Here's what to expect from Dustin May

He has some of the nastiest stuff, and best hair, among top prospects

August 2nd, 2019

The Dodgers may not have a recent World Series championship to show for it, but they've become one of baseball's model franchises. They've won six consecutive National League West titles and are a lock for their seventh, and they've also captured the last two NL pennants.

Though Los Angeles has as much financial might as any franchise and the wherewithal to bid for any free agent or player on the trade market, it also has done a stellar job of producing homegrown talent. The Dodgers continue to rack up wins while seamlessly integrating youngsters, with , , , , and all jumping from lofty rankings on the Top 100 Prospects list to become cornerstones on a juggernaut.

The flow of talent from the Minors to Chavez Ravine has continued this year. Will Smith, who has promising power and elite receiving skills, has taken over Los Angeles' catching job and doesn't appear to be relinquishing it anytime soon after homering six times in his first 14 games. Another blue-chip prospect will join the Dodgers today, as right-hander Dustin May will get called up in time to start against the Padres.

The 21-year-old May has some of the nastiest stuff and best hair among the game's top pitching prospects, which was witnessed by anyone who watched the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game last month. He pitched a perfect eighth inning, hitting 98 mph with incredible life on his fastball. With long red curls flowing out of the back of his cap and three pitches that grade as well above average, he has picked up the nickname "Gingergaard," a nod to .

No. 35 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100, May first put himself on the prospect map at the World Wood Bat Association in October, where he recorded some of the highest spin rates among the hundreds of pitchers in attendance. He became the first player ever drafted out of Northwest High (Justin, Texas) -- also the alma mater of former Tigers outfielder Tyler Collins -- and gave up a Texas Tech commitment to sign for an over-slot $997,500 in the third round.

May's stuff has improved as he has added weight to his still-lanky 6-foot-6 frame. He has outstanding fastball attributes, sitting at 92-97 mph with tremendous run and sink, a combination that elicits a lot of swings and misses as well as weak groundball contact. His hard-breaking curveball also generates a lot of empty swings and groundouts, and his cutter can climb into the low 90s and keep left-handers at bay.

May's changeup is his fourth pitch and needs the most work because it can get too firm at times. That's really his only shortcoming, because he possesses unusual control for a young pitcher with a long-limbed frame and provides deception with his slingy arm action and the extension in his delivery. He also earns high marks for his feel for pitching and his mound presence.

The Dodgers refused to part with May in the trade last summer, and he reached Double-A at age 20 shortly afterward and wound up winning the clinching game in the Texas League playoffs. Promoted to Triple-A this June, he has had no problems adapting to the MLB baseballs used at that level, recording a 2.30 ERA and not allowing a home run in five starts. He has gone 6-5 with a 3.38 ERA, 110/29 K/BB ratio and a 1.46 groundout/airout ratio in 106 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A this season.

With (forearm) and (neck) currently sidelined, May's immediate task is to fill a hole in the rotation tonight against the Padres. His role for the rest of the 2019 season is to be determined, as he has yet to prove himself in the big leagues and he could be more useful to Los Angeles this postseason as a reliever than as a starter. The Dodgers aren't afraid to entrust talented youngsters with large roles, and he certainly fits the bill.