My top 200 Dodger Prospects heading into the 2011 Season

Welcome again to the most comprehensive analysis of the Dodgers minor league system.  For the 3rd straight year, I am going to provide a summary of virtually every player in the Dodgers minor league system as of November 30th who meets the following qualifications:  (1) played in the Dodgers minor league system during 2010, or was injured during the entire 2010 season; (2) is still within the Dodgers organization as of season end; (3) is under 28 years old as of Opening Day 2011; and (4) the player is still considered a prospect by Baseball America standards, which means that pitchers must have less than 50 innings pitched in the majors, and hitters must have less than 130 at bats in the majors.  Like Baseball America, I do not take into account service time, and therefore it is possible that I have included prospects who will not technically be rookies in 2011.

I know that writing up 200 players seems a little excessive, especially since the majority of these players are obviously not prospects.  However, I really look at this as a “get to know your Dodger minor league system”.  My goal is for Dodger fans to know at least a little something about all players in the Dodgers system because it makes looking at the minor league box scores more fun.  There won’t just be a bunch of names, but instead players that fans have at least heard of. 

Even still, the 1st half of this list still might seem a little bit mundane, but the way you have to look at it is that you never know when a player will have a breakout season.  For example, I ranked Rafael Ynoa #172 last year because he had been terrible, but after a solid 2010 he has moved up the prospect charts significantly.  Similarly, Allen Webster was #100 on my 2009 list, and now he is a top prospect, so you never know.

What also makes this fun is that because this is the 3rd year I am doing this, you can track where each player has ranked over the past few seasons.  So you can see whether a player has made moved up or down my list over the years.  I’ve included where each prospect played in 2010, how each was acquired by the Dodgers, their height, weight, and age as of opening day 2011, and finally their 2010 combined minor league statistics.  I will generally post 10 players at a time, and will be posting 1 to 2 times a week.  My goal is to finish my posting before 2011 Spring Training starts. 

Welcome again to the most comprehensive analysis of the Dodgers minor league system.  For the 3rd straight year, I am going to provide a summary of virtually every player in the Dodgers minor league system as of November 30th who meets the following qualifications:  (1) played in the Dodgers minor league system during 2010, or was injured during the entire 2010 season; (2) is still within the Dodgers organization as of season end; (3) is under 28 years old as of Opening Day 2011; and (4) the player is still considered a prospect by Baseball America standards, which means that pitchers must have less than 50 innings pitched in the majors, and hitters must have less than 130 at bats in the majors.  Like Baseball America, I do not take into account service time, and therefore it is possible that I have included prospects who will not technically be rookies in 2011.

 

I know that writing up 200 players seems a little excessive, especially since the majority of these players are obviously not prospects.  However, I really look at this as a “get to know your Dodger minor league system”.  My goal is for Dodger fans to know at least a little something about all players in the Dodgers system because it makes looking at the minor league box scores more fun.  There won’t just be a bunch of names, but instead players that fans have at least heard of. 

 

Even still, the 1st half of this list still might seem a little bit mundane, but the way you have to look at it is that you never know when a player will have a breakout season.  For example, I ranked Rafael Ynoa #172 last year because he had been terrible, but after a solid 2010 he has moved up the prospect charts significantly.  Similarly, Allen Webster was #100 on my 2009 list, and now he is a top prospect, so you never know.

 

What also makes this fun is that because this is the 3rd year I am doing this, you can track where each player has ranked over the past few seasons.  So you can see whether a player has made moved up or down my list over the years.  I’ve included where each prospect played in 2010, how each was acquired by the Dodgers, their height, weight, and age as of opening day 2011, and finally their 2010 combined minor league statistics.  I will generally post 10 players at a time, and will be posting 1 to 2 times a week.  My goal is to finish my posting before 2011 Spring Training starts.

 

200.  Ricardo Rivas, RHP (21 IP in the Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by the Dodgers out of an open tryout in March of 2010

6’1”, 180 lbs, 27 years old

2-1, 10.29 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 4.82 FIP, 7.29 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

When the Dodgers held an open tryout in March of 2010, 85 athletes showed up hoping to make their baseball dream come true.  At the end of the day, only one player was signed by the Dodgers, and it was Ricardo “Ricky” Rivas.  When I initially heard about this signing, I really didn’t understand it because Rivas was already 26 years old, so unless he was flashing a 98 mph fastball it seemed like a waste of time.  Well at the end of the day it probably was a waste because the Dodgers ended up assigning Rivas to the Pioneer Rookie League where he was terrible despite playing against much younger competition.  In case you are interested in his background, Rivas was a 48th round pick out of El Paso Community College in 2004, however he did not sign and played two years at Oklahoma State.  Prior to getting a job with the Dodgers, Ricky was playing independent baseball for his hometown El Paso Diablos.  I doubt that Rivas will be in the Dodgers organization in 2011.

 

199.  Frank De Jesus, C (17 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’1”, 192 lbs, 22.75 years old, switch hitter

.205 average, .590 OPS, 0 HR’s, 3 RBI’s, 0 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

 

It’s really a mystery as to why the Dodgers signed Frank De Jesus in 2010.  He was a 22 year old international free agent without any baseball experience, and the DSL Dodgers were already stocked with 6 other guys capable of playing catcher.  The only thing he has going for him is that he is a switch hitter, but that doesn’t matter when you only hit .162 against right handed pitchers.  If he were 18 that would have been one thing, but why sign a 22 year old?  Maybe he is a relative of Ivan De Jesus, and they were doing him a favor.  Anyways, to nobody’s surprise he had a terrible season, and it’s almost a given that he will not be back in the organization next year.

 

198.  Jose Lugo, C (25 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’1”, 200 lbs, 20.75 years old, bats right handed

.176 average, .479 OPS, 0 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 176;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jose Lugo was terrible for the Dominican Dodgers in 2009, and even worse in 2010.  One of 7 catchers on the team, Lugo actually caught the 2nd most games for the Dodgers this past year, but did absolutely nothing at the plate.  The young Venezuelan recorded just 1 extra base hit on the year, and had a dismal slugging percentage of .196.  While he may find his way back on to the DSL Dodgers again next season, the 20 year old will clearly never play baseball in the United States.

197.  J.J. Whetsel, RHP (33.2 IP in the Pioneer League in 2010)

Non Drafted Free Agent signed by the Dodgers on 3/29/10

6’1”, 190 lbs, 26.25 years old

0-0, 7.75 ERA, 1.93 WHIP, 5.90 FIP, 7.22 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

J.J. Whetsel was signed by the Dodgers as a non drafted free agent just a few days before the 2010 season.  In 2009, he had played for the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association Independent League, and before that played his college ball at Troy University.  Even though he was already 25 years old when he signed, the Dodgers assigned Whetsel to the Pioneer Rookie League where he struggled mightily.  He had awful stats, but the one that stood out was that he allowed 7 homers in just 33.2 innings.  I’m going to venture a guess that Whetsel will not be in the Dodgers organization next season. 

 

196.  Aris Angeles, RHP (13.1 innings in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’0”, 179 lbs, 21.5 years old

1-0, 6.08 ERA, 2.70 WHIP, 5.60 FIP, 10.80 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Aris was signed by the Dodgers prior to the 2010 season even though he was already 20 years old.  He was used sparingly throughout the season, appearing in only 10 games and throwing just 13.1 innings.  As you can see from his terrible WHIP, Angeles allowed way too many base runners in his limited time on the mound and is much too old to ever make an impact with the Dodgers.  It’s too bad because his name would have fit perfectly in Los Angeles.

 

195.  Angelo Ponte, C (11 games in Arizona Rookie League in 2010)

Non Drafted Free Agent signed by the Dodgers on 6/15/10

5’11”, 215 lbs, 24.25 years old, bats right handed

.152 average, .415 OPS, 0 HR’s, 3 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Angelo Ponte wasn’t drafted in 2010 after playing his college ball at Fordham University, but was signed by the Dodgers shortly after draft day by the Dodgers.  As most people know, Fordham was the college that Vin Scully graduated from, so there are some ties between the school and the Dodgers.  In his 4 years at Fordham, Ponte had a career .283 average and only hit 4 home runs, so he obviously doesn’t have much upside.  He is also already 24 years old and had a terrible time in the Arizona Rookie League, although he only played in 11 games.  I’m not sure if Ponte is worth keeping around, although like other light hitting catchers he does give the Dodgers some extra bodies who can catch the ball in spring training.

194.  Railing Feliz, C (14 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

5’11”, 184 lbs, 19.75 years old, bats right handed

.182 average, .482 OPS, 0 HR’s, 1 RBI, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Railing Feliz has a great name, but that’s about the only thing that he has going for him.  The young man from the Dominican Republic was with the Dominican Dodgers all year, as his appearances were spread throughout the season, but he only got into 14 games.  And when he did play, his stats were awful as you can see from his .182 average.  While he did play most of the year as an 18 year old, that isn’t an excuse in the Dominican Summer League as the league is full of teenagers.  The Dodgers may bring back Feliz for one more season if they need depth at catcher, but even that seems unlikely at this point.

193.  David Iden, 2B (30 games in Arizona Rookie League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 35th round

5’9”, 160 lbs, 24 years old, bats right handed

.267 average, .663 OPS, 1 HR’s, 14 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 175;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

A late round pick for the Dodgers in 2009 out of Cal Lutheran University, David Iden is the type of player who just wanted a chance to prove himself.  Upon being drafted by the Dodgers, Iden was “ecstatic… relieved…and anxious”.  At Cal Lutheran, the Thousand Oaks native was a career .343 hitter, and ranked in the school’s top 10 for career RBI’s (100), runs scored (121), and stolen bases (63).  Unfortunately, Iden has done nothing to prove himself in his two years as a professional.  In 2009, he was sent to the Pioneer League and struggled to produce.  He was then demoted to the Arizona Rookie League in 2010 despite being already 23 years old, and hit only .267 in 30 games, with 1 HR and 5 SB’s.  At 5’9” Iden is undersized, which is another thing working against him, and with two bad seasons under his belt he’s a candidate to be released.

192.  Gabriel Gutierrez, C (5 games in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2002

5’11”, 190 lbs, 27.25 years old, bats right handed

.368 average, .850 OPS, 0 HR’s, 2 RBI’s, 0 SB’s, bats right handed

Pre 2010 Rank: 187;     Pre 2009 Rank: 161

The Mexican born Gutierrez was on loan to the Diablos Rojos of the Mexican League for almost the entire season, where he hit .283 in 106 at bats with just 8 RBI’s.  I’m not exactly sure how the loaning of players works, but he was one a few players in the Dodgers organization to play in the Mexican League in 2010.  Gutierrez returned to the USA and played with the 66ers for the final week of the season where he hit pretty well in limited at bats.  An interesting thing about Gutierrez is that he has been in the Dodgers organization since 2002, making one of the longest tenured players in the organization.  By my count, only a few players like James Loney, Jonathan Broxton, and minor leaguer Eduardo Perez have been around longer.  Since Gutierrez is a catcher, he continues to provide value to the team during times such as spring training, so he’ll probably stick around for at least another year.  However he is a minor league free agent and an organizational player at best, so he might just play full time in Mexico.

191.  Ricardo De La Rosa, OF (35 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’0”, 184 lbs, 19.75 years old, bats right handed

.163 average, .517 OPS, 0 HR’s, 4 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Even though he was born in the same city as Rubby De La Rosa (Santo Domingo, DR), I’m pretty sure that Ricardo is not the brother of Rubby.  It is possible they are related, but I couldn’t find any mention of it on the internet.  Even if they are related, I don’t think that it would matter because Ricardo is going nowhere fast.  The light hitting outfielder got into 35 games, but only accumulated 49 at bats for the entire season.  His only hits were 8 singles, so his OPS was a measly .517 for the year.  The only positive stat for the 19 year old was his walk to strikeout ratio, as he walked 14 times and stuck out in just 11 plate appearances.  He is another player who may or may not be back next year.

190.  Ronny Lugo, RF (46 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’2”, 170 lbs, 21 years old, bats right handed

.231 average, .654 OPS, 2 HR’s, 18 RBI’s, 6 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 157;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Ronny Lugo was signed out of Venezuela prior to the 2009 season, but ever since his debut he has posted pretty dismal stats.  In fact, the only damage that Lugo did in 2010 came against left handed pitchers, as righties limited him to a .203 average.  The one good thing about Ronny is that he is versatile as an outfielder, but that will only get you so far.  Overall because his offensive numbers this year did not show any improvement from 2009, and because he is almost 21 years old, I’m guessing that Lugo’s baseball career is probably done. 

189.  Johan Garcia, 3B (78 games in HiA, 16 games in LoA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 4/19/05

6’0”, 170 lbs, 24.5 years old, bats right handed

.243 average, .610 OPS, 3 HR’s 33 RBI’s, 9 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 186;     Pre 2009 Rank: 155

Johan Garcia has been in the Dodgers organization for quite some time now, but he has never really done much of anything.  His career batting average is below .240, he only six total homers his six seasons, and he doesn’t really have a whole lot of speed.  In fact, he has had such a dismal career that his 2010 season was actually one of his best years yet.  His .243 average was the 2nd highest of his career, and his 33 RBI’s almost doubled his previous season high.  I guess the one thing that Garcia has going for him is that he is a versatile infielder, as he can play 3B, 2B, and SS.  At 24 years old, Johan doesn’t seem to have much of a future in baseball, but the Dodgers might just keep him around as a utility player for another season.     

188.  Victor Araujo, RHP (14.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

5’11”, 171 lbs, 21.25 years old

2-0, 2.45 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 2.25 FIP, 11.66 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Victor Araujo had outstanding stats in 2010, but he still has many flaws as a potential prospect.  First, 2010 was his first taste of professional baseball even though he was already 20 years old during the season.  Second, Araujo is very small for a pitcher as he stands at just 5’11”.  Third, Victor only threw 14.2 innings in 2010 so while his stats were good, the sample size is much too small to pass any judgment on him as a player.  Overall, the negatives outweigh the positives for Araujo, so unless he has another great season in 2011 while throwing a lot more innings, this will probably be the last time you read about him.

187.  Steve Cilladi, C (11 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 33rd round

5’9”, 182 lbs, 24 years old, bats right handed

.292 average, .796 OPS, 1 HR’s, 3 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 193;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Despite being 23 years old, Cilladi only participated in 11 games in the Arizona Rookie League in 2010.  In fact, even though he was drafted in 2009, Cilladi has only played in 26 professional games.  To provide a little background on Cilladi, his dad was a former athletic trainer for the Rockies and Cubs, so I’m sure he knows something about conditioning.  He played college ball in the NAIA with the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes, and during his four seasons there Steve hit .267 with 76 hits, so he wasn’t exactly a masher in college.  In addition, he wasn’t even the full time starting catcher during his Senior year.  Since he’s a catcher, Cilladi proves some value to the Dodgers since he can help out in spring training, but besides that I’m not sure how much use the Dodgers have for a 24 year old without much experience.

186.  Jorky Infante, 3B (57 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’0”, 155 lbs, 20 years old, switch hitter

.270 average, .697 OPS, 2 HR’s, 14 RBI’s, 13 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 167;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Born in the Dominican Republic, Jorky Infante has a great name.  He made his professional debut in 2009, but had terrible stats in limited appearances as an 18 year old.  In 2010, Infante was the DSL Dodgers everyday 3rd baseman, and made 13 errors at the hot corner in 49 games.  At the plate, however, Infante proved to be a pretty good all around player, hitting .270 with a couple of homers and stealing 13 bases.  A switch hitter, Infante also showed good plate disciple as he walked 28 times against just 27 strikeouts.  Jorky will be 20 years old when the 2011 season starts, and since his stats don’t warrant a move to a US based league, the Dodgers will have to decide if he is worth keeping around in the DSL for another year.

 

185.  Ariel Botello, RHP (32 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’2”, 217 lbs, 21.25 years old

2-1, 3.66 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 4.39 FIP, 6.75 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The 2010 Dominican Dodgers pitching staff was full pitchers who were too old for the DSL, and Ariel Botello is another perfect example. 2010 was Botello’s first season even though he played the entire season as a 20 year old, and the Dominican native put up decent stats.  He didn’t strike out a ton of batters, but his ERA was respectable and batters hit just .237 against him.  He has a decent pitcher’s frame at 6’2”, but I really don’t see anything too special about Ariel.  At the end of the day, he is really just a body used to fill the Dominican Dodgers roster.

184.  Miguel Sanfler, LHP (70 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/2/02

5’11”, 165 lbs, 26.5 years old

0-3, 5.40 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 4.27 FIP, 6.17 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 162;     Pre 2009 Rank: 102

The highlight of Sanfler’s career was probably in 2005, when he was rated by Baseball America as the 19th best prospect in the Gulf Coast League.  In their write up, BA said that Miguel boasted a 95 mph fastball and a devastating curveball.  Five years later, Sanfler’s stuff seems to have faded.  He has spent the last 4 years in A-ball (two in LoA and 2 in HiA), and has not performed well in any of those seasons.  In fact, his 2010 stats were almost identical to his 2009 stats when he had a 5.48 ERA, a 1.64 WHIP, and a 6.13 K/9.  Similar to years past, Sanfler’s poor control and lack of a strikeout pitch were his biggest problems in 2010 as his strikeout to walk ratio was just 1.41 for the year.  The one positive for Sanfler is that he has been a workhorse through his career, and continued that trend in 2010 with 70 innings out of the bullpen.  Currently a minor league free agent, my guess would be that the 26 year old will not be back with the Dodgers in 2011.

183.  Josh Walter, RHP (95.2 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 6/27/08

6’4”, 250 lbs, 26 years old

1-10, 6.59 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 5.45 FIP, 8.00 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 99;     Pre 2009 Rank: 189

After a good season in 2009, there was some buzz about Josh Walter as a potential prospect.  I didn’t buy into the hype, however, and now I think you can forget about him forever.  The 25 year old had an ERA of 6.59 and – get this – he posted a win/loss record of 1 – 10 for the 66ers in 2010.  He also allowed 13 homers in 95.2 innings, and ranked 2nd in the California league with his 64 walks.  Signed as a non drafted free agent during the 2008 season out of Texas State, 2010 might just have been the last season as a Dodger for the big guy.

182.  Andres Perez, OF (41 games in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 8/9/09 out of independent ball

6’0”, 200 lbs, 26.75 years old, bats right handed

.285 average, .768 OPS, 2 HR’s, 20 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 150;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

As I mentioned last year, Andres Perez played his college ball at Stony Brook University, and during 2006, his Senior season, he hit .327 and led the team with 7 HR’s.  Undrafted out of college, Perez signed with the Yankees as a non drafted free agent in September of 2006.  In 2007, his first professional season, he played at 4 different levels ranging from the Gulf Coast League to HiA.  After an uninspiring season, however, he was cut from the Yankees, so he signed with Tampa Bay before the 2008 season.  After a mediocre season in the Florida State League, he was again let go again.  Unable to find a team to sign with at the beginning of 2009, Perez kept his baseball hopes alive by playing ball with the Newark Bears.  After tearing up the independent league, he signed with the Dodgers midseason in 2009 and played in the California League where he put up very strong numbers in 26 games.  He returned to the 66ers in 2010, but was hurt for most of the season and was very unimpressive for a 26 year old.  A minor league free agent, I am pretty sure that Perez will not be in the Dodgers organization in 2011. 

181.  Luis Rosano, RHP (29.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’2”, 190 lbs, 19.75 years old

1-4, 6.37 ERA, 1.99 WHIP, 6.40 FIP, 4.55 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 145;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

While Rosano wasn’t great in 2009, he was slightly intriguing because at the time he was just 18 year old and had a solid pitchers frame.  I think all expectations of him ever becoming a prospect are gone, however, as Rosano had a terrible season in 2010.  The young man from Venezuela had an ERA of 6.37, and walked as many batters as he struck out (15).  He also allowed 5 homers in his short season, and opposing battings hit .352 against him.  Luis will be 20 years old by the time the 2011 DSL season starts, so if the Dodgers do decide to bring him back he’ll be one of the older players in the league.

180.  Leandro De Dios, RHP (40.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

5’11”, 184 lbs, 21.75 years old

2-3, 2.66 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 3.64 FIP, 7.97 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Leandro De Dios was born in the Dominican Republic, and signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2010 season.  I’m not sure why he waited to sign until he turned 20 years old, but it definitely hurt him in prospect status.  His 5’11” height also isn’t helping him in terms of his ranking.  When you look past his age and height, however, De Dios actually had a very solid season for the Dominican Dodgers.  He was especially effective in the first half of the season, when his 1.71 ERA earned him a spot on the DSL Mid-Season All Star Team.  While he struggled a bit in the final month, opposing batters ended up hitting just .212 against him for the year.  While the Dodgers will probably keep him around for another year, his great stats do not offset his age and stature enough for me to believe that he’ll ever make it to a US based league.

179.  Webster Rivas, 1B/C (59 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’0”, 195 lbs, 20.5 years old, bats right handed

.246 average, .662 OPS, 1 HR, 34 RBI’s, 3 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Webster Rivas, a Dominican native, was signed in 2010 and played his 1st professional season as a 19 year old.  While he’s listed as a catcher and did make a few starts behind the plate, Webster was actually the Dominican Dodgers’ primary 1st baseman in 2010.  Despite a .246 average for the season, I would say that he had a relatively strong offensive year given that the DSL is a pitcher friendly league.  Rivas lead the Dodgers in both doubles and RBI’s, and was extremely tough to strikeout (just 12 K’s in 239 plate appearances).  Nevertheless, he isn’t much of a prospect and will most likely repeat in the DSL in 2011.

 

178.  Florencio Bustillos, RHP (Did not play in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’0”, 209 lbs, 21.75 years old

No stats in 2010

Pre 2010 Rank: 121;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Florencio Bustillos didn’t play at all for the Dodgers in 2010, however per the Dodgers he is still in the organization as of the end of this past season.  The Mexican born pitcher spent several seasons in the Mexican League before signing with the Dodgers, and played in the Dominican Summer League in 2009.  As mentioned, he didn’t play in 2010 for an unknown reason, but is currently playing in the Mexican Winter League so he is healthy.  Unfortunately, his current stats in Mexico are pretty ugly, as he has a 12.00 ERA in 5 appearances.  I gave Bustillos a relatively favorable ranking after the 2009 season because he had an outstanding strikeout to walk ratio, however since the 21 years old has yet to play in a leaguer higher than the DSL, I think it’s safe to say that Bustillos won’t even made an impact with the Dodgers.

177.  Adam Dedeaux, LHP (10.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed 7/1/10 as Non Drafted Free Agent

6’0”, 200 lbs, 24.75 years old

0-0, 4.22 ERA, 1.69 WHIP, 1.98 FIP, 14.3 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

The Dodgers signed Adam Dedeaux as a non drafted free agent out of the University of Southern California.  Given that Dedeaux was used sparingly at USC and had a college career ERA above 6, it is possible that Dodgers signed Adam as a favor to his grandfather.  You see, Dedeaux’s grandfather and long-time USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux was great friends with Tommy Lasorda before Rod passed away in 2006, so you can see the connection.  Whether or not he was signed as a favor doesn’t change the fact that Adam is extremely old to be starting his professional career.  In addition, the 24 year old pitched just 10.2 innings in the Arizona Rookie League.  The only good news is that Dedeaux had solid peripherals in his limited appearances, and would have posted a much better ERA for the season had he not allowed 4 earned runs in his final appearance of 2010.  Since he didn’t get much of a chance to pitch in 2010, I’m sure the Dodgers will give the lefty another look in 2011.  His most likely destination next season would be with the Great Lakes Loons.

176.  Delvis Morales, SS (65 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’1”, 146 lbs, 20.5 years old, switch hitter

.220 average, .583 OPS, 0 HR’s, 15 RBI’s, 18 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 196;     Pre 2009 Rank: 175  

Delvis Morales got a little bit of a late start on his baseball career as he didn’t play his first professional game until he was 19 and a half years old.  After seeing his stats in 2010, he is slightly intriguing because he is a switch hitting shortstop with good speed and a great eye (37 walks against 33 strikeouts), but the positives end there.  He only hit .220 for the year and made 17 errors in the field.  He also weighs less than Dee Gordon, which I thought was impossible.  I think Morales will return to the DSL for 2011, but due to his age he doesn’t have any real value at this point.

175.  Faustino Oguisten, SS/2B/3B (31 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’2”, 165 lbs, 20 years old, bats right handed

.253 average, .693 OPS, 0 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 163;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

After a terrible offensive season in 2009, in which he did not have an extra base hit in 79 at bats, Faustino Oguisten showed a little bit of improvement this past season.  Every one of his offensive stats progressed in 2010, and he even managed to record 6 doubles.  Even still, I was definitely hoping for a lot more out of Oguisten as I thought that he’d be able to add some muscle to his wiry frame.  Really the only thing he has going for him now is the fact that he can play all over the infield, although his defense at shortstop has been pretty shaky over the past 2 seasons.  Because he is still relatively young (he turns 20 this coming January) and has a solid frame, the Dodgers will probably keep the Dominican native around for at least one more season to see if he shows any more development as he matures.

174.  Keyter Collado, C (1 game in AAA, 9 games in AA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 5/27/04

5’9”, 182 lbs, 24.75 years old, bats right handed

.314 average, .676 OPS, 0 HR’s, 2 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 190;     Pre 2009 Rank: 154

I really don’t know what to make of Keyter Collado’s minor league career thus far.  From 2004 through 2009, Collado was stuck playing in various rookie ball leagues, putting up average stats and showing absolutely no power.  Then, all of sudden in 2010, the Dodgers started Collado off in AAA for one game, then dropped him back to AA for the rest of the season.  Granted he only played in 10 total games for 2010, but still, that is a little strange.  In addition, speaking of limited playing time, Collado has only played in 42 games combined over the past 3 seasons.  I know that during 2010 he went on and came off the DL a few times, but it was a little suspicious because he always came off the DL right when the team was short a catcher, and he had to fill in.  It’s almost like he is being used as a player/coach and maybe even as a translator, although he’s a little young to be a mentor in the upper minor leagues.  Whatever Collado is doing, the Dodgers must be pleased because he was re-signed after the season as a minor league free agent.

173.  Joseph Becker, 2B/SS (16 games LoA, 6 games Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 1/11/07

5’11, 175 lbs, 25.25 years old, bats right handed

.314 average, .772 OPS, 0 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 169;     Pre 2009 Rank: 190

Becker was originally signed by the Dodgers as a non drafted free agent in 2007 out of Antelope Valley College, where he hit .350 for his career.  Since signing, Becker has played at every Dodger minor league level except for the Dominican Summer League.  That includes AAA, which is where he spent 2 games in his very first professional season.  In 2010, however, Becker only played 20 total games due to an arm injury.  After a short rehab assignment in Arizona in August, he spent the final month of the season with the Great Lakes Loons where he hit .255 in 16 games.  Given his well-travel past, it is anyone’s guess as to where he will spend the 2011 season.  Where ever he ends up, however, it’s going to be tough for this 25 year old light hitting middle infielder to make any impact with the Dodgers in the future.

172.  Ivan Eugenia, RHP (1 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’1”, 185 lbs, 19.5 years old

0-0, 9.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 9.20 FIP, 0.00 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 153;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

I have no idea what happened to Ivan Eugenia in 2010.  After pitching 14 innings as an 18 year old in 2009, Eugenia only threw 1 inning this past season.  That one inning occurred right in the middle of the season, so I’m guessing he was injured to start the season, and then re-aggravated the injury in his one appearance.  Since you can’t really look at his limited stats this year, we can go back to his 2009 season where he had a 5.79 ERA to go along with a 9.64 K/9.  Still one of the younger pitchers in the organization, I’m hoping that Ivan will reemerge in 2011 and get in a full season of work.

171.  Stetson Banks, CF (20 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 22nd round

6’0”, 185 lbs, 23 years old, bats right handed

.283 average, .646 OPS, 0 HR’s, 3 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 143;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Stetson Banks was drafted out of BYU in the 22nd round of the 2009 draft.  He only played two years in college, however, because he served his Mormon mission in 2007 and 2008.  During his 2009 college season, Banks hit .348 and stole 23 bases in 29 attempts.  He is a great athlete, which he demonstrated in high school by being named second team all-state in football as a wide receiver.  Furthermore, his uncle Brian Banks made it to the major leagues earlier in the decade, so he does have some decent bloodlines. Since turning pro, however, Banks hasn’t done much at all.  After hitting .231 in the Arizona Rookie League in 2009, Banks was limited to just 20 games in 2010.  He spent his abbreviated season with the Loons, and recorded just two extra base hits.  In addition, with zero stolen bases in 2010, Banks seemed to have lost his speed, which had previously been his biggest asset.  He is still relatively young at 23 and plays a solid center field, but unfortunately I don’t think Stetson will ever be a legitimate prospect.

170.  Carlos Mercedes, 1B (33 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’2”, 190 lbs, 19.75 years old, bats right handed

.253 average, .779 OPS, 2 HR’s, 9 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 159;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Carlos Mercedes is a young Dominican player who made his professional debut in 2009.  He was only 17 when he played his first professional game, and his lack of experience showed.  He hit just .133 during the 2009 season, and had an OPS of .486.  In 2010, however, Mercedes showed some improvement in the DSL as he almost doubled both this average and his OPS.  Even still, Mercedes didn’t have a great season as he only collected 9 extra base hits for the year, and amazingly struck out in 40.4% of plate appearances.  That number makes Kyle Russell look like a contact hitter.  In addition, the fact that he plays 1st base doesn’t help his cause because you generally expect big offensive numbers out of a corner infielder.  Because he’s still just 19 years old he still has a chance to make a name for himself, but it’s going to take a big season in 2011 for that to happen.

 

169.  Joseph Lincoln, C (15 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 34th round

6’4”, 210 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats right handed

.179 average, .484 OPS, 0 HR’s, 4 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Joseph Lincoln is a big catcher that was drafted out of Missouri Southern in the 34th round of the 2010 draft.  In his one year with the MSSU Lions (he had previously played one year each a Maple Woods CC and Kansas University), Lincoln hit .434 with a team high 53 RBI’s and 11 homers.  Going back to his high school days, Lincoln had an incredible senior season as he hit .629 with eight homers, 51 RBI’s, and 16 stolen bases.  Unfortunately, Lincoln’s previous success didn’t translate to his professional debut.  Joseph only got into 15 games, and in his limited at bats Lincoln hit just .179 and did not record an extra base hit.  In addition to his size, the good news is that Lincoln will play the entire 2011 season as a 22 year old, so he is still relatively young.  There is even a chance he’ll get promoted to LoA next season, although he’ll surely be a backup no matter where he plays. 

168.  Jose Ramirez, OF (62 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’2”, 200 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats right handed

.279 average, .763 OPS, 5 HR’s, 33 RBI’s, 14 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 180;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

After a terrible debut season in 2009, Jose Ramirez turned things around in 2010.  While his stats weren’t amazing, he was good enough to be named as the DSL offensive MVP by yours truly.  The 22 year old isn’t a prospect by any means, but did rank among the DSL Dodgers leaders in several offense categories.  His 5 homers were tops on the team, as was his .763 OPS (minimum 80 at bats).  He also ranked 2nd on the Dodgers with 33 RBI’s and 14 SB’s, and did not make an error all season while playing all over the outfield.  Because of his solid 2010 season, the Dodgers may decide to bring Ramirez to a US based rookie league in 2011 despite the fact that he is a little older than most players promoted from the DSL.

167.  Cody White, LHP (23.1 IP in AAA, 27.1 IP in HiA, 6 IP in Arizona League)

Drafted by Dodgers 2003, 12th round

6’3”, 185 lbs, 26 years old

3-4, 7.31 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 5.32 FIP, 5.32 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 130;     Pre 2009 Rank: 125

Not too long ago, Cody White was considered a legitimate Dodger prospect.  He was ranked #24 in the 2007 Baseball America prospect handbook, and in the 2008 version of the handbook he was listed as having the system’s best changeup.  Even after missing the 2009 season, White was including in the 2010 BA handbook in the LHP depth chart.  All of these accolades did not come without just cause, as his ERA was 2.68 and 3.14 in 2006 and 2007 respectively.  However, White’s troubles started in 2008.  His ERA jumped to 4.94, and his strikeout rate dropped to 5.81 per 9 innings.  In addition, his heavy workload of just about 146 innings in 2008 probably attributed to the fact that he missed the 2009 season.  White returned to the mound in 2010 and started the year in HiA.  After just a few games, however, he promoted all the way up to AAA to replenish the Isotopes injury depleted pitching staff.  Unfortunately, White was terrible in both the California League and the PCL which led to his combined 7.31 ERA.  His WHIP was also awful, and batters hit .322 against him for the season.  Currently a minor league free agent, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cody was with a different organization in 2011.

