There is no denying that Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Ryan O'Sullivan has been having a terrific season. That fact has not gone unnoticed, as the Dodgers and their single-A affiliated Great Lakes Loons announced, on June 25, that he would be promoted to their California League affiliate, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
A fourth-round selection in the 2011 first-year draft, O'Sullivan earned a 4-2 record as a starter with the Midland, Michigan-based Loons. In those starts, he garnered a 2.73 ERA with 32 strikeouts. As a reliever, he totaled a 1-2 record with a 3.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts. His 2.92 overall ERA was good enough to rank him 11th in the Midwest League. Most telling of his talent, however, is that in seven of his nine starts he went six or more innings in each, giving up three runs or less and totaling 43 strikeouts in 71 innings of work.
The number 20 prospect in the Dodgers organization, as ranked by Baseball America, O'Sullivan is on the fast track to the major leagues. He was the most consistent of the Loons' starting pitchers, if not the most prolific, as well. He, alongside Jarret Martin, helped guide the Loons' modest success this season.
By way of his promotion, O'Sullivan joins fellow former Loon Eric Eadington in Rancho Cucamonga. The Quakes are three games behind league-leading Lake Elsinore and could use the infusion of O'Sullivan's talent on the mound. He will report, immediately, to Rancho Cucamonga for assignment.
In essence, he now finds himself three steps away from making his dream of playing in the major leagues a reality. That dream, however, has been a lifelong family affair. O'Sullivan is the brother of former Kansas City Royals pitcher Sean O'Sullivan. The elder of the O'Sullivan brood was also moved this week, as he was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays for monetary considerations.
Taking his spot on the Great Lakes roster is Gustavo Gomez. Gomez posted a 4-6 record for Great Lakes this season. His 5.35 ERA, though one of the higher totals in the Midwest League, is not necessarily indicative of his overall performance. In 14 appearances, four have been disastrous, leading to the increased total. The majority of his appearances have hovered around the 3.00-4.00 ERA range. He returns to the Loons after a stint on the reserve list.
The Great Lakes Loons, having lost two of their better arms to promotions, have little time to find adequate considerations in salvaging the remainder of the season. Pitching has remained an inconsistency that was meagerly held in check by a few arms, including O'Sullivan's. His personal gain, though a loss for the Loons, shows the talent the Dodgers are cultivating at all levels of their farm system.The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor," covering the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.