The Dodgers are a pitching factory, and the assembly line did some important work yesterday, with three right-handed pitching prospects receiving minor league promotions.
Bobby Miller and Gavin Stone were promoted from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and Nick Nastrini heads to Tulsa from High-A Great Lakes, according to Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser.
Miller is the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect, with an electric fastball, an outstanding slider, and a changeup that has really come a long way. He’s had his bumps and bruises in Double-A this year, posting a 4.45 ERA, but he’s struck out 117 in 91 innings and had nine strikeouts in 7.1 scoreless innings in what turned out to be his last Double-A start.
There were rumblings earlier this year that Miller might see time in the big leagues this season, and the bump to Triple-A means that possibility isn’t off the table yet.
Stone is a different story. While Miller was the Dodgers’ first pick in the truncated 2020 draft, Stone was their sixth and final pick that year. He made his pro debut in 2021 and pitched reasonably well for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and High-A Great Lakes, but he wasn’t on anyone’s top prospect lists coming into 2022.
Stone’s fastball was 90-92 MPH his senior year in college, but it jumped to 94-96 last year. After posting a 1.44 ERA at Great Lakes in six starts this season, his 14 games for Tulsa produced a 1.60 ERA before his second promotion of the season. Between the two levels, he has 135 strikeouts in 98.1 innings.
Finally, there’s Nastrini, drafted in the fourth round last year out of UCLA. After suffering from the yips his junior year, the Dodgers took a chance on the raw stuff and it has been paying off. Nastrini walked 38 batters in 31.1 innings his last year at UCLA, but he has walked just 39 in 86.1 IP this season with Great Lakes. The number that really jumps out, though, is the 127 strikeouts (13.2 per nine innings).
As Glaser says in the tweet above, Nastrini is a “big riser,” and no one would be surprised to see him in some top 100 prospect lists next season.
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