FFA Week of July 31st – Aug 6th
The contenders are:
Willie Calhoun who hit four home runs.
Alex Verdugo is hitting .179 over his last ten games with only two walks.
Walker Buehler pitched his first game in relief and gave up three runs while getting four outs.
Oops, I’m doing this wrong.
Henry Ramos – AAA/OKC – Ramos was promoted to AAA last week and continued to hit going eight for seventeen, two home runs, and a robust 1.382 OPS for the week. Ramos was signed as a minor league free agent on Nov 28th, 2016 after spending multiple years in the Red Sox organization. Ramos never had an OPS above .820 in his seven years in the minor leagues prior to joining the Dodger organization. At AA for the Dodgers, he had an OPS of 1.117 and won the Farm Factory award for the week of July 3rd – July 9th. He’s been playing RF so far. Might be time to find out just who is Henry Ramos and Dennis Schlossman of Think Blue did just that back on March 1st.
For those unfamiliar with Ramos, the switch-hitting prospect was signed by the Dodgers as a minor league free agent last November. Originally drafted by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, he had ties to current Dodgers vice president of international and amateur scouting David Finley, as Finley was in Boston’s scouting and player personnel departments at the time that Ramos was selected. At one point last year, he was ranked as high as No. 16 on the Red Sox Top 30 Prospects list, but ultimately fell out of high regards when his vital stats gradually fizzled by season’s end.
Tim Locastro – AAA/OKC – The 25-year-old infielder was also promoted to AAA when Willie Calhoun was traded. Tim went six for seventeen as he tries to make a career as a possible major league utility player. He didn’t really have a good enough week to be considered for the FFA but I did want to mention him since he’s now at AAA.
Yaisel Sierra – AAA/OKC – Sierra pitched two games in relief going three and two innings respectively. He is being worked hard as a setup man getting at least six outs in his last nine outings. Five of those nine times he has gotten nine outs, and one time ten outs. Sierra is still having some control issues as he has walked eight in fourteen AAA innings but he is keeping runs off the board.
Jacob Scavuzzo – AA/Tulsa – Scavuzzo has had a tough year repeating AA but things started to click for him this past week. Jacob went nine for nineteen with two home runs. Over his past ten games, Jacob is hitting .356 with five home runs.
Keibert Ruiz – A+/Rancho – didn’t think we could let a week slide without talking about the Keibert, did you? They increased his workload this week, as he played in six games, and once again hit in every game. The pace of his hits had slowed down to one a game but yesterday he stroked three hits. The only concern right now is that the great plate discipline he showed with the Loons is not showing up right now but that might be because he’s simply seeing so many hittable pitches. Ruiz was promoted to Rancho on July 10th and has had a hit in every game that he’s had an at bat except one and that was way back on July 13th.
Caleb Ferguson – A+/Rancho – Might not be a hotter pitcher right now than Caleb Ferguson. Caleb got two starts last week and struck out twenty-one hitters in only thirteen innings. Over his last three starts, 19 innings, 19 hits, four earned runs, six walks, 31 strikeouts.
Ibandel Isabel – A+/Rancho – Ibandel played seven games last week and collected a hit in every game. Overall he went nine for twenty-four, with two home runs, five walks, and six strikeouts. We mention the walks because he has 140 strikeouts to only 35 walks, so when he has a hot hitting week in conjunction with five walks, that is good news. Ibandel leads the California league in home runs with 24.
Zach Reks – A+/Rancho – Zach was just drafted in June in the 10th round and he is already at Rancho making him the only player drafted in June at this level. Zach must have deserved the promotion because he collected three hits, three times last week. Someone to keep an eye on. He is already twenty-three and will be turning twenty-four in November so he should be at this level, but still it is good to see him hit the ground running.
Cody Thomas – A-/Loons – Cody hit the three home runs in one game last week while collecting nine hits for the week. He now has eighteen home runs which is 2nd in the league behind Fernando Tatis Junior. Overall his OPS is only .723 and he is twenty-two but we knew he was raw, and this is a very tough league on hitters.
Edwin Uceta – Rookie/Raptors – We don’t normally go to the rookie leagues, and I don’t think I’ve ever gone here for a pitcher but Uceta did something fairly unique. Uceta pitched a perfect game for six innings and left with the perfect game intact. Uceta had just made an adjustment and it paid off big.
“His arm slot and where he throws from was kind of blocking his delivery a little bit,” Cuellar said. “As soon as he saw it, he worked on it and started adjusting to it — not be so blocked off on his landing foot and his arm slot started repeating and his pitches started coming back.”
Against the Mustangs, Uceta threw 37 of 64 pitches for strikes to retire all 18 batters he faced. He recorded six outs on the ground and seven through the air, with Cuellar saying he displayed brilliant execution of a three-pitch mix that consisted of a fastball, changeup and curve.
And the winner of the Farm Factory Award for the week of July 31st – August 6th is…..
Have to go with Edwin Uceta. Normally a three home run game or the two great games by Caleb Ferguson would do the trick but Ferguson won the FFA award a month ago so I want to spread it around.
Other minor league notes:
Starling Heredia was just announced as one of the July Minor League Players of the Month by MLB for the Pioneer League. Starling was recently promoted to the full season Midwest League with the Loons.
Ogden Raptors (Dodgers) outfielder Starling Heredia led the Pioneer Baseball League in average (.427), doubles (11), slugging (.732) and OPS (1.221) while finishing second in extra-base hits (16) and total bases (60). His 35 hits and .489 on-base percentage were good for third in the league. Heredia, 18, was signed as a non-drafted free agent by Los Angeles in 2016 out of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.