Dodgers prospects: Hyun-Seok Jang debut, 2 earn promotions to Triple-A

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

With Asian players coming over to MLB from Japan's NPB and Korea's KBO at a heavier clip than ever before, some young players are finding ways to get around the usual way of doing things. Most transfers from Japan and Korea put in their time in their country's organizations and come over when international posting rules allow both them and their teams to reap all of the benefits of a massive payday.

This year, both Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Jung Hoo Lee waited until they were 25 — the youngest age to come over without getting an 'amateur' label attached to their free agencies, which would've limited how much money they eventually made. However, Shohei Ohtani came over early, when he was 23, and NPB pitcher Roki Sasaki seems to be angling to do the same.

Some are coming over even earlier still, though. Japanese wunderkind Rintaro Sasaki is attending Stanford University in order to qualify for the draft, though he was expected to be a first-round pick in NPB, and pitcher Hyun-Seok Jang also skirted conventional wisdom by becoming an international free agent despite hype for him as KBO's No. 1 overall draft pick.

He was signed by the Dodgers last year, and he made his first start in Rookie ball on Monday, pitching two hitless innings with three strikeouts and no walks. He's ranked No. 17 in the Dodgers' pipeline, and although there's a long road ahead of him, he's off to a great start.

Dodgers prospects: Hyun-Seok Jang debuts in Rookie ball; Ben Casparius, Austin Gauthier earn promotions to Triple-A

In other prospect news, pitcher Ben Casparius and utility man Austin Gauthier were promoted to Triple-A on Tuesday after strong showings for the Drillers. Casparius got his first start in Oklahoma City on Thursday, pitching five scoreless innings with just three hits, three walks, and five strikeouts, after showing major improvement in Double-A through five starts.

Gauthier debuted in the Dodgers' top 30 this season as their No. 25 prospect and has a great story behind him; he was an undrafted free agent signing for LA in 2021, then hit .316/.435/.475 over High-A and Double-A last season, which earned him an invitation to spring training this year. He hit .269 with a .829 OPS in spring, and .280 with a .933 mark in Double-A to start the season.

In his most recent appearance in Triple-A, Gauthier went 3-3 with two walks, a double, and a home run, so both he and Casparius have both been quick to justify their promotions.