Let’s talk about Caleb Ferguson

Last week Caleb Ferguson was promoted to AAA to pitch for the Oklahoma Dodgers at the age of twenty-one.  Caleb earned this promotion by being the best pitcher stat-wise for the Dodger AA affiliate Tulsa team.  You could argue he was the best pitcher in the Texas League and I would not disagree if we are simply talking the numbers and not the stuff. Caleb led the league in ERA with a paltry 1.38, was 4th in WHIP at 1.051, and 6th in SO/W at 4. Based on at least 30 innings, and being a full-time starter.

Name Aff ERA ▲ GS IP WHIP BB9 SO9 SO/W
Caleb Ferguson* LAD 1.38 8 39 1.051 2.3 9.2 4
Cionel Perez* HOU 1.88 7 38.1 1.174 3.5 11 3.13
Ryan Hartman* HOU 1.96 6 41.1 1.065 1.5 10.7 7
Ariel Jurado TEX 2.05 7 44 1 1.6 3.9 2.38
Jesse Scholtens SDP 2.8 6 35.1 0.792 1.8 11.5 6.43
Glenn Sparkman KCR 2.94 6 33.2 1.069 0.3 7 26
Andrew Moore SEA 3.04 9 50.1 1.033 2.5 8.4 3.36
Brock Dykxhoorn HOU 3.16 6 37 1.189 3.6 7.5 2.07
Richelson Pena TEX 3.22 8 44.2 1.276 2 7.9 3.9

In his AAA debut last week Caleb kind of announced himself to those who had never heard of him. He went five innings, gave up 3 hits, zero earned runs, zero walks, and struck out ten. The kind of game that if Walker Buehler or Dennis Santana had thrown would have gotten all sorts of oohs and aahs.

One prospect list that I use has 400 players on the list. It is created by Rotowire so the list is geared toward roto players but you can’t be a good roto player without good base skills.  On this list I wondered how many 21-year-old pitchers who are in AAA are on the list. Not very many. The list below is sorted by age (21 years or older) by Current level. Only four 21-year-old pitchers are in AAA or higher (major leagues). Of those four they are ranked 59th, 78th, 198, and 400th. Caleb Ferguson is number 400 even though he has advanced to the highest level of the minor leagues at an age where most prospects are still in AA or below.

After the major league draft on Monday, Rotowire will be updating their top 400 list, I expect Caleb Ferguson to make quite the jump from the 400 he currently sits at. This is a bit reminiscent of Dennis Santana who entered 2017 are an unheralded prospect and is now the Dodgers top pitching prospect with the promotion of Walker Buehler to the major leagues. Dennis Santana is also now in the major leagues but probably just for a week or so.

I have to admit, I saw Caleb pitch last year in the postseason and came away unimpressed so I can why the scouts aren’t enamored with his stuff. Still, he had a great 2017 season and an even better 2018 so far so something is working well for the youngster.  I’m not even going to post the old scouting report on Caleb until we get a new one because I’m guessing something has changed for this kind of success.

Meanwhile the young guns Yadier Alvarez and Mitchell White continue to live on hype alone, as they have had little success at the same level that Caleb dominated.

