Dodgers lose former top prospect to division-rival Diamondbacks

Thomas Carannante
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Edwin Uceta #92 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 15, 2021 in New York City. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 14-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Edwin Uceta #92 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 15, 2021 in New York City. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 14-4. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Former Los Angeles Dodgers top prospect Edwin Uceta made his MLB debut in 2021. In 2022, he’ll be with another team in the NL West.

During the NLCS, Uceta was designated for assignment because the Dodgers were in need of a righty bat with defense after Justin Turner was lost for the remainder of the series due to a hamstring injury.

As a result, the team promoted Andy Burns and were forced to designated someone for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster. Uceta was that casualty.

This week, the Arizona Diamondbacks claimed the right-hander off waivers and will now add some youth to their pitching staff for next season.

The Dodgers lost Edwin Uceta to the Diamondbacks.

Though Uceta was unimpressive at the big-league level this year (0-3, 6.64 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 20.1 innings), he was moved into a relief role despite mostly serving as a starter in the minors. This likely isn’t a colossal loss for the Dodgers, but Uceta was once upon a time one of the organization’s top prospects and was turning heads in 2018 and 2019.

According to Baseball America, Uceta was among the top 30 prospects in the Dodgers’ system the last three years, getting as high as No. 18 in 2021, likely thanks to an impressive 2019 season that saw him register a 2.77 ERA across 26 games (24 starts) with 141 strikeouts in 123.1 innings at High-A and Double-A. He then followed that up with a 1.96 ERA in six games (five starts) in the Dominican Winter League.

The lost 2020 season likely hurt his development a bit, as did his sudden transition to a relief role.

Even with the Dodgers’ withering starting rotation, the team won’t feel Uceta’s departure. There are plenty of names higher in the pecking order, but this move is worth noting because he was called upon to help the team in 2021, which means the organization was hoping to get a closer look at him.

His first impression with LA clearly wasn’t lasting, but don’t be shocked if he latches on with the lowly D-backs, who are in need of just about everything at the moment.

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