Dodgers front office still giving Diego Cartaya vote of confidence despite extreme struggles

SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

While some Dodgers prospects are rocking and rolling in the minors and are definitely names to keep an eye on starting next season, others are unfortunately looking like they're turning into busts. It has to happen every year in every organization, but it's especially tragic when names that fans once had a lot of reason to be excited about just slip off the radar because of poor performance.

Top international signing Diego Cartaya might be one of them. He signed with the Dodgers for $2.5 million in 2018 and debuted at No. 10 in their pipeline in 2019 before steadily rising to sit at No. 1 in back-to-back years, in 2022 and 2023. This year, however, he slipped back down to No. 8 after a very rough year in Double-A and three weeks on the Dodgers' developmental list at the end of the season.

He was present at spring training but wasn't able to make a plate appearance as he was dealing with a back issue. He recovered and was ready to go a few days into the start of the season in Double-A, but he's continued to struggle at the plate, with a .160/.371/.320 line.

Andrew Friedman dismisses concerns about struggling Dodgers top prospect Diego Cartaya

Recently, Dodgers' president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he wasn't concerned about Cartaya's continued struggles and was confident he would bounce back. Friedman said, "He’s a really naturally talented player who’s coming off a down year. And I’ve seen that a lot in the past with really good players, the ones who have really good makeup, bounce back from that. And so it wouldn’t surprise me at all Diego comes out this year and has a really good year.”

It's a nice sentiment, sure, and no front office would be quick to write off one of their top prospects, but Cartaya's struggles seem particularly severe. He still slugged 19 home runs in Double-A last year and drove in 57 runs, but that was with 354 plate appearances. Assistant GM Brandon Gomes also chimed into say that Cartaya had improved defensively, but with Will Smith blocking the ascent of any catcher in the Dodgers organization for the next 10 years, it's not much of a consolation.

The Dodgers definitely need Cartaya to find his groove at the plate again, though, at least so that his trade value will be intact when they eventually send him away from LA.