Unexpected Dodgers prospect is tearing it up at Triple-A

Feb 22, 2023; Glendale, AZ, US; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Ryan Ward poses for a portrait during
Feb 22, 2023; Glendale, AZ, US; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Ryan Ward poses for a portrait during / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

A look at any Dodgers' top prospects list will yield names that are (or should be) familiar at this point — Diego Cartaya, Nick Frasso, Landon Knack, Andy Pages, and so on. First-round draft picks, high-profile international signings, those players who immediately go onto the radar. But the organization carries hundreds of prospects that have yet to get a nod from MLB Pipeline or Baseball America. Fans can't really be blamed for not knowing their names; it's up to the players to excel and pull focus.

One such unexpected name is doing just that. Outfielder Ryan Ward, an eighth-round pick for the Dodgers in 2019 and unranked in MLB Pipeline's top 30, has been down in the minors for a while to varying degrees of effectiveness, but he's been on a hot streak recently that won him PCL Player of the Week.

Over five games last week, Ward hit five home runs and drove in 11 runs, upping his slugging percentage to a monstrous .680. April 25 featured a 3-5 day with a double, and two three-run home runs.

Dodgers prospect Ryan Ward is PCL's Player of the Week after five HR, 11 RBI streak

Ward has a lifetime .256/.330/.479 line in the minors, with three 20+ home run seasons and 257 RBI across High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A in three years. He's also been a staple NRI at Dodgers' spring training since 2021, but couldn't quite make a splash this year, batting .200 over 14 games. It's clear the Dodgers have had their eyes on him in some capacity, but something has been holding them back from giving him a drive in the majors.

This year, that reason seems clear: the Dodgers' lineup is stacked, and the line of succession if major leaguers are sidelined is already clear. Pages has been tearing it up in Jason Heyward's absence, and Miguel Vargas would be the next to come up should the Dodgers get hit with another injury.

Ward, 26, might not have much of a major league future with the Dodgers, but he is turning more heads and could be moving himself up in that line of succession if things go awry for the major league team down the line.