The 21-year-old May only made his Triple-A debut on June 30, but he’ll now get his first taste of Major League competition after posting a 2.30 ERA over 27 1/3 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Over his entire minor league career, May has a 3.50 ERA, 4.43 K/BB rate, and 8.8 K/9 rate in 403 2/3 innings.
A third-round pick in the 2016 draft, May emerged on multiple preseason prospect ranking lists, and his solid performance this year has only elevated his stock. Fangraphs currently ranks May as the eighth-best prospect in baseball, while ESPN.com’s Keith Law (13th), Baseball America (26th) and MLB.com (35th) were only somewhat less bullish.
May boasts a three-pitch arsenal that includes a two-seam fastball that can touch 97mph, a cutter that reaches the low-90s, and an impressive curveball. On the 20-80 scouting scale, MLB.com ranks all three pitches with at least a 60-grade, topped off with a 65-grade fastball. May throws a lot of strikes, and doesn’t allow many walks or home runs. While his 27 1/3 innings in Triple-A is a small sample size, May didn’t allow a single homer during his brief stint in the very hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
As one might expect, May’s potential has attracted a lot of attention from potential trade partners, though the Dodgers resisted all offers involving the young righty. May was reportedly heavily targeted by the Orioles last year when Baltimore and Los Angeles were in talks about Manny Machado, though the Dodgers were able to retain May while still landing Machado for a package of five other prospects. More recently, the Pirates had interest in May while discussing Felipe Vazquez deals with L.A.
With May still in the fold, he’ll now become a weapon for the Dodgers as they pursue another trip to the World Series. While the rotation hasn’t been quite as much of a revolving door for the Dodgers this season as in past years, May will slide into the fifth spot in the rotation with Rich Hill and Ross Stripling both sidelined with injuries. Julio Urias most recently served as the fifth starter, though it seems as though he’ll return to his previous role in the bullpen. Given how flexible the Dodgers are with pitcher usage, May will likely see some time as a reliever himself later in the season.