Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Expectations were high for Gavin Stone entering the 2023 season, as he was rising as not only one of the best Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospects, but one of the brightest young arms in all of baseball.
Stone had a dominant 2022 season, pitching to a 1.44 ERA in High-A Great Lakes before his promotion to Double-A Tulsa, where he held a 1.60 ERA. After his final promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City, Stone posted a 1.16 ERA at the highest level of the Minors.
However, Stone wasn’t able to replicate that success in 2023 as he struggled in Triple-A, posting a 4.74 ERA, 4.52 FIP and 1.31 WHIP across 100.2 innings.
Stone’s strikeout rate also dropped by nearly two batters per nine innings, while his walk rate increased by one per nine.
Despite the down season, Stone was still called up to make his MLB debut in 2023, mostly due to the state of the Dodgers pitching staff that was in flux due to injuries and inconsistent performances.
Stone made his debut on May 3 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium, but only got through four innings while giving up five runs (four earned). He did manage to pick up his first career strikeout, but that was his lone punchout while he walked two hitters.
Stone did not fare better in either of his next two outings, going a combined six innings and giving up 13 runs before being optioned back to Triple-A.
Stone ended up having two more stints with the Dodgers, but again had mostly poor results. He finished the season with a 9.00 ERA, 6.64 FIP and 1.90 WHIP across 31 innings. He struck out 6.39 hitters per nine, walked 3.77 per nine and gave up 2.32 homers per full game pitched.
Although the season wasn’t what he hoped, Stone learned a lot from his time at the Major League level, taking in everything he could and crediting Clayton Kershaw for being an important influence.
Gavin Stone 2023 highlight
Stone was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week from August 28 through September 3, which highlighted some of the natural talent he has.
In the big leagues, his best outing came on September 17 against the Seattle Mariners. Stone pitched 3.1 innings while allowing no runs on just one hit. He also struck out five hitters in a 6-1 Dodgers’ victory.
Stone enters the 2024 season looking to get back on track and establish himself as one of the Dodgers’ best young pitchers once again. He should start the year in Triple-A, and he will be one of the depth arms the team relies on in case of injury to their primary five starters.
The right-hander is likely to see time with the Dodgers once again in 2024, but it may be a make-or-break year for his future standing within the organization.
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