Rancho Cucamonga Quakes – Advanced A
The Quakes are yet another team in the organization that is loaded with talent, especially on the mound. Leading the way is a possible future ace, Walker Buehler. The former Vanderbilt standout has been nothing short of dominant coming off injuries early in his career. In five starts, he’s tossed 16.1 innings while allowing only two earned runs to score, good for a 1.10 ERA. The innings-to-start ratio shows the caution the Dodgers are exercising with him, but that will only be for a limited time. The 22-year-old has punched out 27 so far, and his ability is just too great to keep him in the Inland Empire for too long.
Yadier Alvarez and Mitchell White are a couple of other high-end Dodgers’ prospects that have started the year in Rancho, but they have not had the early season success like Buehler. White’s first start of the year was a part of a combined no-hitter, but since then his total ERA has inflated to 4.50 in 18 innings. Alvarez has really struggled, currently touting an ERA over eight. Loan Mart Field, the Quakes’ home stadium, is certainly a hitter’s park, but that can only affect things so much.
Adam Bray and Dennis Santana have both had masterful years so far. Bray’s ERA sits at 0.56 through 16 innings with a WHIP of .562 in the bullpen. Santana has started four games and struck out 26 with a 1.14 ERA.
As for the kids with the sticks, the fresh prince is leading the way. Will Smith, the Dodgers’ top catching prospect, not only bears the same name as the famous entertainer but he may just be as versatile. He is certainly an all-around catcher, with ability on both offense and defense and more athleticism than most at the position. His OPS is .991 to go along with four home runs, 13 RBI and he’s even stolen five bases.
Yusniel Diaz was another prospect of note before the year, but the Cuban outfielder hasn’t quite lived up to that hype. Hitting just above .280 so far with nine RBI, it isn’t bad, but certainly not what was expected.
Outfielders Logan Landon and DJ Peters are both off to hot starts for the Quakes as well with OPS over .950. First baseman Ibandel Isabel has already blasted seven home runs and probably takes the bronze behind Shibuya and Kowalczyk for best name mentioned here.