Pages among talented Dodgers prospects in AFL

October 21st, 2022

Andy Pages has boasted big-time power upon his introduction to stateside ball. Steadily climbing the Dodgers’ organizational ladder, the club’s No. 5 prospect joins the Glendale Desert Dogs in Arizona at just 21 years old, having mashed 57 home runs over his past two years between High-A and Double-A.

But Pages is more than just a prototypical masher. The Cuban native is equipped with a patient eye at the dish and a throwing arm that is regarded as plus-plus by talent evaluators. 

“I’ve always been told, ‘Power comes with time,’” Pages said via interpreter Benny Arroyo, an athletic trainer from the Brewers’ organization. “So I’ve just been focusing on hitting the ball well and power pretty much just came and that’s how I’ve been doing it this year.”

Pages spent the entirety of the 2022 campaign with Double-A Tulsa, where he was more than three years younger than the average Texas League player. He compiled just seven plate appearances all season against a pitcher younger than him, expediting his development alongside a full 132-game slate.

The 21-year-old began the year with a strong April, slashing .276/.396/.447 across 20 April contests. From there, his inconsistencies began to appear, as his OPS either rose or fell by more than 100 points from month-to-month. 

“I think the biggest adjustment in Tulsa was getting consistency with my swing,” Pages said. “I felt like throughout the year, I wasn’t that consistent.”

What doesn’t go into a slump is arm strength from the outfield. Right field has emerged as Pages’ primary position after early-career stints in center, with his throwing arm serving as his highest-rated tool per MLB Pipeline (65, on a 20-80 scale); across 103 starts in right for Tulsa this year, MLB’s No. 66 overall prospect compiled 14 assists and turned five double plays.

While Pages has arrived on the fall circuit with a desire to work on all facets of his game -- including his abilities to nab opposing baserunners – he boils down his approach to the six-week sprint simplistically:

“I’m surrounded with really good players, so right now, I’m just trying to have fun.”

Dodgers hitters in the Fall League

Jose Ramos, OF (No. 8): An international signee out of Panama in July 2018, Ramos is wrapping up his first full season of action stateside. After an impressive showing at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in ‘21, he graduated the level this year with a .927 OPS in total; his power translated to High-A Great Lakes, where he collected 19 homers in 95 games as a 21-year-old this season. Even with his offensive gains, Ramos’ arm is his highest-regarded tool, rating as a 70 on MLB Pipeline’s scale; he has posted 20 outfield assists in 113 pro appearances.

Jorbit Vivas, 2B/3B (No. 16): The 21-year-old Vivas boasts a strong hit tool, even as his average (.269) took a slight dip while spending all of 2022 at High-A. The Venezuelan native was the rare hitter to walk (63) more than he struck out (58) this year, logging a .374 on-base percentage in the process, which placed him sixth among qualified Midwest League batters. He notched double-digit roundtrippers for the second consecutive season, spending most of his year at the keystone, the position he profiles best at moving forward.

Dodgers pitchers in the Fall League

Emmet Sheehan, RHP (No. 22): Sheehan and his high-90s fastball dominated High-A during the summer: he enjoyed a 13-outing stretch where he struck out 88 batters in 54 2/3 frames, all while posting a 1.32 ERA and .162 opponents’ batting average. The 22-year-old got a taste of Double-A to close the year and will be looking to prove during his time with Glendale that his secondary offerings have taken a step forward, which would allow him a shot to stick as a starter.

Ben Harris, LHP: The Dodgers have described Harris’ 93-95 mph fastball as a “special” pitch after he struck out 45% of the batters he faced between Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and High-A Great Lakes this season, a mark that led the Minors (min. 50 IP). An eighth-round selection in the 2021 Draft out of the University of Georgia, Harris finished the year with a 3.72 ERA across 44 appearances, but he held opposing batters to a .166 average. The southpaw could be a fast riser out of relief through the club’s system if his slider – which is viewed as a work in progress – gives him a reliable secondary pitch.

Hyun-il Choi, RHP: Signed out of Korea in August 2018, Choi is looking for a semblance of consistency since arriving stateside, after forearm inflammation limited the 22-year-old to just four regular-season innings in ‘22. His four-pitch mix includes a low-90s heater, two different breaking balls and a complementary changeup, the latter of which profiles as his best offering moving forward. Known for his command, the talent level of the AFL will be a solid proving ground for Choi.

Tanner Dodson, RHP: Dealt to the Dodgers in March, Dodson has foregone his two-way player experiment that began in the Rays’ system. Since taking to the hill full-time this year, he has sat at 96-98 mph with sink on his heater. Los Angeles likes the second-rounder from the 2018 Draft, but he is looking to find consistency in the Fall League after posting 36 walks in just 34 1/3 innings at Double-A.