SS Rayne Doncon, SS Alex Freeland – Dodgers Digest

12 months in and yr out, the Dodgers have had among the many lowest draft and worldwide novice free agent spending swimming pools in baseball, and but their farm ranks first at The Athletic, second at Baseball America, second at MLB Pipeline, and seventh at FanGraphs. With penalty-free mega bonuses off the desk, the membership flexes their monetary may within the methods which can be left to them — specifically, their scouting and participant growth departments, who’re in lockstep with one another, and whose collective efficacy is placed on show again and again when the annual popup guys have opposing fanbases complaining about issues being rigged. It’s not rigged, however the playing cards are being counted.

At any price, that brings us to the Helium Sequence; a #notascout problem, wherein I endeavor to determine comparatively low ranked/unknown guys who can be on the rise within the coming season (my recap of final yr’s efforts on this entrance might be discovered right here).

To stay with the spirit of the train, and to move off any questions on them, guys like Dalton Dashing, Nick Nastrini, Emmet Sheehan, and Nick Frasso is not going to be included. All 4 of those guys specifically have shot of being consensus* Prime 10 or 15 prospects in a loaded system, making them possible Prime 10 prospects nearly in all places else, so the breakout has already occurred.

*- Small caveat, see under

All that’s to say, problem accepted, might I get one (1) proper.


Rayne Doncon

Doncon is the aforementioned caveat — I hemmed and hawed a bit as as to whether I ought to embody the now 19 yr outdated prospect, since FanGraphs has him ranked eleventh within the system as of this writing, however averaging his rank with the place Baseball America and Pipeline have places him at a composite of nineteenth between the three, and The Athletic didn’t have him of their Prime 20 article in any respect, not even garnering a point out among the many “others of notice” within the system. In the end, he isn’t getting industry-wide hype simply but, and I believe the breakout is coming, so right here we’re. Let’s speak about why.

Doncon, who’s listed at 6-foot-2, 176 kilos (however is definitely larger), hails from what’s generally known as “The Cradle of Shortstops”, San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic, and although his hometown connotes the leather-based, it’s the lumber that has completed the speaking to this point. After scuffling a bit to begin his age-18 season with the ACL Dodgers, the younger shortstop completely caught hearth in his final three-ish weeks at Camelback, slashing .350/.426/.733, and posting a wRC+ of 200. That torrid stretch prompted a promotion to Low A Rancho Cucamonga, and whereas his 93 wRC+ in all of 11 video games outdoors of the advanced league doesn’t appear so spectacular on the floor, there’s lots to love.

Whereas with the Quakes, Doncon confirmed spectacular bat to ball posting a swinging strike price (SwStr%) of simply 12.8%, and a strikeout price of simply 11.6%. For perspective, solely there have been solely 31 prospects 18 or youthful who logged 40+ PAs with a full season affiliate, and amongst that group, Doncon posted the third-best Okay%. He additionally posted an ISO of .225, which was the 4th-best mark in that group. The ability is already actual:

That’s a rope off the Cal League champions signal, roughly 30 ft above the sector of play. Good grief.

Doncon’s bat aircraft is on the flatter facet, so in the mean time, with none adjustments, game-power can be extra of the laser than the majestic selection, however with such unbelievable bat to ball, there’s little impetus to vary something; let him marinate and a number of the doubles will find yourself over the fence.

As for the setup and swing itself, it bears a robust resemblance to that of seven-time allstar, Alfonso Soriano:

When creating defenders, the Dodgers are inclined to function like how they do when develop pitchers — allow them to begin till they present they’ll’t. For now, Doncon will largely keep at brief; the actions, total, are good, the footwork is there, and he has the arm for it. That mentioned, his wheels are solely common, in order he fills out, it’s fully potential that he loses a step, and should change positions. And, certainly, the Dodgers have had Doncon spend roughly 40% of his time within the area on the keystone place, so if it occurs, it needs to be a quite seamless transition. Simply the identical, with distinctive bat pace, plus bat to ball, and current pitch recognition, although the glove received’t maintain him again, the bat would be the service right here.

For 2023, Doncon ought to choose up the place he left off, beginning the season with Rancho Cucamonga, and with success, maybe a second half stint at Excessive-A Nice Lakes can be within the offing.


Alex Freeland

Freeland, a switch-hitting shortstop who’s listed at 6-foot-2, 200 kilos, was drafted by the Dodgers this previous July (that’s nonetheless bizarre to say) after simply two years in school. He was draft-eligible after his sophomore season resulting from one of many quirks of the system — he was born on Aug. 24, 2001, which landed him simply seven days forward of the draft eligibility cutoff date of September 1st, which led to him being the Ninth-youngest 2022 draftee out of an NCAA Division 1 program.

The previous College of Central Florida Knight’s largest calling playing cards are his plate self-discipline and bat to ball, as he drew walks 15.7% of the time in school, and he lowered his strikeout price from 22.5% as a freshman to 17.8% in his follow-up marketing campaign.

Though Freeland had simply 36 PAs as a professional, there are some positives to be drawn:

  • He was 1.1 years youthful than common for the Cal League
  • His SwStr% was simply 11.1%
  • He noticed 3.9 pitches per plate look
  • His ISO was .313 — energy is current already, and he will get to it in video games

The latter three marks evaluate favorably to these Dashing posted as he tore his means by means of the Cal League, as he got here in at 10.3% SwStr, 3.9 P/PA, and .354 ISO. Contemplating Freeland is six months youthful than his fellow draft classmate, they’re about as noteworthy as issues might be in such a restricted audition.

Creator’s notice, for emphasis: I’m not saying the bat is equal to Dashing’s, solely that there are related constructive traits displayed within the restricted pattern. Right here’s a missile of a homer, take pleasure in.

As for what I noticed from watching Freeland’s ABs; he was in a position to get to good velo whereas not being uncovered by breaking balls, since he appeared to select up spin early, although he was out in entrance of well-executed changeups just a few occasions. He confirmed a fast bat from each side, with pull facet energy evident in each containers, together with the aptitude of sitting again to shoot pitches the opposite means.

Defensively, there’s some skepticism as as to whether Freeland has the lateral quickness to stay at shortstop, although there’s little doubt he’ll keep on the grime in some capability. Ever followers of versatility, the Dodgers combined in a few begins at second base as properly, and he even logged a single inning at third.

Looking forward to 2023, if Freeland begins the season in Rancho, he shouldn’t be there for too lengthy. The bat and strategy are too superior for the Cal League, although if he misses the usually frigid Spring within the Midwest League, as a child who went to highschool and school within the Sunshine State, he might not thoughts all that a lot.

As for rankings, no publication has Freeland of their prime 30, and I’m the one daring (learn: dumb) sufficient to hype up a latest third spherical choose with simply 36 professional PAs, however I preferred what I noticed, and I’m sticking with it.


That’s all for the primary installment on this collection. There’ll (in all probability) be two extra posts within the coming weeks, with three or 4 extra breakout picks for the 2023 season, we’ll see how issues shake out.

Take pleasure in your Thursday, people.