166.  Jesus Rodriguez, RHP (38.2 IP AAA, 23.1 IP AA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 1/20/05

6’0”, 180 lbs, 25.5 years old

4-2, 5.52 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 5.10 FIP, 5.08 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 128;     Pre 2009 Rank: 141

Jesus Rodriguez has made steady progress through the Dodgers minor league system since signing with the organization in 2005 out of Mexico.  From Pioneer Rookie League to AAA, Rodriguez has spent time at every level.  He first reached AA in 2008, and then spent all of 2009 there as well.  In 2010 he again found himself in Chattanooga to start the season, but was promoted to Albuquerque in May despite 5.01 ERA with the Lookouts.  With the Isotopes, Jesus continued to be mediocre, recording a 5.82 ERA and just 18 strikeouts in 38.2 innings.  Speaking of strikeouts, getting guys to swing and miss has always been Rodriguez’s biggest problem as he has only struck out 5.5 batters per 9 for his career.  And when you are not sinker ball pitcher, the more balls that are put in play, the higher your ERA is going to be.  Also, at 6’0” and 180 pounds, Rodriguez isn’t an imposing presence on the mound by any means.  In regards to his future, the 25 year old will definitely be around next season to provide middle relief because he is a valuable organizational player.  However, it doesn’t seem like he has what it takes to make it as a reliever at the next level.  To further that point, he is currently playing in the Mexican Winter League and has an 11.28 ERA through 22.1 innings.

165.  Charlie Mirabal, SS (36 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 3/1/07

5’11”, 164 lbs, 24 years old, bats right handed

.295 average, .716 OPS, 0 HR’s, 21 RBI’s, 8 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 161;     Pre 2009 Rank: 79

As I’ve written before, Charlie Mirabal is an interesting story.  He was signed by the Dodgers after he performed well during an open tryout before the 2007 season.  Originally a middle infielder, Mirabal struggled during the 2007 season in the Dominican Summer League.  So the Dodgers decided to try him out as a pitcher during 2008, and he put up some great numbers.  He had a 1.99 ERA in 32 innings and had an outstanding strikeout rate.  Based on those facts, one would think that Mirabal would continue to pitch in 2009 in one of the U.S. based rookie leagues right?  Well, that was not the case as the Dodgers had different plans for Miarbal, and decided to move him back to shortstop in 2009 while keeping him in the DSL.  I don’t really understand this decision at all given Charlie’s success on the mound in 2008, and I decided that the only reasonable explanation would be that he had some sort of a minor injury to his pitching arm.  Whatever the case, Mirabal had another lackluster season as a position player in 2009, and I thought that the Dodgers might try Mirabal on the mound again in 2010.  However, while the Dodgers did promote Charlie to the Arizona League in 2010, they continued to play him at shortstop.  He did have a decent season, as he led all Arizona Dodgers with a .295 average (minimum 80 at bats), but he didn’t really show any other plus skills.  He has never hit a professional home run, and has average speed at best.  In addition, playing as a 23 year old, he was quite old for the Arizona Rookie League.  Since he is now probably too old be to be converted back to pitcher, I can see Mirabal playing the role of a backup infielder for the Loons in 2011.

164.  Chris Gutierrez, SS (121 games in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers on 3/1/2010

5’9”, 185 lbs, 27 years old, bats right handed

.312 average, .806 OPS, 1 HR, 35 RBI’s, 16 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Gutierrez actually had a pretty good season for the 66ers, hitting .312 and holding down the most difficult defensive position on the field all season long.  However, the 26 years old Gutierrez was much older than his competition, so he was really just doing his best to keep the team competitive in an organization that is a little bit thin in quality shortstops.  Originally signed by the Blue Jays as a non drafted free agent in 2005, Gutierrez was with Toronto until midway through 2009.  He then spent a little bit of time with the Angeles in 2009, making it all the way to AAA, before signing with the Dodgers in 2010.  At his age, I highly doubt he’ll be back in the Dodgers organization next year; especially since he is a minor league free agent.

163.  Pedro Tavarez, C (12 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 3/12/07

6’0”, 215 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.222 average, .465 OPS, 0 HR’s, 0 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 104;     Pre 2009 Rank: 183

You’ll notice that Pedro Tavarez has jumped around in my rankings in the past few years.  Prior to the 2009 season, he was coming off of two terrible seasons in the DSL so I ranked him #183.  In 2009, however, he was promoted to the Arizona League and had a solid year with a .325 average and was named to the post season all star team.  That prompted me to rank him #104 last year, although I wrote that I still wasn’t sold on him and that he would really need to prove himself in 2010.  Well that didn’t happen at all as Tavarez played in only 12 games with the Ogden Raptors this past season, and didn’t collect an extra base hit all year. In addition, it should be noted that it wasn’t injuries that limited his playing time in 2010 because his 12 games were spread all throughout the season.  Instead, the Raptors simply didn’t have enough starts to go around at catcher, and Tavarez was the odd man out.  Given his lack of playing time, I doubt that Tavarez would be promoted in 2011, so it looks like he’ll stay in Ogden for another year.  Now 23 years old, he is losing value fast.

162.  Gari Tavarez, RHP (23.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2006

6’0”, 170 lbs, 23.25 years old

1-0, 4.94 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 3.37 FIP, 6.84 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 184;     Pre 2009 Rank: 149

After getting promoted from the DSL a US based league in 2008, Gari Tavarez’s career has stalled.  He has spent 2008 in the Gulf Coast League, and then the last two seasons in the Arizona Rookie League.  His combined stats in the US based rookie leagues over the past 3 seasons are a 5.42 ERA, a 1.61 WHIP, and a 6.5 K/9, so he hasn’t really deserved a promotion.  However, his 2010 stats were slightly better than the previous two seasons, and he is still just 23 years old, so it is possible that he’ll finally get promoted beyond Arizona 2011.  While his frame appears to be best suited for a career in the bullpen, the Dodgers are hoping that Tavarez will at some point recapture the form he had back in 2007 when he dominated the Dominican Summer League as a 19 year old with a 1.49 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in 66.2 innings.

161.  Roman Pena, OF (21 games in HiA in 2010 – Indians Organization)

Trade with Indians for Preston Mattingly

6’0”, 190 lbs, 24.5 years old, bats left handed

.148 average, .602 OPS, 2 HR’s, 9 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Roman Pena was acquired by the Dodgers from the Indians after Don Mattingly requested that his son be traded in order for him to get a fresh start.  When you look at the trade, it was really an exchange of struggling players as both Preston Mattingly and Pena have been terrible in the minor league careers.  We all know how bad Preston was, so let’s look at how Roman has done since getting drafted by the Indians in the 9th round of the 2005 draft.  His debut season was in 2006, and he actually did pretty well with a .302 average and 7 homers in 56 games.  Since then, however, he’s been dreadful.  In 2009, Pena hit .204 over a full season in the Carolina League.  Then in 2010, while repeating in HiA, Roman batted just .148 through 21 games before his season ended due to an injury.  Now 24 years old, I can’t see Pena being more than organizational depth for the Dodgers in either HiA or AA next season.  He doesn’t seem to have any tool that stands out, so I don’t really see him going anywhere.

160.  Eric Thompson, RHP (3.2 IP in AAA, 3 IP in AA, 20 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2006, 23rd round

6’6”, 210 lbs, 23 years old

0-1, 9.79 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, 6.20 FIP, 7.76 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 156;     Pre 2009 Rank: 121

Eric Thompson was drafted out of high school in 2006, and even though he was a 23rd round pick, the Dodgers had to pay him a fairly large signing bonus to convince him put his basketball career aside.  The thought was that the 6’6” pitcher would have the ideal frame and size to be a power pitcher.  After three years of struggling through Rookie ball, Thompson finally got the chance to play against tougher competition in 2010.  The results were very ugly, however, as Thompson amassed a combined 9.79 ERA through stops in Inland Empire, Chattanooga, and Albuquerque.  Like a few other Dodger minor leaguers, Thompson served as an emergency fill in when injuries struck the upper minor leagues.  Probably the biggest surprise to his season was that after spending all of 2009 in the Pioneer League, Thompson actually made his 2010 debut in AAA.  He only lasted for two appearances before moving down to AA for a single spot start.  He finally settled in with the 66ers as he spent the final 2 months of the season in Inland Empire, but had an 8.10 ERA through 20 innings.  Playing the entire 2010 season as a 22 year old, Thomason was simply unable to find a groove and it showed in his stats.  I’m guessing that Eric would have been better off spending the entire season in either LoA or HiA, but the Dodgers had other plans.  Despite his ugly stats, Thompson still seemed to have potential, and I was hoping he’d get the chance to prove that with a full season in Rancho Cucamonga next season.  However, he has been released per Baseball America, so he won’t be around next year.  Since I had already finalized my ranking by the time he was released, this is basically where he would have ranked had he stayed in the Dodgers system for 2011.

 

159.  Adner Ruiz, LHP (39.1 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’1”, 180 lbs, 22 years old

1-2, 2.06 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.53 FIP, 7.55 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Adner Ruiz isn’t your typical Dominican Summer League because the Dodgers are actually his 2nd organization.  He started is professional career with the Cubs in 2008, and actually had outstanding stats in both 2008 and 2009.  In 2008, he had a 1.91 ERA in 47 innings and batters hit .177 against him, and in 2009 he had a 2.37 ERA in 38 innings and batters hit .171 against him.  Nevertheless, the Cubs released Ruiz at the end of the 2009 season probably because he was already 20 years old.   The Dodgers didn’t let his age scare them however, as they decided to take a chance on him in 2010.  Ruiz had yet another solid season, albeit against much younger competition, as he posted a 2.06 ERA.  He did walk too many batters, which is why his WHIP was a little high, but that was really the only negative to his season.  At the end of the year, the Dodgers must have seen something they liked because he has already been re-signed for 2011 (according to Baseball America).  I highly doubt the Dodgers would re-sign Ruiz to send him back to the DSL, so I expect him to make an appearance in Arizona next season.

158.  Raul Burgos, RHP (24.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Acquired in 2009 minor league portion of Rule 5 draft

6’1”, 210 lbs, 23.5 years old

1-1, 4.74 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 2.92 FIP, 9.12 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Raul Burgos was signed by the Giants out of the Dominican Republic prior to the 2005 season.  After spending two seasons as a position player in the DSL, Burgos was moved to the mound because he was unable to get his average above .190 in either season.  He spent 2007 pitching in the DSL, and then was moved to the Arizona League where he spent all of 2008 and 2009 and had a combined ERA over 5 over 26 innings.  After the 2009 season, Raul was selected by the Dodgers in the AA portion of the Rule 5 draft and was sent to the Pioneer League for 2010.  With the Raptors, Burgos had a 4.74 ERA and batters hit .330 against him, but his FIP was a more impressive 2.92 due to his solid strikeout to walk ratio and the fact that he only allowed 1 homer all year.  Now 23 years old, Burgos will probably play in either LoA or HiA in 2011 and will try to hold his own against older competition.

157.  Jose Capellan, C (16 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’0”, 190 lbs, 20.5 years old, bats right handed

.326 average, .828 OPS, 1 HR, 8 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 135;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A 

Jose Capellan is a 2nd year catcher of out the Dominican Republic who didn’t join the Dominican Dodgers until the end of July due to an undisclosed injury.  He did his best to make up for lost time, however, hitting .323 in 46 at bats to go along with a .828 OPS.  Capellan also posted a solid walk to strikeout ratio in the 16 games that he played, and is the perfect size for a catcher.  Despite his lack of playing time in 2010, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jose in the Arizona Rookie League for the 2011 season.

156.  Josmar Cordero, C (51 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

5’10, 175 lbs, 19.5 years old, bats right handed

.255 average, .705 OPS, 4 HR’s, 20 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Josmar Cordero was signed out of Venezuela prior to the 2010 season, and led the Dominican Dodger in innings behind the plate.  He also had by far had the best season among Dominican Dodger catchers as Cordero threw out 48% of potential base stealers, and also had a very strong showing with the bat.  He finished 2nd on the team with 4 homers, and posted a .705 OPS.  In addition, he played the entire season as an 18 year old, so he is still very young.  While Cordero will most likely require another season in the DSL, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the Arizona Rookie League in 2012.

155.  Marlon Urriola, RHP (28.1 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 5/25/06

6’2”, 165 lbs, 22.75 years old

2-4, 3.18 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4.01 FIP, 7.31 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 181;     Pre 2009 Rank: 117

 Marlon Urriola has been in the Dodgers organization since 2006, when he debuted as a 17 year old.  After spending three seasons in the DSL, the Dodgers promoted Urriola to the Arizona Rookie league in 2009.  Unfortunately, he only appeared in 2 games that season due to what I can only assume was some sort of an injury.  In 2010, Marlon was able to get in a more work as he appeared in 14 games and threw 28.1 innings while posting a solid 3.18 ERA.  However, Urriola’s peripherals were not quite as good as his FIP was 4.01, his strikeout rate was on the low side, and batters hit .261 against him.  That prompted the Dodgers to release the 22 year old in December.  I think that’s a little unfortunate because Urriloa is still pretty young yet already has 5 years of minor league experience under his belt, but I can see where the Dodgers are coming from.  Since I had already finalized my ranking by the time he was released, this is basically where he would have ranked had he stayed in the Dodgers system for 2011.

154.  Leo Rodriguez, 2B (49 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010           

5’11”, 160 lbs, 19 years old, bats right handed

.277 average, .682 OPS, 0 HR’s, 12 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Leo Rodriguez was signed out of the Dominican Republic prior to the 2010 season, and made his professional debut with the DSL Dodgers.  He was the Dodgers main 2nd baseman, although he also spent time at 3rd base and shortstop.  He played the entire season as an 18 year old, and held his own at the plate with a .277 average and a .682 OPS.  The 5’11” infielder also demonstrated great plate discipline and made good contact as he walked almost as much as he struck out in 2010.  While Rodriguez didn’t really show any power or speed, the one thing he has going for him is his youth.  If he can have a solid season in the DSL in 2011, he should be on track to make the jump to a US based rookie league in 2012.  That’s a big IF, but I always hope for the best.

153.  B.J. Larosa, C (10 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 23rd round

6’2”, 200 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats right handed

.280 average, .791 OPS, 0 HR’s, 2 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

B.J. Larosa was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft out of Bucknell University.  The chemical engineering major was coming off a senior season in which he hit a team-high .371 and only struck out 19 times in 202 at bats as the team’s starting catcher.  Larosa signed quickly with the Dodgers, and while he probably should have gone to the Pioneer League because of his age, he was assigned to the Arizona Rookie League because the Ogden Raptors already had too many catchers.  He played every couple of days through the month of July, but then sat out the rest of the season for an unknown reason.  Overall Larosa played in just 10 games, and through 25 at bats the only skill he was able to show off was his ability to walk.  B.J. took a base on balls in over 25% of his plate appearances which led to an impressive .471 on base percentage.  Despite being 22 years old, I highly doubt Larosa will make it to a full season league in 2011 due to the aforementioned logjam of young catchers.  Hopefully that won’t stunt his career before he really even gets a chance to play.

152.  Irvit Mendez, RHP (32.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008           

6’6”, 225 lbs, 20.75 years old

1-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 9.92 K/9, 3.97 FIP

Pre 2010 Rank: 196;     Pre 2009 Rank: 175  

After making just 4 appearances in his first two professional seasons (1 game in 2008 and 3 games in 2009), Irvit Mendez finally got a chance to play a full season in 2010.  In 32.2 innings, Mendez had a solid ERA and strikeout rate, but his WHIP was very high due to his extreme lack of control.  Mendez averaged almost a walk per inning, which is actually an improvement over the previous two seasons when he had 12 walks in just 1.1 innings (yes you read that correctly).  Still just 20 years and entering his 4th professional season, the Dodgers will probably keep Mendez around because he has a great pitcher’s frame and apparently has good stuff when he can find the plate.  He might even make it to a US based league in 2011 since I’m not sure the Dodgers keep any player in the DSL for 4 seasons. 

151.  Mike Drowne, OF (4 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 28th round

5’10”, 175 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats right handed

.143 average, .393 OPS, 0 HR’s, 1 RBI, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Mike Drowne is a leadoff type hitter who the Dodgers selected in the 28th round of the 2010 draft out of Sacred Heart University (Connecticut).  In his senior season at Sacred Heart, Drowne hit .313 with 33 stolen bases and set a school record with 65 runs scored.  Upon getting drafted, Drowne said “It feels great. It’s everything I’ve worked for my whole life and to achieve that goal is amazing.”  Drowne signed quickly, and got into a few games in late June with the Arizona Dodgers before getting shut down until late August.  Overall, Mike got into just 4 games in his first professional season.  There isn’t a lot of upside with Drowne, but as a 28th round selection there wasn’t much risk with the pick either.  The 22 year old will probably spend 2011 in the Pioneer League in order to get some additional experience before playing in a full season league. 

150.  Pete Budkevics, RHP (40 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed 6/28/10 as Non Drafted Free Agent        

6’2”, 165 lbs, 23.25 years old

4-1, 3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 3.85 FIP, 9.90 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

The Dodgers signed Pete Budkevics as a non drafted free agent this past June out of C.W. Post (aka Long Island University).  Budkevics had a solid senior season for the Pioneers, leading the team with 8 wins, posting a 2.97 ERA, and allowing just a .203 batting average against.  He also left his school as the career strikeout leader with 291 K’s over 4 years.  Shortly after signing with the Dodgers, Pete was assigned to the Ogden Raptors and probably surprised a lot of people by recording strong stats in 40 innings.  Playing as a 23 year old, Budkevics had a 3.38 ERA and struck out more than a batter per inning.  He also proved to be very versatile as he made five starts towards the end of the season.  However he was much more effective as a reliever as his ERA was 1.06 out of the bullpen compared to 5.09 as a starter.  Budkevics is a prime candidate to move to a full season league in 2011, and I’m guessing he’ll find himself in the Loons bullpen next season.

149.  Chance Gilmore, OF (14 games in Pioneer League, 27 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 25th round

5’11”, 187 lbs, 24 years old, bats left handed

.257 average, .792 OPS, 3 HR’s 21 RBI’s, 9 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jeremy “Chance” Gilmore was drafted in 2010 out of Coastal Carolina, where his dad Gary was the head coach.  Chance had a solid season as a junior in 2009, and then really made his dad proud in 2010 as he hit .341 with 12 homers and 54 RBI’s and helped his team reach the super regionals in the NCAA baseball tournament.  Gilmore signed with the Dodgers quickly, and was initially sent to the Pioneer League.  He struggled through 14 games with the Raptors, and as more 2010 draftees signed, he was demoted to the Arizona League because the Ogden roster got crowded.  Gilmore posted better stats in Arizona, including a .837 OPS, but that is probably a function of him playing against much younger competition.  A center fielder in college, Chance played almost exclusively in left and right field in his professional debut because James Baldwin and Leon Landry were the main center fielders for their respective teams.  Since he will already be 24 years old when the 2011 season starts, the future for Gilmore doesn’t look especially bright.  Nevertheless, I’m rooting for him to succeed wherever he plays next season.

148.  Jessie Mier, C (46 games in AA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 12th round

6’1”, 215 lbs, 26 years old, bats right handed

.269 average, .686 OPS, 1 HR, 14 RBI’s, 3 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 151;     Pre 2009 Rank: 115

Jessie Mier was selected by the Rangers in the minor league portion of the 2010 Rule 5 draft, so he is no longer in the Dodgers organization.  Had he remained with the Dodgers, this is where he would have ranked.  The reason he is included in my rankings because I compiled my list prior to the Rule 5 this year.  Anyways, Jessie is the less talented, older brother of Jiovanni Mier, who was drafted by the Astros with the 21st overall pick in the 2009 draft.  Drafted out of Lewis-Clark College in 2007, Jessie spent the 2010 season in Chattanooga and was actually relatively decent with the bat.  But the sample size of his stats was still very small since he only accumulated 145 at bats for the season.  While he is known as one of the better defensive catchers in the Dodgers system, Mier’s career offensive stats suggest that he doesn’t have what it takes to ever make it to the major leagues.

147.  Jake McCarter, RHP (37.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

6’2”, 200 lbs, 26.5 years old

0-2, 3.38 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 2.85 FIP, 11.09 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 120;     Pre 2009 Rank: 158

As I mentioned last year, McCarter, has a very interesting back story.  Believe it or not, McCarter was drafted four different times, yet never signed with any of the teams that drafted him.  His draft year, round, and team were as follows: 2003 40th round Reds, 2004 28th round Yankees, 2005 39th round Nationals, and 2006 45th Red Sox.  Obviously, based on the round numbers that he was drafted in, teams were not amazed by his talent by any means.  Anyways, in regards to his college career, McCarter played in junior college for two years before transferring to Alabama.  In 2006, Jake was very successful with the Crimson Tide (2.32 ERA in 62 innings), but he decided to transfer to Oklahoma after the season.  After being forced to sit out the 2007 season due to NCAA rules, McCarter was handed the closer role for the Sooners in 2008.  While he did pick up 9 saves throughout the season, he had a very ugly ERA of 7.11, which is why he was not drafted for a 5th time in 2008.  Instead, he signed as a non drafted free agent with the Dodgers after the 2008 college season, and got his first taste of professional ball in the Gulf Coast League.  After a great 2009 season with Inland Empire, in which McCarter lead all 2009 Dodger minor leaguers with a .193 batting average against, I would have guessed that McCarter would take the logical next step to AA in 2010.  However, Jake was injured at the beginning of the season, and when he healed the Dodgers decided to send him to the Pioneer League.  It really makes no sense for a 25 year old with two years of professional experience to play in a rookie league, so I don’t know why the Dodgers sent him there, but I guess the good news is that McCarter did have a great season.  Batters hit just .217 against him, and he struck out over 11 batters per 9 innings.  In addition, his WHIP was one of the best in the Dodgers system.  Now 26 years old, it’s a crapshoot as to where McCarter will play in 2011.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on any roster from LoA to AAA.  I do hope that he gets a chance to prove himself against real competition because while I don’t know how hard he throws or what his pitches are, I do know that he has posted great stats in each of the last two seasons while playing in two hitter friendly leagues.

146.  Bobby Blevins, RHP (17.1 IP in AAA, 20.1 IP in AA, 68 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 13th round

6’0”, 200 lbs, 26 years old

4-10, 5.62 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 4.87 FIP, 5.03 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 108;     Pre 2009 Rank: 80

After progressing slowly through the Dodgers system during his first 3 professional seasons, Blevins saw a lot of movement in 2010.  The right hander started and ended the season with the 66ers in HiA, but from June 8th through July 24th Blevins split his time between AA and AAA because the Dodgers had a shortage of arms in their upper minors during that time period.  The interesting thing about his season is that Bobby’s ERA actually got better against the tougher competition.  His ERA with the 66ers was 6.09, with the Lookouts it was 5.31, and with the Isotopes it was 4.15.  However, his FIP of 7.47 and his remarkably low K/9 of 2.6 while in Albuquerque suggests that he was getting extremely lucky in AAA.  Also, when you combine his stats for all of 2010, batters hit .326 against him.  In terms of his stuff, Blevin’s doesn’t throw extremely hard, but has a lot of different pitches, including 4 types of fastballs (4-seamer, 2-seamer, cutter, and sidearm).  Judging from his career strikeout rate of 6.5 batters per 9 innings, he doesn’t really have a solid put away pitch.  At 26 years old, Blevins will probably spend 2011 doing what he did best in 2010: filling in when needed on various rosters.  

145.  Thomas Melgarejo, LHP (3.1 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 12/1/05

6’1”, 216 lbs, 24 years old

0-0, 8.10 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 4.10 FIP, 13.50 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 158;     Pre 2009 Rank: 91

A native of Mexico who was signed by the Dodgers before the 2006 season, Thomas Melgarejo was actually on loan to his home country for almost all of 2010.  Melgarejo played on the Saraperos de Saltillo, and did very well out of their bullpen.  In 52 appearances, spanning 44.2 innings, Melgarejo posted a 2.01 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and a .214 batting average against.  That was a huge improvement from 2009 when he had a 5.70 ERA with the 66ers.  Even though he stuck out 5 batters in 3.1 innings after rejoining the Dodgers, the one thing about Thomas is that his strikeout rate has historically been relatively low.   Nevertheless, given his experience, success in 2010, and the fact that he’ll be 24 years old next season, I expect Melgarejo to move up to AA in 2011.  He is currently playing in the Mexican Winter League and has an ERA of 7.00 through 9 innings.

 

144.  Christian Lara, SS (108 games in LoA, 2 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Acquired via trade with Red Sox in April 2008 for Eric Hull

5’11, 185 lbs, 25.75 years old, switch hitter

.288 average, .810 OPS, 10 HR’s, 50 RBI’s, 17 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 183;     Pre 2009 Rank: 200

Christian Lara had a bit of a resurgence with the Loons in 2010, but I’m going to attribute that to the fact that he was much older than the rest of the league, and had already played 3 seasons of HiA heading into the season.  He stunned a lot of people with 10 homers and a .290 average, but at 25 years old that is basically expected out of him.  The one thing that surprised me about Lara was that while browsing through the old Baseball America archives, I discovered that he was once a legitimate prospect.  In 2003, Lara was the Red Sox player of the year for their Dominican Summer League.  In 2004, Lara was actually ranked the 9th best prospect in the Gulf Coast League after hitting .433 in 60 at bats.  During that season, Lara apparently had “good on-base ability and speed and focuses on getting the most out of those tools”.   Heading back to present times, Lara is no longer a legitimate prospect despite his solid 2010 season.  He is much too old to ever make it to the big leagues, although the Dodgers did already re-sign him this offseason (he was a minor league free agent).  In addition, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got a shot in AA in 2011, but I expect him to struggle against the older competition.

143.  Bret Montgomery, RHP (1 IP in Arizona League, 52.1 IP in Pioneer League)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 46th round

6’6”, 250 lbs, 25.5 years old

4-3, 4.89 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 2.49 FIP, 9.28 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Bret Montgomery is a local boy who was the Dodgers 46th round pick in 2010.  He was born in Thousand Oaks, and played his college ball at Cal State Dominguez Hills.  In his 3 seasons with the Toros, Montgomery had a cumulative 2.95 ERA in 36 appearances, amassed 191 strikeouts, and threw a no hitter against Cal State LA in February of 2010.  After getting drafted, Bret said “I am more relieved than anything that I can keep playing baseball.  Overall I am very happy that it is with the Dodgers, after idolizing their players and always watching them as a kid it is a dream come true but it was also great being a Toro for three years and I will definitely keep track of our guys.”  After signing, Montgomery was sent to the Arizona Rookie League for one game, and then joined the Raptors.  In Ogden, his ERA wasn’t very good, but he had a solid FIP and a strong strikeout to walk ratio.  In fact, his combined FIP of 2.49 ranked as the 2nd best the entire Dodgers minor league system (minimum 50 IP).  He’s a big guy at 6’6” and 250 lbs, but the bad news about Montgomery is that he is already 25 years old.  Therefore he was playing against much younger competition, and is really going to have to move up the ladder at light speed if he wants to have any chance of making it to the big leagues.  Due to his age, I would expect him to start in HiA to see what he can do against more advanced batters.

142.  Vladimir Martinez, SS (16 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010           

6’2”, 173 lbs, 18.75 years old, switch hitter

.241 average, .529 OPS, 0 HR, 10 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Vladimir Martinez is a shortstop from the Dominican Republic who made his professional debut in 2010.  He didn’t play his first game with the DSL Dodgers until late July, however, and only played in 16 total games for the season.  After getting off to a hot start, with 8 hits and 7 RBI’s in his first 24 at bats, Martinez cooled significantly to finish the season.  In addition to the fact that he’s a switch hitter, another thing that Vladimir has going for him is his age, as he’ll be just 18 years old to start the 2011 season.  It is his youth that gives me hope that he can still turn into a decent player in the future.  He’ll definitely return to the DSL next season, although he may be playing a different position because if keeps adding height to his 6’2” frame, he may outgrow shortstop.   

141.  Eduardo Perez, 1B (130 games in AA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 3/4/02

6’1”, 175 lbs, 26.5 years old, switch hitter

.271 average, .702 OPS, 4 HR’s, 58 RBI’s, 12 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 79;     Pre 2009 Rank: 110

Eduardo Perez seems to be on the every-other year plan.  Since 2005, Perez had been good in the odd years, and mediocre or worse in the even years. The best example is his OPS, which has been .876, .821, and .886, in odd years since 2005, and .714, .766, and .702 in even years since 2005.  Even at his best, Perez isn’t much of a prospect since he is already 26 years old, isn’t very big, and only has mediocre pop despite playing the power position of 1st base.  Really the only thing he has going for him is the fact that he’s a switch hitter.  Even though he is one of the longest tenured players in the Dodgers organization since he has been with the club since 2002, he might not be around in 2011 since he became a minor league free agent after the 2010 season and has yet to re-sign.  He is currently playing in the Venezuelan Winter League and has a .187 average in 32 games.

140.  Ariel Pena, RHP (17 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010           

6’4”, 208 lbs, 19 years old

0-1, 5.29 ERA, 2.53 WHIP, 7.14 FIP, 4.24 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

Ariel Pena did not have a great statistical season in 2010, but his size and youth give him an advantage over several other players in the Dodgers organization.  The 6’4” 19 year old has a perfect pitchers’ frame, and still has plenty of time to improve.  One interesting thing about Pena’s 2010 season is that he did not allow an earned run against left handed batters through 5 innings.  He will obviously return to the DSL in 2011 after posting a 2.53 WHIP in 2010, but a solid performance could land him a spot in a US based rookie league in 2012.

139.  Yimy Rodriguez, RHP (20.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 27th round

6’2”, 215 lbs, 23.5 years old

3.92 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 4.12 FIP, 4.79 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Yimy Queipo-Rodriguez was selected by the Dodgers out of Peru St. College (Nebraska) in the 27th round of the 2010 draft.  Rodriguez was the 1st player from Peru St. College to get drafted, and he made his school proud.  After the draft, PSC President Dan Hanson said, “This is a great day for Yimy and Peru State College baseball. In addition to making Peru State history, Yimy’s baseball success will undoubtedly inspire legions of young athletes from the area long into the future. I congratulate Yimy on his amazing accomplishment and the Dodgers on a great new recruit.”  At Peru, Yimy had a 3.83 ERA as a junior and a 4.52 ERA as a senior.  In his professional debut with the Arizona Dodgers, the 23 year old Rodriguez had a great WHIP of 1.11, but his ERA and FIP were less impressive.  Besides his stats, the only thing I know about Rodriguez is that he throws pretty hard, although his strikeout rate in college and in his professional debut wasn’t very impressive.  Rodriguez might move to LoA in 2011, but unless he improves his secondary stuff it seems doubtful that he’ll ever be a relevant Dodger prospect.

138.  Antonio Castillo, LHP (48.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 3/30/07

5’11”, 180 lbs, 23 years old

3-6, 8.32 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 3.20 FIP, 7.77 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 93;     Pre 2009 Rank: 45

Antonio Castillo appears to be homesick.  A Dominican native, Castillo absolutely dominated the DSL in 2008 and 2009, posting a combined 1.41 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 9.2 K/9 through 115 innings.  After getting promoted to the Pioneer year in 2009, however, Castillo has been terrible.  When you combine his 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Raptors, Antonio has a 7.19 ERA, a 1.87 WHIP, and a 7.6 K/9 through 96.1 innings. What a difference a country makes.  I watched him pitch this past season online, and he has a 3 quarter delivery with a decent sized leg kick.  In addition, he appeared to be extremely undersized for a pitcher.  Overall, given his lack of success over the past two seasons and his small stature, it appears that Castillo is no longer a legitimate Dodger prospect.  However, Castillo is still just 23 years old and did have a two year stretch when he dominated batters, so he shouldn’t be completely written off just yet.

137.  Andrew Edge, C (21 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 24th round

6’2”, 230 lbs, 23.25 years old, bats right handed

.259 average, .824 OPS, 4 HR’s, 15 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Andrew Edge was selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2010 draft out of Jacksonville State, and he was ready to sign right away.  Upon getting drafted, he said “I was just hoping to get picked up by anybody.  I’m actually happy with the Dodgers. I like the team and hopefully I can work hard and make my way up there.  They told me to enjoy it right now.  I’m kind of on cloud nine and waiting to see what I need to do.”  While at Jacksonville State, the catcher had a very good senior season, hitting .330 with 11 homers and 64 RBI’s.  Edge made his professional debut with the Arizona Dodgers, and got off to a hot start.  Through July, Andrew had an average above .315 and already had 4 homers through just 56 at bats.  He hit the skids in August, however, which is what dropped his average to .259 for the season.  In addition, he struck out in 30.7% of his plate appearances in 2010.  One of the older players in the league, Edge did play solid defense and threw out 8 of 12 potential base stealers behind the plate.  Because the Dodgers have a crowded catching situation in their lower minors, it is difficult to project where Edge will play in 2011.  But given his age, it’s not out of the question for him to play in a full season league next year.

136.  Austin King, OF (35 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 31st round

6’2”, 200 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats right handed

.241 average, .682 OPS, 3 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, 15 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 149;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Austin King was drafted out of high school by the White Sox in the 40th round of the 2007 draft, but obviously didn’t sign.  He went on to play at a JC, and in 2009 the Dodgers selected him 9 rounds earlier than in 2007.  Upon signing, King made his professional debut with the Arizona Dodgers and got off to a slow start before catching fire in August.  That earned him a promotion in 2010 as he spent the season in Ogden.  Unfortunately for Austin the Raptor outfield was pretty crowded, so King only accumulated 108 at bats in the Pioneer League.  When he did play he spent most of his time in center field, and only made one error all year.  In addition, King showed off his speed by stealing 15 bases in 17 attempts, which was good for 9th in the league despite his limited playing time.  Since he just turned 22 years old, King is still pretty young, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’s a sleeper prospect for me because I like his speed and his size.  He’ll probably have to fight again for playing time in 2011 in the Midwest League, but I’m hoping that he’ll surprise some people and jump up the prospect rankings by this time next year.

