Now, more than ever, the Los Angeles Dodgers have left the door wide open for their prospects to step right in. They're already probably going to use Miguel Vargas and James Outman a ton in 2023, and it won't stop there. Oh yeah, and there's Ryan Pepiot, who already made an impression in 2022.
The Dodgers have six prospects on their non-roster invite list for spring training: Bobby Miller (No. 2), Gavin Stone (No. 7), Landon Knack (No. 11), Nick Nastrini (No. 12), Ryan Ward (No. 30) and Nick Robertson (N/A).
None are exactly knocking on the door of their MLB debuts but ... you never know. At the very least, they could expedite their arrival by getting bumped a level after an impressive showing at spring training. That could lead to a midseason promotion or call when rosters expand in September.
LA needs to set the table for 2024 as well because they have so many veterans on one-year contracts or others coming off the books at the conclusion of 2023. Regardless of how it unfolds, fans need to closely monitor these prospects this spring.
3 Dodgers prospects that could make unexpected impact in spring training
3. Gavin Stone
Duh, of COURSE Gavin Stone is going to be in the spotlight over the next month or so. He's one of the Dodgers' top prospects and his 2022 ascension could squarely put him in the big-league picture at some point in 2023.
But his "impact" could be the most significant of all and is on a different tier than what the standard prospect impact would suggest. What if he dominates with the opportunity he gets with his spring invitation and makes a case to join the rotation on Opening Day? Unlikely, but possible!
What if an injury occurs to the rotation? OK, Pepiot and Michael Grove might be ahead on the totem pole, but that might also depend on their spring performances. At the very least, Stone proving his mettle against MLB bats might make the seat hot for somebody else on the big league staff. His 2022 season featured a 1.48 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 168 strikeouts across 26 games (25 starts), totaling 121.2 innings. He made six starts at High-A, 13 starts (14 games) at Double-A, and six starts at Triple-A. Sub-1.61 ERAs at every level.
Can't imagine he'll be wasting away long at Triple-A to start the 2023 season, especially if the Dodgers are in need of another arm/potential upgrade.