Waiver Worthy: Is The Dodgers’ Dustin May A Must Add Option Immediately?

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We are all always on the lookout for the next big thing, and it seems to be common for the Dodgers to provide options who can stake that claim.  The latest is Dustin May, the 21-year old (he’ll turn 22 on September 6) right-hander who is set to make his MLB debut today.  Whether or not he can stick in the Majors remains to be seen, but after throwing 132.2 innings last season he should have more than enough left in the tank (he’s only thrown 106.2 innings this season).

Without an innings limit to concern us we can look to the numbers/skills, which will quickly impress you.  First the numbers:

  • Double-A (79.1 IP) – 3.74 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 9.76 K/9, 2.27 BB/9
  • Triple-A (27.1 IP) – 2.30 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 7.90 K/9, 2.96 BB/9

If someone wants to go digging for a concern, the “regression” in his strikeouts and control will jump out.  Of course that would be ignoring the small sample size and his career 8.8 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9.  It also would be disregarding the impressive groundball stuff that he paired the other skills with (50.5% at Double-A, 60.0% at Triple-A).

He features a four pitch arsenal, including three pitches that are already considered average or better.  Here’s how MLB.com describes them:

  • Two-Seam Fastball – “jumped 3 mph last season to sit at 92-97 mph with groundball-inducing run and sink” (In their midseason update, Baseball America notes that the pitch is “now averaging 95 mph and touching 98-99 mph”)
  • Cut-Fastball (which he added to his arsenal in ’18) – “has become equally as devastating while reaching the low 90s”
  • Curveball – “has become a hard-breaking weapon that also creates groundouts”
  • Changeup – “raw and gets too firm at times, he shows enough aptitude that it should become an average fourth offering”

That’s an ace-like repertoire and it’s still getting better, which is scary considering he’s already displaying all of the skills we look for from a starting pitcher.  Could there be a few bumps?  Absolutely, as he’s still a rookie pitcher (though one with a higher upside than most). 

The bigger question is whether or not the Dodgers will be willing to run him out there every five days, considering the alternatives they have in the rotation (when healthy) though at this point it appears he’s going to get an opportunity.  Just look at this, courtesy of Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:

“Roberts said the 21-year-old May is likely to make more than one start, depending on how he pitches and how Ross Stripling recovers from biceps tendinitis. Roberts didn’t rule out May shifting to relief by October.”

He has everything working in his favor, including a top lineup supporting him.  With the potential to be a difference maker down the stretch May is a must own in all formats immediately.

Sources – MLB.com, MILB.com, Baseball America, Fangraphs, Baseball Reference

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