The California League All-Star Game was held on June 18 in San Bernardino, hosted by the Inland Empire 66ers. The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes had seven representatives named to the South team and this article will talk about each of them.
Edwin Uceta – (honorable mention)
Uceta was one of the top starting pitchers in the California League with 65 Ks in 50.1 innings with a 2.15 ERA. Instead of going to the All-Star game he was sent to AA Tulsa as his reward. He was named as an All-Star anyway but obviously would not appear. Dodgers Nation had the opportunity to speak with him a short time before his promotion. His first few starts in AA have been a struggle but he will come around soon.
Montgomerie was drafted in the 6th round of the 2017 draft out of the University of Connecticut. He brings a 95 MPH fastball to the table and has struck out 143 batters in 113.1 innings in his professional career. His ERA got a bit inflated in his last appearance but he’s been a very important and versatile pitcher for the Quakes. Despite having only three starts in the first half of the season he was named the starting pitcher for the South All-Star team.
Salow was acquired by the Dodgers, from the A’s in April 2018, for Wilmer Font. He had been drafted by Oakland in the 6th round in the 2017 draft and has been very good at every stop. For his minor league career he has 167 strike outs in only 119.2 innings. To top it off, he’s only given up 77 hits and has a 2.18 ERA. I expect him to be promoted to AA very soon and good be on a fast track to LA if he continues his dominance.
Gamboa was drafted in the 18th round of the 2017 draft by the Dodgers out of Pepperdine. He began his professional career as a starter but was shifted to the bullpen in 2019. As a starter in 2018 he gave up 110 hits in 101.1 innings with 38 walks and 104 Ks. Now, as reliever he’s only given up 18 hits in 32.2 innings while striking out 57. The only negative is the 28 walks but I expect that to correct itself in the second half.
Another 2017 draftee (20th round out of Boston College), Casey has been healthy in 2019 after missing two months in 2018. This season he’s having upticks in both home runs and in stolen bases. He’s played a majority of his games in right field but can play all outfield positions as he has good speed and a strong arm. In 2018 he skipped Low-A in 2018 so the Dodgers did have him on a fast track after hitting over .400 in 2017 (154 ABs).
Mann is a fast rising prospect for the Dodgers as he’s in High-A in just his first full season of professional baseball. He was drafted in the 5th round of the 2018 draft was sent almost directly to Low-A where he hit two home runs. This season, he’s found a lot of power and already has 12 in just the first half of the season. Primarily a second baseman, he’s learning to play third this season. Dodgers Nation will have a full rundown of Devin Mann soon.
Wong was drafted in the 3rd round in 2017 out of the University of Houston. He started his collegiate career as a shortstop and soon moved to catcher. The infield skills are still there as he occasionally plays second and third base but the primary focus is catcher. I wrote about the catching prospects in the Dodgers’ system in the off-season with more information about Wong.
Downs was a huge part of the Kyle Farmer trade and, after a slow start, he’s been on fire. He’s almost matched his home run total from last season while playing mostly at shortstop. While with the Reds he played more second base that shortstop in 2018. Dodgers Nation had the opportunity to speak with him in early May and he’s been on fire ever since. Coincidence?
The Quakes won their first half of the Southern Division and are already in the playoffs that will begin in September. As was already mentioned, Edwin Uceta has already been called up to AA. It is clear that all of these other players are also ready to be moved up to AA. The biggest problem is that the Dodgers are already loaded with talent in AA that is blocking these guys.
My bold prediction is that Logan Salow will be promoted by July 15. If there is a change in the Dodgers’ catching situation then Connor Wong will be in AA, where he should be in the first place. The perils of having a lot of talent is that it holds some players back.
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