These fast-rising Dodgers prospects deserve attention after hot start

Oakland Athletics Spring Training
Oakland Athletics Spring Training / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The Dodgers invited two of their top prospects up to the majors this week — Andy Pages and Landon Knack both got their debuts during LA's series against the Nationals this week. Pages got his first big league hit in his first at-bat (and on the first pitch he saw), and Knack shook in his first inning of five, giving up two runs including a solo homer, but stabilized to keep runs off the board for the rest of his start.

In light of those debuts (and Ricky Vanasco's, though he was sent back to Triple-A after throwing two scoreless innings), there are a few other interesting names who have gotten off to hot starts in the minors and warrant a closer look.

These fast-rising Dodgers prospects deserve attention after hot start

C/1B Dalton Rushing, No. 1 prospect

Rushing, the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect and MLB's No. 68 overall, feels a little like easy pickings to put on this list, but he's been crushing the ball in Double-A after a bit of a down year in High-A last season. He's batting .286 with a .994 OPS, and has homered three times in 10 games with nine RBI. He was a non-roster invitee at spring training but didn't make much a splash there, going hitless in eight games.

His future in the Dodgers organization also seems a little dubious, given Will Smith's 10-year extension that will block Rushing and No. 8 prospect Diego Cartaya from getting a starting spot in the majors with LA. Rushing is an occasional first baseman, but Freddie Freeman also still has four years left on his contract and Rushing is expected to land in the majors sometime next season.

However, we could keep an eye on Rushing as a trade candidate who could yield some very interesting returns in the future if he keeps it up in the minors.

OF Zyhir Hope, No. 20 prospect

Hope came over to the Dodgers this offseason (along with No. 7 prospect Jackson Ferris) in the trade that sent Michael Busch to Chicago. The Dodgers have been having to take some very deep breaths at the loss of Busch, whose five-game home run streak was broken up on Tuesday, but excitement about Ferris and Hope has been high since the trade.

Hope was unranked in the Cubs pipeline last season, but he shot to No. 20 with the Dodgers in 2024. He's still 19, so his arrival in the majors is further off in the distance than Rushing's, but Hope might already be looking at a move up from Low-A after hitting .306 with a 1.127 OPS there in nine games. He has three home runs, nine RBI, and six doubles so far.

LHP Justin Wrobleski, No. 15 prospect

Wrobleski took a quick trip through the low levels of the minors in 2022, pitching just 21 2/3 innings over Rookie- and A-ball before settling into High-A for all of 2023. He pitched over 100 innings there, mostly as a starter, for a 2.90 ERA, a .244 batting average against, 109 strikeouts and just 35 walks.

He's only made three starts in Double-A this year for 14 1/3 innings, but his ERA is at a very nice 1.88 and he's struck out 16 batters while once again mostly refusing to give up walks (he's only doled out two so far). Like Rushing, he's expected to get to the majors next season. The Dodgers' bullpen issues at the beginning of this season will hopefully work themselves out as time goes on, but if they make an unfortunate habit of terrible pitching in their first few weeks of play, Wrobleski could be a candidate for an early tryout/call up next year.

3B Jake Gelof, No. 22 prospect

Gelof and his big brother, Oakland Athletics second baseman Zack Gelof, made a couple of headlines as our feel-good story of the day in late February, when they matched up in a Dodgers-A's spring training game on (Jake) Gelof's birthday. Gelof only got three plate appearances in spring training and went 0-3 with three strikeouts. Maybe he decided to use those showings as fuel, because he returned to A-ball to mash.

Over his first nine games ,with 31 at-bats, he's hitting .290/.442/.484 with a home run, 10 RBI, 10 walks, a double and a triple. As the only third base prospect in the Dodgers' top 30, Gelof's timing to the majors could work out perfectly with Max Muncy's contract. Muncy has two guaranteed years with the Dodgers remaining including 2024, followed by a club option for 2026. If Gelof can keep it up as he moves through the minors, he could give the Dodgers a reason to think twice about exercising it.