Dodgers: Top Pitching Prospect(s) Fans Can Expect to See in 2019

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a portrait during photo day at Camelback Ranch on February 20, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20: Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers poses for a portrait during photo day at Camelback Ranch on February 20, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images) /

The Dodgers’ start to the 2018 season was, quite frankly, hellacious. They lost Corey Seager, never had Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenley Jansen wasn’t himself and let’s not forget about Rich Hill’s never-ending Blistergate (2017 & 2018).

Still, the Dodgers persevered and inevitably won their second National League Championship in as many years.

Piecemealing a starting rotation and bullpen, the Dodgers’ promoted players from within, acquired free agents and made trades. By season’s end, the Dodgers managed to use a staggering twenty-eight pitchers. But injuries don’t always need to evoke such gloomy dispositions.

In an effort to look forward to better days, Dodgers fans should get to know a few exciting pitching prospects that could very easily make their major league debuts this season. The Dodgers have a moderate-to-highly successful farm system and a track record of producing top prospects. Remember, Clayton Kershaw was, not so long ago, once a highly-touted pitching prospect.

Allow me to introduce the potential rotation of the future, starting with Dustin May. Please sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

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You may have already seen May pitch this Spring.

In the 2019 Cactus League, May towered over his competition both literally and figuratively. Already 6’6” tall, 180 LBS, and only 21 years old, May looms atop that mound imposingly, like an over-the-top version of Ronald McDonald on stilts.

By the end of his first trip to Camelback Ranch, Dustin May finished with five appearances, one start, a 1-0 record, 12.1 innings pitched, 1.46 ERA, 11 hits, four walks, only two earned runs and nine strikeouts. Not too shabby from a pitcher who hadn’t seen competition higher than Double-A in his young career.

May’s stuff is borderline elite and it plays up big time due to a combination of superior mound presence, athleticism, an advanced feel for pitching, precise control, and a naturally high arm-slot which allows his throwing motion to create a whipping effect that generates a ton of speed and spin.

The two main beneficiaries of his above-average spin-rate are his two-seam fastball and his curveball. Both pitches (according to are “plus” pitches (i.e., above average) due to their elevated velocity and nasty action.

His two-seamer induces a ton of grounders because of it’s arm-side fade and lives in the realm of 92-97 miles per hour.

As an example of his two-seam, think of a righty pitcher vs. a righty hitter. The natural run that his two-seam generates will fade from the outside of the strike zone- into the inside of the strike zone- and fades into a right-handed hitter’s stance and into the handle of a righty’s bat. The fade his two-seam creates leads to many ground balls and broken bats (i.e., weak contact).

May’s curveball is his best secondary pitch. It’s hard, has a high spin rate, breaks violently, and misses a lot of bats.

May also works with a cutter that’s harder than a slider but with less break, it’s an above-average pitch that should only get better as he added it in 2018.

May also throws a serviceable, near average changeup. His offspeed offering is forecasted to improve with time as he’ll mature both physically and as a pitcher in the years to come.

Heralded as the second-best prospect in the Dodgers’ farm system (according to, the talented righty started the 2019 season with AA-Tulsa. Since his arrival to the Texas League midway through last season, May has supplanted himself amongst the top arms in the league.

The young righty’s 2019-though still in it’s infancy-has already backed his previous success.

A promotion to AAA shouldn’t be far away.

His ascension through the ranks of the minors, as the organization’s top pitching prospect, has gone pretty much without a hitch.

In his first in starts this season, May’s pitching to the tune of a 1-0 record, a 1.93 ERA, 14 innings pitched, with nine hits, only three earned runs, one home run, four walks, 17 strikeouts, an opponents’ batting average of only .184 and a 0.93 WHIP.

May’s potential upside is high enough to make a scout’s mouth water. I think May gets a call-up even if it comes for a “cup of coffee” in September. Keep in mind that 2019 is the last year the September roster expansion to 40 men.

Next. Dodgers: Justin Turner Grounded to Begin the 2019 Season. dark

I cannot imagine a scenario that doesn’t include May in a Dodgers uniform by the end of the regular season, even if it’s a role in relief. Something in my gut tells me that he’ll be up before that. He might not be the first pitching call-up though, I think that will go to our next prospect, Tony Gonsolin.