3 Dodgers prospects that could make unexpected impact in spring training

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1. Nick Nastrini

Just a note: these are in no particular order. But it's obvious the Dodgers like Nastrini. The right-hander was drafted in 2021 and reached Double-A in 2022. The UCLA product is a bit homer-prone (1.3 HR/9) and walks too many batters (4.3 BB/9) but he's struck out an astonishing 201 batters in 130.2 career minor league innings.

His fastball velocity has increased to 96 MPH. Hs also sports a curveball, slider and changeup. And it's all been good enough to leap to Double-A after just 28 starts across the Rookie League, Single-A and High-A.

Remember how we said his walks were a problem? On the other side of the spectrum, he barely surrenders hits (5.6 H/9), which explains his good WHIP (1.10). And he's actually improved upon his walks issue, after posting a 7.4 BB/9 in college. What's even more promising is that his final year with the Bruins was his absolute worst (6.89 ERA and 1.82 WHIP in 31.1 innings).

If Nastrini's scouting report on MLB.com says his ceiling is pitching in the front half of a big-league rotation, then that's likely why the Dodgers are willing to move fast with him. Another arm you can see maybe getting some bullpen reps when rosters expand in September, if all goes well for his development in 2023.

The Dodgers specialize in exactly this. If some fans are pessimistic about what Phil Bickford, Shelby Miller and Alex Reyes can bring to the table, or about the health situations surrounding Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Victor González, Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol and JP Feyereisen, then why not be optimistic about Nastrini?

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