fpnsrhds

Dodgers, under new farm director Will Rhymes, try to maintain a steady pipeline

August 26, 2020

first_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Will Rhymes could lean on a thing like prospect rankings as a gauge of his department’s success. The Dodgers’ first-year director of player development inherited a system that has been ranked among MLB Pipeline’s top 10 each of the past five years. By this measure, the Dodgers’ sustained success is without peer.Prospect ranking lists are mere opinion polls, of course. The opinions that matter more to Rhymes are those of the players who pass through his system. So far he likes what he’s hearing.“We’ve had several veterans who have been with other organizations,” Rhymes said in a telephone interview. “Their feedback speaks volumes of what we’re doing. Especially guys on the back end of their careers who normally think the game owes you something, guys say ‘I just want to be a part of this; you have something special going on.’“That’s a tremendous validation of our processes and the people we have.”center_img “I think the Dodgers do a good job in general of knowing who they want to bring in and how they’re going to interact with not only the big league guys, but guys in the minor leagues,” Dodgers outfielder Alex Verdugo said. “When I was a minor league player, I thought it was huge for communication, open communication. When Gabe Kapler came in, he was really big on that. Kind of told us how, even if it sucked to hear, he told it to us. It’s one of those things you appreciated: even if it’s not good news, you know, just to be able to tell you the truth, that’s what you look for. Same with Gomes.”The prospect rankings aren’t exactly a bad way to measure the Dodgers’ success in developing players.Related Articles Minor league seasons began Thursday across baseball. Rhymes wanted to give his new charges room to breathe, so he opted to watch the Dodgers’ affiliates online – including Triple-A Oklahoma City, where Clayton Kershaw got the Opening Day start to begin his rehab assignment.Rhymes succeeded Brandon Gomes, who was promoted to Vice President and Assistant General Manager after one year on the job. Gomes was Gabe Kapler’s understudy before Kapler left to manage the Philadelphia Phillies. Rhymes worked under Gomes last year, too. The Dodgers have reason to maintain continuity in their player development department, and their internal candidates are being rewarded accordingly.“We don’t have a strict playbook,” Rhymes said of the philosophies he’s carrying forward, “but I think developing the person first and the amount of energy that we pour into staff development and developing the players. Being thrilled for guys like Paco Figueroa (a major league coach on Kapler’s staff in Philadelphia) and Aaron Bates (the Dodgers’ assistant hitting coach) on the big league level – a pathway for them to achieve their goals. Being genuine and caring about the individuals who we have in our system, gaining their trust. Pouring a tremendous amount of energy into our players.”A speedy infielder with a good eye at the plate, Rhymes played 130 major league games for the Tigers and Rays from 2010-12. He spent his final season in affiliated baseball with the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate in 2014.At 36, Rhymes fits the apparent mandate for a recently retired player still young enough to relate personally to a man in his 20s. For a player trying to climb the minor league ladder, that matters. The organization’s consensus top position player, Keibert Ruiz, will begin the season with Double-A Tulsa after catching big league pitchers in spring training. Their top pitching prospect, Dustin May, is headed back to Tulsa too. The 21-year-old right-hander allowed only one run in nine Cactus League innings, not a bad showing in his first big league spring training.Other players a bit farther down the prospect list – catcher Will Smith, infielder Omar Estevez, outfielder D.J. Peters, pitcher Mitch White – spent part of their offseason living and training in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. It was a welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment, minus the bright lights and 50,000 fans.Still, Rhymes isn’t putting too much stock in the rankings, or the Opening Day affiliate assignments.“Levels are more important to players,” he said. “They put more emphasis on it than we do.” Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *