Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Busch, Quintero showcase deep Dodgers system

Lefty slugger, Venezuelan outfielder top Organization All-Stars
December 18, 2023

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2023 Organization All-Stars series are the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2023 Organization All-Stars series are the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2023 organization summary:
Triple-A Oklahoma City: 90-58
Double-A Tulsa: 65-73
High-A Great Lakes: 76-55
Single-A Rancho Cucamonga: 71-61
ACL Nationals: 34-22
DSL LAD Bautista: 42-11
DSL LAD Mega: 36-17
Overall record: 414-297 (1st among MLB organizations)
Midseason Farm System Rankings: 6

2023 Dodgers Organization All-Stars

C: Thayron Liranzo (LAD No. 17)
A: .272/.400/.562, 94 G, 24 HR, 70 RBI, 81 R, 70 BB, 2 SB
The Dodgers feature four catchers among their Top 30 prospects – two in the top five – but Liranzo stole the show in ‘23. The 20-year-old switch-hitting backstop tripled his homer output from ‘22 and finished second in the organization in big flies. He also led the California League in home runs and OPS. Behind the dish, Liranzo let his arm do the talking. He paced the California League, throwing out 35 runners.

“I love how soft his hands are, his receiving is good, and he has like a 70-grade arm,” said William Rhymes, the vice president of player development for the Dodgers.

1B: Dalton Rushing (LAD No. 1/MLB No. 43)
A+: .228/.404/.452, 89 G, 15 HR, 53 RBI, 55 R, 72 BB, 1 SB
In a season of ups and downs, Rushing finished on a high note. The 2022 second-round pick slashed .316/.500/.684 with a couple of homers in September, bouncing back from a rough August. In total, Rushing walked at a 19 percent clip throughout the season and made plenty of hard contact, making for what Rhymes sees as a “really good season” but one in which he had room for improvement.

“I would say it’s like a 40/45 percentile year for him,” Rhymes said.

2B: Austin Gauthier (LAD No. 30)
A+/AA: .316/.435/.475, 124 G, 12 HR, 59 RBI, 111 R, 100 BB, 19 SB
Gauthier was the ideal table-setter in ‘23. He led the Dodgers organization in hits (148), runs and walks, outpacing the next player on the list by 18 free passes. The season also marked the second consecutive year in which the 24-year-old eclipsed 100 walks and the first season he posted a batting average over .300. In the field, Gauthier served as a utilityman spending time at six different positions.

“We always viewed him as a guy who had incredible on-base skills, incredible zone control, he had some of the most walks in the Minor Leagues over [the past two years],” Rhymes said.

SS: Joendry Vargas (LAD No. 12)
ROK: .328/.423/.529, 48 G, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 47 R, 30 BB, 19 SB
Vargas served as a key cog in the Dominican Summer League Dodgers club that won the championship in 2023 and he put up video game numbers the entire season. The 18-year-old Dominican Republic native was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 3 prospect in the 2023 international signing class. At 6-foot-4 and 175 pounds, he possesses a unique combination of natural tools and baseball IQ. Among players with at least 200 plate appearances in the organization, Vargas ranks second in batting average.

“Probably the biggest standout thing of getting to know him is just how sharp he is and how much he knows the game,” Rhymes said.

3B: Michael Busch (LAD No. 2/MLB No. 44)
AAA: .323/.431/.618, 98 G, 27 HR, 90 RBI, 85 R, 65 BB, 4 SB
Busch was unstoppable at the dish in ‘23. The No. 44 overall prospect was one of just three Minor Leaguers who swatted at least 25 jacks and hit over .320, marking his third consecutive season with at least 20 roundtrippers. Busch led the Dodgers' full-season Minor Leaguers in six offensive categories including homers, OPS and XBH (57). The lefty slugger was named the Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year by the organization.

“He’s always had a ton of power, so cutting his [strikeouts] down to 19 percent and hitting 30 homers total, I thought he took some real steps forward," Rhymes said.

OF: Jonny DeLuca
AA/AAA: .294/.390/.566, 73 G, 17 HR, 53 RBI, 56 R, 35 BB, 12 SB
Following a 20-20 season in 2021 and a 25-15 season in 2022, DeLuca once again showed his mix of pop and speed in 2023. The former Oregon Duck may have slugged just 17 jacks and swiped 12 bags, but he did it in 25 fewer games than his 2022 campaign, and he raised his OPS 68 points to a career-high .956. DeLuca also had a cup of coffee in the bigs, where he clubbed two big flies in 24 games.

“He’s a great athlete and he has a rare power and low [strikeout rate] combo,” Rhymes said.

DeLuca was traded to the Rays on Dec. 16.

OF: Eduardo Quintero
ROK: .359/.472/.618, 49 G, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 54 R, 32 BB, 22 SB
If it wasn’t for Michael Busch’s incredible season, Quintero may have heard his name announced as the club’s Player of the Year. In his first foray into professional baseball, the Venezuela native tore the cover off the ball. Among players with at least 200 plate appearances, Quintero led the organization in average, OBP and slugging percentage.

“It was a really loud year, and it was his debut,” Rhymes said. “It was arguably the best year of anyone in our system.”

OF: Chris Newell (LAD No. 24)
A/A+: .266/.374/.542, 83 G, 21 HR, 60 RBI, 65 R, 56 BB, 15 SB
This past season marked Newell’s first foray into full-season pro-ball. The 2022 13th-round pick tallied three two-homer games en route to the fourth-most long balls in the Dodgers organization. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Newell’s 55-grade power projects to be the real deal. If he didn’t miss some time with an arm injury, he might have slugged 30 homers this year. Newell spent extensive time at the Dodgers complex before the season, which Rhymes credited as a big reason for his success.

LHP: Justin Wrobleski (LAD No. 20)
A+: 4-4, 2.90 ERA, 102 1/3 IP, 109 K, 35 BB, .244 BAA, 1.25 WHIP
In just his second season in the Minors -- his first full-season post-Tommy John surgery -- Wrobleski recorded his second sub-3.00 ERA season. The lefty routinely racked up five strikeouts per outing, with his season highlight coming in the form of a scoreless start where he fanned 10 batters in five innings.

“He’s one of the hardest-throwing lefties in the Minor Leagues on average (94.4 mph), so to have that high velocity and as a starter and a really deep mix ... we’re really excited about this guy,” Rhymes said.

RHP: Landon Knack (LAD No. 9)
AA/AAA: 5-1, 2.51 ERA, 100 1/3 IP, 99 K, 30 BB, .229 BAA, 1.16 WHIP
Armed with a fastball, curveball, slider and changeup, Knack worked into the seventh inning in three of his 22 starts in ‘23. Perhaps his most impressive outing, however, lasted just five frames. He fanned 11 batters without allowing a run for Tulsa on April 29.

“He really stands out with his surgical execution of his full mix,” Rhymes said.

RP: Wander Suero
AAA: 6-3, 3.26 ERA, 49 2/3 IP, 53 K, 23 BB, .178 BAA, 1.11 WHIP
Suero served as the closer for Triple-A Oklahoma City for most of ‘23, converting an organization-leading 17 saves and recording his best ERA since 2017. This past season was Suero’s 12th campaign in the Minors. He served as a swingman with the Major League club, receiving multiple callups throughout the season. The Dominican Republic native was signed by Houston on Dec. 7, and will likely fill the same role with his new club.

Brendan Samson is a contributor to