135.  Chris Handke, RHP (22.1 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 41st round

6’11”, 235 lbs, 23 years old

1-0, 4.03 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 4.81 FIP, 8.06 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 154;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

As I mentioned last year, Chris Handke is an interesting prospect with an even more interesting background.  The giant pitcher was actually a much better basketball player at Cornell College, averaging 9.8 points per game and setting the single season record for blocks with 45 during the 2008-2009 season.  In addition, Handke had a 3.92 GPA while majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  And by the way, his career pitching stats at Cornell looked like this: 0-1, 10.12 ERA, 25 walks, and 11 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.  Based on the above information, who would have guessed that he’d be playing in the Dodgers minor league system?  Well, Chris didn’t even believe it after he was drafted.  He was quoted as saying “I told the Dodgers that I want to finish my degree at Cornell and complete my basketball career.”  Handke ended up signing with the Dodgers because they allowed him to finish his degree last winter.  He only got into two games in his professional debut because an injury shut him down, however, and after the 2009 season he was quoted as saying “After my first two outings in the Arizona Rookie League, it was clear that I needed more work on my mechanics to be able to throw strikes and quality pitches consistently. Luckily though the Dodgers have some great pitching coaches who were all more than willing to work with me and I spent about a month just working on refining and repeating my delivery with them.”  He was sent back to the Arizona League in 2010, and this time he got a little more work in.  Besides being very wild, Handke was actually pretty good through 22.1 innings.  Because taller pitchers are historically late bloomers and need to grow into his body, I’m not overly concerned about his control or his age.  I do know that he has hit 93 mph in the past, so I’m sure the Dodgers will continue to spend time on him to see if they can maximize his potential.  I’m hoping he’ll get a chance to play in LoA next season so we can see what he does in a full season league against older competition.

134.  Luis Mesa, RHP (56.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’4”, 170 lbs, 20.75 years old

4-4, 3.02 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.18 FIP, 7.31 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 173;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Luis Mesa is a young player from Venezuela who debuted with the Dominican Dodgers in 2009.  He struggled in 2009 to the tune of a 6.37 ERA, but really turned things around in 2010.  The 6’4” righty had a 3.02 ERA this past season, and batters only hit .227 against him in 56.2 innings.  He also only allowed 1 homer all year, and he was especially effective in the month of August when he threw 18 innings without allowing an earned run.  With a solid pitching frame and two years of professional experience under his belt, Mesa is a prime candidate to move up to the Arizona League in 2011. 

133.  Clay Calfee, 1B/OF (36 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 14th round

6’6”, 220 lbs, 24.75 years old, bats left handed

.233 average, .636 OPS, 2 HR’s, 11 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 86;     Pre 2009 Rank: 69

Clay Calfee was drafted out of Angelo State in Texas in 2008, and left the school as their all time leader in home runs (28), RBI’s (171), and hits (239).  He made his professional debut in the Pioneer League, and while he struggled with a .232 average, he did manage to hit 8 HR’s and drive in 35.  In 2009 Calfee actually played at three different levels (Arizona League, Pioneer League, and LoA), but only got into 44 games and was pretty mediocre overall.  Calfee was promoted to HiA for the 2010 season, but he was plagued by injuries and was limited to 36 games, hitting just .233 in the process.  In addition, he continued to strike out at an alarming rate.  Despite his size and power potential, the Dodgers decided to release Calfee in December, so he won’t be around next season.  Since I had already finalized my ranking by the time he was released, this is basically where he would have ranked had he stayed in the Dodgers system for 2011.

132.  Gregory Pena, OF (58 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’0”, 175 lbs, 19 years old, switch hitter

.212 average, .575 OPS, 0 HR’s, 12 RBI’s, 14 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Gregory Pena was apparently born in New York, but must have moved out of the USA at some point because he wasn’t subject to the MLB draft.  Instead, he was signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent and made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2010.  The 18 year old severed as the Dodgers main center fielder, but he didn’t do much at the plate as he hit just .212 for the season.  He also didn’t show any power, and had an OPS of only .575.  Nevertheless, Greg does have a few things going for him heading into 2011.  First, Pena is a switch hitter.  Second, he stole 14 bases in 19 attempts, so he does have good speed.  Finally, he demonstrated a very good eye at the plate as he walked in 11.5% of his plate appearances.  Given his age, I’m sure Pena will return to the DSL in 2011, and he’ll be one of the players I watch closely in the DSL next year because I believe he’s a candidate to move up to the Arizona League in 2012.

131.  Alex Garabedian, C (19 games in AA, 23 games in HiA)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 8th round

6’2”, 210 lbs, 25.5 years old, bats right handed

.292 average, .789 OPS, 3 HR’s, 21 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 144;     Pre 2009 Rank: 98

Coming out of high school, Alex Garabedian was considered to be one of the better catching prospects.  He was a 2003 AFLAC All-American, was named as the top catcher in Florida by TeamOne Baseball, and was ranked by Baseball America as the second-best catching prospect and the 33rd-best overall prospect nationally going into the 2004 draft.  However, he fell to the Yankees in the 7th round of that 2004 draft, and decided to attend the University of Miami rather than turning pro.  After hitting .255 with the Hurricanes during his freshman season, he actually decided to transfer to the College of Charleston.  At Charleston, Garabedian did much better, and as a Junior, he hit .353 with 13 homers, and also threw out over 40 percent of attempted base stealers.  That led to him being drafted by the Dodgers in the 8th round of the 2007 draft.  Unfortunately, even though his biggest asset is his bat, he has struggled at the plate since his professional debut.  His career minor league average is .248, and he only has 16 homers in 818 minor league at bats.  In 2010, he started and ended the year in AA, but spent a good part of the season in Inland Empire.  While he put up solid stats during his 2010 campaign, he only participated in 42 games and struggled against the older competition (.239 average in AA vs. a .321 average in HiA).  Now 25 years old, Garabedian will probably spend the majority of the 2011 season in AA, and how he performs will definitely dictate the remainder of his career. 

130.  Arce Rodriguez, OF (45 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’0”, 191 lbs, 18 years old, bats right handed

.222 average, .514 OPS, 0 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Arce Rodriguez made his professional debut with the Dominican Dodgers in 2010, and played the entire season as a 17 year old.  He was the team’s main left fielder and made just two errors all season, but had a very poor year at the dish and didn’t show any speed, power, or patience.  In fact, A-Rod walked in just 1.9% of his plate appearances, which is a worse walk rate than what Brian Cavazos-Galvez posted in 2010.  Really, the only thing Rodriguez has going for him is his age, as he is youngest position player in the Dodgers minor league system.  I’m hoping his youth, combined with the experience he gained in 2010, will turn him into a legitimate prospect down the road.  I’m sure he’ll return to the DSL in 2011 for another year of seasoning, and I’ll be rooting for the 18 year old to put up better numbers despite again playing against older competition.

129.  Jordan Roberts, LHP (64 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 28th round

6’2”, 200 lbs, 25.25 years old

6-4, 2.95 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 3.43 FIP, 6.61 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 152;     Pre 2009 Rank: 150

Jordan Roberts was a first team All-American out of the NAIA college Embry-Riddle in Florida and was selected by the Dodgers in the 28th round of the 2008 draft.  In his senior season at Embry-Riddle, Roberts finished the year 12th in the NAIA in ERA (1.94) and was 24th in K/9 (over 10).  His professional debut in 2008 was a little rocky, but since then Jordan has been very good.  He had a 2.70 ERA and .216 batting average against with the Ogden Raptors in 2009, then as a follow up he posted a 2.95 ERA with a .232 batting average against with the Loons in 2010.  In addition, his 1.08 WHIP this past season ranked 3rd among all Dodger minor leaguers (minimum 50 IP).  The one caveat is that Roberts has been one of the oldest pitchers on his team for the past two seasons, so he is playing against younger competition.  Despite his age, the left hander is valuable because he might prove to be a useful bullpen arm for the Dodgers at some point down the road.  However might is the key word here, especially since he is not a strikeout pitcher.  Nevertheless there is a good chance he’ll play in AA next season, and if he does well in the Southern League, he’ll be one step closer to his ultimate goal. 

128.  Abdul Nieto, LF/1B (27 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

6’3”, 180 lbs, 19.25 years old, bats right handed

.176 average, .534 OPS, 1 HR, 8 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 103;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

I know that Abdul Nieto has been terrible since putting on a professional uniform in 2009, hitting just .165 with a .490 OPS through 176 at bats, but I still have hope for this young player.  You see, Abdul Nieto was one of the best prospects coming out of Panama when he was signed by the Dodgers in the Summer of 2008, so he isn’t just another random player from the DSL.  He played 2009 as a 17 year old and 2010 as an 18 year old, so he is has been playing against older competition and may have been overmatched.  In addition to his age, the thing I like about Nieto is his size as he already has a major league body.   His biggest downfall is his defense, and because he was a butcher in the outfield in 2009 he was moved to 1st base.  However, I’m hoping that he can move back to the outfield in the future as he matures and gets more coaching.  In looking to the future, Abdul now has two years of experience under his belt, so he should be more prepared in 2011.  He’ll probably return to the DSL for a 3rd season, but since he’ll be just 19 years old I’m not writing him off yet.  In fact, I think he’s a good bet to get promoted to the Arizona League in 2012.

127.  Ramon Jean, 2B (80 games in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 3/12/07

6’0”, 160 lbs, 23.5 years old, bats right handed

.271 average, .646 OPS, 1 HR’s, 30 RBI’s, 13 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 116;     Pre 2009 Rank: 85

Signed before the 2007 season as a 19 year old out of the Dominican Republic, Ramon Jean only spent one season in the DSL before being promoted to a U.S. based rookie league.  After playing two seasons in the Dodgers rookie league, he received a surprise promotion to the California League in 2010, and also changed positions.  A middle infielder for the first three years of his career, Jean spent almost all of 2010 in center field.  He held his own as the captain of the outfield, and also got off to a hot start at the plate as he hit over .300 for most of the year before tailing off toward the end of the season.  He didn’t show any power, but made good contact and showed a little speed.  Overall, when you look at Jean’s career stats, there is nothing that jumps out at you, which means that he doesn’t really have any plus tools.  Nevertheless, the Dodgers invited Jean to participate in their offseason instructional league, so they must believe he has at least some potential.  Since I don’t see Jean moving up to AA in 2011, I’m guessing he’ll return to the 66ers for another season.

126.  Luis Ferreras, RHP (24.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 3/30/07

5’9”, 150 lbs, 21.25 years old

1-1, 5.55 ERA, 1.93 WHIP, 3.49 FIP, 6.66 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 63;     Pre 2009 Rank: 46

Luis Ferreras was signed as a 17 year before the 2007 season, and put together a remarkable debut season in the Dominican Summer League by allowing just 3 runs in 27.1 third innings for a 0.99 ERA.  Seeing this success, the Dodgers brought Luis to the U.S.A. in 2008 and he played in the GCL, the Midwest League, and even AA for a few games.  Things were a little more consistent for Ferreras in 2009 as he spent the entire year in the Pioneer league and posted a 2.50 ERA.  So heading into 2010, I had pretty high hopes for Ferreras.  However Ferreras was forced to repeat with the Raptors, and he saw his ERA more than double from 2009.  In addition, he only struck out 6.7 batters per 9 innings.  At the end of the season, the Dodgers were not impressed with the 5’9” pitcher (he had previously been listed at 6’0”) and decided to release him in December.  Since I had already finalized my ranking by the time he was released, this is basically where he would have ranked had he stayed in the Dodgers system for 2011.

 

125.  Alexis Aguilar, SS/2B (25 games in Arizona League, 21 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

5’11”, 162 lbs, 19.75 years old, bats right handed

.272 average, .658 OPS, 1 HR’s, 23 RBI’s, 12 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 123;     Pre 2009 Rank: 135

Alexis Aguilar is a young infielder from Venezuela who signed with the Dodgers in 2008.  After hitting just .211 in his debut season, Aguilar showed some improvement in the DSL in 2009.  Unfortunately for him, that wasn’t enough to warrant a promotion to a US based league as he started the 2010 season back in the Dominican Summer League.  However, a hot start in 2010 earned him a rare mid-season promotion from the DSL to the Arizona League, where he spent the rest of the season.  Even though Aguilar struggled in Arizona with a .253 average in 83 at bats and just 3 extra base hits, the fact that he was promoted was a significant step in the development of his career.  In addition, after spending the most of the 2009 season at 2nd base, Alexis played the majority of his games at shortstop in 2010, which improves his defensive value.  He also spent time at 3rd base and in the outfield, and showed good speed with 12 stolen bases in 15 attempts.  Still just 19 years old, Aguilar is on track to play in the Pioneer League next season and is one good season away from turning into a legitimate prospect.

124.  Steve Smith, RHP (73.1 IP in LoA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

6’2”, 210 lbs, 24.75 years old

4-5, 2.69 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 3.27 FIP, 8.06 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 141;     Pre 2009 Rank: 160

Steve Smith was signed by the Dodgers in 2008 as a non drafted free agent out of the University of New Mexico, where he was a teammate of fellow Dodger minor leaguer Brian Cavazos-Galvez.  He wasn’t overly impressive during his senior season with the Lobos, posting a 5.01 ERA and 58 strikeouts in just under 74 innings, but the Dodgers decided to give Smith a chance anyways.  Smith struggled in his 2008 professional debut, but he has dramatically turned things around ever since.  For two straight years he has been one of the Loons most effective bullpen arms, posting a 2.67 ERA in 67.1 innings in 2009 and a 2.69 ERA in 73.2 innings in 2010.  In addition, his 17 holds in 2010 ranked 1st in the Midwest League, and his 1.07 WHIP was the best of any Dodger minor leaguer in a US based league (minimum 50 IP).  He was also effective against both righties (.218 batting average against) and lefties (.230 batting average against).  After the season, he was invited to participate in the Arizona Instructional League after the season with several top prospects, so he is at least on the Dodgers radar.  I’m not exactly sure why the 24 year old Smith was kept in LoA for two straight seasons, but I can guarantee that he’ll get promoted in 2011, possibly even to AA.

123.  Elian Herrera, OF (25 games in AAA, 97 games in AA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 5/14/03

5’11”, 190 lbs, 26 years old, switch hitter

.254 average, .693 OPS, 2 HR’s, 46 RBI’s, 32 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 89;     Pre 2009 Rank: 109

Prior to 2010, Elian Herrera had moved slowly through the Dodgers system.  In 7 minor league seasons, the Dominican native had never played above HiA, and was constantly one of the older players on his team’s roster.  In 2010, however, Herrera got the chance to play in AA, and even spent about a month in AAA when injuries struck the Isotopes roster.  Unfortunately, Herrera didn’t really have a very good showing at either level as he combined to hit just .254 with a .693 OPS.  He does have a few positive traits, though, as he is a switch hitter, has good speed, and posted a solid walk rate in 2010.  In addition, he can play all over the field as he spent time at all 3 outfield positions, 3rd base, 2nd base, and shortstop in 2010.  At the end of the season, the Dodgers saw enough potential in Herrera that they decided to resign the minor league free agent for another year.  I’m guessing he’ll spend most of 2011 in AAA where he’ll continue to fill a utility role.  He is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League, but continues to be mediocre as he is hitting.279 in 44 games. 

122.  Jimmy Marshall, RHP (14 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 23rd r/und

6’6”, 195 lbs, 24 years old

2-1, 1.93 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 4.13 FIP, 7.71 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 100;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Before`getting selected by the Dodgers in the 23rd round of the 2009 draft, Jimmy Marshall was a four year player for Florida State.  He was a middle reliever and spot starter for the Seminoles in 2006 and 2007, then shared the closer role during 2008 with some guy named Buster Posey.  In 2009 Marshall inherited the team captain patch and the full time closers role for FSU, and while he had his least successful season in terms of ERA (4.85), he was able pick up 10 saves and posted a strikeout rate of 13.5 K’s per 9 innings.  His biggest problem during his senior season was his control, which is an issue that has followed him into his professional career.  After throwing 11 innings for the Arizona Dodgers in 2009, I was convinced that Marshall would move up to a full season league in 2010 due to his age and college experience.  The Dodgers decided to keep Jimmy in the Arizona League for another season, however, and while his ERA and batting average against (.200) were great, he continued to struggle with control and was limited to just 14 innings.  In addition, his strikeout rate dropped to 7.71 K/9.  From what I’ve read Marshall has a low 90’s fastball and a decent slider, and given his size I was hoping he’d turn into a power reliever.  Instead his career has seemed to have stalled, and since he’ll be 24 years old when the 2011 season starts, I beginning to doubt his ability to ever make it to the big leagues.  Nevertheless, I still like Marshall as a potential prospect, and I’m hoping he’ll thrive in either LoA or HiA in 2011.

121.  Nick Gaudi, RHP (11.1 IP in LoA, 18 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 30th round

6’5”, 215 lbs, 24.5 years old

1-1, 4.91 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 2.89 FIP, 10.74 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 88;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Nick Gaudi was barely recruited heading into college, and had to walk-on to the Pepperdine baseball team.  After making the team, he didn’t get any playing time in 2005 as a freshman and decided to redshirt.  So he actually spent 5 years in college, which is why he is a little older than most 2nd year players and also a reason why clubs stayed away from him in the 2009 draft despite his strong college stats.  In an interview after he was drafted, Gaudi described the windup as “deceiving”, as he twists and the ball comes from behind his back.  I’ve actually seen video of his windup, and it is interesting as he turns his back slightly to the batter and has an extreme over the top delivery.  In that same interview, Gaudi calls himself “a strike thrower and a pitcher’s pitcher” and says he “can locate his fastball and try to outthink hitters rather than overpower them with raw power or talent.”  In addition to his unique delivery and his ability to throw strikes, scouts credit his success to the development of a slider and split-finger fastball.  In terms of his professional career thus far, Gaudi dominated the Pioneer League in 2010 with a 2.96 ERA and 12.84 K/9 in 27 innings as one of the oldest players in the league.  Given his success, the Dodgers started Nick with the Great Lakes Loons in 2010, but he was shut down with an injury after just 3 appearances.  When he recovered in mid June, Gaudi was sent back to the Pioneer League where he spent two months before returning to the Loons in August.  Overall, Gaudi’s stats were relatively disappointing, although he did post a strong FIP and K/9.  Given his age, the big 24 year old will have to move quickly next year if he wants to have an impact with the Dodgers.  I’m guessing the Dodgers will be aggressive with him and let him start 2011 in either HiA or AA to see what he does against older competition.

120.  Brian Ruggiano, 3B (108 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 23rd round

6’0”, 180, 24.75 years old, bats right handed

.255 average, .718 OPS, 6 HR’s, 48 RBI’s, 15 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 62;     Pre 2009 Rank: 116

Brian was the second Ruggiano drafted by the Dodgers out of Texas A&M in the past few years because they drafted his brother, Justin Ruggiano, in the 25th round of the 2004 draft.  Justin is obviously no longer with the Dodgers, as he was part of the Mark Hendrickson/Toby Hall trade in 2006.  Last year, I couldn’t help but rank Ruggiano #62 last year after his outstanding season in 2009.  He hit .371 with the Ogden Raptors, including 9 homers and a 1.031 OPS.  Brian fell back down to earth in 2010 with the Great Lakes, however, as he had a very mediocre season.  The Loons everyday 3rd baseman hit just .255 with a .718 OPS, and made 22 errors in the field.  That just goes to show how different the Pioneer League is from the Midwest League.  Without a standout tool, Ruggiano is going to have a tough time climbing through the Dodgers minor league system.  Also, as a 24 year old who has yet to play above LoA, Dodgers will probably have to decide this offseason if Ruggiano is worth keeping around for another year.

119.  Will Savage, RHP (83.2 IP in LoA, 51.2 IP in HiA, 16.2 IP in AA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in February 2010

6’4”, 215 lbs, 26.5 years old

10-5, 4.32 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 3.67 FIP, 6.04 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Will Savage was born in Southern California and attended El Camino Real High before heading to the College of the Canyons to start his college career.  After spending 2 seasons as a Cougar, Savage transferred to the University of Oklahoma and posted a 16 and 6 record between the 2005 and 2006 seasons.  His play was good enough for the Phillies, who selected Will in the 26th round of the 2006 draft.  After 3 solid seasons in the Phillies organization, Savage was promoted to AA for the 2008 season.  However he was limited to just 6 games as he hurt his elbow, and that promoted the Phillies to release him.  Savage eventually found himself with the Wichita Wingnuts of the independent Atlantic League where he spent virtually all of 2009.  With the Wingnuts, Savage had a solid 2.94 ERA and even threw a no hitter.  This caught the attention of the Dodgers, who signed Savage before the 2010 season.  Despite being 25 years old, the Dodgers assigned Savage to LoA where he thrived against the younger competition and made the mid season All Star Team.  He eventually moved up to HiA, and then finished the year in AA.  Even though Savage was pretty bad during his 16 innings with the Lookouts, the Dodgers have already re-signed Will for the 2011 season.  According to Savage, his change-up and sinker are his best pitches, and he also has a fastball that sits in the low 90’s.  Now 26 years old, Savage will continue to provide the Dodgers with organizational depth while trying to prove that he still has what it takes to one day make it to the show.  He is trying to stay sharp this offseason by participating in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he has a 2.65 ERA through 17 innings.

118.  Anthony Jackson, RHP (122 games in AA in 2010 – Rockies Organization)

PTNL in trade for Dotel                 

5’8”, 175 lbs, 26.75 years old, switch hitter

.251 average, .676 OPS, 2 HR’s, 40 RBI’s, 33 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

The Dodgers acquired Anthony Jackson as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Octavio Dotel to the Rockies.  The now 26 year old was originally picked by Colorado in the 16th round of the 2006 draft out of the University of the Pacific.  In his 4 years with the Rockies, Jackson had a career .252 batting average and a .670 OPS in 528 games.  A switch hitter, Anthony had almost the exact same average from each side of the plate last year.  His only real asset is his speed as he’s accumulated 151 career stolen bases, including 33 in AA in 2010.  Jackson has been a center fielder for most of his minor league career, although he also spent a decent amount of time at 2nd base last season.  My guess is that Jackson will spend 2011 in AAA, and while I don’t expect him to ever be in a Dodger uniform, at his very best he could be an emergency outfielder should something go terribly wrong in Los Angeles.

117.  Jesus Castillo, RHP (103.1 IP in AA, 23.2 IP in AAA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2003, 27th round

6’0”, 195 lbs, 26.75 years old

5-15, 5.03 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 4.66 FIP, 5.60 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 95;     Pre 2009 Rank: 43

I’m getting pretty tired of writing about Jesus Castillo.  He’s had some good years in the past, and even posted a 3.83 ERA in AA this past season, but at the end of the day he is simply the epitome of mediocrity.  His career WHIP is 1.41, his career K/9 rate is 6.2, and his career win loss record is 28 – 44.  In addition, he failed miserably in his 2010 AAA stint, and has always been an undersized pitcher.  If you remember, he was actually on the Dodgers 40 man roster at one point, which is one of the reasons I mistakenly ranked him so high in the past.  Castillo is currently a minor league free agent, and at almost 27 years old I really don’t see a point in the Dodgers bringing him back next season.  He is currently playing in the Mexican Winter League and has a 4.71 ERA though 36.1 innings.

116.  Francisco Felix, RHP (12.2 IP in AAA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 2/19/03

5’11”, 191 lbs, 27.75 years old

2-0, 4.26 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 5.49 FIP, 7.82 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 58;     Pre 2009 Rank: 62

Prior to the 2010 season, Francisco Felix seemed poised to make a run at being a legitimate Dodger prospect despite his small stature.  He had just posted a 3.05 ERA and 9.16 K/9 in 2009 which he split between AA and AAA, and had even earned an invitation to the Dodgers 2010 big league camp in Spring Training.  However, the 2010 season was not kind to Felix as he did not have good stats.  His 4.26 ERA in AAA does not really tell the true story because he actually spent most of the season on loan to the Mexican League where he recorded an ugly 6.28 ERA through 61.2 innings.  In addition, his K/9 in the Mexican League was only 6.3, and batters hit .339 against him.  I’m guessing that one of the reasons for Felix’s struggles in 2010 was the fact that he was used mostly as a starter, even though he had resided in the bullpen for the majority of his minor league career.  Given his frame, he doesn’t seem like the type of pitcher who should be used in the rotation.  Now 27 years old, a return to the bullpen seems like the best bet for Felix, and hopefully he’ll return to form with the Isotopes in 2011.

 

115.  Mario Alvarez, RHP (120.1 IP in AA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 1/16/03

6’0”, 205 lbs, 27 years old

6-6, 4.94 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 4.35 FIP, 5.91 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 97;     Pre 2009 Rank: 83

Ever since the Dodgers added Mario Alvarez to their 40 man roster in 2007, I’ve always given Alvarez the benefit of the doubt despite mediocre stats.  I figured that the Dodgers must have seen something in him that caused them to add him to the roster, so wanted to give him some respect.  It’s not that I’ve ranked him that high, but for the past 2 years I did at least rank him in the top 100 of my ranking.  That will not happen this year, however, because the soon to be 27 year old had another below average year and has basically struggled since 2005.  Although he was resigned this offseason by the Dodgers, I can’t image that he’ll ever have an impact with the Dodgers.  In addition, he has always been an undersized right hander who has been injury prone, so those are also points against him.  He is currently playing in the Dominican Winter League and has a 4.86 ERA through 37 innings.

114.  Casio Grider, SS/2B (62 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 14th round

6’1”, 165 lbs, 23.5 years old, bats right handed

.281 average, .728 OPS, 4 HR’s, 33 RBI’s, 22 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 118;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Drafted out of Newberry College in the 14th round draft, Logan White called Grider a tools guy who is a bit raw and very athletic.  He was named as the faster runner in the Dodgers 2009 draft by Baseball America, and runs a 6.5 second 60.  Upon turning pro Grider was sent to the Arizona Rookie League and had a mediocre season at the plate, but he thrived on the base paths by stealing 22 bases in 24 attempts.  In 2010, Grider was promoted to the Pioneer League and got the majority of starts and 2nd base for Ogden.  While he didn’t have the big power numbers like other Raptor players, Grider hit a respectable .281 and managed to slug 4 homers.  He also led the team with 22 stolen bases for the 2nd year in a row.  Not everything was positive for Grider in 2010, however, as he committed a team high 23 errors, and had a terrible walk to strikeout ratio.  In addition, now that he is spending most of his time at 2nd base instead of shortstop, he has lost a lot of his defensive value.  At 23 years old, the speedy Grider will probably play for the Loons in 2011 and still has the potential to turn into a legitimate prospect.  However, it’s going to take more than stolen bases to prove that he’s got a shot to make it with the Dodgers.

113.  Jose Dominguez, RHP (24 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/2/07

6’0”, 180 lbs, 20.5 years old

1-1, 1.13 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 2.99 FIP, 7.88 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 134;     Pre 2009 Rank: 60

Signed for $50,000 as a 16 year old at the start of the 2007 international signing period, Jose Dominguez impressed scouts back then with a 90 mph fastball and a solid curve.  At the time, Logan White said, “It’s rare to see a kid as polished as he is.”  In his professional debut in 2008, the then 17 year old Dominguez showed potential with an 11.8 K per 9 through 42 innings in the DSL.  In 2009 he also had a solid season, with a 3.64 ERA through 59 innings.  However, after the 2009 season I found an article on MILB.com that said “Jose Dominguez of the Dodgers’ organization and Waldo Rosario of the Rays’ organization each received 50-game suspensions on Monday for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  Both players, part of their respective clubs’ Dominican Summer League team, tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol.  Their suspensions will be effective at the start of next season.”  So Dominguez sat out most of the 2010 season, but when he did return to the DSL in August he had an amazing run, posting a 1.13 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and .191 batting average against in 24 innings.  Heading into 2011, Jose will only be 20 years old despite having 3 seasons under his belt.  Since the Dodgers kept him around even after he was suspended, there must be something they like about him so I’m guessing he’ll move to the Arizona Rookie League next year.  He’s a bit of a wildcard and seems to have the potential to move up the prospect charts, but that’s only if he stays away from the steroids because another suspension could cost Dominguez his career.

 

112.  Chris Henderson, 1B/3B (47 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 21st round

5’11”, 190 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats right handed

.341 average, .867 OPS, 1 HR, 24 RBI’s, 1 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 129;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

 

Chris Henderson was an amazing college player at George Mason University.  In 2009, his final season with the Patriots, Henderson hit.413 with 14 homers, 58 RBI and 70 runs scored.  He also had a ridiculous .487 on-base percentage and a .702 slugging percentage.  In addition, he did all this as a catcher and was named one of the three finalists for the Johnny Bench Award for the nation’s best catcher.  The other two finalists were the 2009 #4 overall pick Tony Sanchez, and the Dodgers own Jeremy Wise.  Since signing with the Dodgers, however, Henderson has put his catching equipment in storage as he has split his time between 1st and 3rd base.  After an uninspiring debut in the Arizona Rookie League last year, Henderson had a huge season for the Ogden Raptors in 2010.  He didn’t show any speed or power, but he had an outstanding average of .341 (7th best in the Pioneer League) and a remarkable on base percentage of .429 (4th in the league).  It’s difficult to completely buy into Henderson’s breakout season because he did most of his damage at home (.417 average and 1.032 OPS vs. .272 average and .717 OPS on the road), but it is still a step in the right direction for his career.  Also, I watched video on Henderson and his swing looks a little long to me, but he only struck out in 10.7% of his plate appearances in 2010 so I’m not too worried.  In looking at Henderson’s future, the fact that he might be limited to 1st base (his fielding % at 3rd base over the past two seasons is .842) is going to really hurt his chances of making his way onto the Dodger prospect radar, especially since he has not shown any power.  Nevertheless, I expect Henderson to get a chance to play in LoA next year, and at just 22 years old he still has time to prove his worth in the full season league.

111.  Robert Boothe, RHP (48.1 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 12/5/07

6’2”, 190 lbs, 25 years old

1-2, 6.89 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 5.85 FIP, 8.38 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 77;     Pre 2009 Rank: 82

Robert Boothe was signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent after the 2007 season.  He is half Japanese, attended Asia University, doesn’t speak much English, and was actually eligible for the Japanese draft before signing with the Dodgers.  At the time of his signing, Logan White said that Boothe has “a nice delivery, good arm action, and a sound mix of breaking pitches which gives him the ability to be a future Major Leaguer.”  After a rough debut season in 2008, Boothe turned things around in the Midwest League in 2009.  He posted an excellent FIP of 2.65 and led all Dodger minor leaguers with his 12.46 K/9.  2010, however, was another down year as Boothe had a difficult time in the California League.  The right hander had an ERA of almost 7.00 and a WHIP of almost 2.00, and his strikeout rate dropped significantly.  Batters also hit almost .300 against him.  Even still, I haven’t completely lost hope in the soon to be 25 year old because he has a live arm that can reach the mid 90’s and is still relatively young as a professional player.  If he has a good spring in 2011, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boothe in AA where he’ll play in a friendlier pitching environment. 

 

110.  Giordanny Chavez, RHP (68 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’3”, 185 lbs, 19.75 years old
4-2, 1.85 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.73 FIP, 6.22 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 139;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

After a terrible debut in the DSL in 2009 (6.38 ERA in 18.1 innings), Giordanny Chavez had quite a turnaround this past season.  The 19 year not only pitched a full season, but also recorded the 2nd lowest ERA of all minor league players in the Dodgers organization (minimum 50 IP).  In addition, he got better as the year progressed and allowed just two earned runs in his final 27 innings of the year.  However, his peripherals don’t really compliment his ERA because the Dominican native had a FIP of 3.73, and he only struck out 6.22 per 9 innings.  Nevertheless, Chavez has a good pitchers frame at 6’3” and could potentially turn into a prospect next season if he continues to put up good numbers.  I’m almost certain he’ll get promoted to the Arizona League for 2011 and that is where the true test will begin.

109.  Bolivar Medina, LHP (4 IP in Pioneer League, 33.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2007

6’2”, 175 lbs, 22.75 years old

1-3, 6.45 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 3.84 FIP, 9.32 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 82;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Prior to the 2007 season, the Dodgers signed a group of young Dominican players.  According to Logan White in a 2007 interview, the two most impressive players in that group were Pedro Baez and Bolivar Medina.  So even though the Dodgers haven’t been big international spenders in recent years, White’s assessment of Media tells me that he is better than your average Dominican signee.  After posting a 2.75 ERA through 36 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2007, Medina missed the entire 2008 season due to injury.  He returned to action in 2009 and was promoted to the Arizona League where he had another strong showing with a 2.89 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and .235 batting average against in 46.2 innings.  In 2010, Medina started the season in the Pioneer League, but got rocked in his first two games and was quickly demoted back to the Arizona League.  He continued to struggle in Arizona although he finished the season strong and had a pretty solid strikeout rate.  While Medina has divided his career between starting and relieving, his split stats in 2010 while in Arizona suggest that he best suited in the rotation (2.57 ERA as a starter in 21 innings vs. 11.37 ERA in 12.2 innings).  Still just 22 years old, this 6’2” lefty still has potential in my opinion and will hopefully spend 2011 in a full season league. 

