to build up his innings as he climbs the ladder to a potential mid-rotation future.


The Next Five

Although these prospects do not crack the top-15, dynasty managers should keep their eye on these five players.

16) Landon Knack (Age: 26) Sturdy right-hander posted a 2.51 ERA in AA/AAA last year and should get some innings in L.A. this season in the bullpen or as a spot starter.

17) Eduardo Quintero (Age: 18) – Athletic catcher broke out last year in the Dominican Summer League with a .359/.472/.618 triple-slash and looks to build on that as he makes his stateside debut in the Arizona Complex League.

18) Ronan Kopp (Age: 21) – Towering 6-foot-7 left-hander put up a huge 35.8 K% last year in A+ but control problems (16.7 BB%) could limit him eventually to the bullpen.

19) Jake Gelof (Age: 21) – The little brother of A’s second baseman Zack Gelof, the Dodgers’ Low-A third baseman projects to have more power with less speed than his sibling.

20) Maddux Bruns (Age 21) – A first-round pick in 2021, the 6-foot-2 left-hander combined for a 29.3 K% and 15.6 BB% in A/A+ last season.

Rudy Ropp

Rudy Ropp is a Dynasty Fantasy Analyst here at Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 1999. Co-founder of RotoProspects.com which features a weekly-updated Top 500 Prospects and a monthly-updated Dynasty Top 500 Rankings. I have similar love for movies and music - my dream used to be the next Quentin Tarentino as a former video store clerk or a Rolling Stone writer like in Almost Famous. In addition to being a fantasy baseball nut, I'm a dad, avid traveler, Star Wars fanatic, lifelong Mariners fan, pickleball player, and newspaper sports writer/designer/editor.

One response to “Los Angeles Dodgers Top Fantasy Baseball Prospects”

  1. Chris says:

    Definitely chuckled at Sebastian Telfair being considered a legend

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