The Athletic’s take on Dodgers’ top pitching prospect will make Padres fans nauseous

Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

The Dodgers have a lot of homegrown talent on their roster, ranging from veteran and future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw to arguably one of the best catchers in the league in Will Smith to newbie Emmet Sheehan, who will be looking to make a bigger splash in the majors this year. All three of these players have been Dodgers since the draft, and the others still in the pipeline (Landon Knack, Dalton Rushing, and so on) consistently make LA's farm system one of the best in baseball.

However, there are others who've come to the Dodgers via trade, who might get shorter shrift because trades for prospects can easily go overlooked. The Dodgers acquired highly ranked shortstop prospect Trey Sweeney from the Yankees this year, and we'll see him at spring camp with the rest of the squad. Jackson Ferris and Zyhir Hope, sent over from the Cubs in exchange for Michael Busch and Yency Almonte, will also be ones to watch.

The Dodgers acquired River Ryan, another NRI expected to do big things in spring training this year, from the Padres back in 2022. Beaty has had a rough go of things in the majors and split his time between two other teams in 2023. He elected free agency after the season, but has yet to be picked up by anyone else. Ryan, on the other hand, is the Dodgers' No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and was just ranked No. 33 overall by Keith Law of The Athletic (subscription required).

The Athletic ranked former Padres prospect River Ryan MLB's No. 33 overall

The Athletic projects a high ceiling for Ryan; Law writes that he could perform as a No. 2 starter. The bulk of his innings were pitched in Double-A, where he had a 3.33 ERA, before a rough couple of starts in Triple-A to end the year. He's not major league-ready yet, but both the Dodgers and The Athletic seem to think that he's getting there. Law notes that Ryan's fastball has reached 99 MPH and he dominates righties, but will need to work on his walk rate against lefties (13% last year) and command across his arsenal.

Meanwhile, Beaty hit .093/.170/.163 in 20 games for the Padres, getting only four hits in 43 at-bats before being DFA'ed, so this trade could've been declared won by the Dodgers long ago. Ryan will need to perform in spring training to make it a lock, but we have many reasons to believe that he will.