3 fast-rising Dodgers prospects who could be trade bait

Surprise, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Landon Knack
Surprise, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Landon Knack / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

C Dalton Rushing

As if having Will Smith as their primary catcher wasn't enough, the Dodgers are absolutely stacked at the position all throughout the farm system. Smith and Austin Barnes currently form the duo behind the plate at the big league level, but there are a ton of up-and-coming options the club can pick from.

While 21-year-old Diego Cartaya is the top backstop in the organization as far as prospects go, Dalton Rushing is another name to keep an eye on. However, there's reason to believe that the latter could be used in a potential trade deadline move rather than become a building block down the line.

Rushing, 22, began the current season in High-A with the Great Lakes Loons and has been hitting well for a batter that's very much still developing. In 46 games so far, he's hit seven home runs and drove in 32 while walking (40) nearly as much as he's striking out (48), which is an impressive ability to have for a player so young. Rushing's .939 OPS is also a massive mark for him, showing why the Dodgers have been so high on him for so long.

Cartaya is the elephant in the room here, though. He's experienced a bit of an offensive drop-off this season, but all signs are pointing to him being the next big thing for the Dodgers behind the plate. Beyond him, there's yet another option down in A-Ball that is widely expected to be a factor down the line. Thayron Liranzo, 19, has already hit 14 home runs in 52 games this year, posting an impressive .904 OPS and hitting well enough to put his name on the organization's radar in a big way.

With all of these high-end catchers around him in the system, Rushing is beginning to feel like the odd man out, and that's not because of his performance; in fact, his numbers are better than Cartaya's and Liranzo's. However, since Rushing is hitting so well and looks to be inching closer and closer to a big league debut, he also will represent the most attractive trade chip that could conceivably be moved. The Dodgers are sky-high on Cartaya, so this would mean that Rushing takes top spot for "most tradeable young catcher." If he's moved, he could easily be a centerpiece in a trade for an impact arm at the deadline.