Prior to the season, Baseball America ranked the Dodgers’ farm system as twenty-third overall, citing the McCourt ownership fiasco as the main culprit. And over the past several weeks the Dodgers traded a significant amount of their farm system, dealing away Nathan Eovaldi, Ethan Martin, Scott McGough, and Leon Landryamong others. Taking a mediocre – or worse – farm system and depleting it even further.
Either way, though, it’s a bit surprising that Matthew Magill’s name hasn’t surfaced more often, at least as a bit of sleeper prospect. Magill, 22, is a right-handed starter that failed to crack the organization’s top 30 prospects each of the past two season according to Baseball America. And, by all accounts, Martin’s arsenal is a bit fringy, an average low 90s fastball and a wrinkle of a slider. But his production this season – and, truthfully, the better part of his career – should have garnered him much more attention.
Despite the reports of fringy stuff, Magill has missed an enormous amount of bats throughout his four-plus year career, averaging nearly one strikeout per inning (8.8 K/9) to go along with average command (3.6 BB/9). This season with the Chattanooga Lookouts, his first in Double-A, Magill is not only on pace for the best strikeout total of his career (10.3 K/9), it also leads the entire level and ranks eighth among all levels of the minor leagues with pitchers that have 100+ innings. He’s also over a quarter of the batters he’s faced (26.2%).
On the downside, Magill’s command hasn’t shown a significant improvement over the last four seasons, averaging 3.75, 3.70, 3.36, and 3.85 walks per nine innings. And if the reports of fringe secondary offerings hold true, the command issue could be very limiting to his big league potential, potentially forcing him into a fifth spot in the rotation as opposed to somewhere near the middle, maybe a third or a fourth. However, over his last 36.1 innings he’s managed to strike out 42 and walk just four.
It’s very reasonable that Magill becomes a more valuable big league pitcher than the more highly regarded Ethan Martin, the centerpiece, in the Shane Victorino trade. None the less, Magill’s a very intriguing prospect, who, at the age of 22, still has plenty of time to refine some of his flaws.
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