Ran Player Team Pos Age CurrentLevel
281 Spencer Howard PHI P 21 A
289 J.B. Bukauskas HOU P 21 A
293 Carlos Hernandez KC P 21 A
81 Nate Pearson TOR P 21 A+
108 Adonis Medina PHI P 21 A+
177 Tony Santillan CIN P 21 A+
180 Sam Hentges CLE P 21 A+
307 Hector Perez HOU P 21 A+
345 Jonathan Hernandez TEX P 21 A+
131 Logan Allen SD P 21 AA
236 Touki Toussaint ATL P 21 AA
334 Beau Burrows DET P 21 AA
378 Genesis Cabrera TB P 21 AA
78 Freddy Peralta MIL P 21 AAA
400 Caleb Ferguson LAD P 21 AAA
59 Luiz Gohara ATL P 21 MLB
198 Jordan Hicks STL P 21 MLB
273 David Peterson NYM P 22 A
69 Chris Paddack SD P 22 A+
90 Albert Abreu NYY P 22 A+
91 Michel Baez SD P 22 A+
139 Dylan Cease CWS P 22 A+
141 Alex Faedo DET P 22 A+
230 Jorge Guzman MIA P 22 A+
246 Sam McWilliams TB P 22 A+
265 Justin Dunn NYM P 22 A+
266 Daulton Jefferies OAK P 22 A+
267 Luis Escobar PIT P 22 A+
318 Alex Lange CHC P 22 A+
349 Freicer Perez NYY P 22 A+
364 Zac Lowther BAL P 22 A+
383 Jorge Alcala HOU P 22 A+
391 Elijah Morgan CLE P 22 A+
395 Mike Baumann BAL P 22 A+
53 Kyle Wright ATL P 22 AA
74 Mitch Keller PIT P 22 AA
137 Corbin Martin HOU P 22 AA
144 Cal Quantrill SD P 22 AA
176 Griffin Canning LAA P 22 AA
188 Trevor Stephan NYY P 22 AA
197 Luis Ortiz MIL P 22 AA
279 Lewis Thorpe MIN P 22 AA
286 Yadier Alvarez LAD P 22 AA
333 Aaron Civale CLE P 22 AA
371 Franklyn Kilome PHI P 22 AA
380 Ranger Suarez PHI P 22 AA
26 Michael Kopech CWS P 22 AAA
72 Enyel De Los Santos PHI P 22 AAA
75 Sandy Alcantara MIA P 22 AAA
113 Justus Sheffield NYY P 22 AAA
204 Sean Reid-Foley TOR P 22 AAA
27 Jack Flaherty STL P 22 MLB
200 Dennis Santana LAD P 22 MLB
298 Eric Lauer SD P 22 MLB
353 Seth Romero WAS P 22 Rookie
181 Jonathan Loaisiga NYY P 23 A+
50 A.J. Puk OAK P 23 AA
70 Jon Duplantier ARI P 23 AA
120 Mitchell White LAD P 23 AA
149 Hunter Harvey BAL P 23 AA
154 Dane Dunning CWS P 23 AA
163 Alec Hansen CWS P 23 AA
202 Taylor Widener ARI P 23 AA
237 Taylor Hearn PIT P 23 AA
362 Mike Shawaryn BOS P 23 AA
384 Shaun Anderson SF P 23 AA
51 Brent Honeywell TB P 23 AAA
56 Corbin Burnes MIL P 23 AAA
98 Shane Bieber CLE P 23 AAA
196 Chance Adams NYY P 23 AAA
201 Adbert Alzolay CHC P 23 AAA
205 Stephen Gonsalves MIN P 23 AAA
231 Zack Burdi CWS P 23 AAA
340 Ryan Helsley STL P 23 AAA
341 Rogelio Armenteros HOU P 23 AAA
394 Duane Underwood CHC P 23 AAA
399 Patrick Weigel ATL P 23 AAA
12 Walker Buehler LAD P 23 MLB
14 Alex Reyes STL P 23 MLB
63 Fernando Romero MIN P 23 MLB
116 Seranthony Dominguez PHI P 23 MLB
208 Joe Palumbo TEX P 23 MLB
339 Tanner Scott BAL P 23 MLB
152 James Kaprielian OAK P 24 A+
186 Erik Swanson NYY P 24 A+
172 Dillon Tate NYY P 24 AA
330 Keury Mella CIN P 24 AA
379 Kyle Funkhouser DET P 24 AA
130 Anthony Banda TB P 24 AAA
179 Jalen Beeks BOS P 24 AAA
191 Josh Staumont KC P 24 AAA
283 Corey Oswalt NYM P 24 AAA
338 Max Fried ATL P 24 AAA
342 Ryan Borucki TOR P 24 AAA
278 Yonny Chirinos TB P 24 MLB
252 Josh James HOU P 25 AAA
264 Erick Fedde WAS P 25 AAA
155 Domingo German NYY P 25 MLB
94 Nick Kingham PIT P 26 MLB
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    1. It has been sixty years since a LAD starter did what Caleb Ferguson is going to do tonight. | Dodgers, Yesterday and Today

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