Dodgers have new top catching prospect brewing below Diego Cartaya, Dalton Rushing

Oklahoma City Dodgers hats sit on display at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Downtown Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City Dodgers hats sit on display at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Downtown Oklahoma City / Nathan J. Fish/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY

The last thing the Los Angeles Dodgers need is another toolsy top catching prospect on a different timeline from their other two top catching prospects, intriguing lightning flash Diego Cartaya and polished college bat Dalton Rushing.

Oh, wait, sorry, read that wrong. It's the last thing the Los Angeles Dodgers' rivals need. It suits the Dodgers just fine, actually.

In recent seasons, the Dodgers' farm has provided a seemingly endless pipeline of options to the big-league club. The only issue has been fitting them all in; Gavin Lux had to wait for his turn for ages, then sadly succumbed to injury as soon as the skies opened up.

This glut of talent has been especially glaring behind the plate. The Dodgers elevated Will Smith to the big leagues, and the Louisville catcher (there's a theme here) has been one of the league's best ever since, and should make his first All-Star team this season. Smith running with that promotion led almost directly to Keibert Ruiz being dealt to the Nationals. After all, you don't let a catching prospect get in the way of acquiring Max Scherzer/Trea Turner, no matter how vaunted they are. Especially with Cartaya coming up behind him at the time on a separate timeline.

Which brings us to today. Cartaya, now 21, is still learning the game at Double-A; the power has translated, but he finally appears to have hit a pro rut. Rushing, 22 years old at High-A, has a .431 OBP and .938 OPS. He's doing just fine (and has taken some reps at first base just in case ... you know). Now, thanks in part to the work of The Athletic's latest prospect spotlight, it seems necessary to inform you that a third name has joined the fray (or, again, fourth, if you count under-30 All-Star Will Smith): Thayron Liranzo, starring at Low-A at 19 years old behind both Rushing and Cartaya.

Dodgers catching prospect Thayron Liranzo should be gaining attention

Liranzo sports a .260/.378/.570 triple-slash with 14 homers so far as a 19-year-old learning the game's most difficult position. Per The Athletic, that defense appears to be coming along pretty well; he's also got the type of freakish arm that cannot be taught.

"He’s 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds and looks durable enough to stay behind the plate. He caught well when I saw him and was active behind the plate, blocking balls in the dirt. His hands are pretty decent. He catches on one knee and he’s got arm strength. It depends on if his feet are set, but his arm can range from average to a 60 grade. He has a quick release, and I had at least one pop time at 1.93 seconds. He had one throw where the ball got away from him on his left side, and he threw a ball down to second that looked like it had two-seam sink to it. When it left his hand, I was like, 'This ball is going to the shortstop side of the bag,' and it tailed right into the base. He made a close play out of a play that should not have been thrown. "

The Athletic on Thayron Liranzo

Is Liranzo the Dodgers' catcher of the future? Does it matter? Their catcher of the present might very well hold that role.

Regardless of the way things shake out, the Dodgers have earned themselves more bites of the apple at the toughest position to fill than any other team in MLB. They've also developed the most coveted variety of trade chips in the game -- at least three times. Liranzo's just the latest to open eyes.