108.  Ji-Mo Lee, RHP (7 IP in LoA, 13.1 IP in Pioneer League, 1 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 5/24/09

6’1”, 188 lbs, 24.25 years old

3-0, 1.69 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 4.09 FIP, 3.80 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 85;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers signed Ji-Mo Lee out of Korea in May of 2009.  He was originally drafted by a Korean baseball team in 2005, but was then required to serve two years of military duty.  He played for the Korean team in 2008, but was released after posting a 9.64 ERA.  While he performed poorly in 2008, after being signed by the Dodgers Logan White said “Ji-Mo has a feel for two types of pitches that are already at a Major League level and he should develop into a good pitcher.”  In addition, Byung-Hwan An, the Dodgers’ scouting supervisor in Korea said “I have been watching him since high school and always liked his fastball and aggressiveness on the mound.  He is a very talented pitcher with a high ceiling. It is great that we can give him a chance to play in the States, which has been his dream.”  Lee appeared in just 4 games for the Dodgers in 2009, and then made his 2010 debut in the Pioneer League.  He spent 13 innings with the Raptors, and I got this perspective from Brandon Hart, Ogden’s radio broadcaster “He should be just a solid middle reliever in the minors but I just don’t see him making the big-league club.  [However] he does have a plus slider and that could ride that to the show.  Fastball is at 93 and he has a good [pitch] combo.  Just doesn’t have the K numbers you would like.”  Hart is right about the strikeout numbers at Lee’s K per 9 in 2010 was unbelievably low at 3.80.  However, that is slightly skewed by the fact that he only threw 24 innings due to an undisclosed injury.  Besides his K rate, Lee’s numbers in 2010 were very good, and because he is already 24 years old he’ll most likely play in a full season league next year.  He already got a taste of LoA in 2010, so maybe he’ll spend 2011 in the California League.  He’ll have to move quickly if he wants any chance to make it to the big leagues.

107.  Andres Santiago, RHP (20.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 16th round

6’2”, 200 lbs, 21.25 years old

2-0, 2.18 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.76 FIP, 7.40 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 147;     Pre 2009 Rank: 133

Andres Santiago was drafted out of Puerto Rico in 2007 at the tender age of 17, and has spent his first four professional seasons in the Dodgers lowest US based rookie league (2 season in the GCL, and two seasons in the Arizona League).  I’m guessing that he’ll finally get a change of scenery in 2011 since he put together a solid season in 2010 with the Arizona Dodgers.  While his season didn’t start until August 1st due to an apparent injury, he made the most of his 6 appearances by allowing just 5 earned runs in 20.2 innings, good for a 2.18 ERA.  Santiago has been trying to make up for some lost time by playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, although the results have been disastrous in his limited appearances.   Overall, Santiago has a solid pitchers frame and is still pretty young.  Therefore I think that he has some potential as a prospect, and I really hope the Dodgers decide to challenge him in 2011 with an assignment to a full season league.

 

106.  Beau Brett, 1B (28 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 35th round

6’3”, 185 lbs, 21.75 years old, bats left handed

.239 average, .617 OPS, 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The fact that Beau Brett signed with the Dodgers as their 35th round pick in the 2010 draft was very odd to me.  He was a draft eligible sophomore who was rarely used at USC and only had 44 at bats over two seasons with the Trojans.  In addition, Brett never had an extra base hit in those 44 at bats.  The only reason the Dodgers even drafted him was because he has baseball bloodlines, with his most famous relative being his uncle George Brett.  Upon signing, Beau was sent the Arizona Rookie League and got a decent amount of playing time at 1st base.  Unfortunately his offensive stats were pretty dismal for the Dodgers and he struck out in 26.7% of his plate appearances.  In addition, I watched Brett’s scouting video and his swing simply wasn’t very impressive.  Looking to the future, I can’t see Brett ever becoming a legitimate prospect because he plays 1st base and hasn’t done anything impressive since high school.  Hopefully he proves me wrong, but I unfortunately see him taking the place the now released Austin Yount, who was another Dodger draftee with good bloodlines that didn’t do anything as a professional.

105.  Bryant Hernandez, SS (15 games in HiA, 50 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 9th round

5’8”, 170 lbs, 23 years old, bats right handed

.179 average, .524 OPS, 2 HR’s, 20 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 84;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers first noticed Bryant Hernandez when they were scouting his University of Oklahoma teammate J.T. Wise, who ended up getting selected four rounds earlier than Hernandez in the 2009 draft.  While Bryant is listed at just 5’8” and 170 pounds, in his junior season at Oklahoma he batted .351, hit 12 HR’s, and tied Wise for the team lead with 62 RBI’s.  He was also a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the nation’s top shortstop.  After the draft, Logan White said that Hernandez “is a kid that had good numbers, could hit in the middle of the night, could play short or second and he’s a sure-handed fielder with some pop in his bat. We could also turn him into a catcher down the road, if needed. He’s a grinder and knows how to play the game.”  Hernandez hasn’t played any catcher yet, and has instead spent the majority of his playing time at his natural position at shortstop.  After a mediocre debut in the Arizona Rookie League in 2009, Bryant was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons for 2010.  However, he had a terrible time in the Midwest League as he hit just.164 in 146 at bats and stuck out in 33.1% of his plate appearances.  He also didn’t show any power or speed.  Nevertheless, the 22 year old was promoted to the California League in August, and I’m guessing the move was made only because the 66ers needed depth at the shortstop position.  But he continued to struggle there as well and hit just .224 over 15 games.  Hernandez will be 23 when the 2011 season starts, so while he still has time to turn things around and become a legitimate prospect, he can’t afford to have another lost season offensively.  He’ll probably return to HiA and hopefully this time he’ll have better results. 

104.  Moises Tamarez, RHP (44.1 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’3”, 195 lbs, 19 years old

3-4, 4.06 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.58 FIP, 5.68 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 87;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The first thing I want to point out about Moises Tamarez is that his correct birth date is 3/6/92 and not 3/6/93 as is listed at various websites, so he is a little older than what most people realize.  This was confirmed with both the Dodgers media guide and Matt Eddy of Baseball America.  Either way, Tamarez is still a very young Dominican player who will not turn 19 years old until the start of the 2011 season.  The good news is that he already has a lot of experience under his belt (75.2 innings), and has posted a pretty solid ERA in his each of his first two professional seasons.  The bad news is that despite his solid pitching frame, Moises hasn’t been able to strike out many batters as his career K/9 stands at just 4.5.  Given his aforementioned experience, the Dodgers may opt to promote Tamarez to the Arizona Rookie League in 2011 to get him some additional coaching while he is still young.  I hope that is the case because with his size and youth, he could have what it takes to turn into a legitimate Dodger prospect in the future.

103.  Nick Buss, CF (65 games in HiA, 61 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 8th round

6’0”, 180 lbs, 24.25 years old, bats left handed

.264 average, .661 OPS, 1 HR, 48 RBI’s, 26 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 80;     Pre 2009 Rank: 27

After failing to sign Nick Buss out of high school in 2006, the Dodger got their man two years later in the 8th round of the 2008 draft.  During the two years between being drafted by the Dodgers, Buss spent time as the starting center fielder for the USC Trojans.  While his stats at USC weren’t amazing, he did post a solid .415 OBP in 2008 and placed 2nd on the team with 8 HR’s.  He also played in the Alaskan Baseball League in the summer of 2007, and was named the League’s top prospect by Baseball America after hitting .369 and stealing 29 bases.  Since being drafted, however, Nick “Chili” Buss has been pretty average, and I’ll admit that I had him totally overrated when I did my ranking two years ago.  I had based that ranking on a strong 2008 season in the Pioneer League and his ability to get on base, but it seems that his skills have diminished over the past two seasons.  His on base percentage was only .298 in 2009, and in 2010 he struggled so badly in the hitter friendly California League that he was sent back to LoA at the end of June for the remainder of the season.  While he improved slightly with the Loons, his 2010 combined OPS was only .661 and he only managed a single homer for the entire year.  Really when I look at Buss, his only assets are his above average speed, his ability to make contact (he has a career strikeout percentage of just 13.6%), and the fact that he can play center field.  He was selected to participate in the Arizona Instructional League after the season, however, so the Dodgers haven’t completely lost hope in him.  Buss will be 24 years old heading into 2011, so he is going to need a big comeback season if he wants any chance to ever make an impact with the Dodgers.

102.  Alberto Bastardo, LHP (56.2 IP in AAA, 82.2 IP in AA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 1/13/06

6’0”, 160 lbs, 27 years old

12-8, 5.68 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 3.93 FIP, 7.43 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 105;     Pre 2009 Rank: 142

Alberto Bastardo was originally signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 2002, but left as a minor league free agent before the 2006 season.  Upon joining the Dodgers, Bastardo was been pretty average until 2009, when he put his name on the Dodgers radar with a solid season split between HiA and AA.  In 2010, Bastardo, bookended his season in Chattanooga while also spending some time with the Isotopes.  With the Lookouts, one could argue that Bastardo was the team’s most effective starter as he went 7 and 4 with a 3.20 FIP.  However his ERA was 4.79 and he was 26 years old so he was playing against younger competition.  During his 2 month stint in AAA, Alberto made 12 starts and the results were ugly.  With the Isotopes Alberto recorded an ERA of 6.99 through 56.2 innings, and his WHIP was 1.76.  When it was all said and done, Bastardo’s stats for his 2010 season were not very good.  In addition, things have not gone well for Bastardo in the Venezuelan Winter League as he has a 5.85 ERA through 32.1 innings.  Nevertheless, the Dodgers re-signed the minor league free agent after the season, probably because he provides a cheap and experienced option as an emergency fill in starter at the big league level.  However, I’d venture to guess that if we ever see the left handed Bastardo in a Dodger uniform, then the team is probably in real trouble and will not in contention. 

101.  Eric Krebs, RHP (39.1 IP in AA, 17.1 IP in HiA)

Acquired via trade with Pirates in April 2009 for Delwyn Young

6’3”, 210 lbs, 25.75 years old

0-4, 4.76 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 4.12 FIP, 10.96 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 68;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Eric Krebs was originally a 16th round pick in the 2005 draft by the Pirates out of a small community college in Texas.  After four mediocre seasons with the Pirates, Eric was sent to the Dodgers as the player to be named later in the Delwyn Young trade.  Upon joining the 66ers midway through the 2009 season, Krebs put up solid numbers, including a .182 batting average against through 25 innings.  The earned him a spot on the Dodgers 2009 AFL roster, and a promotion to AA to start the 2010 season.  In 39.1 innings with the Lookouts, Krebs had a 3.89 ERA and a K per 9 of 9.67.  Nevertheless, he was sent back to HiA in late July and finished the year with a terrible ERA in Inland Empire (6.75) but an outstanding strikeout rate (14.2 K/9).  Eric’s biggest problem has always been his command, an issue that continued to plague him during the 2010 season which is why his WHIP was so high.  On the plus side, however, Krebs does flash a fastball that can hit 96 MPH, and he obviously has the ability to strike guys out, so he does have some upside.  Now 25 years old with 56 innings of AA experience, it seems reasonable that Krebs could make it all the way up to AAA in 2011 as long as he is able to show at least some control.  In fact, it’s still not out of the question that he could one day make the big leagues give his strong fastball and ability to rack up the K’s. 

100.  Steve Matre, RHP (2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 39th round

6’2”, 185 lbs, 22.75 years old

0-0, 4.50 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 5.20 FIP, 4.50 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers took a late flyer on Steve Matre in the 2010 draft as they selected him in the 39th round even though he didn’t play college ball last season.  He was recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had in 2009 after three outstanding seasons at College of Mount Saint Joseph.  As a freshman he immediately stepped into the closer role, and held it all throughout his college career.  His career ERA was 1.19 and he registered 32 saves – just 3 short of the Division III record.  His best season came in 2009 when he had a 0.41 ERA, a 13.1 K/9, and a .133 batting average against in 22 innings.  In addition, even though he missed the 2010 college season, he was cleared to play in a summer league and continued to impress by striking out 20 and walking just two in 15.2 innings of work to go along with a 1.15 ERA.  Upon getting drafted, Matre said “I was really excited to hear that I was chosen. It was like a dream come true and something that I’ve wanted to do (play professional baseball) for a long time.”  While he didn’t sign right away, he eventually joined the Dodgers in July and worked out in Arizona before getting into two games in August.  His professional sample size was too small to evaluate, but based on his college stats I’d say that he does have some pretty good stuff.  I know he wasn’t playing against the premier competition because he was in DIII, but it does take some type of talent to put up the ridiculous college stats that he did.  For 2011, I don’t think Matre will play in a full season league because his arm probably isn’t ready for a full workload given his Tommy John surgery in 2009.  Therefore, my guess would be that he spends the year in the Pioneer League, and might even serve as the Raptors closer.

 

99.  Pedro Guerrero, SS (2 games in AAA, 13 games in LoA, 31 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/10/06

6’3”, 181 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats right handed

.217 average, .614 OPS, 3 HR’s, 25 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 92;     Pre 2009 Rank: 67

Pedro Guerrero was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2006 and played two seasons in the Dominican Summer League before making his U.S. debut in 2008.  He produced average numbers in the Gulf Coast League in 2008, and had similar stats in Pioneer League in 2009.  Guerrero was promoted to LoA for the start of the 2010 season, but struggled so badly with the Loons that he was sent back to extended spring training in May.  He reemerged with the Raptors in June and served as the team’s backup second baseman where he hit .230 with 3 homers through 113 at bats.  He continued to struggle with his walk to strikeout ratio, as he struck out 5 times as much as he walked in 2010.  The one interesting thing about Pedro’s 2010 season was that he was actually promoted to AAA for three days in August where he picked up 1 hit in 2 at bats as an emergency infield fill-in.  At the end of the season, even with his terrible offensive display in 2010, he remained on the Dodgers’ radar as he was invited to participate in the Arizona instructional league.  Despite his lackluster career stats (.243 career batting average), I’ve always been a fan of Guerrero due to his youth, experience, and wiry frame.  He’ll be entering his 6th professional season in 2011, and I’m hoping that the 22 year old will have a better showing in one of the full season leagues. 

98.  Red Patterson, RHP (67.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 29th round

6’3”, 210 lbs, 23.75 years old

6-1, 3.33 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 3.42 FIP, 8.78 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A               

The Dodgers took John “Red” Patterson in the 29th round of the 2010 draft despite the fact that he had a 6.84 ERA during his senior season at Southwestern Oklahoma State.  The Dodgers must have looked past his subpar ERA because he had an impressive strikeout rate, with 103 K’s in 72.1 innings.  In addition, prior to joining the SWOSU Bulldogs, Patterson was a two-year starter at Grayson Junior College where he had an outstanding year in 2007 with a 10-0 record and 1.41 ERA.  Moving to his professional career, Patterson signed quickly and joined the Ogden Raptors without much fanfare.  However, Red quickly put his name on the Dodger prospect radar with a solid season in the Pioneer League.  He ranked 2nd in the league with his 3.33 ERA, and placed 6th with his 1.29 WHIP; stats which earned him a selection to the post season All Star team.  It should be also be noted that Patterson was much better against right handed batters (1.86 ERA vs. a 5.28 ERA against lefties), and also threw better on the road (1.97 ERA vs. a 4.54 ERA at home).  I had a chance to watch Patterson pitch one game online this season, and out of the windup he has a very high leg kick and takes a long stride.  From the stretch he obviously lowers the leg kick and shortens the stride.  Overall, Patterson’s strong season should be enough to give him a look in a full season league in 2011.  While time is against him due to his age, he’ll try to defy the odds and continue to make a name for himself next season.

97.  Matthew Sartor, RHP (18 IP in AA, 40.2 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/24/07

6’6”, 250 lbs, 26.5 years old

4-9, 4.30 ERA, 1.57 WHP, 2.59 FIP, 10.89 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 51;     Pre 2009 Rank: 33

Matt Sartor was selected by the Giants in the minor league portion of the 2010 Rule 5 draft, so he is no longer in the Dodgers organization.  Had he remained with the Dodgers, this is where he would have ranked.  The reason he is included in my rankings because I compiled my list prior to the Rule 5 this year.  Originally signed as a non drafted free agent, Sartor is a big pitcher that has shown some promise as a reliever over the past few years.  When you look at his FIP in 2010, you’ll see why I think he has some potential.  I’m not saying he’ll ever make it to the big leagues with the Giants, but his size and ability to strike guys out do cause him to stand out.  At 26 years old, however, Matt would have to move quickly.  He could be the one player we regret losing in the 2010 Rule 5 draft.

96.  Andrew Pevsner, LHP (28.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 16th round

6’3”, 205 lbs, 22.5 years old

3-0, 1.91 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4.26 FIP, 9.54 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Andrew Pevsner is a southern California native who was born on the day that Kirk Gibson hit his famous World Series home run, and Eric posted a story about it shortly after he was drafted (http://www.truebluela.com/2010/6/9/1509821/kershaw-wainwright-rematch-hits).  Coming out of high school Pevsner didn’t get a lot of attention from Division I colleges, so he decided to go to the Division III Johns Hopkins University because it has strong academics and a respectable baseball program.  As a freshman, he only threw about 80 mph, but a workout regiment increased his velocity to the upper 80’s by the time he graduated.  As a senior in 2010 Andrew had a 4.17 ERA, but struck out over a batter per inning and only allowed a .209 batting average against.  He wasn’t really sure he’d get drafted, but when he finally heard the Dodgers picked him he was shocked and said “It was literally a dream come true. I think it took me about 48 hours for my heart to slow down and to stop shaking.”  After signing, Pevsner was sent to the Pioneer League where he had a very good season in terms of ERA.  His 1.91 earned run average ranked 5th in the organization (minimum 25 IP), and he continued to post a strong strikeout rate.  However he struggled a little with control and allowed a few homers during the season, which is why his FIP was much higher than his ERA.  I watched him pitch online this past season, and he has a low leg kick, but straightens his leg before delivering the ball to the point where it slightly resembles Tim Lincecum.  He has pretty good break on his curveball, and also throws a changeup on occasion.  After the season Pevsner said his goal was to make a full season league out of spring training, and I think that is a realistic possibility as I project he’ll be with the Loons in 2011.  Even though I wish he threw a little harder, I do like Pevsner as a potential prospect because of his frame and because he throws left handed.  He seems to fit the mold of a left handed specialist, but only time will tell if he has what it takes to make it to the big leagues.

95.  Edwin Contreras, RHP (6.1 IP in HiA, 50.1 IP in LoA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 11/28/06

6’2”, 165 lbs, 22.5 years old

3-3, 5.56 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 4.91 FIP, 5.56 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 83;     Pre 2009 Rank: 53

Signed out of Mexico in late 2006, Edwin Contreras made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2007 and had a solid season with a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings.  He returned to the GCL in 2008 and was even better as he posted a 2.30 ERA and a .219 batting average against through 54.2 innings.  That earned him a promotion to the Pioneer League in 2009 where Contreras was a mainstay in the Raptors rotation, making 15 starts and recording a respectable 4.06 ERA and 4.19 FIP.  Moving ahead to 2010, Edwin made his first appearance in a full season league as he started the year with Inland Empire in HiA.  Unfortunately, he was terrible in his first 4 appearances and was sent back to extended spring training in early May.  Then in early June, Contreras was assigned to the Great Lake Loons where he finished out the 2010 season, spending time both as a starter and reliever and posting a 4.83 ERA in about 50 innings.  Called the “The Magician” by his Loons teammates (probably because he did a good job of getting out of jams), Contreras was better out of the bullpen than has a starter while in LoA (3.95 ERA vs. 5.87 ERA).  The one thing that has always concerned me about Contreras is his low K/9 rate, which was just 5.4 while in the Midwest League and is only slightly better at 6.0 for his career.  Despite his disappointing 2010 season, Edwin is still just 22 years old and has a decent pitchers frame, so he has plenty of time to improve his game.  He’ll most likely return to HiA in 2011 and will hope for better results this time around in the California League.

94.  Carlos De Aza, RHP (24 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/24/07

6’3”, 178 lbs, 20.75 years old

3-4, 7.13 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 4.49 FIP, 6.38 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 67;     Pre 2009 Rank: 127

Since signing with the Dodgers at the end of 2007, Carlos De Aza has had two terrible seasons and one outstanding season.  In his professional debut in 2008, De Aza was awful in the DSL, posting a 6.53 ERA and 2.08 WHIP.  Then in 2009, Carlos completely turned things around as he recorded a 1.30 ERA through 27.2 innings and allowed batters to hit just .149 against him.  His stellar 2009 season earned De Aza a promotion to the Arizona League in 2010, but he had a rude awaking as he got dominated by the more advanced competition.  He allowed 22 runs (19 earned) through 24 innings and had a .337 batting average against.  Despite his poor season, De Aza has a few things going for him as he looks to 2011.  First, he is still just 20 year so he has time to improve and mature.  Second, De Aza has a great pitching frame at 6’3”, so because he is young he still has projectability.  Finally, Carlos got better as the season progressed, improving his ERA as the months passed (12.00 ERA in June, 6.00 ERA in July, 4.50 ERA in August).  In 2011, I’m sure De Aza will either return to Arizona or play with the Ogden Raptors because he is not quite ready for a full season league.

 

93.  Daniel Tamares, RHP (57.1 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 9/26/06

6’3”, 170 lbs, 21.25 years old

5-3, 1.41 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 2.64 FIP, 7.22 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 119;     Pre 2009 Rank: 74

2010 was Daniel Tamares’ 4th season in the Dominican Summer League, and his experience showed because he absolutely dominated the league.  Even though he fell just short of qualifying for the league leaders in ERA and WHIP because he was shut down in early August for an unknown reason, his season was still incredible.  In addition to his 1.41 ERA and his 0.77 WHIP through 57.1 innings, batters hit just .141 against him and he ranked 2nd on the DSL Dodgers with 5 wins.  Another remarkable thing about his season is that over his final 4 starts, which spanned 25 innings, Tamares allowed just 6 hits.  It should also be noted that this wasn’t the first time that Daniel tore up the DSL.  In 2008, Tamares had a 2.37 ERA through 49.1 innings as an 18 year old.  If it wasn’t for the hiccup he had in 2009, when he had a 7.11 ERA though 38 innings, his career ERA would be remarkable.  Looking ahead to 2011, I’m sure the Dodgers will promote Tamares to the Arizona League give his age and experience.  Because he has a great size for a pitcher at 6’3” and has proven he can have success on the mound, a good season next year could really move him up the Dodger prospect rankings.

92.  J.B. Paxson, RHP (53.2 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 13th round

6’3”, 240 lbs, 24.5 years old

5-2, 3.02 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.14 FIP, 9.06 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 98;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

After being drafted in the 33rd round by the Dbacks in 2005 and the 18th round by the Braves in 2006, J.B. Paxson finally signed with the Dodgers in 2009 as a 13th round pick.  In looking at Paxson’s past, it also makes sense why Joseph was drafted so many times.  He hit a school record 29 home runs during his high school career, and then hit .455 with 13 HR’s in his only season at Walters State Community College.  Up until this point, you’ll notice that Paxson was actually known for his offense, as he was a full time catcher.  In 2007, however, Paxson joined Western Kentucky and proceeded to have three solid seasons as a two way player.  In his senior season with the Hilltoppers, Paxson hit .345 with a great 1.076 OPS, but had a 6.82 ERA through 31 innings.  Nevertheless, the Dodgers wanted him for his pitching arm because the Dodgers really liked his fastball.  According to reports, his fastball can get up to the mid 90’s, which makes sense given his massive frame.  Upon signing with the Dodgers, J.B. was sent to the Pioneer League where he compiled a 5.52 ERA in 29 innings, although his FIP was much better 2.89.  In 2010, Paxson was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons where he put together a very solid season.  His FIP and ERA were great, he struck out more than a batter per innings, he didn’t allow a homer all season, and opposing batters hit just .232 against him.  His only issue was his control, which is what cause his WHIP to be higher than expected.  At 24 years old, Paxson might get a chance to prove himself against older competition next year as he is a prime candidate to play in AA in 2011.   Hopefully that is the case because Paxson will have to move quickly if he ever wants to make it to the show.

91.  Enlly Morales, 2B (35 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/12/07

5’11”, 168 lbs, 21.5 years old, bats right handed

.273 average, .623 OPS, 0 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 73;     Pre 2009 Rank: 91

Signed after the 2007 season as an international free agent, Enlly Morales had a strong professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2008 and then was even better in the DSL in 2009.  That earned Morales a promotion to the Arizona Rookie League in 2010, but he had a disappointing season.  As the team’s primary 2nd baseman, he only had 6 extra base hits all season (all doubles), and the result was an ugly .623 OPS for the 21 year old.  The only good news for him is that he finished the year with a .371 average over his last 10 games to boost his season average to a respectable .273.  While I might have overrated Morales a bit last year, I don’t think he should be written off just yet.  I realize he doesn’t have much power or speed, but he has proven he can hit for average in the past and plays a middle infield position.  In addition, I’m sure that moving to a new country was a big transition which could have lead to his slump at the beginning of the year, so it’s encouraging that he improved as the season progressed.  That being said, Morales is going to have to show improvement next year if he wants stay on the Dodgers radar.  I don’t see him making a full season league next year, so he’ll probably spend 2011 in the Pioneer League.

90.  Logan Bawcom, RHP (27.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 17th round

6’2”, 200 lbs, 22.25 years old

3-1, 4.28 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.86 FIP, 9.55 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Coming out of high school in Texas, Logan Bawcom was shortstop and had an outstanding senior season at the plate, hitting .500 with 12 homers.  He went on to play at Midland Junior College as a two way player and had a solid career both as a hitter and pitcher.  Bawcom then transferred to University of Texas-Arlington, and it was there that he became a full time pitcher.  In 2010 as a junior, Logan threw 90.2 innings and had a 3.87 ERA with 87 strikeouts and a .277 batting average against.  That prompted the Dodgers to draft him in the 17th round, and the right hander signed quickly with the team.  He was assigned to the Pioneer League where he got off to a hot start with the Raptors.  He hit a rough patch in August, but overall finished the year with a solid FIP and had a great strikeout to walk ratio.  According to the reports out of Ogden, Bawcom throws in the low 90’s, has a hard 83 mph slider, and also throws a changeup.  The 22 year old will definitely play in a full season league in 2011, with the Midwest League as his most likely destination.  He’s the type of player who is a bit of a wildcard because he has the stuff to become a legitimate prospect, but he could just as easily toil in the lower minor leagues for his entire baseball career.

89.  Jaime Ortiz, 1B (85 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2006, 7th round

6’1”, 220 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats left handed

.270 average, .742 OPS, 8 HR’s, 41 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 69;     Pre 2009 Rank: 21

Jamie Ortiz was selected by the Marlins in the minor league portion of the 2010 Rule 5 draft, so he is no longer in the Dodgers organization.  Had he remained with the Dodgers, this is where he would have ranked.  The reason he is included in my rankings because I compiled my list prior to the Rule 5 this year.  The loss of Ortiz isn’t too significant because Jamie’s career had really stalled over the past few years.  After showing some promise after the 2008 season, he had a terrible season in the California League in 2009 and then was demoted back to LoA in 2010 where he was mediocre at best.  The one thing he has going for him is his youth, but at this point I really doubt he’ll ever make it to the big leagues.

 

88.  Joel Lima, RHP (17.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

6’0”, 165 lbs, 21.5 years old

2-1, 2.04 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3.09 FIP, 8.15 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 102;     Pre 2009 Rank: 65

Joel Lima, the much younger half brother of the late Jose Lima, was signed by the Dodgers in 2008.  After spending two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, where he posted a combined 2.71 ERA through 69.2 innings, Joel was promoted to the Arizona League in 2010.  Although he was limited just 17.2 innings with the Arizona Dodgers, Lima had yet another solid season with a superb ERA and recorded 3 saves.  His strikeout rate also showed improvement from the previous two seasons, and he absolutely dominated right handed batters (0.69 ERA and a .167 batting average against through 13 innings).  Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on his velocity or his pitch types.  The only negative for Lima is his size, although it’s possible that he is actually bigger than his listed height and weight.  Now 21 years old, Lima might be ready for a full season league in 2011, although I can also see the Dodgers sending him to the Pioneer League to get more experience. 

87.  Jesse Bosnik, 3B (55 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 13th round

6’2”, 205 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats left handed

.253 average, .734 OPS, 4 HR’s, 31 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers selected Jesse Bosnik in the 13th round of the 2010 draft out of St. Bonaventure University, where he hit .387 with 11 homers and collected 62 RBI’s as a junior in 2010.  On draft day, Bosnik wasn’t at his computer waiting to see where he’d be drafted, but was instead at the ballpark taking batting practice before his game as a member of the Wilmington Sharks in the Coastal Plain Summer League.  Jesse signed quickly, and joined the Ogden Raptors as their everyday 3rd baseman.  Even though he was a shortstop in college, his defense at that position wasn’t good enough for the professional ranks.  As it turns out, his defense at the hot corner isn’t much better as he had a .887 fielding percentage for the Raptors, but I’ll give him a break since he was learning a new position.  At the plate, Bosnik got a bit lost in the powerful Raptor lineup, and was pretty average overall. In Baseball America’s draft report, they called him more of a doubles hitter than a home run hitter, which isn’t good for his future as a 3rd baseman.  His one strength was his plate disciple, as he walked in 11.8% of his plate appearances.  In addition, while he doesn’t have great speed, scouts call him a very good base runner.  In 2011, Bosnik will probably be the Loons regular 3rd baseman and hopefully he’ll improve his defense and become a bigger offensive threat.  In a Dodgers system that is pretty thin at 3rd base, a big season could definitely get his name onto the prospect radar.

86.  Kazuki Nishijima, LHP (No stats in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in November 2010

Height & Weight Unknown, 21 years old
No stats in 2010

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Kazuki Nishijima was signed by the Dodgers in November of 2010 out of Meiji University in Tokyo.  Since there isn’t a ton of information about him, I’m going to mostly quote the Dodgers press release.  “Nishijima, who spent his prep years at Yokohama High School — former home to Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka — posted a 6-5 record and a 1.91 ERA during his collegiate career. Nishijima is just the second Japanese college player the Dodgers have ever signed.”  Keiichi Kojima, the Dodgers supervisor of scouting in Japan said “Nishijima is known for his curveball and his consistent arm slot.  He locates fastballs on the lower part of the plate and induces a lot of ground balls.”  After signing, Nishijima said “American baseball has been my dream since I was a kid.  I will do my best to become a successful pitcher in the Major Leagues.”  I was able to find a little more information from the website http://marinerds.blogspot.com.  The author, in response to a question from our very own Julio Nievas, says that “when Nishijima is on, he is really good. When he’s not on, it’s really hard to watch him. His inconsistency is probably the worst thing about him, but some people have thought that it might be a mental thing, since he’s never been valued where he thinks he should be, and maybe given the Dodgers contract, he might put out his “A” game every time, rather than just when he feels like it. I really thought there was a chance he’d get drafted this year in the NPB, just based on his size and leftiness. Like, the potential is really there for him to become something pretty great, if a team can coach it out of him. I mean, I’ve been watching him for years now, and he struck me as being a lefty version of Hosei’s Hisashi Takeuchi, just without the 96 mph fastball…(apparently Nishijima throws in the high 80’s, and up to 91)”.  For 2011, I’m guessing that Kazuki will start the year in extended spring training and then maybe make his way onto the Loons roster by mid-season.  The Dodgers wouldn’t have signed Nishijima if they didn’t think he had potential, but we’ll have to wait until next season to see how he fares against competition in America.

85.  Devon Ethier, OF (2 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 32nd round

6’0”, 165 lbs, 20.75 years old, bats right handed

.200 average, .400 OPS, 0 HR’s, 2 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

If Devon Either wasn’t related to Andre, he’d probably rank much lower for me, but due to the his bloodlines I have to give him some respect.  The much younger Devon is almost the complete opposite of Andre, except for the fact the he plays outfield.  Devon hits and throws right handed, and is a light hitting yet speedy offensive player.  In his sophomore season at Gateway Community College in Arizona, Ethier hit .315 with 34 runs scored in 50 games, and stole 21 games in 24 attempts.  He also threw 23 innings and posted a 4.70 ERA.  After the draft, Devon said “I don’t believe in any way or form that I’m in his (Andre’s) shadow.  I’m a completely different person and player. I’m on my own path. For me, it’s amazing he’s in The Show (big leagues) and with the Dodgers. It’s a big ‘Wow’ for me. You don’t find many people who have older brothers playing in the major leagues.”  Devon’s negotiations with the Dodgers went down to the wire as he finally signed with the team in mid August.  Therefore, he didn’t see much professional action in 2010 as he only played in two Arizona League games.  Overall, I really don’t see much of a future for Devon because he doesn’t seem to have any standout tools.  He is just 20 years old, however, so maybe he’ll make the adjustments to professional baseball and prove me wrong.  I’m guessing he’ll spend 2011 in the Pioneer League.

