Dodgers minor league update: Josue De Paula, Joendry Vargas, James Outman revenge

Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers v Los Angeles Angels / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Dodgers prospect Josue De Paula has experienced a rapid ascent up the ladder of prospect rankings since he signed with LA as an international free agent in 2022. He peaked at No. 12 in 2023 thanks to a good showing in Single-A (.284 average, .768 OPS), and rocketed up in 2024. He's currently sitting in second behind Dalton Rushing, and his now-.845 OPS with five home runs and 27 RBI through June 2 make him seem due for a move up to High-A soon.

Keith Law, ranking prospects for The Athletic, had De Paula leapfrogging Rushing — and, for that matter, over 60 other prospects in MLB Pipeline's top 100 — in his newest list. Rushing landed at 50 of 50 by Law's estimations, pitcher River Ryan (No. 4 for the Dodgers on MLB Pipeline, unranked overall) at No. 45, and De Paula all the way up at No. 16. Law cited his "extremely advanced approach" at the plate and projected he could be a 25+ homer a year player in the majors (subs. required).

There's still a long way to go until then, as De Paula's only 19 and still in A-ball, but he's on a nine-game hitting streak through Sunday and seems to only have up to go from here.

Dodgers minor league update: Josue De Paula tops LA's prospects in The Athletic's top 50, Joendry Vargas' first homer, James Outman excelling after demotion

Another very young but highly-touted top prospect Joendry Vargas, signed out of the Dominican Republic as an international free agent like De Paula, had a career first on Friday in Rookie ball. Vargas was signed in January 2023 and played 47 games at the rookie level in the Dominican Republic last year, but he got his first home run in the States on May 31 as part of a 4-5 night. With that showing, he's hitting .340 with a .894 OPS over 12 games, after hitting .328 with a .952 OPS in the DR last year. Vargas introduced himself at No. 25 in the Dodgers pipeline in 2023 and moved up to No. 11 this season.

James Outman, who's already experienced a lot of firsts both in the minors and the majors, is also on a hot streak in Triple-A, where he was demoted to after failing to hit above .150 over 36 games in LA. However, Outman's hitting .357 with a mammoth 1.161 OPS in OKC, already has three homers there, and has made some highly highlight reel-able plays in the outfield. His replacement on the major league roster, Miguel Vargas, has hit well when he's played, but Outman seems like a man on a mission to reclaim the spot for himself.