Catcher Diego Cartaya is the consensus top prospect in a loaded Dodgers farm system. The 21-year-old Cartaya has mashed at each level of the minors he’s played in since signing with Los Angeles in 2018. He’s played up to High-A, and he’ll look to check off Double-A and Triple-A this year in the hopes of being ready for the big leagues in 2024.
Even as LA’s top prospect, though, Cartaya is intent on continuing to improve his game. The big right-handed slugger recently sat down with Dodgers Nation’s Doug McKain and talked about how he’s looking to get better this year.
“My blocking. I want to get better at it, and definitely keep working with the pitchers, like know how to use true media and game planning and all that stuff. It’s a lot of info, you have to know how to use it. And I would say that and the defense, basically like blocking and framing.”
A lot of Cartaya’s future value will depend on whether he can stay behind the plate. He hits well enough to be a solid big leaguer even if they had to move him to a new position, but a catcher with his offensive skills is immensely valuable, so it makes sense that continuing to hone his defensive game is high on his priority list.
What about on offense?
“I want to have quality at-bats. I want to strikeout less, just put the ball in play. I don’t have numbers in mind, I just want to go there and have a good at-bat every time I go to the plate.”
Cartaya has 198 strikeouts in 789 career minor-league plate appearances, a K percentage of 25.1%. It was actually a little higher in 2022, at 26.7%. He more than makes up for it with his power — his minor-league numbers calculated over a 600-PA season have him with 27 homers and 30 doubles along with 151 strikeouts. You’ll absolutely take those numbers from your catcher.
Still, if Cartaya can cut down on the strikeouts, even better. He’s been much younger than the competition at every level he’s played at, so his development will likely continue as he matures and gains experience.
The future is bright for Diego Cartaya and the Dodgers.
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