Tulsa was a crucial link in the Dodgers’ organizational chain this year. Both the franchise’s Minor League Pitcher (Brock Stewart) and Player (Cody Bellinger) of the year spent time as Drillers. With their season now at a close, it makes sense to look at some of the prospects who spent time in Tulsa this year, and after spending the season focusing mainly on stats, we are going to go combine the numbers with the perspective of Barry Lewis, who covered the Drillers for the Tulsa World Media Company.
We’ve split these profiles into infielder/outfielders, pitchers, and catchers. We start with infielders and outfielders of interest.
Lewis: “Best defensive skills by a Tulsa first baseman in more than a decade and was solid in the outfield. At the plate, has consciously sacrificed average for power, but there is no reason to believe he can’t mature into a .300 hitter as he continues to cut down on his strikeouts. Injuries derailed his first month-and-a-half before hitting his stride in August. A concern was subpar production with men in scoring position.”
Lewis: “A solid year offensively but tired out in the final month. Has a tendency to be too aggressive at the plate, swings at too many first pitches. Needs to improve his baserunning, as well as his outfield reads and jumps. Seems to fit better as a corner outfielder instead of in center.”
Lewis: “Also seemed to tire out in the final few weeks in his first full pro season. His power was streaky. His home ballpark suited his swing. Half of his 14 home homers would have been doubles in most ballparks. Real impressive power numbers, but needs a lot of work on his defense, although he showed some improvement, and a lot of work on his intangibles. Also seems to be too aggressive, swinging at too many first pitches. For the league RBI leader, not very good coming up with two-out hits with runners in scoring position. Needs to work on going to the opposite field as he was often frustrated by defensive shifts.”
Lewis: “Although he needs to draw more walks and cut down on his strikeouts, in some ways he seemed to be the most mature of the hitting prospects you asked about when it came to situational hitting. Has good power, but didn’t overswing with runners in scoring position. Solid defensively.”
The major number that concerns me here is that BABIP. That, in conjunction with his grounder rate, makes me curious to see if he can maintain his power numbers and overall offensive profile at AAA next season.
Next Up: Catchers