84.  Jan Vazquez, C (28 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 6th round

5’10”, 165 lbs, 19.75 years old, switch hitter

.226 average, .648 OPS, 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 61;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jan Vasquez is a young switch hitting catcher who was selected by the Dodgers in the 6th round of the 2009 draft.  He is from Puerto Rico, and scouting reports prior to the draft suggested that he has a plus arm behind the plate.  According to Logan White, “This kid is a real athlete. He shifts, blocks, has perfect size for a catcher.  If we don’t need him behind the plate, he could play second base because he can really hit from both sides of the plate.”  After signing with the Dodgers, Vazquez was assigned to the Arizona Rookie League where he played just enough to get his feet wet.  He only appeared in 25 games but had very poor stats.  As expected Vazquez returned to the Arizona League in 2010, but unfortunately he had another down season.  While he showed some improvement, he still only hit .226 and was again limited to fewer than 100 at bats.  Nevertheless, it’s too early to give up on the 19 year old Vazquez because he is still so young and only has 167 career at bats.  Hopefully he’ll play in the Pioneer League next season where he’ll be in a more hitter friendly environment.

83.  Travis Denker, 2B (20 games in AAA, 16 games in AA, 74 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2003, 21st round, released, then resigned in May 2010

5’9”, 205 lbs, 25.5 years old, bats right handed

.304 average, .830 OPS, 8 HR’s, 52 RBI’s, 6 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Travis Denker was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2003, and moved slowly through the system before getting sent to the Giants in the famous Mike Sweeney trade of 2007.  At the time of the trade, Denker was with the 66ers in Inland Empire and was having a pretty good season.  Fast forward 3 years, and Denker was back with the 66ers after resigning with the Dodgers in May as a minor league free agent.  In between his time with the Dodgers, Denker spent time with the Padres, Red Sox, and Mariners, and even made it up to the big leagues with the Giants in 2008 where he played in 24 games and can tell his kids that he hit a major league home run.  Getting back to 2010, Denker was the 66ers second baseman for the most of the year and had a very good season in his return to the California League as he hit .332 with 7 homers in 74 games before getting promoted on July 30th.  He spent the remainder of the season split between AA and AAA, but unfortunately his stats were much worse in the more advanced leagues.  Despite his end of the season slump, the Dodgers resigned Denker after the season so he will provide the organization with infield depth in 2011.  In addition to 2nd base, Denker can play an adequate 3rd base and is probably considered an emergency option in case injuries hit the big league team hard.  If the big league club stays healthy, however, Denker will probably spend next season in Albuquerque.

82.  Chris Jacobs, 1B (42 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 17th round

6’5”, 257 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats right handed

.215 average, .672 OPS, 7 HR’s, 25 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 55;     Pre 2009 Rank: 24

Every year I have high hopes for Chris Jacobs, and every year he disappoints me.  After spending three mediocre seasons in the Dodger rookie leagues, the massive 1st baseman finally got his first taste of full season ball in 2010.  While he did manage to hit 7 homers in just 149 at bats, his average dropped from .277 in 2009 to .215, and his OPS was only .672 for the year.  In addition, Jacobs was overmatched by the more advanced pitching as he struck out in a career high 31.3% of his plate appearances.  I was hoping that Jacobs would get more like 300 or 400 at bats in 2010 to get gain as much experience as possible, but he missed some time due to injury and had to share time at 1st base with both Jerry Sands and Jaime Ortiz.  If he had gotten at least 300 at bats, Jacobs probably would have smacked at least 15 homers and we’d probably be looking at him in a different light even with his low average.  But because he only had limited plate appearances, he was pretty much an afterthought on the Loons team.  Still just 22 years old, I remain optimistic about Jacobs because of his plus power.  He also ended the season on a hot streak, hitting .314 with an OPS of almost 1.000 over his final 10 games, so maybe he can take that momentum into 2011.  He’ll probably return to the Loons next year and it will be interesting to see what he does over a full season.  He’s a true athlete who is still adjusting to his size and more advanced pitching, so hopefully he can still make something out of his baseball career.

 

81.  Andy Suiter, LHP (53 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 10th round

6’3”, 215 lbs, 23.75 years old

4-2, 3.91 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 3.95 FIP, 12.91 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 94;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Coming out of high school Andy Suiter was a prize recruit by UCLA, but then due to a broken wrist and poor coaching decisions he transferred to UC Davis where he finally got an opportunity to play.  He was drafted by the Yankees in 2008 in the 32nd round, but obviously didn’t sign and returned to UC Davis in 2009.  While his 2009 college stats were rather unimpressive, he did improve his velocity and was hitting 94 mph by the end of the season.  So the Dodgers decided to take a chance on him with their 10th round pick, and after the draft Logan White said “This kid has a really good arm…He’s throwing 94-95 now and has a good change and a good curve ball. The question is getting him to command the strike zone.  When he was a starter he wasn’t very successful but when they moved him into the bullpen he had good success.  We’re going to start him and if he has trouble we’ll move him into relief and we feel he will be very good.  We think we have a great find this late in the process.  We can see no reason he can’t throw strikes, maybe he just likes relief better.  If we get another Brent Leach, that will be great.”  Based on White’s quote, apparently the Dodgers hope to someday sell Suiter to a team Japan?  In all seriousness, White was exactly right when it came to questioning Suiter’s control, because that is the only thing holding him back at this point.  Batters hit just .200 against him in 2009 and .202 against him in 2010; however his career WHIP is 1.66 due to his extremely high walk rate.  Besides his lack of control, Suiter was very good for the Loons and provided solid relief all season.  In addition, he led all Dodger minor leaguers with his outstanding 12.91 K/9 (minimum 50 IP), and after the season he took a road trip by driving all the way from Michigan to California.  At 6’3” Andy has good size, and given his pitching repertoire, velocity, and strikeout rate, I think this lefty could become a successful relief pitcher if he learns better control.  At 23 years old, he’s a candidate to move up to AA in 2011.

80.  David Pfeiffer, LHP (82 IP in AA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2003, 14th round

6’3”, 190 lbs, 25.5 years old

7-5, 4.06 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 4.41 FIP, 6.80 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 81;     Pre 2009 Rank: 76

David Pfeiffer was born in Vero Beach, FL, so he was destined to be a Dodger.  After signing with the team in 2003, however, he didn’t show much potential as a prospect until the 2008 offseason when he played for the Waikiki BeachBoys in the Hawaii Winter League.  It was there that he finally broke out by posting a 1.59 ERA, a 0.65 WHIP, and an amazing .127 batting average against in 17 innings.  Pfeiffer carried his success into the 2009 season where he performed very well in HiA despite playing in the hitter friendly California League.  After 6 minor league seasons, David finally made his way up to AA and played a surprisingly big role for the Lookouts in 2010.  He was an inning eater as his 82 frames lead all relievers, and he even made 3 spot starts when the team needed him.  For the year, he posted a respectable 4.06 ERA and had a solid WHIP of 1.29.  Another interesting fact about Pfeiffer is that he actually had some big hits at the plate, batting .278 in 18 at bats and picking up an unexpected 5 RBI’s.  The 25 year old lefty was a free agent after the season, but the Dodgers liked what they saw out of him and resigned him for 2011.  Given his and experience he should spend next season in AAA, and since the Dodgers are a little short on left handed relievers he could even be an option for the Dodgers big league bullpen down the road if he continues to have success and the Dodgers run into injuries.  Pfeiffer played in the Puerto Rican Winter League this offseason (he was on the same team as Dee Gordon) and dominated the competition through 11.2 innings with a 0.77 ERA and a .128 batting average against.

79.  Yimi Garcia, RHP (30.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’1”, 175 lbs, 20.5 years old

1-2, 7.04 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 3.17 FIP, 6.46 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 47;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Yimi Garcia had a terrific season in the Dominican Summer League in 2009.  Making his professional debut, the right hander had a 1.67 ERA through 54 innings with a 0.96 WHIP and a .202 batting average against.  After getting promoted to the Arizona League in 2010, however, Garcia crashed back down to earth.  Playing the season as 19 year old, Yimi gave up 26 runs in 30.2 innings while allowing a .356 batting average against.  The only good news is that Garcia gave up just 8 walks and 1 homer for the season, which led to his respectable FIP of 3.17.  It should also be noted that Garcia performed much better as a starter than as a reliever, posting a 3.71 ERA while in the rotation (17 innings) compared to an 11.20 ERA out of the bullpen (13.2 innings).  While he’s “only” 6’1”, he does have a solid pitching frame and definitely has room for growth.  Given his age and lack of experience, I’m guessing that Garcia will play in the Pioneer League in 2011, which will present another challenge since it is a hitter friendly league.  Hopefully he will have a better season to put himself in a position to pitch in a full season league in 2012.

78.  Steve Domecus, C/LF (34 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 9th round

6’3”, 220 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.252 average, .748 OPS, 4 HR’s, 23 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Steve Domecus grew up in Northern California, and after a great high school career he decided to attend UC Santa Barbara.  After redshirting his first year (2006), Domecus only started 5 games in 2007 and was told after the season he’d be used as a part time DH the following year.  Knowing that he had what it took to be a catcher, Steve transferred to Moorpark Junior College and drew a lot of attention from college and pro scouts.  Next thing he knew, the White Sox called during the 2008 draft and asked if he’d sign if he was selected in the 7th round.  Domecus wrestled with the decision, but finally told Chicago that he wanted to transfer to Virginia Tech instead.  In 2009, his first year at VT, Domecus hit .406 but didn’t show much power and was limited to just 40 games due to a broken hand.  Therefore he didn’t get drafted, and returned for his senior season where he improved many aspects of his game.  In 2010 Domecus hit .365 for the Hokies with 27 doubles, 13 homers, 60 RBI’s, and 12 stolen bases.  He was the team’s main catcher, although he also spent a little time in left field.  In their draft report, Baseball America said that it would be unlikely for Steve to stay behind the plate, and that a move to left field in professional ball was probable.  However, after the Dodgers drafted him in the 9th round this past season and sent him to the Pioneer League, he played almost exclusively behind the plate, with just 5 appearances in LF.  It makes sense for the Dodgers to keep him at catcher because that is where his value lies.  In addition, the system is very short on catching prospects.  At the plate, Domecus held his own in his professional debut but will look to improve next season in a full season league.  I got to watch Domecus play online this season, and he holds his hands pretty high above his head.  He also moves his hands quite a bit, especially right when the pitch is being thrown so it appears to be a timing mechanism that works for him.  Finally, he looks like an old school player with the high socks and seems to play with a lot of grit.

77.  Blake Dean, 1B (59 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 8th round

6’1”, 175 lbs, 23 years old, bats left handed

.302 average, .819 OPS, 5 HR’s, 35 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Blake Dean was definitely a safe and cost effective pick for the Dodgers as the LSU Senior signed for just $35K.  The 10th round pick of the Twins in 2009, Dean chose to return to college for his senior season even though he had already led his team to the national title.  In 2010, Dean hit .341 for LSU with a .430 OBP, slugged 12 homers, and led the team with 70 RBI’s.   He signed quickly with the Dodgers and was sent to the Pioneer League where he got off to a sluggish start.  But once the calendar turned to July, Dean caught fire as he hit well over .300 for the remainder of the season.  In addition, his most impressive stat with the Raptors was his 1.87 walk to strikeout ratio.  That’s one of the highest ratio’s I’ve ever seen, and it means that he struck out in just 5.7% of his plate appearances while walking in 10.7% of plate appearances.  The bad news, however, is that while Dean had over 50 home runs during his 4 seasons with LSU, he only knocked 5 out of the park for the Raptors and doesn’t really possess plus power.  Yet he plays 1st base which is a position that is going to require a significant amount of pop (unless you are James Loney).  Also, in watching his scouting video, he has an unconventional first step toward the ball which almost looks like it causes a hitch in his swing process.  Blake will undoubtedly play in a full season league next year, and the 23 year old will have to show more power if he wants to be considered a legitimate Dodger prospect.

76.  Kazuya Takano, RHP (No stats in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in November 2010

Height & Weight Unknown, 18 years old
No stats in 2010

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Kazuya Takano was the first Japanese high school player to sign with the Dodgers when he joined the team in November 2010.  Similar to Nishijima, I don’t have much information on Takano so I’m going to defer to the press release.  “Takano, a senior at Buntoko High School in Kumamoto, Japan, has been highly evaluated by the Dodgers.  [He] has a very smooth delivery and flexibility.”  After signing, Kazuya said “I’ve been working hard to make my dream to become a professional baseball player come true.  I am very thankful to the Dodgers organization and I will work even harder to become a big leaguer as soon as possible.”  Being just 18 years old, Takano will probably spend at least a few months in extended spring training, and then I’m sure he’ll get into some game action in the Arizona League.  Since there are really no scouting reports on him, we’ll have to wait and see how he performs in 2011.

75.  Jackson Mateo, RHP (22 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by the Dodgers in 2010

6’0”, 193 lbs, 18.5 years old

2-1, 1.23 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3.06 FIP, 7.36 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

I know he only threw 22 innings in 2010, but Jackson Mateo really had outstanding stats in the DSL.  Making his professional debut and playing as a 17 year old for the entire season, Mateo was actually the main closer for the Dodgers as he led the team with 7 saves.  He posted a 1.23 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP to go along with a .169 batting average against.  He also didn’t allow an earned run over the final 14.1 innings of the season, and gave up only 7 hits during that span.  In addition, if you look at what he did in just the month of July, Mateo allowed just 1 hit over 9 innings.  The only thing that wasn’t impressive about his season was his strikeout rate.  Listed at 6’0”, it is still possible for him to grow a few inches since he is still so young.  Given his age I’m sure he’ll return to the DSL in 2011, but another solid season could put him in the Arizona League in 2012 as a 19 year old.

74.  Rafael Ynoa, 2B (124 games in LoA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2006

6’0”, 180 lbs, 23.5 years old, switch hitter

.286 average, .735 OPS, 9 HR’s, 51 RBI’s, 40 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 172;     Pre 2009 Rank: 89

Rafael Ynoa had one of the most surprising seasons of all Dodger minor leaguers in 2010.  After hitting just .054 with a .240 OPS through 147 at bats in a 2009 season split between HiA and two rookie leagues, Ynoa put together a very solid season with the Loons in 2010.  His nine homers were nine times his previous career total, and his 40 stolen bases more than quadrupled his previous season high.  He also had a respectable batting average and only struck out in 11.1% of his plate appearances.  In addition, Rafael is an excellent defensive 2nd baseman with soft hands, and he’s even spent some time at shortstop.  During the Loons playoffs, Loon beat writer Hugh Bernreuter said “Ynoa is an outstanding fielder, especially at second base. He had a long string of errorless games during the season and made some spectacular plays. He is very solid, very consistent. The best fielding second baseman the Loons have had…. I believe the Dodgers want to see if he can handle shortstop because his future could be as a utility infielder, similar to an Omar Infante or Ramon Santiago. He has shown he can handle shortstop.”  Nevertheless, I’m still skeptical about Ynoa’s future as a prospect and am not as high on him as most people are.  While there weren’t many negatives to his season, he was caught stealing 14 times and his .735 OPS wasn’t really that impressive.  Overall, given his career stats prior to 2010 it’s going to take more than one good season to convince me of his worth, and he’ll have that chance in 2011 because he’s going to play in either HiA or AA. 

73.  Abdiel Velasquez, RHP (32 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by the Dodgers in 2010

6’3”, 184 lbs, 18 years old

2-1, 2.53 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 4.39 FIP, 7.88 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Abdiel Velasquez is the youngest player in the Dodgers minor league system, yet still managed to have a very successful professional debut in the DSL.  The young right-hander from Panama won’t even turn 18 until this upcoming March, but had a 2.53 ERA and a .150 batting average against in 32 impressive innings.  In addition he is already 6’3”, so he has the makings of a great pitcher’s frame.  Probably his most impressive outing was on 7/25/10 when he threw the final 3 innings of a no-hitter.  The only negative to Velasquez’s season was his control, as he walked 20 batters and hit 7 others.  However, I’m not too concerned about his wildness because he is so young and I’m sure is adjusting to his height.  For 2011 I’m sure Abdiel will return to the DSL for another year of seasoning, and he is definitely somebody to watch next year.

72.  Jon Michael Redding, RHP (144 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 5th round

6’1”, 195 lbs, 23.25 years old

4-10, 5.56 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 4.35 FIP, 5.38 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 46;     Pre 2009 Rank: 37

The Dodgers 5th round pick in 2008, Jon Michael Redding played his college ball at Florida Community College where he went 8-5 with a 2.02 ERA and a .222 batting average against in 2008.  He began his professional career in the Pioneer Rookie League, but was limited to just 31 innings in his professional debut due to a heavy college workload.  Redding spent 2009 with the Loons in LoA and led the Midwest League in wins with 16.  In addition, he proved to be very durable by logging 133 innings and had a respectable FIP of 3.70.  However, in 2009 Redding was also awful when pitching on the road (6.34 ERA in 71 innings), allowed an overall .281 batting average against, and saw his strikeout rate drop from 10.3 K’s per 9 in 2008 to just 6.5 in 2009.  So really it was a season of mixed results.  That brings us to 2010, which Redding spent with the Inland Empire 66ers.  Despite proving to be a workhorse yet again with 144 innings pitched, Redding’s numbers declined in every category.  Probably his worst stat in 2010 was his strikeout rate, which dipped to just 5.38 K/9.  In addition, instead of winning double digit games like in 2009, Jon Michael’s loss total amounted to double figures.  In terms of his future, Redding’s stock has dropped since being drafted back in 2008, when Baseball America said the he had a ceiling of a #3 starter in the big league rotation.  While he still possesses a low 90’s fastball, which is complimented by a good slider and a hard curveball, the fact that he seems to be so hittable concerns me.  For now it seems at best he can be a back of the rotation guy, although even that seems unlikely after his 2010 season.  Hopefully he can turn things around in 2011, whether he repeats in HiA or he plays in a more pitcher friendly league like the Southern League.

71.  Leonel Beras, LHP (71.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/22/07

5’11”, 143 lbs, 19.75 years old

8-3, 2.26 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 2.99 FIP, 8.92 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 96;     Pre 2009 Rank: 34

Leonel Beras made his professional debut as a 17 year old in the DSL in 2008 and was very impressive.  While he only threw 20.2 innings that year, he had a 2.18 ERA and a .235 batting average against and again was just 17.  However in 2009 he was unable to find the plate as he walked 20 batters and was limited to just 14 innings.  That led to a 7.07 ERA and a terrible WHIP.  Moving ahead to 2010, Beras rebounded nicely in his 3rd season with the DSL Dodgers.  He ranked 2nd in the league with 8 wins and also placed among the Dodger minor league leaders in several pitching categories.  One of his more impressive stats was his .178 batting average against through 71.2 innings.  While the left hander is listed at just 5’11” and 143 pounds, those measurements haven’t changed since he was 17 so I’m guessing he’s bigger now.  With over 100 professional innings under his belt, I’m sure Leonel will move to the Arizona Rookie League in 2011 so he can face some tougher competition.  Hopefully he’ll continue to be difficult to hit in the more advanced league.

70.  Arismendy Ozoria, RHP (31.2 IP in Pioneer League, 35.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’0”, 195 lbs, 20.5 years old

8-2, 3.61 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 4.15 FIP, 8.15 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 106;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Signed out of the Dominican Republic, Arismendy Ozoria put together a very solid debut season in the DSL in 2009.  His 2.53 ERA and .216 batting average against ranked among the Dodger minor league leaders, and it was enough to get promoted to the Arizona League in 2010.  He was only with the Arizona Dodgers through July, however, because he got promoted to the Pioneer League for the final 5 weeks of the 2010 season.  While he was in Arizona, he ended up with the 2nd most innings pitched on the team and a 2.78 ERA.  He also led the team with 4 wins, had a great FIP of 2.86, and he struck out an impressive 9.46 batters per 9 innings.  While in Ogden his stats weren’t quite as impressive, he still had a very successful season considering it was his first year in America.  In fact, his success got him noticed as Baseball America mentioned that several Arizona League managers liked his stuff.  In addition, during my interview with DeJon Watson last season he said that Ozoria is a guy to keep his eye on for 2011.  I’ve heard that Ozoria throws his fastball between 89 – 93 mph, although I have to confirm this information.  Because he’s still just 20 year old Ozoria probably won’t be ready for a full season league in 2011, so I’m guessing he’ll be a mainstay in the Raptors rotation instead.  Hopefully he continues to blossom as a pitcher and moves up the prospect rankings over the next 12 months. 

69.  Bladimir Franco, 3B (35 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/6/07

6’1”, 172 lbs, 20 years old, bats right handed

.224 average, .600 OPS, 2 HR’s, 20 RBI’s, 3 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 36;     Pre 2009 Rank: 30

Bladimir Franco was signed by the Dodgers in 2007 when he was just 16 years old, and made his professional debut in the DSL in 2008.  While he hit just .169 back in 2008, he lead the team with 5 homers as a 17 year old so that is what put him on the map for me.  In 2009 Franco had one of the best seasons for the Dominican Dodgers in recent memory with 9 homers, a .282 average, and an .880 OPS; and did all of that as an 18 year old.  That earned Franco a promotion for the Arizona League in 2010 where he started the most games at the hot corner for the Dodgers.  However the results were ugly as Franco had a .272 OBP, a .224 average, and a .600 OPS in 125 at bats.  He also struck out in 35.8% of his plate appearances and made 11 errors.  Despite his down season, I’m going to give Franco a bit of a break since the transition from the DSL to the Arizona League is a big one.  He obviously has some power, and while his defense at 3rd base is suspect (.881 career fielding percentage at 3rd base) he is still young enough to improve his footwork with some better coaching.  He’ll be 20 years old to start the 2011 season, and he’ll probably play in the Pioneer League.

 

68.  Michael Pericht, C (54 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 16th round

6’5”, 235 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats right handed

.278 average, .832 OPS, 9 HR’s, 38 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 90;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Pericht played at Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana, and as a junior he hit .337 with 12 HR’s to go along with a 1.046 OPS.  Going into the 2009 draft, he was very excited, and was quoted as saying, “Right now, I’m trying to stay as calm as possible. It’s exciting and it’s nerve-wracking. I kind of feel like a duck on the pond right now.”  He was selected by the Dodgers in the 16th round, signed quickly, and was assigned to the Arizona Rookie League.  While he only hit .211 in Arizona, he posted a .345 on base percentage and smacked 4 HR’s in just 109 at bats.  Pericht was promoted to the Pioneer League in 2010 where started off the season on fire.  He had a .378 average in the month of June and hit all 9 of his homers before the end of July.  He came back down to earth as the season progressed, however, and ended the year with a .278 average.  Raptors announcer Brandon Hart said this about Michael, “Pitchers have kinda figured him out.  He seems to be a sucker for the low and away slider.  You throw him something straight or middle-in and it will go a long way.”  Despite his 2nd half struggles, the 6’5” Pericht was able to establish himself as a power hitting catcher who has some potential.  In addition, it should be noted that 7 of his 9 homers in 2010 came on the road, so he wasn’t aided by the Raptors’ hitter friendly ballpark.  I watched a few games online in which Pericht was playing, and he has a pretty long swing.  However, he is extremely powerful and on one of his home runs it looked like he barely even swung at the pitch.  In terms of his defense, I’ll defer again to Mr. Hart who said, “I would rate his defense a bit below average as far as receiving the ball and blocking pitches in the dirt.  His arm is good.  He split time between catcher and 1B in college.  He might have a better shot at 1B but his value is at catcher.”  It will be interesting to see what the 22 year old does in a full season league in 2011.  I’m guessing he’ll play with the Loons, and a strong year could vault him up the rankings since the Dodgers have very few legitimate catching prospects.

67.  Steven Caseres, 1B (87 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 9th round

6’4”, 220 lbs, 24 years old, bats left handed

.256 average, .723 OPS, 9 HR’s, 57 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 43;     Pre 2009 Rank: 61

Steven Caseres was selected by the Dodgers in the 9th round of the 2008 draft out of James Madison University, where he had a great 2008 season with a .342 average, 21 HR’s, and 70 RBI’s.  Because he was just a redshirt sophomore when he was drafted, Caseres was set on going back to school until the Dodgers convinced him to sign with $250,000.   He had a good debut in the Pioneer League in 2008, and then really put his name on the Dodgers prospect radar with a strong 2009 season in the California League.  With the 66ers in 2009 Caseres only hit .260, but had 15 homers and an .828 OPS.  In 2010, many thought that Caseres was a candidate to move up to AA.  However, the Dodgers instead decided to keep Caseres in HiA for another season and it turned out to be the right decision.  Steven regressed and ended the 2010 season with a .256 average and a .723 OPS while striking out in 25% of his plate appearances.  He was also limited to just 87 games and really struggled at home with a .204 average.  Nevertheless, Caseres still has a ton of power so I wouldn’t write him off just yet as a prospect.  The 24 year old will probably move up to AA in 2011 and will look to rebound.  Finally, I found an interesting interview that Caseres did with a website called “All Things Valley League” (http://allthingsvalleyleague.typepad.com), and when asked what the Dodgers organization stresses about hitting Steven said “In all honesty, the Dodgers do not really have a set philosophy when it comes to hitting like some other organizations do.  The one thing I can say is that the Dodgers really want you to stay within your role as a hitter. If you are an RBI guy they want you to drive in runs, whereas if you are an on-base guy they want you getting on base any way possible.”  He also shared: “My funniest story so far had to be when we were playing at Great Falls, Montana and the power box exploded right over our dugout. It sounded like a gun blast and when I looked out onto the field, I saw our SS Dee Gordon running towards the outfield wall like someone was shooting up the place.”

 

66.  Tae-Hyeok Nam, 1B (40 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 6/16/09

6’2”, 215 lbs, 20 years old, bats right handed

.243 average, .713 OPS, 3 HR’s, 24 RBI, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 50;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

When the Dodgers signed Nam in June of 2009, he became the first Korean high school player they had ever signed.  He was scouted throughout his high school career by the Dodgers, where he hit 22 home runs and had 43 RBIs in 65 games to go along with a .314 average.  After the signing, Logan White said that Nam had “good power and well above average speed.”  White also stated that “Nam is strong physically.  With the help of our player development staff, I’m confident that he will become a fine player.”  After signing, Nam only got into 3 games in 2009 so his first real season was in 2010.  With the Arizona Dodgers Tae-Hyeok got the majority of starts at 1st base, and despite ending the season in a slump he was one of the better offensive players on the team in terms of homers and RBI’s.  After the season, DeJon Watson said that Nam has grown since signing with the team and is a big strong kid.  Watson also mentioned that he has a solid approach at the plate, and is a line drive/gap hitter with occasional pull power.  The bad news, however, is that Nam is now considered strictly a first baseman so the question going forward is if he’ll be able to hit enough in the higher levels to succeed at a position that require a lot of offense.  Now 20 years old, it will be interesting to see where Nam plays in 2011 because I’m not sure he’s ready for a full season league.  He may end up in the Pioneer League as the Raptors main 1st baseman.

 

65.  Matt Wallach, C/1B (24 games in AA, 67 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 22nd round

6’1”, 205 lbs, 25 years old, bats left handed

.264 average, .773 OPS, 11 HR’s, 42 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 125;     Pre 2009 Rank: 64

After a subpar season with the Loons in 2009, Matt Wallach probably didn’t expect to lead the 66ers in catching appearances in 2010, but that is exactly what happened due to an injury to Tony Delmonico.  Wallach made good use out of his additional playing time, having an all around solid season and even jumping onto the Dodger prospect discussions.  Wallach has always been a very strong defensive catcher, and even won Baseball America’s best defensive catcher award for the California League.  In 2010, however, he also showed some offensive ability for the first time in a full season league.  Wallach hit 8 homers with the 66ers and posted a.758 OPS, which is pretty good for a catcher.  That earned him a promotion to AA where he continued to hit as he recorded 3 homers and an .822 OPS in 68 at bats.  He also showed extreme patience against the more advanced pitchers, walking in 15.5% of his plate appearances.  His success earned him a spot in the AFL, and although he struggled with the Desert Dogs, DeJon Watson had this to say about him after the AFL season: “He keeps getting better. He had a strong year defensively. He finished at Double-A. His swing continues to improve. He’s changed his swing approach to be flatter. He had been a little hooky. Overall, his catching improved. We see him as a backup down the road. He has great makeup. His game-calling is getting better.”  Since he only spent a month in AA in 2010 I expect him start the season there in 2011, however I won’t be surprised if he moved up to AAA at some point if there is room for him.  Another good season could move him closer to his goal of one day joining his dad in Los Angeles.

64.  Bobby Coyle, OF (54 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 10th round

6’1”, 215 lbs, 22 years old, bats left handed

.316 average, .788 OPS, 4 HR’s 52 RBI’s, 7 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Bobby Coyle is a local boy who played his high school ball at Chatsworth, but was overshadowed by 2007 first round picks Mike Moustakas and Matt Dominguez.  Out of high school he was drafted by the Indians in the 19th round, but decided to attend Arizona instead.  After putting up mediocre stats in his first two seasons with the Wildcats, Coyle decided to transfer to Fresno State and received a NCAA waiver which allowed him to play right away (instead of having to sit out a year).  As a junior Coyle had a great season for the Bulldogs, co-leading the team with 69 RBI’s and hitting .360 with 11 homers.  After getting drafted by the Dodgers he didn’t immediately sign, but tipped his hand a little when he told the Fresno Bee “I grew up in the L.A. area, and it’s sweet and exciting to be taken by the team I watched as a kid.”  Coyle eventually inked a deal with $95,000 and was assigned to the Pioneer League in late June.  Bobby played all three outfield positions for the Raptors, and ended up leading the team with 52 RBI’s.  He also hit for a nice average, although like most players on the team he did much better at home (.900 OPS at home, .689 OPS on the road).  In Baseball America’s pre-draft analysis, they said that Coyle only has average power, but has good pitch recognition skills which could lead to him getting on base a lot.  They also said he while he is an above average runner, he projects as a left fielder.  Coyle will most likely get a chance to play in a full season league in 2011, and is a wild card for next year because it wouldn’t surprise me either way if he burst onto the prospect radar with another strong season or got lost in the organization with an average year.

63.  Beyker Fructuoso, RHP (3.2 IP in Pioneer League, 26.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/9/07

6’4”, 205 lbs, 20.75 years old

0-0, 4.45 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 2.97 FIP, 10.09 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 60;     Pre 2009 Rank: 26

Signed by the Dodgers in 2007, Beyker Fructuoso made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2008 as an 18 year old and had a very successful season (2.37 ERA and .229 batting average against in 38 innings).  In 2009, however, Fructuoso had a sophomore slump as he got lit up for 8 homers in just 28.2 innings in the Arizona League.  Despite his poor stats in 2009, the Dodger promoted Beyker to the Pioneer League to start the 2010 season because he already had two rookie league seasons under his belt.  Two appearances and 8 runs later, Fructuoso found himself back in Arizona where he finished out the 2010 season.  The good news is that he did very well in his return to Arizona, posting a 3.04 ERA, a 2.82 FIP, and a .202 batting average against in 26.2 innings.  In addition, he struck out over 10 batters per 9 innings and is still just 20 years old.  At 6’4” Fructuoso has a great pitching frame, and while I don’t know how hard the throws, I’d guess he could at least hit the low 90’s.  Now that he has three seasons and 97 professional innings to his credit, I’d guess that Fructuoso will spend 2011 in a full season league like LoA.  He is definitely someone to keep your eye one because I have the feeling he could be one of the Dodgers breakout prospects next season.  

62.  Gorman Erickson, C (82 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2006, 15th round

6’4”, 220 lbs, 23 years old, switch hitter

.215 average, .619 OPS, 2 HR’s, 27 RBI’s, 3 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 45;     Pre 2009 Rank: 103

Gorman Erickson is a switch hitting catcher who was drafted in the 15th round of the 2006 draft and signed with the Dodgers for $35,000 in May of 2007 as a draft and follow player.  Better known as Griff, he didn’t do much of anything in his first two professional seasons, nor did he get much playing time.  In 2009, however, Erickson made his way onto the Dodgers prospect radar with a .305 batting average and .860 OPS for the Ogden Raptors.  He was also named to the Pioneer League post season all star team and was ranked by Baseball America as the 30th best prospect in the system.  Unfortunately his success did not carry over into 2010 as Griff struggled at the plate in the Midwest League.  While splitting the catching duties with J.T. Wise, Erickson batted just .215 with only 2 homers.  He also really struggled against right handed pitching.  Nevertheless, the 6’4” catcher did have a few positives in his season as he had a very good walk to strikeout ratio, and had another strong defensive season behind the plate.  Overall, while I was hoping for a lot more out of Erickson in 2010, he is still young enough to turn his career around.  The Dodgers are very thin in terms of catching prospects, so the organization is going to give him every chance to improve.  They showed their commitment to Erickson by inviting him to participate in the 2011 Winter Development Program.  Griff will probably spend 2011 in Rancho Cucamonga, and hopefully playing in the California League will jumpstart his bat.

