Bees Bullets: Division Leading OKC Dodgers Take On Salt Lake
Aug 15, 2023, 1:57 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – The Bees look to keep the bats hot in Salt Lake when they take on the Oklahoma City Dodgers for the final time in 2023.
The Salt Lake Bees (15-24, Fourth in PCL West) opens a six-game series against Los Angeles Dodgers Triple-A affiliate Oklahoma City (23-16, First in PCL East) at Smith’s Ballpark in a series beginning Tuesday, August 15.
Bees are back in town! 🐝 pic.twitter.com/47WnMJVT1s
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) August 15, 2023
Salt Lake enters the series on a four-game losing streak after dropping five of six against the Reno Aces last week. OKC has lost six of their last ten and two straight as they continue a two-week road stretch after playing in Tacoma last week.
Salt Lake is 9-9 at home this season while Oklahoma City is a robust 14-7 on the road. The Bees won three of five games earlier this season in Oklahoma City with weather forcing the cancellation of a sixth game.
Bees bats have shown some life of late. Scoring 5.35 runs per game since the All-Star break, Salt Lake has seen that number jump to 6.6 runs per game in their last 12 contests.
Trey Cabbage continues to do damage at the plate, hitting three long balls and driving in 14 runs. Cabbage’s .419 August batting average has led to a league-high 18 hits. Shortstop Jack Lopez’s 15 RBI lead the Bees in August and are fourth most in the PCL.
Trey Cabbage with an inside-the-park homer!🥬🥬🥬 pic.twitter.com/aVl0Uf8I2C
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) August 9, 2023
Now for the top-30 Los Angeles Dodgers prospects you can expect to see in Salt Lake City. All prospect rankings are from MLB.com.
Oklahoma City Dodgers Top Prospects
No. 2 Michael Busch – Second/Third base
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 45 | Field: 40 | Overall: 55
A first-round pick (31st overall) in 2019, Busch has seen his batting average climb each season advancing through the Dodgers system. After hitting .267 in his first full season of pro ball at Double-A, he was promoted to Oklahoma City in 2022 after hitting .306 for Tulsa in 31 games to open the season.
While question marks about his positionability at the major league level persist, Busch has proven that his bat should play at the highest level.
After leading the PCL with 11 July home runs, his five long balls in August give him 16 homers in his last 36 games. Put another way, Busch is homering once every 9.5 at-bats since July 1.
— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) August 12, 2023
Busch saw action in 15 games earlier this season with the big league Dodgers. Slashing .200/.294/.267 in 45 at-bats, Busch tallied four RBI and three doubles while striking out 16 times.
No. 5 Gavin Stone – Starting Pitcher
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 70 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
The Dodgers selected Stone in the fifth round (159th overall) in 2020 out of Central Arkansas. Advancing from High-A Great Lakes to Oklahoma City to close 2022, Stone has increased his fastball velocity (94-96 mph) to go with a mid-80s changeup and a mid-80s slider.
Gavin Stone won MiLB Pitcher of the Week for his six no-hit innings with 10 strikeouts on Friday pic.twitter.com/oOWuflYosy
— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) August 7, 2023
Stone (6-4) has made 18 starts this season resulting in a 5.09 ERA in 86.2 innings. In his past two starts, Stone has given up just one earned run and allowed three hits while striking out 17 batters in 12 innings. He threw six scoreless innings against Round Rock on August 4.
No. 9 Landon Knack – Starting Pitcher
Scouting grades: Fastball: 55 | Curveball: 45 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 60 | Overall: 50
Drafted in the second round (60th overall) of the abbreviated 2020 MLB draft, Knack has made eight starts with OKC this season after being elevated from Tulsa in early June. Through improved strength training, Knack saw an uptick in velocity last season but struggled with command as a result. His fastball sits in the low-90s with a slider and a changeup that each sit in the low-80s.
#Dodgers No. 14 prospect Landon Knack tonight for Oklahoma City:
Knack has an even 3.00 ERA through seven Triple-A starts pic.twitter.com/VftjBtQ7Fv
— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) August 6, 2023
Knack (4-1) has a 3.44 ERA in 34 innings pitched with OKC. After walking 3.8 batters per nine innings in 2022, his command issues have continued this season with a 3.6 BB/nine innings rate.
No. 10 Ryan Pepiot – Relief Pitcher
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 45 | Overall: 50
The former third-round pick(102nd overall) in 2019 made his MLB debut last season for the Dodgers. In seven starts with the big league club, Pepiot finished with a 3-0 record and a 3.47 ERA.
Ryan Pepiot was named the MiLB Pitcher of the Week for his 11 strikeout performance on Sunday pic.twitter.com/UYJeRD7r1g
— Bruce Kuntz (@Bnicklaus7) August 15, 2023
Pepiot has improved his fastball (93-95 mph) and hard slider (upper-80s) to go with the best changeup in the 2019 class.
He comes into the series on the heels of a one-hit, 11-strikeout performance against Tacoma that earned him MiLB pitcher of the week honors. For the season, he is 0-2 with a 3.97 ERA in six starts. Pepiot did not make his season debut until July 14.
No. 13 Kyle Hurt – Starting Pitcher
Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45
Drafted by the Miami Marlins in the fifth round of the 2020 draft, Hurt was acquired by the Dodgers in a trade for Dylan Floro before beginning his first full season of pro baseball.
The K parade continued for Kyle Hurt who had 7 Ks, & gave up just 1 walk & 1 hit going scoreless in his 2nd AAA outing. @hurt_kyle hit as high as 96.8 & flashed 5 pitches, with 4 Seam in zone 61% with 80% whiff rate. Cutter in zone 67%, sinker 50%, 51 pitches-32 strikes. #dodgers pic.twitter.com/pSmKRllho7
— Dodgers Daily (@dodger_daily) August 13, 2023
With 15 starts and another six appearances out of the bullpen, Hurt has a mid-90s fastball that touches 98. His upper-80s changeup and low-80s curveball give Hurt some of the best ‘stuff’ in the Dodgers system.
Control has been the main issue for this Dodgers hurler as he walked 59 batters in 71.2 innings last season. In 73 innings in 2023, Hurt has cut the walks dramatically, allowing just 36 free passes.
After being promoted from Double-A Tulsa, Hurt has come out of the bullpen in his last two appearances. He gave up four runs on three hits against Round Rock before twirling three shutout innings against Tacoma on August 12.
No. 30 Hunter Feduccia – Catcher
Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 45 | Run: 30 | Arm: 50 | Field: 55 | Overall: 40
Drafted by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2018 MLB draft, the left-handed hitting Feduccia’s defense behind the plate will likely be his key to the big leagues. The 6’0, 215-pound catcher is considered a ‘solid-to-plus receiver’ with an excellent ability to block balls in the dirt.
— Dodgers Daily (@dodger_daily) August 7, 2023
Currently enjoying his best season with the bat, Feduccia is hitting a career-high .293 in 70 games this season. His previous career high came in 2018 with he hit .287 in the lowest levels of minor league baseball. On the season, he has eight home runs, 17 doubles, and 46 runs batted in.
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Salt Lake faces Oklahoma City in a six-game series from August 15-April 20. First pitch Tuesday-Saturday is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. (MT) with a Sunday matinee set for 1:05 p.m. (MT).