No. 4: Gavin Stone (Triple-A Oklahoma City)
Stone has been strong at all levels of the minor leagues after being selected with the Dodgers' fifth-round pick (159th overall) in 2020 out of Central Arkansas. It is safe to say that as a fifth-round pick, Stone wasn't destined for stardom in MLB out of the gates, but after proving his worth in the minors, he has worked his way up to the No. 43 overall prospect ranking in MLB Pipeline's top 100.
Stone wasn't even among the Dodgers' top 30 prospects at the end of 2021, but he pitched fantastically across multiple levels in 2022 to eventually climb in the rankings. He started 2022 in High-A, but after posting a 1.44 ERA in 25.0 innings, he was promoted to Double-A. In Double-A, he posted a 1.60 ERA in 73.1 innings with 107 strikeouts (13.1 K/9). That performance prompted one more promotion to Triple-A, where Stone posted a 1.16 ERA in 23.1 innings with 33 strikeouts (12.7 K/9).
Stone carried that momentum into spring training in 2023, tossing 6.2 scoreless innings with a whopping 14 strikeouts (18.9 K/9). His spring performance left many fans upset when he was omitted from the Opening Day roster, especially given Pepiot's injury. Stone has been great in the minors again this season, but has struggled when called up to the major league roster. It has really been a story of only a few rough innings, but in his first career start against the Phillies, Stone gave up four earned runs (all in the third inning) in four innings of work.
In wake of Julio Urías' injury, Stone was called up once again to face the great lineup of the Braves. In this start, he went four innings, giving up five earned runs. The first inning was his kryptonite, as he gave up four of those runs in that first inning. Against the Rays, Stone struggled once more, giving up seven earned runs in two innings, with six of those runs coming in the second inning. Stone's success in the minors and in spring training was spurred by an elite strikeout rate, but in his ten MLB innings, he only has five strikeouts. If he can't find a way to strike out major league hitters, he will continue to struggle. That's why the Dodgers have sent him down to the minors to see if he can find that same strikeout magic that he had in the past.