61.  Josh Wall, RHP (153 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2005, 2nd round

6’6”, 218 lbs, 24 years old

9-7, 4.24 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 3.77 FIP, 8.88 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 57;     Pre 2009 Rank: 49

Josh Wall signed with the Dodgers out of high school in 2005 as a 2nd round pick for $500,000, but has not lived up to expectations thus far.  He made decent progress in his first three seasons, including a solid performance with the Loons in 2007, but literally hit a wall in the California League in 2008 and 2009.  His combined ERA of 6.14 in 240.1 innings with the 66ers prompted the Dodgers to send Wall back to the Midwest League in 2010 despite the fact that he was 23 years old.   While he was disappointed with the demotion, Josh responded nicely in his return to the Loons.  While his stats weren’t amazing, for the most part Wall was able to regain his form against the younger competition as he posted a 4.24 ERA and 3.77 FIP while leading the league with 151 strikeouts.  At the very least, his season proved that the 6’6” right hander deserves another chance in a more advanced league, especially since taller pitchers take longer to develop and because he has the raw talent to be really good.  While his velocity has fluctuated over the years, Wall has hit 96 mph in the past and generally sits in the low 90’s.  He also has a pretty good curveball and a solid changeup.  In addition, the Dodgers could even move Wall the bullpen down the road so he still has plenty of value to the organization.  After the season Josh participated in Arizona instructional league, and given his age (and history in the California League) I would move him to AA in 2011 to see how he does. 

60.  Gustavo Gomez, RHP (7.2 IP in Pioneer League, 44 games in Arizona league in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

6’1”, 150 lbs, 19.75 years old

4-3, 3.66 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.74 FIP, 8.19 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 65;     Pre 2009 Rank: 113

Signed by the Dodgers out of Panama as a 17 year old in 2008, Gustavo Gomez had a great season in the DSL in 2009 which earned him a promotion in 2010.  As a 19 year old with the Arizona Dodgers, Gomez had a rough transition and recorded a 6.14 ERA through his first 22 innings.  However, he regained his footing in the second half of the season and posted a 1.23 ERA through his next 22 innings, earning the Dodgers pride award for August and a promotion to the Pioneer League for the final week of the season.  Used as both a starter and reliever, Gomez showed good control in 2010 and also allowed just one home run all season.  He was also mentioned by DeJon Watson as one of the players to keep an eye on for 2011.  In addition, it should be noted that his height and weight haven’t been updated since 2008, so I’m guessing he is now bigger than his listed measurements.  Still just 19 years old, Gomez has made good progress in his three years as a professional and will try to maintain his momentum in 2011.  If the Dodgers want to be aggressive with Gustavo they’ll assign him to the Great Lakes Loons next season.  However, my best guess would that he’ll start 2011 in the Pioneer League with the Raptors.

59.  Matt Kirkland, 3B (16 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 12th round

6’2”, 210 lbs, 20 years old, bats right handed

.239 average, .655 OPS, 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Matt Kirkland was selected by the Dodgers out of high school in the 12th round of the 2010 draft, and although he had committed to play college ball at Tennessee, he signed with the Dodgers pretty quickly.  After signing he said, “It’s a thrill. My family is excited. The community is excited. I got a lot of support. I think it’s good for the community. I plan to represent my family and community as best as possible.”  He also gave us some insight into his high school job by saying, “Let’s just say, the deal I got, it beats selling goats and chickens for a living.  That was my business. It beats selling livestock.”  In high school, Kirkland hit 17 homers as a junior in high school and 11 HR’s as a senior (with a .505 average).  According to scouting reports, he has plus raw power and has good pitch recognition.  However, like most players coming out of high school, he has holes in his swing that he’ll have to fine tune as he gets older.  Probably the most exciting part about Kirkland is that he’s been described as an above average defender with a plus arm and good range.  That means he won’t have to be moved off the hot corner any time soon, which increases his value as a prospect.  In the draft video I watched of him, he showed good technique both on defense and at the plate, and his swing looks like it does indeed generate a good amount of power and loft.  While he was a little older than most players coming out of high school, Matt will still be just 20 years old when the 2011 season starts so he has a lot of time to improve his game.  Because his professional debut was relatively limited, I’m guessing he’ll play in the Pioneer League next year and get a good amount of playing time at 3rd base with the Raptors.

58.  Jaime Pedroza, 2B (130 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 9th round

5’8”, 167 lbs, 24.5 years old, switch hitter

.280 average, .779 OPS, 7 HR’s, 37 RBI’s, 11 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 59;     Pre 2009 Rank: 19

Since getting drafted out of UC Riverside in 2007, Jaime Pedroza has had an interesting career path.  After an outstanding offensive season in the Pioneer League in his professional debut, Pedroza was sent to HiA in 2008, his first full season.  While his stats weren’t quite as impressive with the 66ers, he still had a solid season at the plate and was probably looking forward to playing in AA.  However, the Dodgers had other plans for Jaime in 2009 and sent him to LoA.  While he was probably disappointed with this assignment, he responded with career highs in homers (15) and stolen bases (36).  That brings us to 2010, when Pedroza finally made it to Chattanooga.  While he didn’t have eye popping stats with the Lookouts in 2010, Pedroza again had solid numbers and has now accumulated a .287 average and an .810 OPS over 4 professional seasons.  Going forward, his biggest challenge will be his height because it is rare to find a major league player at 5’8”.  However, the fact that he plays 2nd base helps his cause since most MLB players shorter than 5’10” are middle infielders.  With Ivan De Jesus most likely staying in AAA for another season, I’m guessing that Pedroza will return to Chattanooga in 2011.  Now 24 years old, my feeling is that Jaime is definitely worth keeping around, but unfortunately I doubt that he’ll ever make it up the show.

57.  Jeff Hunt, 3B (18 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 15th round

6’2”, 190 lbs, 20 years old, bats right handed

.240 average, .666 OPS, 2 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 37;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Selected by the Dodgers in the 15th round of the 2009 draft, Jeff Hunt turned down a scholarship to Ohio University and signed with the Dodgers when they offered him $125,000 and up to $114,000 in education money if he enrolls in school within two years of retiring from professional baseball.  Upon signing Hunt said it was a tough decision, but also explained that he wanted to play every day instead of having to worry about school work.  Hunt’s professional career got started a little late due to delayed US visa paperwork (he’s from Canada), and his 2009 stint with the Arizona Dodgers was mostly just a learning experience.  Before heading to spring training in 2010, he told his local newspaper “You can find someone off the street and they’ll tell you I didn’t have a great season. But more than just putting up stats, it was a learning process for me. I got to get my feet a little wet.  Coming out of high school, a lot of players still have problems with their swings and it’s a maturity issue, so those are some of things I had to go through. I worked hard in instructs (instructional league) to clean up my swing and build a mental approach on how to coach myself and feel my swing, and how to get myself out of ruts. Going into this year, knowing more about myself personally and my swing, is something that I picked up last year in only nine weeks in Arizona.”  Unfortunately Hunt’s 2010 season also started due to some sort of injury because he didn’t get into a game until late July.  While he never really got it going in the 18 games he played, Jeff did have a couple of good games and ended up with 2 homers in just 50 at bats.  Despite two lost seasons, what makes Hunt the most valuable in my option is that he is a legitimate power hitter and plays 3rd base.  According to scouting reports, Hunt plays solid defense and “uses his long arms to his advantage from the left side, displaying legitimate power potential.”  He is also a former hockey player, and got a lot of good experience by playing with the Canadian Junior National Baseball Team for a few years before being drafted.  He’s a wildcard right now, especially in terms of power, and 2011 will be a big season for him.  If he comes to camp healthy and has a good spring, the 20 year old could potentially play in a full season league and make a name for himself.  Otherwise, he’ll probably stay in extended spring training until the Pioneer League starts up in June.

56.  Jeremy Wise, C (86 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 5th round

6’0”, 210 lbs, 24.75 years old, bats right handed

.309 average, .868 OPS, 12 HR’s, 62 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 48;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jeremy Wise was already 23 years old when he was selected by the Dodgers in the 5th round of the 2009 draft, which drew criticism from some fans.  However, the Dodgers liked the fact that he plays catcher and had success during his college career (2009 Big 12 player of the year, 2009 Finalist for Johnny Bench Award, and 2009 semifinalist for Golden Spikes Award).  According to Logan White, “he reminds you of AJ Ellis as a defender and the kid is really a good hitter.  He stays inside the baseball, he hits to all fields and he’s got good power.  I think he will develop into a power hitting catcher at the major league level.  He plays hard and he is a gamer.”  Wise wasted no time in proving White right because he tore up the Pioneer League in his professional debut with a .338 average and .967 OPS.  In 2010 Wise was promoted to the Midwest League but got off to a very slow start.  Through the first 45 games of the season, Jeremy was hitting just .235 despite being one of the older players in the league.  However, Wise was able to flip the switch at some point in July and ended up hitting .309 for the season by posting a .400 average after the All-Star break along with a 1.089 OPS.  He also ended the year with 12 homers and 62 RBI’s, and had a .990 fielding percentage behind the plate.  While I’m still not sold on Wise due the fact that he has being playing against younger competition for the past two years, his 2nd half performance bought him at least another year of evaluation.  In addition, he crushed left handed pitching and is probably the best hitting catching prospect in the organization, so the Dodgers will want to see what he can do against tougher opposition.  Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised if he saw AA at some point in 2011.

55.  Scott Van Slyke, RF (12 games in AAA, 65 games in AA, 48 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2005, 14th round

6’5”, 195 lbs, 24.75 years old, bats right handed

.270 average, .768 OPS, 14 HR’s, 69 RBI’s, 7 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 28;     Pre 2009 Rank: 123

Scott Van Slyke had a huge year in 2009, but I never really bought into his season because his success came in the hitter friendly California League and he had never shown me anything in his previous 4 seasons.  The 6’5” son of former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke did his best to prove me right in 2010 because he struggled mightily in AA before getting demoted back to Inland Empire in June.  Scott again found his stroke with the 66ers, smacking 9 homers in 189 at bats, and was then sent to AAA to close out the final two weeks of the 2010 season. What’s interesting is that Van Slyke’s has demonstrated that the California League is the only place he can have success.  When you looks at Van Slyke’s split stats for his minor league career, he has an OPS of .883 with Inland Empire, and an OPS of .722 with all other teams.  Overall, while he definitely has the size and bloodlines to succeed, and also has a strong arm and plays solid defense, I’m going to continue to doubt his ability to make it as a big leaguer until he hits somewhere other than HiA.  The 24 year old’s 2011 destination will probably depend on how many outfielders the Dodgers end up inviting to spring training this offseason because most of them will probably end up in AAA.  If the AAA outfield is too crowded Van Slyke will probably end up in AA, but if not he’ll probably be with the Isotopes next year.

54.  Shawn Tolleson, RHP (28.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 30th round

6’2”, 215 lbs, 23 years old

1-1, 0.63 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 1.46 FIP, 12.24 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Shawn Tolleson, who was a travel ball teammate of Clayton Kershaw back in high school, had probably the best and most surprising season of any Dodger minor league player in 2010.  Selected in the 30th round of the 2010 draft out of Baylor, nobody thought much about him when he signed because he was coming off of an unimpressive college season.  As a redshirt junior, Tolleson went 2-7 for the Bears with a 5.17 ERA, although he did strikeout more than a batter per inning.  Mainly a starter in college, Tolleson was moved to the bullpen in his professional debut with the Ogden Raptors and something must have clicked because he was filthy all season.  In addition to his stats posted above, his absolutely ridiculous numbers include a .175 batting average against and 17 saves, which lead the league by a significant margin.  He also only walked five batters all season and allowed just two total runs.  A lot of his success can be attributed to his plus cutter, which is his out-pitch.  According to Ogden broadcaster Brandon Hart, “He loves to throw (the cutter) with two strikes and hitters can rarely make contact.  He is definitely a guy to look out for.  He is not only getting the guys out in the bottom of the order and getting the easy three-run lead saves.  He is also getting the close-game, get-out-of-a-jam saves.”  After the season, Tolleson himself said “I was drafted in the 30th round, but maybe I’m not a 30th-rounder.  So yeah, I came in here not even just trying to prove that but just to prove that I’m good enough to make it.”  A Tommy John surgery survivor, Tolleson was a little old for the Pioneer League and only has 28.2 professional innings under his belt, so before we get too excited about him we should probably wait to see what he does in a full season league in 2011.  However, he really did have a dream season for the Raptors so he definitely deserves some respect in my rankings despite being such a late round pick.

53.  Timothy Sexton, RHP (101.1 IP in AA, 28 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 25th round

6’6”, 185 lbs, 23.75 years old

3-13, 5.50 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 4.02 FIP, 7.65 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 40;     Pre 2009 Rank: 57

Coming out of Miami Dade Community College, Timothy Sexton was projected as a third to fifth round pick in the 2007 draft, but many teams stayed away from him when he reportedly asked for a $500,000 signing bonus.  The Dodgers took a chance on him in the 25th round, however, and were able to sign him for $123K.  Because of his college experience, the Dodgers sent him directly to Lo-A where he had a very successful debut.  Since 2007, however, Sexton has had a tough time, especially in terms of his win-loss record.  From 2008 through 2010, Tim has won 16 games and lost 39 games in his time split between HiA and AA.  I know that win-loss records don’t mean much, but that is a pretty bad winning percentage.  In 2010, Sexton was promoted to the Southern League to start the season after throwing almost 300 innings in the California League over the previous two seasons.  He was a starter and reliever for the Lookouts, and accumulated a 3 and 12 win – loss record before getting demoted to HiA.  While his ERA was 5.06, you could say that Sexton was a little unlucky in AA as his FIP was a respectable 3.73.  Upon rejoining the 66ers in August, Tim was really roughed up for a 7.07 ERA through 28 innings.  When you look at the season as a whole, Sexton did show some improvement because he held his own in AA and improved his strikeout rate significantly when compared to the last few seasons.  However he was also hit hard throughout the season (.306 batting average against), and again fell victim to the long ball as he allowed 14 homers (after giving up 17 bombs in 2009).   The good news is that he is still just 23 years old, so the 6’6” righty still has time to improve his game.  He was invited to participate in one of the Arizona Instructional Leagues after the season, and he’ll probably return to AA in 2011.

52.  Noel Cuevas, OF (3 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 21st round

6’2”, 187 lbs, 19.5 years old, bats right handed

.333 average, .833 OPS, 0 HR’s, 0 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

2010 21st round pick Noel Cuevas inked a deal with the Dodgers right around the deadline for $100K, but his signing went unnoticed by most because he was overshadowed by Zach Lee.  The outfielder from Puerto Rico was just 18 years old when he signed, and has intriguing raw power according to Baseball America.  He can put on a show in batting practice, however he has holes in his swing and his power doesn’t always translate into home runs during games.  He’s apparently destined for left field because of his below average arm, but he is strong runner with good makeup.  I actually watched a video of him and his outfield defense does indeed looked suspect, but I liked his swing which does seem to generate a lot of power.  Still raw as a baseball player, Cuevas will likely benefit from playing every day in the minor leagues and could have some success once he adjusts to more advanced pitching.  After playing just 3 games in the Arizona League in 2010, he’ll probably spend the 2011 season with the Ogden Raptors where he could have a big season in the hitter friendly Pioneer League.

51.  Ryan Christenson, LHP (36 IP in LoA, 14.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 7th round

6’1”, 185 lbs, 22.25 years old

3-1, 4.97 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 2.86 FIP, 7.46 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

2010 was actually the 3rd time that the Dodgers drafted Ryan Christenson.  He was a 35th round selection out of high school in 2007, but chose to go to Nebraska instead.  He didn’t play at all for the Cornhuskers in 2008, however, and transferred to South Mountain CC in Arizona for the 2009 season.  The Dodgers then made Christenson a 40th round selection in 2009, but again he declined to sign because he believed he could improve upon his 5.87 ERA.  He made the right decision because Ryan has a stellar season at South Mountain CC in 2010, posting a 1.09 ERA and striking out 59 batters in 58 innings.  That forced the Dodgers to use a 7th round pick on him in 2010, and Christenson signed relatively quickly for $125K.  Ryan was initially assigned to the Arizona Dodgers, but he dominated the league over a 3 week period (1 earned run in 14.2 innings with a .192 batting average against).  Therefore, he was promoted to the Loons in late July and remained in the Midwest League for the remainder of the season.  While most of his stats weren’t very good in LoA, he did have a solid FIP because he showed good control and only allowed 1 homer all season.  Described as having a loose arm, it should be noted that Christenson’s dad Gary pitched in the major leagues with the Royals in 1979 and 1980.  In addition, after the season Baseball America said that Christenson “doesn’t have top shelf stuff, but he’s one to watch.”  Now 22 years old, the left hander will probably return to Great Lakes in 2011 and work as one of the team’s 5 starters.  I’m going to keep a close eye on him and try to learn more about his pitching repertoire because I think he is a potential breakout candidate for next season.

50.  James Adkins, LHP (4 IP in AAA, 45.1 IP in AA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 1st round

6’6”, 230 lbs, 25.25 years old

3-2, 5.84 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 4.29 FIP, 9.85 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 41;     Pre 2009 Rank: 18

For a supplemental first round pick, James Adkins has definitely been a disappointment.  The all time strikeout leader at Tennessee with 380 K’s now has a career minor league ERA of 4.77 and a career WHIP of 1.58.  However there is good news because Adkins was finally converted to a reliever in 2010 (a move that I recommended last year) and while his overall stats weren’t amazing, he did have a couple of streaks during which he was very effective.  While in AA, James had a combined ERA of 1.08 in the months of May and June, and then didn’t allow a run in 11 August appearances.  AA batters also hit just .238 against him for the season, and he struck out almost 10 batters per 9 innings.  Even though Adkins struggled during his two week stint with the Isotopes, which inflated his 2010 ERA, I still believe that he has value to the organization.  Lookouts announcer Larry Ward said that Adkins’ fastball was up to 93 mph in 2010, which is definitely faster than when he was a starter.  When you combine his fastball with his good slider, that could be a recipe for success as a reliever.  After spending three seasons in the Southern League, the 25 year old Adkins will most likely start the 2011 season in the Albuquerque bullpen.  If he has some success in AAA, there is a definitely the possibility that he could help the Dodgers at some point in the future, especially since the Dodgers are currently lacking in left handed relievers.

Why #50: Despite poor stats over his minor league career, he was a 1st round pick and hopefully will thrive now that he’s a full time reliever.  I’m not overly optimistic about his future, but believe he deserves to be in the top 50 give his size and move to the bullpen.  He could eventually spend time with the Dodgers in middle relief.

49.  Brent Leach, LHP (39.2 IP in AAA, 65 IP in AA)

Drafted by Dodgers 2005, 6th round

6’5”, 215 lbs, 28.25 years old

10-5, 5.25 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 4.00 FIP, 7.62 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 31;     Pre 2009 Rank: 17

Brent Leach had an interesting year in 2010.  He started the season in AAA as a reliever, but then was sent to Chattanooga to work as a starter.  During his stint in the Southern League he actually had a pretty smooth transition, going 7 and 3 with a 4.57 ERA and a 3.98 FIP.  After the season, however, Leach was designated for assignment and his rights were sold to the Yokohoma Baystars in Japan.  Because I put together my rankings at the beginning of November, Leach is included in my list, and this is where he would have ranked had he stayed in the organization.  Personally, I wasn’t very upset when I heard that Leach leaving because I didn’t feel like he provided much value anymore.  He is already 28 years old, and the Dodgers were trying to convert him to a starting pitcher, which is a role I think he would have failed in.  In my opinion, even if Leach had stayed in the bullpen he would have continued to be a marginal left handed specialist at best, and while he probably would have given the Dodgers a few more good innings out of the bullpen in the future, there is no way he would have been anything special. Good luck to him in the Far East.

Why #49: He already played in the major leagues so he has what it takes to pitch in the big leagues, but even if he didn’t go to Japan I simply didn’t see much upside and wasn’t sure how he fit into the Dodgers future plans now that he is 28 year old.

48.  Justin Sellers, SS (90 games in AAA, 24 games in HiA in 2010)

Acquired via trade with Cubs in April 2009

5’10”, 160 lbs, 25 years old, bats right handed

.279 average, .815 OPS, 14 HR’s, 68 RBI’s, 7 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 75;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Originally selected by Oakland in the 6th round of the 2005 draft, Justin Sellers was traded to the Cubs in February of 2009 for Michael Wuertz.  He was then traded to the Dodgers for an undisclosed amount of cash.  Sellers ended up hitting a solid .280 for the Lookouts in 2009, but didn’t show any power as he had just two homers.  He was then demoted to HiA for the beginning of the 2010 season, and only hit .260 for the 66ers in 24 games.  Nevertheless, when Chin-lung Hu got injured Sellers was the one to replace him at shortstop in AAA and that is where the magic began.  Despite coming into the 2010 season with just 17 career homers in 5 minor leagues seasons, Sellers managed to slug 14 jacks with the Isotopes and posted a .867 OPS.  In addition, he hit .285 and walked nearly as much as he struck out.  Like many other Albuquerque players Justin was aided by the hitter friendly home ballpark, but even still he had a very impressive season.  When you look a little deeper into his background, however, you’ll realize that Sellers big season wasn’t as big of a surprise as first thought.  Sellers was named by Baseball America as currently having the best strike zone discipline in the Dodgers organization, and was in their top 30 from 2006 through 2008, peaking at #9 in the 2006 version of the book.  He is also the son of former big league pitcher Jeff Sellers, so he has the great bloodlines.  In addition, before he was drafted some scouts thought that Sellers would have been a late first round pick if he had been just a few inches taller.  Always known for his strong defense up the middle, Justin’s bat was what was keeping him from the big leagues.  Now that he’s shown he can hit advanced pitching, the Dodgers seem to have placed more confidence in Sellers heading into 2011.  Not only did the Dodgers trade Hu, but they also invited Justin to big league spring training.  Since Dee Gordon isn’t quite ready to play in the big leagues, my guess would be that Sellers would be next in line for the Dodgers shortstop position in 2011 should injuries hit the big league club.  I still don’t think Sellers has a very high ceiling nor do I believe he’ll ever be the Dodgers starting shortstop for a long period of time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually gets added to the 40 man roster and fills the Chin-lung Hu role for a season or two.

Why #48: I expect Sellers to make it to the big leagues one day as a backup infielder, but that is really his ceiling as he has limited upside at the big league level.  He could be the Dodgers next Chin-Lung Hu.

47.  Luis Vasquez, RHP (40.1 IP in LoA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/20/03

6’4”, 192 lbs, 25 years old

3-2, 2.68 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 8.70 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 174;     Pre 2009 Rank: 130

When I did my rankings last year, I had no idea Vasquez could throw 99 mph.  If I had known that, I definitely would have ranked him higher.  That being said, the fact that Luis Vasquez was added to the 40 man roster in November was still one of the most surprising Dodger moments of 2010.  I know that he posted a strong ERA and batting average against with the Loons in 2010, but he was also one of the older players in the Midwest League, did not have good peripheral stats in 2010, and has terrible career stats.  Vasquez is extremely wild, and has a career walk rate of 6.1 walks per 9 innings.  He also gives up a lot of home runs, and has a career K/9 of just 6.60.  Stats aside, Vasquez does have a fastball can reach into the upper 90’s and has an ideal pitcher’s frame, so obviously that is what the Dodgers were looking at when they added him to their 40 man roster.  But even still, there is no way that another team would have selected Vasquez in the Rule 5 draft had he been left unprotected.  One good thing about him being on the 40 man roster, however, is that now he will get more of a chance to work with major league coaches.  Hopefully these coaches will be able to teach him better control of his 99 mph, which could turn the soon to be 25 year old into a legitimate prospect in 2011.  With a full season of LoA under his belt, combined with stops in HiA in previous seasons, I’m guessing that Vasquez will be ready for AA next year. 

Why #47: His 99 mph fastball earned him a spot in my top 50, but he’s already 25 years old and going to have to do something in the upper minor leagues before he moves up any further in my rankings.  He has the ceiling of a power late inning reliever a la Ronald Belisario, but the chances are slim that he reaches that potential.

46.  Cole St. Clair, LHP (60.2 IP in AA, 12 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 7th round

6’5”, 225 lbs, 24.5 years old

1-3, 4.21 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.31 FIP, 9.17 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 29;     Pre 2009 Rank: 20

Cole St. Clair had a very impressive high school and college resume, and it’s amazing that he fell all the way to the 7th round of the 2008 draft.  While I’ve written these stats before, they are worth mentioning again: (1) as sophomore at Rice, he went 7-2 in 74 innings with a 1.82 ERA, struck out 100 batters, and allowed only a .151 batting average; (2) in the summer of 2006 he played for Team USA and posted a 0.69 ERA in 26 innings and struck out 43; (3) during his junior season at Rice he recorded a 1.91 ERA and picked up 9 saves; (4) finally as a college senior he went 10-3 with a 3.03 ERA.  After St. Clair was drafted, Logan White called St. Clair the “sleeper” of the draft and predicted that he would move quickly through the system; and so far White’s assessment appears to have been accurate.  After two strong seasons in the Pioneer League and Midwest League, Cole started the 2010 season in HiA with the 66ers.  He got off to a great start in the California League, and before the calendar turned to May he was already promoted to AA.   Once in Chattanooga, St. Clair was pretty consistent throughout the season, posting ERA’s in the 4’s for every month from May through August.  Despite his mediocre ERA, his overall FIP for the year was 3.31, and he only allowed 3 homers in 70+ innings.  In addition, he struck out more than a batter per inning.  At 6’5”, Cole doesn’t throw real hard, and according to Lookouts announcer Larry Ward his velocity in AA was around 88-92 mph.  However, he has enough quality pitches and solid pitch placement which may get him to the show at some point in the future.  After the season St. Clair was invited to participate in the Arizona instructional league, and for 2011 I’m guessing he’ll get to play in AAA.

Why #46: He didn’t really have a bad year, but the emergence of other prospects caused him to drop in my rankings.  He is already 24 years old, and I see his ceiling as that of a middle reliever at the big league level.

45.  Justin Miller, RHP (42.1 IP in AA, 34.2 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 6th round

6’2”, 190 lbs, 23.5 years old

6-2, 2.10 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 4.20 FIP, 5.49 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 54;     Pre 2009 Rank: 48

Justin Miller was considered to be one of the best community college pitchers available in the 2007 draft, yet he fell to the 6th round where the Dodgers gladly scooped him up.  What probably scared most teams away was the fact that Miller actually spent more time in right field than on the mound during his final college season, as he developed a tender elbow.  Nevertheless, he was hitting 94 on the radar gun before his injury, and at 6’3”, the Dodgers felt like he had a very projectable frame.  In his first three professional seasons, Miller was used strictly as a starter and had pretty disappointing results.  His career win-loss record heading into 2010 was 11 – 26, and he was much too hittable.  So the Dodgers decided to move Justin to the bullpen in 2010, and they have got to be pleased with his results.  Starting the year in LoA, Miller recorded a 1.30 ERA through 34.2 innings and had an outstanding .208 batting average against.  Given his success the Dodgers moved Miller up to AA where he wasn’t quite as dominant, but continued to get the job done.  After the season he was invited to participate in the AFL, and prior to the start of the Fall season DeJon Watson said about Miller: “We’ll try to push the envelope with him. He has a sinking fastball. He’s a ground-ball pitcher, and we want to get him prepared for next level. He’ll probably start the season at Double-A. We want him facing better hitters here to understand the adjustments he’ll need to make. He can be deceptive, and we want him to get to where hitters are chasing his pitches.”  Miller didn’t fare too well in the AFL, but he did get experience against advanced competition which will hopefully help him down the road.  As Watson alluded to, Miller is a sinkerball pitcher who pitches to contact when possible.  That is why his strikeout rate is so low, and it also affects his FIP.  In November I was sure the Dodgers would add Miller to their 40 man roster since he was eligible for the Rule 5 draft and would be easy to hide in the back of a big league bullpen, but the Dodgers decided against it and luckily he is still in the organization.  Justin will return to the Southern League in 2011, although a mid-season promotion to AAA is very possible.  I like Miller as a pitcher because of his sinker ball, and I predict that at some point down the road he’ll be good enough to help out the Dodgers bullpen in middle relief a la Ramon Troncoso. 

Why #45: Had a great year after moving to the bullpen, although his K/9 is pretty scary.  Looks to me like he could be a middle reliever at the big league level, and since he has a good sinkerball he could be the pitcher that gets called on to get out of a jam by inducing a double play ball.

 

44.  Greg Wilborn, LHP (38.2 IP in LoA, 43.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 18th round

6’2”, 175 lbs, 23.75 years old

8-2, 2.62 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 2.13 FIP, 11.70 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 124;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

As you can see, Greg Wilborn has moved up quite a bit in my rankings since last year and has definitely turned into a legitimate pitching prospect.  He was drafted out of the University of Louisiana Lafayette in the 18th round of the 2009 draft, and for his career with the Ragin Cajuns Wilborn compiled an ERA of 7.30.  However, it should be noted that he missed the entire 2008 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2007.  Upon signing with the Dodgers Wilborn had a forgettable professional debut in the Pioneer League, recording a 7.45 ERA.  He returned to Ogden to start the 2010 season, but this time the results were very different.  In 8 starts with the Raptors Wilborn posted a 2.06 ERA, and stuck out over 12 batters per inning.  He was also undefeated in 4 decisions, and had a phenomenal FIP of 1.81.  That led to a promotion to the Midwest League in August where Wilborn continued to have success.  With the Loons, Greg recorded a 3.26 ERA in 7 starts and continued to rake up the K’s by striking out over 11 batters per 9 innings.  For the season as a whole, batters hit just .239 against Wilborn, and his FIP of 2.13 ranked as the best among Dodger farmhands (minimum 50 IP).  In addition, he has begun to get some recognition from the Dodgers because during my interview with DeJon Watson, he mentioned Wilborn as a breakout candidate and said “isn’t it something what he’s doing this year?”  In terms of his pitching repertoire, this lefty features a slider, curveball, and changeup, and can get his fastball up to 94 mph.  Therefore it definitely sounds like he has the velocity and secondary pitches to remain in the starting rotation.  Wilborn will be 24 this upcoming June, so the Dodgers will probably want to be relatively aggressive with him in 2011.  I’m guessing he’ll start the year in HiA, but might even get a shot to play in AA if he pitches well in the California League.  Finally, Greg got engaged this past offseason, so that is exciting news for him.

 

Why #44: Wilborn had great stats in 2010 which caused him to jump onto the prospect radar this past season, and I like his potential because he throws left handed.  That being said, Wilborn is 23 years old and I believe his ceiling is that of a #5 starter or a lefty middle reliever.

 

43.  Jamie Hoffmann, RF (139 games in AAA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 9/2/03

6’3”, 235 lbs, 26.5 years old, bats right handed

.310 average, .800 OPS, 8 HR’s, 74 RBI’s, 17 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 30;     Pre 2009 Rank: 29

Jamie Hoffmann is an ex-hockey player who signed with the Dodgers as a non drafted free agent way back in 2003.  He worked his way through the organization and was added to the 40 man roster prior to the 2009 season.  Injuries to other players allowed Hoffmann to make his major league debut in May 2009, but he was sent down after 14 games and was removed from the 40 man roster later that season.  Taken by the Yankees with the 1st pick of the 2009 Rule 5 draft, he battled with new Dodger Marcus Thames for a spot in the Yankees outfield, but was eventually sent back to Los Angeles and spent the entire season in Albuquerque.  Jamie had a very solid season for the Isotopes, leading the PCL with 169 hits, stealing 17 bases, and recording an .800 OPS.  Always known as a strong defensive outfielder, Hoffmann maintained his reputation by making only 1 error and posting a .996 fielding percentage for the season.  He also led the team with 5 outfield assists.  After the season the Dodgers continued to confuse casual fans by adding Hoffmann to their 40 man roster once again.  Now 26 years old, I still don’t see Hoffmann as more than a late inning defensive replacement and backup outfielder at the big league level, and given the Dodgers outfield current outfield situation he won’t see LA in 2011 unless there are a few injuries on the big league roster and Xavier Paul gets moved.  He is definitely worth keeping around, but his ceiling just isn’t very high.  Look for Hoffmann to again put up strong numbers in AAA again next season while he awaits another call to Los Angeles.

Why #43: Hoffmann has already made his major league debut and is on the 40 man roster, so that earns him some respect in my ranking.  However he is already 26 years old and has the ceiling of a backup outfielder, so that is why he didn’t rank higher on my list.

42.  Carlos Frias, RHP (39.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 1/3/07

6’4”, 170 lbs, 21.25 years old

2-6, 7.78 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 5.39 FIP, 9.84 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 32;     Pre 2009 Rank: 71

Signed out the Dominican Republic as a 17 year old before the 2007 season, Frias posted a 1.81 ERA in his professional debut in the DSL.  He was then promoted to the Gulf Coast League for the 2008 season and held his own despite being one of the younger players in the league.  He spent most of 2009 in the Arizona League and it was there that scouts and coaches began to notice his 96 mph fastball and his overall potential.  After jumping onto the Dodger prospect radar, however, Carlos Frias struggled with inconsistency in 2010 and ended up with ugly stats in the Pioneer League.  When I asked Ogden announcer Brandon Hart about his struggles, he said “Lately the velocity has been down but it is a mystery as to why.  The fastball is 91-93 but was probably in the high 80s in his last start.  Inconsistent is the word though.  His curveball is top notch but he has trouble controlling it.  When he knows where his pitches are going, he is nearly unhittable.   Also has a change-up that is coming along.”  Baseball America basically echoed what Hart said, and also added “Frias has all kinds of projection and runs his fastball up to 96 mph while sitting at 90-92. The problem is that his command completely deserts him frequently, and he walked 21 over 39 innings. Frias will snap off a quality low-80s slider now and then, but like the overall picture, it’s all projection at this point. Check back after next season.”  I agree that Frias has a ton of projection, especially since he has a great pitching frame at 6’4”.  He also maintained a great strikeout rate in 2010, so he definitely still has great stuff at times.  Even though he struggled last year, I’m guessing that Carlos will play in LoA next season with the Loons.  He was placed on the Restricted List for an undisclosed reason in October, however, so I’m not sure how that will affect his status for next season.

