Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
While the MLB lockout was approaching 100 days long, Minor League Spring Training camps began to open in Arizona and Florida, which for the Los Angeles Dodgers meant the likes of touted prospects Diego Cartaya, Ryan Pepiot and Bobby Miller, among others, could begin preparing.
Picked in the third round of the 2019 MLB Draft, Pepiot is already regarded as a top-two prospect in the Dodgers system. When the Baseball America top-100 prospects list for the 2022 season was released, Pepiot was one of five Dodgers to be included as he was ranked No. 99.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and manager Dave Roberts have both identified Pepiot as a candidate to potentially make his MLB debut during the 2022 season. However, that is not something the right-hander is focused on, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I’m just here doing my work and trying to get ready for whenever the time is that the season starts,” Pepiot said after his first scrimmage of the spring. “April 5 is Opening Day for minor leagues so I’m preparing for that.”
Pepiot had mentioned his struggles last year following his promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City were in part to not having a typical Minor League season in 2020 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Pepiot posted a 7.13 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in 11 appearances (nine starts) for OKC. He recently voiced confidence in his pitch mix that was a focal point during the offseason.
Since explaining his focus solely was on Spring Training, the 24-year-old has appeared in two Cactus League games (one start). Pepiot, among the Dodgers’ non-roster invitees who has been sent to Minor League camp, struggled in his debut but bounced back with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on March 25.
Pepiot is scheduled to start Thursday against the Texas Rangers.
When will Pepiot make his MLB debut?
As the Dodgers sort through their starting rotation depth for this season, several prospects may also get an opportunity to log important innings in 2022.
“We’ve got some really good guys in place,” Friedman recently said. “That being said, we’re going to need to address that. We’ve got a really good group of young starting pitchers coming. With Mitch White, Andre Jackson, we saw some of this year. Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Landon Knack will all be in the upper levels or Major League when we start the year.
“It really gives us a strong foundation and depth, so now rounding the rotation will definitely be something we’re focused on as we get into the winter.”
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