Youthful Efficiency

Here are a few of the top pitching performances in the early spring. I know what you may be thinking, “already? We just started spring, too early to tell because the hitters do not have their timing down yet.”  While I totally understand that viewpoint, I am of the opinion that these pitchers came to camp ready to roll and it has translated into quality outings immediately. This is by no means an extensive list, many Dodgers and their prospects have looked fantastic already, so no disrespect or neglect intended.

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Clayton Kershaw at ST 2017 Photo by S. Douglas

 

 

 

Especially since Kershaw is not on this list despite not allowing so much as a hit thus far in 6 innings of work.

 

Andrew Istler

G             IP           H           R           ER          BB          SO            AVG           WHIP
4              4             1            0            0             0             5             .077             0.25

Istler had a microscopic ERA last season, in 18 games  (11 Great Lakes, 7 Ogden)he had an ERA of 0.99. In 27.1 innings the right hander from Duke had 29 K’s compared to only 5 BB’s. The 24 year old, Istler held opponents batting average to .173. Even with these stellar numbers from last season, few Dodger fans had heard of the hurler before his emergence this spring. Only allowing one hit over your first four appearances of spring will help get you noticed quickly. It will be interesting to see his 2017 play out and how far up the ladder he climbs in the organization.

 

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Andrew Istler 2017 ST Photo Courtesy of Bayleigh Katharyne

 

Shea Spitzbarth

G              IP           H               R         ER           BB         SO         AVG            WHIP
 4               4             4               0          0              1             5          .267              1.25

Shea Spitzbarth had a solid 2016 as well. The right handed, red headed pitcher from Staten Island, New York had only one bad outing all year. That outing came in his only appearance above Rookie ball in (AAA) OKC. Besides that game, he pitched between Great Lakes and Ogden only allowing 7 earned runs in 37.1 innings. Spitzbarth had 6 saves and an overall ERA of 2.72 in 24 games. This spring the 22 year old has enjoyed success both on and off the field. I want to congratulate Mr. Spitzbarth in his recent graduation from Molloy College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management. He graduated in December, but was very excited that his degree arrived today! With Shea Spitzbarth, the Dodgers front office enjoys even more organizational depth.

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Shea Spitzbarth at ST 2017 Photo Courtesy of Bayleigh Katharyne

Trevor Oaks

G              IP           H              R         ER         BB          SO          AVG            WHIP
3               6             6               1          0             1             6           .261                1.17

Trevor Oaks is efficiency in motion. In his first inning of work today, he threw 8 pitches, zero balls. His aggressive style of attacking the low portion of the strike zone gets hitters into early holes. I understand, looking at the .261 average against by batters, that you may think that number is too high. A sinker ball, control pitcher like Trevor will give up some base hits, he will keep most of those batted balls on the ground, causing his defense to work and his double play numbers to increase. Oaks has already shown the poise to play piano in front of his teammates and coaches, and to get the ground ball when he needs out of a jam. If inconsistencies and injuries play a major role in the unfolding story of spring, look for this young man to make the Dodgers roster.

It is certainly exciting to see pitchers ready and in good form as soon as action begins. Every bit as exciting, is the prospects of plenty of organizational depth with so many young arms developing, it is a bright future for years to come.

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Trevor Oaks began 2016 with Class A Rancho Photo Courtesy of Jerry Espinoza

 

 

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