Why #42: Frias has a great pitching frame and is still just 21 years old, so I’m pretty much overlooking his stats in 2010.  I like his potential since he has the ability to throw 96 mph, and I see his ceiling as a middle of the rotation guy or a late inning reliever.  The fact that he was placed on the restricted list scares me, however, so that is one reason why he dropped a hit in my rankings from last year.

41.  Nick Akins, LF (47 games in Pioneer League, 20 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 19th round

6’1”, 220 lbs, 23.25 years old, bats right handed

.341 average, 1.125 OPS, 21 HR’s, 70 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 56;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

As I mentioned last year, Nick Akins had an interesting baseball career before even turning pro.  It started in high school when Nick and his father were involved in an ugly fight during his junior season which led to his expulsion from the team.  Nick transferred high schools for his senior year, but wasn’t allowed to play baseball despite his best appeals.  He ended up playing in a weekend adult league and the Dodgers actually drafted him in the 13th round of the 2006 draft.  Nick didn’t sign, however, and played ball at Riverside Community College for two seasons, winning the JUCO state championship in the process.  After the 2008 season Akins transferred to the local NAIA college Vanguard, and after hitting .314 over 47 games with 13 home runs and 35 runs batted in, he was again was drafted by the Dodgers, this time in the 19th round.  He ended up signing with this time and was placed in the Arizona Rookie League where he absolutely dominated.  In just 120 at bats, Akins hit 7 HR’s and had an outstanding 1.055 OPS before getting promoted to the Pioneer League to end the season.  For whatever reason the Dodgers sent Akins back to the Arizona League to start 2010 and he again put up amazing numbers.  In 75 at bats Akins smacked 6 homers, collected 24 RBI’s, hit .400, and had an OPS of 1.277 before moving up to the Ogden Raptors.  Back in the Pioneer League Akins didn’t miss a beat and led the league him homers despite playing in just 47 games.  His Isolated Power (ISOP) of .334 was also extremely impressive.  So with these stats, why isn’t he ranked in the top 10?  For one, the 23 year old Akins has yet to play in a full season league, so that diminished his numbers a bit.  Second,  he has been compared to Manny Ramirez in terms of defense and attitude, so he won’t be able to play anywhere but left field because he doesn’t have the arm or speed to play any other outfield position.  Finally, according to Baseball America his pitch recognition remains spotty so he will probably be exploited in the upper levels of the minor leagues.  Nevertheless, it’s fun to root for a player with such plus power, and it will be interesting to see what he does in a full season league in 2011. 

Why #41: Nick Akins has done nothing wrong since turning pro, but he hasn’t played above rookie ball which discredits his stats a bit.  I see his ceiling as a powerful starting left fielder at the big league level, but Akins is still a long ways off from making it to the show.

40.  Alfredo Silverio, LF (4 games in AA, 95 games in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 11/13/03

6’0”, 205 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.283 average, .783 OPS, 12 HR’s, 43 RBI’s, 17 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 38;     Pre 2009 Rank: 28

Signed way back in 2003, Alfredo Silverio has been in the Dodgers organization for 7 seasons.  After spending his first three professional seasons in the DSL, Silverio was sent to the Gulf Coast League in 2007 and put his name on Dodger prospect radar by hitting .373 in 51 games.  That earned him a promotion to Lo-A in 2008, and he returned to the Midwest League in 2009.  In 2010 Silverio moved up to HiA and overall had a pretty decent season; but you would have never guessed that if you had looked at his stats in April, May, June, or even July.  Silverio was hitting just .245 with a .698 OPS through July, but ended the year on fire to finish with a .292 average and an .809 OPS for the 66ers.  Silverio also stole 17 bases and only struck out in only 15.1% of his plate appearances before getting promoted to AA for the final week of the season.  However, Alfredo continued to demonstrate poor patience at the plate, which has been a problem throughout his career (since 2006, he only has 80 walks in 1,813 plate appearances).  During the off-season Silverio participated in the Arizona instructional league and then spent time in the Dominican Winter League where he hit .355 in 15 games.  In terms of his defense, Alfredo has played all three outfield positions throughout his career and has a strong arm, but his below average range will probably limit him to left field as he moves up.  Silverio will almost certainly play in AA in 2011, and he remains a notch below the top prospects for me because I don’t see him having any of the plus skills to get him to the big leagues, especially if he is limited to left field.

 

Why #40: Silverio saved his season with a strong second half, but I still don’t think he has a lot of potential.  The 23 year old doesn’t seem to have any skill that stands out, which leads me to believe that his ceiling is that of a bench player at the big league level.

39.  Geison Aguasviva, LHP (72 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 12/15/05

6’2”, 166 lbs, 23.5 years old

4-4, 3.75 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.48 FIP, 7.13 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 33;     Pre 2009 Rank: 40

Signed prior to the 2006 season, Geison Aguasviva spent two seasons in the Dominican Summer League.  During his 2nd season in the DSL, the then 19 year old Aguasviva dominated his competition with an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of just 0.84 through 66 innings.  Promoted all the way up to the Midwest League to start the 2008 season, Geison had trouble adjusting to life in the USA and struggled through 19 innings.  However, after he was sent down to the Pioneer League he rebounded nicely with a 2.90 ERA in 71 innings.  In 2009 Aguaviva found himself back in LoA and that is where he really had his breakout season.  Used mostly in relief, Geison led the Dodger minor league system with a 1.58 ERA (minimum 50 IP) and had a .236 batting average against.  That brings us to 2010 which Aguasviva spent in HiA.  He was actually used as a starter to begin the season, but a 6.30 ERA through 5 starts prompted the Dodgers to move him back to relief.  In the bullpen, Aguasviva found his groove and posted a 2.77 ERA for the remainder of the season.  The southpaw was especially effective against left handed batters as he held them to a .157 average for the season.  As a tall, skinny player, Aguasviva still has plenty of projection left in his frame.  He currently pitches in the low 90’s, but the Dodgers expect that to jump even higher once he adds muscle.  His best pitch, however, is his changeup which projects as a plus offering.  While Aguasviva’s career strikeout rate is just 7.8 K’s per 9 innings, he makes up for that by allowing very few homers.  Looking to his future, Aguasviva should be used exclusively in relief for the rest of his career and a move to AA in 2011 is likely.  If he continues to have success, he should eventually get a look as a left handed specialist at the big league level.

Why #39: Aguasviva is definitely a reliever, and has the ceiling of a left handed bullpen arm at the big league level.  Really his drop in ranking is only due to the emergence of other prospects.

38.  Steven Ames, RHP (28.1 IP in LoA, 3 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 17th round

6’1”, 205 lbs, 23 years old

0-2, 2.30 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 0.42 FIP, 13.79 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 53;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Since getting selected in the 17th round of the 2009 draft out of Gonzaga, Steven Ames has been nothing short of incredible.  In his debut season in 2009, Ames had a 14.10 K/9 and he only walked 6 batters through 30 innings with the Raptors.  In addition, opposing players hit just .192 against him, and his FIP was an incredible 1.53.  His 2010 season got off to a late start because he partially tore his hamstring in spring training, but when joined the Loons at the end of June he stole the closer role from Vasquez and again had an unbelievable season.  In 28.1 innings Ames struck out 44 batters (13.98 K/9), walked only 3, picked up 16 saves, and had a WHIP of 0.85.  In addition, his FIP of 0.41 was one of the lowest I’ve seen for somebody with at least 25 innings.  After the season, Ames was sent to the Arizona Fall League but got roughed up in two outings and was sent home early with a minor injury.  DeJon Watson had this to say about his AFL appearance, “His numbers weren’t good, but he threw the ball good. He had a couple bad breaks or he could have been out of innings.”  Steven was also invited to participate in the Dodgers Winter Development Minicamp this past January.  I’m not 100% sure what his arsenal consists of, but I’ve heard he hits at least 94 mph with this fastball and has three solid pitches with a good overall feel for pitching. Ames will have just turned 23 years old when the 2011 season starts, and I really hope that he finds his way up to AA next year given his dominant pitching performances over the past two seasons.

Why #38: Ames obviously has good stuff because he has posted ridiculous numbers over the past two years.  He needs to continue to have success against more advanced competition, but if he can keep it up, I believe he has the potential to one day be a set-up man in the big leagues.

37.  Tony Delmonico, C (60 games in HiA, 7 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 6th round

6’0”, 194 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.280 average, .763 OPS, 3 HR’s, 18 RBI’s, 6 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 17;     Pre 2009 Rank: 13

After signing with the Dodgers as a 6th round pick in 2008, Tony Delmonico had an outstanding professional debut in the Pioneer League as a 2nd baseman.  He was then converted to catcher in 2009, and despite the tough transition he continued to hit with the Loons and was widely considered to be the best all around catcher in the Midwest League.  Moving ahead to 2010, Tony was supposed to be the everyday catcher for the 66ers, but unfortunately injuries cost him about half of his season.  When he was healthy for Inland Empire, Delmonico didn’t show much power, but he did demonstrate extreme patience at the plate.  He walked more than he struck out, and had an on base percentage of .418 for the season.  He also threw out 31% of potential base stealers and continued to improve defensively.   Still just 23 years old, and only two years into his catching career, I think that Delmonico remains the Dodgers top catching prospect heading into 2011 because he has the most upside.  If he can stay healthy, my guess is that he’ll spend 2011 in AA as the team’s main catcher.  At the very least, I believe that Delmonico will one day make it to the big leagues as a backup catcher.

Why #37: If Delmonico can stay healthy, I believe he has the potential to be a starting catcher at the big league level.  Injuries have definitely slowed him down, however, and his lost year caused him to drop in my rankings.  He’s going to have to stay on the field in 2011 to prove his worth since he’s not getting any younger.

 

36.  Derek Cone, RHP (4.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 31st round

6’5”, 210 lbs, 20.75 years old

0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 3.43 FIP, 2.08 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers selected Derek Cone in the 31st round of the 2010 draft after he had a great year for Mesa Community College in Arizona.  Cone was the team’s ace all year and had a 1.93 ERA in 84 innings to go along with 105 strikeouts.  His most impressive performance in college came when he threw 11.1 innings in a playoff game, no hitting the other team for 9.2 of those innings.  After much deliberation, Derek gave up his BYU commitment and signed with the Dodgers at the deadline for $150K.  He explained “I was all moved in and signed a 12 month lease for an apartment in Provo when a couple days before the signing deadline I received a call saying the Dodgers would come up to my asking price.”  Because Cone signed late he only pitched 4.1 innings in his professional debut with the Ogden Raptors.  At 6’5”, Cone is an intimidating presence on the mound and has a great pitching frame.  He currently throws in the low 90’s, although the Dodgers believe he’ll gain velocity as he adds muscle.  He also has a solid curveball, which is currently his best pitch, and like many other young pitchers he is developing his changeup.  He’ll still be just 20 years old when the 2011 season begins, so I’m not sure if the Dodgers will send the young right hander to a full season league.  No matter where he plays he’ll definitely be used as a starter because there is no point stunting his growth by putting him in the bullpen this early in his career.

Why #36: Cone is a bit of a sleeper since he was a 31st round pick and didn’t get much attention when he signed, but he has the potential to be a middle of the rotation starter in the big leagues.  Of course he is a long ways off from that potential, but he is still young and has a great pitching frame. 

35.  Austin Gallagher, 1B (111 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 3rd round

6’5”, 210 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats left handed

.291 average, .755 OPS, 6 HR’s, 64 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 19;     Pre 2009 Rank: 7

If you didn’t know anything about Austin Gallagher, when you looked at stats for 2010 you’d say he had a pretty good year.  I mean he spent the season as a 21 year old in HiA and posted a solid average with a little bit of power, so what isn’t there to like?  Well the problem is that Gallagher put up almost identical stats in the same league two year ago as a 19 year old, so he has actually regressed since getting drafted in 2007.  In addition, while Gallagher used to spend most of his time at the hot corner, he is now strictly a first baseman.  Despite the fact that Gallagher’s prospect shine has lost quite a bit of luster over the past two years, he isn’t a lost cause yet.  Still just 22 years old, he is a 6’5” giant who already has 4 years of professional experience.  The power still isn’t there, as demonstrated by his 6 homers and .755 OPS, but he did hit .291 and led the 66ers with 64 RBI’s.  He also makes good contact and had a solid 16.7% strikeout rate in 2010.  In addition, he was invited to participate in the Arizona Instructional League after the season, so he is definitely still on the Dodgers radar.  Given that he has already spent two year in Class A, I’m guessing that Gallagher will move up to AA in 2011.  If he does make it to the Southern League he will be one of the younger players in the league, so if he continues to hit for a decent average and is able to show even a little bit of power, Gallagher will continue to be considered a legitimate prospect in my book. 
Why #35: Gallagher dropped in my ranking because he is now limited to 1st base and still hasn’t tapped into his power potential.  However he is still just 22 years old and has the size to one day be a legitimate power threat at the plate.  I still see his ceiling as a big league 1st baseman if he can show some more power, although a more realistic goal for him would be to make it to the show as a bench player.

34.  Russell Mitchell, 1B/3B (127 games in AAA)

Drafted by Dodgers 2003, 15th round

5’11”, 205 lbs, 26 years old, bats right handed

.315 average, .898 OPS, 23 HR’s, 87 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 52;     Pre 2009 Rank: 32

Russell Mitchell has been with the Dodgers since 2003, and played with 12 different minor league teams before finally realizing his goal of making it to the big leagues this past season.  He had some good seasons in the past, but it wasn’t until he reached the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League that he really had a breakout year.  Mitchell ranked among to the top 10 in many of the league’s offensive category, and led the Isotopes with 97 runs scored.  He also held his own at 3rd base, and showed versatility by playing four other positions, which really boosted his value as a prospect.  Upon getting called up to the Dodgers in September, Mitchell continued to show off his power with two homers in 15 games.  The only worrisome thing about his season was that Russ did much of his offensive damage at home in the friendly confines of “The Lab”, while posting an OPS of just .770 on the road.  In addition, Mitchell has a pretty low ceiling as a big league player and is already 26 years old, so that is why he didn’t place higher in my rankings.  Known as a grinder in the mold of Kevin Millar, Mitchell is now on the 40 man roster at the very least will return to Los Angeles when rosters expand next September.  For most of the 2011 season, however, I’m sure he’ll continue to wreak havoc against AAA pitching.

Why #34: Mitchell has the ability to play 3rd base and has already made his major league debut, which are two reasons why he moved up in my rankings.  The reason he isn’t in my top 30, however, is because he is 26 years old and I don’t see much upside as his ceiling is a utility player at the big league level.

 

33.  Travis Schlichting, RHP (47.1 IP in AAA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/6/07

6’4”, 190 lbs, 26.25 years old

3-0, 4.75 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 4.36 FIP, 5.51 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 26;     Pre 2009 Rank: 38

Travis Schlichting was originally selected as a 3rd baseman in the 4th round of the 2003 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, but he never really succeeded with his bat.  He was traded to the Angels after the 2005 season, and during 2006 he played both in the field and on the mound.  Released by the Angles, Schlichting wound up playing with an independent league for all of 2007.  The Dodgers decided to take a chance on him in October of 2007, and after an extended stay in Spring Training at the beginning of 2008, he debuted at AA for the Dodgers and pitched very well throughout the entire season.  That winter he was added to the 40 man roster, and in 2009 he battled injuries but put up great stats when healthy.  He actually made his major league debut on 6/7/09 in Texas and allowed one run in 1.2 innings.  He pitched in just one more MLB game before getting sent down to Albuquerque in mid June, and was eventually placed on the 60 day DL to end his season.  That brings us to Schlichting’s unique 2010 season in which he performed better in the big leagues than he did in the minors.  In 47.1 AAA innings, Schlichting had a 4.75 ERA and a .294 batting average against, but in his 22.2 innings with the Dodgers he recorded a 3.57 ERA and a .233 batting average against.  I guess some of the discrepancy can be linked to the PCL being such a hitter friendly league, but even still it is pretty rare for a player to do better in the majors than in the minors.  Schlichting’s fastball generally sits in the low 90’s, although he gets up to 94 mph on occasion, and he has several other pitches he can throw for strikes.  While Schlichting has never had a high strikeout rate and lacks a true strikeout pitch, his composure in the Dodgers bullpen over the past two seasons demonstrates to me that he can be a valuable option out of the Dodgers bullpen.  He won’t make the Dodgers out of spring training this year due to their crowded bullpen, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be in Los Angeles at some point in 2011.

Why #33: Schlichting has already proven that he can have success at the big league level, but his ceiling seems to be that of a middle reliever.  Now 26 years old, he’s basically an insurance policy for the Dodgers. 

32.  Brandon Martinez, RHP (36 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 7th round

6’4”, 160 lbs, 20.25 years old

3-2, 5.25 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 2.89 FIP, 8.00 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 27;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Brandon Martinez was drafted in 2009, and when I saw that he had signed with the Dodgers I was very excited.  Drafted out of Fowler High School (near Fresno), Martinez had dominate stats during his senior season as he struck out 85 batters in 45 innings and allowed a .124 batting average against.  At 6’4” he also had a great pitching frame, so I really like his ceiling.  After the draft, Logan White said “This kid is skinny as rail but I’ll tell you he has an outstanding delivery, throws hard and has a fine breaking ball. We’ll have to put a little weight on him. He could turn into a really fine pitcher over time.”  Upon signing with the Dodgers, Martinez was sent to the Arizona Rookie League and struggled mightily.  I didn’t read too much into those stats, however, because he was simply adjusting to professional hitters and more importantly did show flashes of dominance with this strikeout rate.  In 2010 he returned to the Arizona League and had an up and down season.  When he started games (5 starts and 24.1 innings), he had a 2.22 ERA with a .266 batting average against.  When he pitched in relief (7 games and 11.2 innings), he had an 11.57 ERA and a .383 batting average against.  In addition, while his overall season ERA was 5.25, his FIP was a much more impressive 2.89.  Given these stats and the upside he brings, it appears that the Dodgers should strictly use him as a starter going forward.  After the season, I talked to DeJon Watson about Martinez and he said that he has gained about 10 pounds since last year, but he still needs some more added strength.  Watson also stated that while he can still touch 93 and 94 mph on a good night, he sits comfortably with a slightly above average fastball at about 90 to 92 mph.  Finally, DeJon said his breaking ball is solid average, and his changeup is developing.  In 2011, Brandon, who struggles with Tourette Syndrome, will probably only move up to the Pioneer League since I don’t believe he is ready for a full season league.  He is definitely someone to watch, however, because I believe he has the tools to become a top 20 prospect by next year.

Why #32: Brandon Martinez is still very young, and is my opinion has the upside of a #3 starter at the big league level.  It’s always tough to judge high school talent, but I love players with potential and I think that Martinez has tons of it. 

 

31.  Angelo Songco, LF (135 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 4th round

6’0”, 190 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats left handed

.274 average, .790 OPS, 15 HR’s, 71 RBI’s, 6 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 39;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Angelo Songco was born in Granda Hills and played his college ball locally at Loyola Marymount.  During his junior season he led the Lions with a .360 average, 15 home runs, and 63 RBI’s in just 59 games to go along with a sizzling OPS of 1.159.  Selected by the Dodgers in the 4th round of the 2009 draft, Songco signed quickly for $225,000 and continued his torrid hitting in the Pioneer League, whacking 7 home runs in his first 19 games.  In spring training 2010, Songco got to play in a few games with the big league club and even hit a no doubt about it homer against the Angels on 3/15/10.  For the 2010 season Songco was promoted to LoA, and was the Loons everyday left fielder.  Despite being one of the younger offensive players on the club, Songco hit 15 homers in a team high 507 at bats.  In addition, if it wasn’t for a terrible slump to end the season, Angelo’s OPS would have been well over .800 for the year.  Songco also made good contact, striking out in just 16% of his plate appearances, and held his own against left handed pitchers with a .250 average.  Stats aside, the one thing that stands out for Songco is his huge power.  While he is not a big or imposing player by any stretch of the imagination, he can knock the cover off the ball with his extremely quick swing.  In fact, one of Songco’s homers last season reportedly traveled an estimated 508 feet at Dow Diamond.  While he gets pull happy at times, he does have power to all fields.  The only drawback to Songco is that he is limited to playing left field, but he hasn’t made many errors at all since turning pro and has an adequate arm.  If he can adjust to the more advanced competition and continue to hit homers, Songco will shoot up the prospect charts.  He’ll probably play in the California League next season and will hopefully have a field day in the hitter friendly environment.

Why #31: Songco has a ton of raw power, which is something that you simply can’t teach.  That being said, his defense limits him to left field which generally requires a ton of offensive output.  Therefore, while his ceiling is that of a left fielder at the big league level, he’s going to have to continue to put up big numbers if he ever wants to make it to the show.

30.  Jon Link, RHP (60.2 IP in AAA in 2010)

Acquired in trade with White Sox for Juan Pierre

6’1”, 190 lbs, 27 years old

3-2, 3.71 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.55 FIP, 8.16 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jon Link, who was acquired from the White Sox when the Dodgers sent Juan Pierre to Chicago, was originally a 26th round pick of the Padres back in 2005.  In his 5 professional seasons prior to joining the Dodgers, Link had put up solid career numbers as he had struck out over a batter per inning and had an ERA of around 3.90.  After joining the Dodgers, he spent most of the 2010 season in AAA and in my opinion was the pitching MVP of the team.  The workhorse of the Isotopes bullpen, Link threw 60.2 innings and recorded a 3.71 ERA.  His FIP for the year was 3.55 and he picked up 4 saves and 3 wins.  In addition, Link made his major league debut in 2010 as he was called up by the Dodgers 6 different times during the season.  However he was used sparingly during his callups and his MLB sample size is too small to analyze.  After the season Link was sent to the Arizona Fall League, and despite being a reliever his entire career DeJon Watson said “We’ll use him here in a starting role to get him stretched out. We know he can pitch in the middle of the bullpen at the big league level. We want to get him stretched out here to create more value going into Spring Training.”  Jon was pretty mediocre in the AFL, but during the Dodgers “Young Guns” pitching minicamp in January 2011 Rick Honeycutt re-emphasized that Link will continue to work as a starter since he “can always go back (to relief).”  In terms of his stuff, Link has a 3 pitch mix that starts his with low 90’s fastball.  His best pitch, however, is his slider which is a legitimate strikeout pitch.  Give the Dodgers pitching depth, Link will definitely start the 2011 season in AAA, but I’m guessing he’ll find his way back to LA at some point again next season.  Whether he is a starter or reliever, Link is a solid arm for this organization and gives the team depth.

Why #30: Even though Link is going to train as a starter in 2010, I think his ceiling is that of a middle reliever at the big league level.  If the Dodgers were short on arms I think Link would be able to provide adequate middle relief at the big league level for this upcoming season, but since the Dodgers bullpen appears to already be full for 2011 he’s going to have to continue to perform in AAA if he wants to see time in the MLB again.

29.  Javy Guerra, RHP (27 IP in AA, 2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2004, 4th round

6’0”, 205 lbs, 25.25 years old

2-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 4.51 FIP, 9.31 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 25;     Pre 2009 Rank: 47

Drafted as a 4th round pick back in 2004, Javy Guerra had a solid debut in the Gulf Coast League but was then sidelined for portions of the 2005 and 2006 seasons due to Tommy John surgery.  He returned to full time action in 2007 and was used as a starter, but the results were disastrous as he had a 6.27 ERA in HiA.  2008 saw the beginning of Guerra’s conversion to reliever, and he has been in the bullpen ever since.  In 2009 Guerra split the year between LoA and AA and had a strong season, prompting the Dodgers to add Javy to their 40 man roster.  Guerra spent the 2010 season in Chattanooga, but injuries limited him to just 29 total innings.  He was sent to the AFL after the season to get in addition work, and DeJon Watson said “He was off-and-on with his health this year [shoulder tendinitis]. He has a chance to be a legitimate bullpen piece. He has a 94-mph fastball and a tight slider with a change. He needs innings. And he’s more than likely going to Mazatlan to play in the Mexican Winter League and carry that into Spring Training to make up for the innings he missed while he was out.”  Unfortunately Guerra suffered a deep cut on his hand while washing dishes toward the end of the AFL season so he didn’t end up throwing again until the Dodgers Winter Development Minicamp in January.  Since Guerra already has a strong fastball and a hard slider, the one thing holding him back from being a big league reliever is his sporadic control.  His career walk rate is 5.3 free passes per 9 innings, and he was even worse at 7.3 walks per 9 during his 2010 season in AA.  He wasn’t any better during his AFL stint, walking 6 batters in 10 innings.  Since he’s on the 40 man roster Guerra will be training with the big league club in spring training, but he has no chance of making the team out of camp.  He’ll probably spend the 2011 season in AAA and hopefully will improve his control. 

Why #29: In short, Guerra is a power reliever with control problems.  He has already shown that he can have success in the upper minor leagues, and if can ever learn to find the plate then he has the ceiling of a solid late inning reliever. 

28.  Javier Solano, RHP (19.2 IP in AA, 44.2 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

6’0”, 177 lbs, 21 years old

3-1, 2.94 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.56 FIP, 10.07 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 111;     Pre 2009 Rank: 139

The Dodgers purchased Solano’s rights from the Mexican League’s Monterrey Sultans before the 2008 season for $250,000.  According to Baseball America at the time of his signing, they said that “Solano’s two best pitches are an 89-93 mph fastball that sits around 91 and a plus 75-78 mph curveball. He also has some feel for a changeup and uses a slider as his fourth offering.”  Assistant GM De Jon Watson also chimed in with some comments when Solano signed, saying that he’s thrown “exceptionally well” and is “very advanced for a 17-year-old, with an above-average fastball and curveball.”  Javier spent his first two professional seasons in the Pioneer League, but his stats were uninspiring and he didn’t get much attention from Dodger prospect junkies.  However that changed in 2010 as Solano made a big splash in his first year playing in full season leagues.  He started the year in HiA, and despite being the youngest player on the team he was by far the best relief pitcher on the 66ers.  While his stats weren’t eye popping, he was very consistent and had great peripherals.  He finished his Inland Empire season with a 3.22 ERA, but his FIP was even better at 2.39.  He also struck out about 10 batters per 9 innings.  That earned him a promotion to AA in August and Solano actually posted even better stats with the Lookouts through 19.1 innings.  When you combine his stats for the season, Solano had the best strikeout to walk ratio of any Dodger minor leaguer, the 3rd best FIP, the 5th best K/9, and the 5th best WHIP (all minimum 50 IP).  And to emphasize his youth again, he did all this as a 20 year old playing in HiA and AA.  So what isn’t there to like about Solano?  The only real downside I can think of his height, as he is actually shorter than his listed measurement of 6’0”.  The reason I know he is shorter than 6 feet is because I found a picture of him standing next to Manny Ramirez (who is 6’0” on a good day), and Solano is a good two inches shorter than Manny.  Also, Charlie Hough specially mentioned to me that listing Javier at 6’0” is very generous.  In addition, in searching through other pictures of Solano, I’d also say that he’s a little heavier than his listed weight of 177, and that’s not because he has put on extra muscle if you know what I mean.  Anyways, despite my concerns about his physical makeup, Solano clearly has the tools to succeed against advanced competition.  At just 21 years old, he is well ahead of the game and seems to be on the fast track for the big leagues.  Nevertheless, he is going to have to continue to put up good numbers or else he’ll be forgotten just like numerous prospects before him.  He’ll probably return to AA in 2011 and will most likely remain there for the entire season since the Dodgers have no reason to rush him.

Why #28: Solano obviously moved up quite a bit in my rankings this year, but before I get too excited about him I’m going to wait and see what he does in 2011.  He had great stats in 2010, but his physical makeup really does scare me.  His ceiling seems to be that of a middle to late inning reliever at the big league level.

27.  Scott Schebler, OF (5 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 26th round

6’1”, 208 lbs, 20.5 years old, bats left handed

.294 average, .863 OPS, 0 HR’s, 1 RBI, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers selected Scott Schebler in the 26th round of the 2010 draft after a huge season at Des Moines Area CC where he hit .446 with 20 jacks and 82 RBI’s.  However his asking price to sign was $300K – $500K and he had a strong commitment Wichita State, so both Scott and the Dodgers played the waiting game.  After getting drafted Schebler participated in the Northwoods League, a wood bat college summer league, to boost his stock.  He did just that as he smacked 10 more homers in just 218 at bats.  While negotiations went down the wire, the Dodgers eventually signed Schebler for $300K and a commitment to pay for his college.  After inking the deal, Schebler said “It was an extremely hard decision. A lot of thought got put into it.  It was an opportunity I didn’t think would come around again. It was a combination of me having leverage, being as young as I am, and the money I got. For the money I got out of this draft, I would have to be a very high draft as a junior.”  An outstanding athlete, the Dodgers got a very solid player in Schebler.  According to Baseball America, he has plus-plus speed and plus-plus raw power to his pull side.  The only question is his defense, which is fringy at this point.  He definitely has the speed to play center, but doesn’t have an accurate arm or the best instincts so he may end up in left.  If he continues to hit like he did in 2010, where he plays doesn’t really matter because his value lies in his offensive abilities.  At 20 years old, the Dodgers might push Schebler to Midwest League since he does have a decent amount of experience under his belt.  He is definitely a prospect to watch, especially given his combination of speed and power, and I have the feeling he’ll move pretty quickly through the Dodgers minor league system.

Why #27: Schebler might be my biggest sleeper in this ranking since he hasn’t really been mentioned much yet as a prospect.  However, I love his combination of speed and power and can see him developing into a legitimate outfield prospect that can play both left and center field at the big league level.  He could move up or down quite a bit in my rankings for next season depending on how he does in 2011.

26.  Brian Cavazos-Galvez, OF (121 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 12th round

6’0”, 215 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.318 average, .863 OPS, 16 HR’s, 77 RBI’s, 43 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 34;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

As most people know by now, Brian Cavazos-Galvez is the son of a former Dodger minor leaguer who actually conceived Brian while he was playing AAA ball in Albuquerque for the Dodger affiliate then called the Dukes.  While the two lost contact, Brian grew up in New Mexico and played his college ball there before being selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2009 draft.  BCG started his professional career with the Ogden Raptors and destroyed the Pioneer League in 2009, earning league MVP honors and leading the league in runs, hits, doubles, HR’s, and total bases.  In 2010 Brian was promoted to the Midwest League and got off to a tough start with Great Lakes as he posted a.256 average and .669 OPS prior to the All Star Break.  However he really turned things around in the 2nd half of the season which is when he smacked 14 of his 16 homers, recorded a 1.043 OPS, and hit .375.  In fact, his strong 2nd half was good enough for Galvez to claim the Loons RBI title with 77, and also win the Midwest league’s batting title.  In addition, Brian paced the Loon’s with a surprising 43 stolen bases, and was very versatile in the outfield as he played 23 games in left field, 43 games in center, and 24 games in right.  Overall, Brian Cavazos-Galvez is probably one of the more interesting prospects in the Dodgers minor league system, which also causes him to be a wildcard in terms of where people rank him in prospect lists.  Some people have BCG in their top 10, while others don’t even include in their top 30.  During the TBLA voting, he seemed to be the one player that people argued about most, as many felt strongly that he should be ranker higher than 20, yet he simply didn’t get the votes.  Me personally, I haven’t completely bought into Brian Cavazos-Galvez yet so that’s why he didn’t break into my top 20.  I realize that he’s has two outstanding season’s under his belt, but I simply want to see what he does against more advanced competition since he is already 23 years old.  His extremely low walk rate (2.3% in 2010) has also always scared me because I’m worried he’ll get exploited at the higher levels.  Furthermore, I believe Brian is destined to be a left fielder because he isn’t a great defender, and even admitted during his time in the Dominican Winter League “Who would have ever believed that I would be a defensive replacement? Not me…. I have always been the one getting replaced.”  I’m guessing that BCG will start 2011 in the California League, but will make it up to AA at some point during the year.  It’s what he does in the Southern League that will help me decide if he should be considered one of the top Dodger prospects, because right now I’m still skeptical that he will ever make it up to the big leagues.

Why #26: BCG showed a rare combination of speed and power in LoA, but he is already 23 years old and has yet to face more advanced competition.  I really don’t think he has what it takes to be a center fielder in the big leagues, so his ceiling is that of a major league left fielder.  Given the offensive requisites that come with left field, BCG is going to have to continue hitting if he wants to make it up to the show. 

