Rejoice, Los Angeles Dodgers fans! One of the organization's most impressive and fast-rising prospects will be representing the team at this year's Futures Game in Seattle on Saturday, July 8 at 1 p.m. PST.
Dalton Rushing got the nod for LA thanks to his dominant 2022 showing and impressive start to 2023. At High-A, Rushing is hitting .263 with a .938 OPS, 32 runs scored, 7 homers and 32 RBI in 48 games. He's also played solid defense behind the plate while mixing in some reps at first base.
The former Louisville Cardinal figures to be a promising future piece of the Dodgers' big-league roster or valuable trade bait should the team look to upgrade in a big way at this year's deadline and/or in the offseason.
There is one "but," however. The Dodgers, repeatedly referred to as the "cream of the crop" in regard to player development, only sent Rushing to this year's Futures Game while teams like the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Tigers, Rays, Angels, Athletics, Orioles, Giants, Brewers, Pirates, Marlins, Phillies, Cardinals, Nationals, Diamondbacks and Yankees are sending more than one top prospect.
Celebrating Rushing is of the utmost importance, but is there an underlying message here Dodgers fans perhaps need to be made aware of?
Dalton Rushing to represent Dodgers at Futures Game ... but Joey Gallo trade stings
This is actually a two-fold "but." Are evaluators not as high on the Dodgers' supposed top-ranked system as they are on others, after the way 2023 has unfolded so far? That much is unclear, because the Dodgers still have a ton of promising young talent, but it's worth wondering considering LA has had at least two representatives dating back to 2017.
And they could've continued that streak in 2023, had they developed one former top prospect more effectively. Pitcher Clayton Beeter, who will be attending the game on behalf of the Yankees organization, was dealt to New York last season in the infamous Joey Gallo trade.
The Dodgers seemed comfortable giving up on the right-hander after he put up a 5.75 ERA and 1.61 WHIP in 18 games with Double-A Tulsa in 2022. But ever since he's joined the Yankees, he's only made massive strides.
It helps that he's out of the hitter-friendly Texas League (though the Dodgers' current Tulsa arms don't seem to be feeling the sting...), but upon landing in Double-A Somerset, Beeter logged a 2.13 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 41 strikeouts in his first seven starts (25.1 innings). This year, he's been just as good, and just earned a promotion to Triple-A.
It's certainly not the end of the world, because the Dodgers print top prospects and Beeter clearly wasn't panning out with the organization, but it'd be best if this is the last time fans were reminded of the Gallo trade. It's more likely that'll make headlines over LA's farm system no longer being as promising as it was once viewed.