25.  Ivan DeJesus, SS (130 games in AAA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2005, 2nd round

5’11”, 190 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.296 average, .740 OPS, 7 HR’s, 70 RBI’s, 6 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 13;     Pre 2009 Rank: 5

Sometimes I sit and wonder what life would be like if Ivan De Jesus hadn’t broken his leg back in 2009.  The McCourts probably wouldn’t be divorced, California probably wouldn’t be bankrupt, and there definitely would be world peace.  In all seriousness, while the world would not be different, the Dodgers might actually have a different team right now had DeJesus not gotten hurt.  Ivan was coming off a great season in AA in 2008, and he probably would have spent the next two years getting seasoning in AAA before taking over 2nd base for the Dodgers in 2011.  If that had been a reality, we probably wouldn’t have Juan Uribe right now, and we possibly could have allocated that money to a bigger name free agent.  Instead, DeJesus is still a step slow due to his prolonged recovery which is limiting his potential.  While he had a decent season in AAA for the Isotopes and posted a .321 average in the Arizona Fall League, he is still at least a year away from making an impact on a major league roster.  In addition, DeJesus has always had a poor work ethic and has had issues with authority, which definitely scares me a bit.  After the 2010 season, DeJon Watson said, “With Ivan, we want to keep him playing, keep him moving. He’s coming off a broken leg and missed all of 2009. He’ll play second base, and we’ll mix him in at third, just to get his bat in lineup, not because that’s where we see him as a player. And after the Fall League, he’ll continue working at Camelback.”  Another thing to point out is that Ivan’s father was a major league shortstop for 15 seasons, so Ivan has a great baseball background and is a very intelligent player.  Overall, I see Ivan’s future as a major league backup infielder without much pop.  Since he is now strictly a 2nd baseman, his value has dropped significantly.  DeJesus will spend 2011 in AAA and will probably make his Dodger debut in September as an expanded roster call up.

Why #25: As you can see, Ivan De Jesus Jr. has dropped in my rankings since he broke his leg in 2009.  While I still believe that he has the ceiling of a starting major league 2nd baseman, I think he’ll realistically be a major league backup player at best. 

24.  Matthew Magill, RHP (126.1 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 31st round

6’3”, 190 lbs, 21.25 years old

7-4, 3.28 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 3.75 FIP, 9.62 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 44;     Pre 2009 Rank: 78

Matt Magill is from my wife’s hometown of Simi Valley and was picked by the Dodgers late in the 2008 draft due to his strong college commitment to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  At the time he only threw about 90 mph, but the Dodgers liked his plus slider and 6’3” frame.  After a solid professional debut in the GCL, Magill spent 2009 in the Pioneer League and was a mainstay in the Raptors rotation.  While he had a good ERA of 4.00 while with Ogden, his batting average against of .224 was even better.  That earned Magill a promotion to LoA in 2010 where he had his best season yet.  While I’m sure many thought that he’d do well in the Midwest League, I’m sure nobody expected that he’d lead all of minor league baseball with a batting average against of just .194 as a 20 year old.  In addition, his 3.28 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 9.6 K/9 all ranked among the Dodgers minor league leaders, and his 135 strikeouts were 2nd most in the organization.  However, there should probably be an asterisk next to Magill’s 2010 stats because he had two very bad outings erased by rain, which earned him the nickname the Rain Man.  In terms of his overall pitching ability, fans and scouts seem to disagree on his potential.  I see a young kid with a big frame who has already put up strong stats and has a nice four pitch mix, including a 94 mph fastball and an above average slider (both which I saw during a game I watched online last year).  Multiple scouts, however, have described his stuff as fringy and think that his slider, which is getting him outs now, will be exploited by more advanced hitters.  Even DeJon Watson hinted that Magill wasn’t sexy, which earned him another nickname during last season (Mr. Unsexy).  Given his age, I’m going to ignore the scouts for now and continue to believe that he has what it takes to one day be a back of the rotation starter in the major leagues.  He’ll probably spend 2011 in HiA, and hopefully he’ll continue to limit the number of hits against him despite the hitter friendly environment.  Finally, it should be noted that at least one young lady finds Magill sexy because he is currently engaged to be married.

 

Why #24: Magill profiles as a #3 or #4 starter at the big league level, and at 21 years old he has plenty of time to reach his potential.  While I am a bit worried by what scouts say about his stuff, I think he deserves to be in the top 25 given his youth, pitching frame, and solid stats in 2010.

 

23.  Pedro Baez, 3B (7 games in AA, 75 games in HiA, 2 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 1/22/07

6’2”, 195 lbs, 23 years old, bats right handed

.263 average, .661 OPS, 6 HR’s, 45 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 12;     Pre 2009 Rank: 11

Pedro Baez was signed out of the Dominican Republic for $200K before the 2007 season.  Because he was already 19 years old, the Dodgers sent Baez straight to the Gulf Coast League in 2007, and he has steadily moved up through the system ever since.  After a couple of mediocre campaigns, Pedro had a solid season in 2009 as he hit .286 for Inland Empire with 10 homers in just 79 games and was selected to participate in the Futures Game.  Unfortunately that season was cut short due to a knee injury in mid July.  In 2010 Baez returned to the 66ers, but this time he had a pretty disappointing year.  Even though he played in the Futures Game for the second straight season, Baez hit just 6 homers and had a dismal OPS of just .656.  I know he was injured a bit during the season, but that is no excuse for his below average stats.  Baez also made 21 errors in the field, which led to his .903 fielding percentage at 3rd base.  His only saving grace was the he did pretty well when he was promoted to AA for the final week of the season.  Despite his down season, Baez still has a few plus tools that may one day get him to the show.  Pedro has outstanding raw power and will crush fastballs that are left out over the plate.  Baez also has an outstanding infield arm, and has been clocked as high as 94 mph on throws across the infield.  Because he has a great arm and poor plate disciple, some have suggested that Baez should move to the mound a la Kenley Jansen.  If he has another poor year at the plate in 2011, which he’ll most likely spend in AA, that could become a reality.  Overall, you can see that Baez has dropped a bit in my rankings since last year, but I am still hopeful that he’ll make an impact with the Dodgers  at some point in his career, whether as a hitter or as a pitcher.

Why #23: Pedro Baez is really the Dodgers only 3rd base prospect to play above rookie ball, so despite his poor stats in 2010 I still have high hopes for him.  I still believe he can be the Dodgers starting 3rd baseman of the future, although that reality gets further and further away with every passing season.  In addition, with his ability to throw 94 mph he can always be moved to the mound, so that increases his value as a prospect.

22.  Joc Pederson, OF (3 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 11th round

6’1”, 185 lbs, 18.75 years old, bats left handed

.000 average, .417 OPS, 0 HR’s, 0 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Joc Pederson grew up in Northern California, and was a very solid athlete for Palo Alto high school.  On the football team he was a First-Team All League wide-out, and on the baseball field he hit .515 with 8 homers during his senior season to lead his team to the Central Coast Section championship game.  He had a strong commitment to play baseball at UCS in college, and even talked about walking onto the USC football team.  His college commitment and big bonus demands caused Pederson to fall to the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 draft.  Had he been drafted on talent alone, he was projected to go around the 3rd or 4th round, and Baseball America had him ranked as the 154th best prospect in the draft.  After the draft, Pederson said “I have all summer to think about it, so I’ll take my time and see what happens.  I was surprised it was the Dodgers. A lot of teams were calling to see what my (salary) number was, so that may have affected where I was picked.”  After a long summer of going back and forth, Pederson finally signed with the Dodgers right around the deadline for $600,000.  Because he signed late he only appeared in 3 Arizona League games, and basically either walked or struck out in his limited plate appearances.  In terms of a scouting report, scouts say that has the potential to be a 5 tool player, although none of his 5 tools have a particularly high ceiling.  He has above average range on defense and good speed, which means he has a good chance of staying in center field.  He also shows good bat speed and has projectable raw power, and has solid bloodlines as his father actually played for the Dodgers briefly in 1985.  In short, Joc has ability to one day be a big league regular, but he’ll probably never be a major league star.  A comparable player that comes to mind is Ryan Spilborghs, although his frame reminds scouts of Jim Edmonds.  Because he’s just 18 years old, I expect Pederson to play a full season in a rookie league in 2011, with the Pioneer League as his most likely destination. 

Why #22: Joc Pederson is extremely young so it is difficult to project his future right now.  If I had to guess his ceiling, I’d say he could be a major league center fielder who plays solid defense and hits .290 with 15 homers per year. 

21.  Leon Landry, CF (57 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 3rd round

5’11”, 185 lbs, 21.5 years old, bats left handed

.349 average, .909 OPS, 4 HR’s, 38 RBI’s, 13 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Leon Landry played his college ball at LSU, and helped the Tigers win the 2009 College World Series although he was overshadowed by several players on that team.  That changed in 2010 as he established himself as a more elite player by hitting .338 with 6 homers and 16 stolen bases, striking out just 25 times in 240 at bats, and making just one error in center field.  The Dodgers selected him in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft and Landry signed quickly for about $285K.  Leon made his professional debut in the Pioneer League and had an outstanding season for the Ogden Raptors, ranking among the league leaders in several offensive categories and hitting very well both at home and on the road.  He’s also an outstanding defender, and according to Raptor radio man Brandon Hart “Landry should be defined by his defense.  It is what got him drafted in the 3rd round.  He has a second gear in the field.  The comparison to Pierre with less speed and more power I would feel is fair but (and I hate to compare him to someone on the Giants) he is a lot like Andres Torres.  Landry is better than Pierre.  Pierre got on base because of his speed.  Landry will drive the ball to get on base.  Great defense and good speed.  Has a bit of pop but he should not be described as a power hitter.  Gap hitter.”  I watched a few Landry play a few times myself last year and he holds the bat low during the windup and wiggles it around, then bring hands up slightly as the pitch is thrown.  He has a quick swing that is relatively short, but you can tell that he is able to generate at least decent power when he makes solid contact with his quick wrists.  The only negative about his game is his below average arm, although at this point most people believe he’ll be able to stay in center field because of his other defensive tools.  At the end of the day, Landry is a four tool talent who doesn’t have the highest ceiling in the world, but seems like he could be a regular one day in the majors.  He’ll most likely spend 2011 in class A as the everyday center fielder for either the Loons or the Quakes.

Why #21: I think Landry profiles as a solid defensive outfielder at the big league level who can play either left or center and hit .280 with about 10 homers per year.  Still just 21 years old, 2011 will be an interesting year for Landry and will really let us know what his potential is.

20.  Blake Smith, OF (115 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 2nd round

6’2”, 220 lbs, 23.25 years old, bats left handed

.281 average, .852 OPS, 19 HR, 76 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 20;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Blake Smith was selected in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft out of Cal where he was a two way player for the Golden Bears.  During his 3 year college career, Smith had a .312 average with 28 homers in 158 games, and a 4.63 ERA in 62.2 innings with a 12.2 K/9.  The Dodgers signed Smith as an outfielder, and after the draft Logan White said, “He was highly touted as a hitter and a pitcher.  Just like Loney, he has a really nice left-handed swing and he’s a power guy with incredible raw power. When he worked out, he almost hit one out of Dodger Stadium — way up in the seats. Obviously he can throw and if we can work with him to utilize that raw power, he’ll be a front-line corner outfielder.”  After a terrible professional debut in 2009, many wrote off Smith as a wasted pick.  I, on the other hand, expected a rebound season for Smith in LoA in 2010 and that is exactly what happened.  Blake led the Loons with 19 home runs and posted a very solid .852 OPS.  He also hit .303 against left handers despite being a lefty himself, and played very strong defense in right field while recording 11 assists.  However, Smith has a career strikeout rate of 28.4%, and some expect him to struggle against more advanced pitching.  Therefore, despite his improvements in 2010, the Dodgers are apparently still considering moving him to the mound at some point down the road.  Smith has a very strong arm and as previously mentioned had very good strikeout numbers in college, so making him a pitcher is definitely an option.  That move won’t be made anytime soon, though, as the Dodgers are probably going to promote Smith the HiA and make him the Quakes starting right fielder in 2011.  Given the hitter friendly environment of the California League, Blake could have a very big season next year.

Why #20: Blake Smith has a lot of value because he has the potential to be a powerful outfielder, yet also could end up as a power reliever on the mound.  If I had to guess right now, I’d say Smith’s ceiling is a big league right fielder who could hit 25 homers annually with an adequate batting average.

19.  Jake Lemmerman, SS (66 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 5th round

6’1”, 192 lbs, 21.75 years old, bats right handed

.363 average, 1.044 OPS, 12 HR’s, 47 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jake Lemmerman is a local kid who grew up in Corona Del Mar, yet he decided to play his college ball at Duke.  While he was a Blue Devil, Lemmerman built up quite a reputation for himself both on and off the field.  I’ll stick to talking about what he did on the field, however, as Late Night lead the team in virtually every offensive category, including batting average (.335), homers (11), slugging (.569), and RBI’s (45).  He also had a solid .987 fielding percentage as the team’s shortstop.  That prompted the Dodgers to select Lemmerman in the 5th round of the 2010 draft, and they were able to sign him very quickly.  Assigned to the Pioneer League, Lemmerman had pretty much the best season possible for a first year shortstop.  Jake was named the MVP for the entire league, and definitely deserved it with the offensive stats he put up as a middle infielder.  Jake hit .363 over 259 at bats and finished the season with 12 homers.  He also ranked 1st in the league in runs (69), 1st in doubles (24), 7th in RBI’s (47), 2nd in total bases (158), 3rd in OBP (.434), 3rd in SLG (.610), and 4th in OPS (1.044).  His season reminds me a lot of what Brian Cavazos-Galvez did in the Pioneer League in 2009, but I’m much more impressed with Lemmerman because he is a full year younger than BCG was at this stage, and also because he plays the premium position of shortstop.  After the season, Baseball America ended up ranking Lemmerman as the 6th best prospect in the league, and compared him Mark Grudzielanek and Mark Loretta.  The only caveat to his big season was that Lemmerman hit 10 of his 12 home runs at home, but his overall numbers on the road were still very good as he hit .360 with a .937 OPS as the away team.  Probably the biggest question for Lemmerman is if he’ll be able to stay at shortstop as he moves up through the system.  Most of the reports I’ve read say that he is a great defender at shortstop, yet Baseball America mentioned in their pre-draft report that they saw him moving to 2nd or 3rd base in the future.  Since his ability to play shortstop is what really boosts his value, let’s hope he can continue to stick at that position.  I see Lemmerman spending 2011 as the Loons everyday shortstop, and it will be interesting to see how he performs over a full season in the Midwest League.

Why #19: Anyone that has the ability to play shortstop and puts up great offensive stats deserves to be included in my top 20.  However, Lemmerman’s sample size is limited to one season in a hitter friendly league, so that is why I don’t have him ranked higher than #19.  While he is still a long way off from reaching his potential, I see his ceiling as an everyday shortstop at the big league level with the ability to smack 15 homers and hit .280 over a full season.

18.  Josh Lindblom, RHP (95 IP in AAA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 2nd round

6’5”, 240 lbs, 23.75 years old

3-2, 6.54 ERA, 1.84 WHIP, 4.31 FIP, 7.96 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 8;     Pre 2009 Rank: 6

After getting selected in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft out of Purdue, Lindblom appeared to be on the fact track to the big leagues.  He made it up to AA in his first professional season, and then found himself in the Dodgers big league spring training camp less than 10 months after getting drafted.  After a solid 2009 season, he again earned himself an invite to the Dodgers 2010 big league spring training.  Since then, however, things have gone downhill for Josh.  He started the 2010 season in the Isotopes rotation, but had a 7.06 ERA through 10 games and moved to the bullpen.  While the move helped him some, he still had a 5.93 ERA over the final 3+ months of the season.  Despite the down year, fans shouldn’t lose faith in Lindblom as a prospect, especially since he is still just 23 years old.  When asked about Josh after the season, DeJon Watson said that AAA is a very difficult place to pitch, so you have to take his stats with a grain of salt.  Watson also mentioned that Lindblom will definitely remain in the bullpen, and that it has taken him a while to get readjusted to his role as a reliever.  The fact that Josh can now focus on being a full time reliever should help him in the future since back and forth between starter and reliever is very difficult for any pitcher.  Also, reports out of the Arizona Instructional League were that Lindblom’s fastball was back up to 95 mph, so that is good news heading into 2011.  When you combine his fastball with a hard curve, a developing changeup, and solid command, that should lead to higher K/9 numbers and better overall stats in the future.  I expect Lindblom to spend 2011 in AAA, and could even serve as the Isotopes closer.  I still project him to be a solid reliever at the big league level in the future, and will most likely be added to the Dodgers 40 man roster before the end of this year.

Why #18: Lindblom is still very young and has the ceiling of a big league closer.  While he hasn’t yet demonstrated that he can handle major league hitting, he could end up being a significant piece in the Dodgers bullpen for years to come.  However, his poor year in 2010 has caused him to drop in my rankings.

17.  Kyle Russell, RF (76 games in AA, 53 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 3rd round

6’5”, 195 lbs, 24.75 years old, bats left handed

.291 average, .934 OPS, 26 HR’s, 81 RBI’s, 11 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 14;     Pre 2009 Rank: 14

Kyle Russell was the Dodgers 3rd round pick in the 2008 draft out of Texas, and after setting home runs records in college he has continued to put on a power display as a pro.  He has also struck out at a pretty alarming rate (32% for his career), but really that just comes with the territory for Kyle.  After earning co-MVP honors in the Midwest League in 2009, Russell made a joke out of the California League in 2010 by hitting .354 in 53 games with 16 homers and a ridiculous 1.140 OPS.  That earned Kyle a promotion to AA in June, and while his stats dropped across the board in the Southern League, he still managed to rank 3rd on the Lookouts with 10 home runs.  In addition, when you dig a little deeper into his AA stats, you’ll notice that after getting off to a terrible start in Chattanooga, he was able to turn things around in August as he recorded an OPS of 1.018 during that month.  In terms of his defense, Russell is a strong defensive outfielder with a good arm and profiles best in right field.  When you watch video of Kyle in college, you’ll notice how skinny he was back then.  Luckily he has added a little muscle since turning pro and now looks more solid on the field.  Overall, Russell has the power to make it to the big leagues, but you can almost guarantee that he would never hit for a high average.  He has a long swing and definitely struggles with breaking balls.  The obvious comparison to Russell is Mark Reynolds, but I don’t think that Kyle would be quite as extreme as Reynolds as a big league player since I doubt he’d hit 40 homers over a full season and I also doubt he’d hit below .200.  A more realistic expectation would be 20 – 30 homers over a full season with an average around .240.  Now 24 years old, Russell will probably return to AA to start 2011 and is going to have to continue to impress if he wants to make it to the show.  A promotion to AAA isn’t out of the question, and if he has a solid year I would expect the Dodgers to add Russell to their 40 man roster next offseason.

 

Why #17: Russell has a ton of power and is a solid defender in right field, so his ceiling is that of a starting right fielder in the major leagues.  He has a career OPS of .920, but is already 24 years old so he is going to have to move quickly if he wants to have an impact in the big leagues.  At the very least, I do expect Russell to make it up the Dodgers as a bench player at some point in his career.

16.  Ralston Cash, RHP (6 IP in Pioneer League, 30 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 2nd round

6’1”, 197 lbs, 19.5 years old

2-2, 5.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 3.59 FIP, 7.50 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Ralston Cash was probably a bit of an overdraft when the Dodgers selected him in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft, but you can’t blame the team since they spent $5.25M on their 1st round pick on Zach Lee.  The Georgia prep eventually signed for $463K, and joined the Arizona Dodgers in July of 2010.  Cash, the cousin of 2008 first round pick Ethan Martin, had an interesting upbringing because he was raised by his grandparents after his mother passed away in a freak car accident.  He was committed to play at Georgia, but he couldn’t bypass the Dodgers generous offer.  Upon joining the Arizona League, Ralston put up solid stats.  He played almost the entire season as an 18 year old, yet recorded a 2.83 FIP and did not allow a homer in his 30 innings pitched.  He was also rated as the 20th best prospect in the Arizona League by Baseball America, and he earned a promotion to the Pioneer League at the end of the Arizona season.  In terms of his stuff, Cash throws a fastball from 88-92 mph with good sink, and he has touched 94 mph.  Some scouts describe his secondary stuff as fringy, while others believe his changeup and slider can one day become plus pitches.  One interesting thing about Cash is that while he is listed at 6’1” on MILB.com, other scouting reports have his height at 6’3” or 6’4”.  He’ll probably spend 2011 in the Pioneer League where he’ll continue to work on his game as a starting pitcher. 

Why #16: Ralston Cash has three pitches that project to be at solid to above average, which leads me to believe that his ceiling is that of a #3 starter at the big league level.  While there are several pitchers in the Dodgers system ahead of Cash at this point, he seems to be a solid prospect with good command of his game.

15.  Nathan Eovaldi, RHP (85 IP in HiA, 5 IP in Pioneer League, 8.1 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 11th round

6’3”, 195 lbs, 21 years old

4-6, 4.30 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 3.44 FIP, 6.59 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 7;     Pre 2009 Rank: 12

Nathan Eovaldi was the Dodgers 11th rounded pick in the 2008 draft, and surprised many people by signing for $250,000 instead of going to college.  In his professional debut he dominated the Gulf Coast League, and then put up solid numbers with the Loons in 2009.  Promoted to HiA in 2010, Nathan made 14 starts with the 66ers in 2010 before straining his oblique in July.  During his time in Inland Empire, Eovaldi showed flashes of brilliance including two complete game shutouts, but overall he didn’t really have the dominant season that I was hoping for.  His ERA was 4.45 and his WHIP was 1.55, and he only struck out 6.14 batters per 9 innings despite a very strong fastball that was clocked as high as 97 mph.  Eovaldi also has an above average curveball and occasionally throws a changeup, but he continues to struggle with the command of his pitches which has led to his less than stellar strikeout numbers.  Some scouts believe that Nathan would be better suited as a power relief pitcher, but for now the Dodgers want to keep him in the rotation since he is just 21 years old and has a lot of potential.  Nathan finished up the 2010 season by rehabbing the rookie leagues, and for 2011 I expect him to return to HiA for more seasoning.  The other thing to remember about Eovaldi is that he had Tommy John back in 2007 and has not yet gone over the 100 inning mark in any of his professional seasons, so he’s going to have to continue to increase his workload as he gets older if he wants to remain a starter.

Why #15: Eovaldi is one of my favorite Dodger prospects, but his mediocre stats and low strikeout rate in 2010 caused him to drop a little in my rankings.  I still think he’ll make it to the big leagues one day, however, and he has the ceiling of a middle of the rotation starter or a power reliever.

14.  Aaron Miller, LHP (23 IP in AA, 101.2 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 1st round

6’3”, 200 lbs, 23.5 years old

7-8, 3.68 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.91 FIP, 8.74 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 9;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Aaron Miller was the Dodgers 1st round pick in 2009 out of Baylor where he was a two way player for the Bears.  As a hitter Miller batter .312 during his junior season with 12 homers, and on the mound he posted a 5.12 ERA with a K/9 of almost 11.5.  The Dodgers wanted Miller as a pitcher, and after signing him for almost $900,000 he paid immediate dividends with a stellar professional debut.  Promoted to HiA for his first full season, Miller was the easily the best pitcher for the 66ers.  He was extremely consistent all season, and stuck out almost a batter per inning.  Inland Empire pitching coach Charlie Hough had this to say about Miller, “Sneaky fastball…Easy, easy delivery and the ball kinda sneaks up on the hitters. He has a ways to go throwing some breaking balls. He has good feel with the changeup. Again, he’s another guy that hasn’t pitched an awful lot. He probably got 30 innings last year coming out of college, where he didn’t pitch all that much anyway. He was a regular player. So he’s gotta spend some time on the mound and develop a better feel of all of his pitches and for the game. He’s getting them pretty good though.”  While Miller got lit up during his month long mid-season promotion to AA, he had an overall productive season.  That being said, what worries me that most about Miller was his dip in velocity.  While he apparently had the ability to dial it up to about 95 mph in the past, Miller sat in the high 80’s to low 90’s for most of 2010.  I realize that the 124 innings he pitched were by far the most he’s threw in any calendar year, but I still have some doubts that he’ll ever be able to get his velocity back up to where it once.  Hopefully he won’t need those extra miles per hour, however, since he has great control and also shows potential for a slider, which could be his 2nd plus pitch.  Miller will spend 2011 in AA, and I’m sure he’s eager to prove that his previous stint in the Southern league was a fluke.  At 23 years old, Aaron has already moved very quickly and could be knocking on the door of Los Angeles at some point in 2012 season if he has another strong campaign in 2011.

Why #14: I know that my ranking of Miller looks a little low, but there simply isn’t room for him any higher on my list since I feel the players I ranked ahead of him are better prospects and have even more upside.  That being said, Aaron has the ceiling of a middle of the rotation starter, and I think he has a pretty good chance of reaching that goal if he stays healthy.

13.  James Baldwin, OF (46 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 4th round

6’3”, 190 lbs, 19.5 years old, bats left handed

.274 average, .676 OPS, 2 HR’s, 22 RBI’s, 17 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

James Baldwin is one of the more intriguing players drafted by the Dodgers in 2010.  The son of the former major leaguer by the same name, Baldwin is an extremely athletic player who is still relatively raw as an outfielder because he played three sports in high school also spent time on the mound.  James signed relatively quickly for $180,000, but got off to a very slow start in his professional debut with the Arizona Dodgers.  Through July, Baldwin was hitting below .220 with an OPS of less than .525.  However, things clicked for Baldwin in August as he hit .357 in the month to go along with 15 RBI’s, 9 SB’s, and an .890 OPS.  For the season as a whole, he led the Arizona Dodgers with 17 SB’s and was among the top 3 on the club in runs, RBI, and doubles.  In terms of his prospect status, Baldwin has the potential to be a five tool player, although currently his only plus tool is his outstanding speed.  I’ve read mixed reports on his future power potential, but at 6’3” I’ve got to think that he’ll be able to hit at least 20 homers per year in his prime.  He also plays a very smooth center field, and uses his speed to get to balls quickly.  After the season, DeJon Watson had this to say about his new prospect, “James Baldwin is a guy to keep your eye on.  He’s a guy who’s going to pop up quickly…He’s going to stay in center field.”  Like most young players Baldwin needs to improve his pitch recognition at the plate, and hopefully that will improve the 30.8% strikeout rate he had in 2010.  The left handed batter also needs to get more reps against lefty pitchers because he hit just .057 against southpaws last year.  Since he’s just 19 years old, James will probably spend the first few months of 2011 in extended spring training before playing in the Pioneer League later in the year.  He still has a long way to go in the Dodgers minor league system, but he will be a very exciting player to follow over the next few years.

Why #13: I really like James Baldwin as a prospect, and although I haven’t seen him play I really like his potential.  Due to his athleticism his ceiling could be through the roof; possibly even as high as a Matt Kemp type player.  It’s for that reason that I have him ranked this high on my list.

12.  Jonathan Garcia, RF (61 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 8th round

5’11”, 175 lbs, 19.25 years old, bats right handed

.305 average, .892 OPS, 10 HR’s, 40 RBI’s, 4 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 10;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers selected Jonathan Garcia in the 8th round of the 2009 draft out of Puerto Rico, and so far the pick looks like a steal.  In his professional debut Garcia did very well in the Arizona Rookie League, hitting .305 with a .862 OPS as a 17 year old.  Promoted to the Pioneer League in 2010, Jonathan was a full two years younger than any other position player on the Raptors yet ranked 3rd on the club with his 10 homers and .527 slugging percentage.  He also showed above average bat speed throughout the season.  In addition to his strong hitting, Garcia is a very good defensive right fielder and tied for the league lead with 12 outfield assists.  Baseball America said he had a hose for an arm, and Raptors announcer Brandon Hart told me that “His arm is top notch and the best of the outfielders I have seen this season.”  Brandon also went on to mention that “His defense as far as catching the ball and range is average, not great but not bad either.  He has average speed.  He is not slow by any means but isn’t a speed demon either.”  With the good of course come the bad, and for Garcia he still needs to work on pitch selectivity.  In addition, at just 5’11” his size gives some people doubts, but I don’t think his height will hinder him as he moves up through the system.  Overall, the fact is that you couldn’t have asked for a better offensive season out of Garcia in 2010.  Sure he had pretty drastic home vs road splits, but can you honestly expect any more out of an 18 year old facing pitchers who are all 2 to 4 years older than him?  2011 will be a real test because Garcia will definitely move up to LoA for his first taste of full season ball.  He’ll still be one of the youngest players in the league, so he’s going to have to continue to work hard if he wants to maintain his solid stats. 

Why #12: Last year I compared to Garcia to Raul Mondesi with less speed, although the more I think about it Jonathan’s ceiling probably isn’t quite that high.  I still believe Garcia could be a solid right fielder at the big league level with solid power and a decent average, but that is still a long ways off.  Also, the only reason he dropped a couple spots in my ranking was because other prospects emerged and pushed him out of my top 10.

11.  Scott Elbert, LHP (43.1 IP in AAA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2004, 1st round

6’1”, 215 lbs, 25.5 years old

1-1, 4.98 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 4.82 FIP, 9.35 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 6;     Pre 2009 Rank: 4

Scott Elbert was the Dodgers first round pick back in 2004, and it seems like he’s been around forever.  He’s been ranked as a top 10 Dodger prospect basically since he was drafted, and made Baseball America’s top 100 prospect list from 2006 to 2008, peaking at #31 in 2007.  However, 2010 was season to forget for Elbert as he left the organization for personal reasons in June, and didn’t return until after the season.  He was back in time for the Arizona Fall League, however, and at the start of the AFL Elbert told Tony Jackson “It was just some personal issues I had to attend to.  I can tell you right now, it had nothing to do with baseball. It was just a lot of personal stuff I had to take care of, and that’s about it.”  Although he had been a starter for pretty much his entire minor league career, in the AFL the Dodgers told Elbert to concentrate on his new role, which would be out of the bullpen.  Elbert took the news in stride, and said “To be honest, I would like to be a reliever. If that is going to be my job, then that is what I will prepare for. … I don’t ever think [starting] is out of the question, but I have always been known as a high pitch-count guy, and if I’m able to bring that down and go deeper into games, maybe I can be a starter again. Nothing is ever out of the question in this game.”  With the Desert Dogs in the Fall league Scott posted very good stats, striking out 15 batters in 11.2 innings and allowing a .195 batting average against.  His stuff was also described as “nasty” by several AFL scouts, which is definitely encouraging news.  His fastball is still in the mid 90’s, and his slider and a solid strikeout pitch and ranks as the best in the Dodgers organization.  He also throws a good changeup, although he doesn’t use it much out of the bullpen.  Don Mattingly got a chance to watch Elbert in the AFL, and said “He was tremendous for me. His stuff plays. I’ve talked to him. He’s been up and down, up and down. He’s got a power arm and can get lefties or righties out. He seems durable. He’s not afraid. I like him.”  With the Dodgers lack of left handed bullpen arms, Elbert still has a shot to make the Dodgers 2011 opening day roster if he has a good showing in spring training.  If he doesn’t make the club, he’ll continue to work in the Isotopes’ bullpen and will almost certainly get called up to the Dodgers at some point in 2011 as long as he stays healthy.

Why #11: Elbert lost some value now that he is no longer a starter, which is why he dropped a little in my ranking.  However he still has very good stuff, so he if can stay healthy and doesn’t have any more personal issues, he will probably be a solid late inning bullpen arm for years to come. 

10.  Garrett Gould, RHP (57.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 2nd round

6’4”, 190 lbs, 19.5 years old

1-4, 4.06 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 3.39 FIP, 8.12 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 5;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers selected Garrett Gould in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft, and were able to lure him away from his college commitment to Wichita State for $900,000.  Because he signed late he only appeared in 3 games in 2009, so last year was really his first professional season.  Playing in the Pioneer League in 2010 Gould wasn’t overly impressive, but he did post a 3.39 FIP to go along with 8.1 strikeouts per 9 innings.  He also allowed 15 unearned runs, which is a surprisingly high number given that he only threw 57 innings.  The one thing that people talked about was his drop in velocity during the season, but I’m not too concerned about that because he battled a couple of minor injuries throughout the year and was simply adjusting to the rigors of being a professional pitcher that throws every fifth day.  He is also still just 19 years old and has a lot of projection left in his frame, so I expect him to get back into the mid 90’s by next year.  In addition, Baseball America said that “even at reduced velocity, his fastball worked well because he commands it to both sides of the plate and it features plus sink and armside life.”  Now that we’ve covered his fastball, it’s time to mention that he has one of the best curveballs in the Dodgers minor league system.  It’s a plus pitch that was rated as one of the best among high school pitchers in the 2009 draft.  It is thrown at around 82 mph and to me looks like a right handed version of Kershaw’s curveball.  Gould also has a serviceable changeup which gives him a solid three pitch mix.  In 2011 Gould should be ready for a full season league, with the Great Lakes Loons as his most likely destination.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers piggybacked him with another starter to keep his innings down given that he is just 19 years old.  He still has a ways go to, but I think there is a good chance that Gould will one day help the Dodgers at the big league level.

Why #10: Gould did drop a bit in my rankings, but that is mostly due to the emergence of other players.  Even still I have him ranked higher than most, and that is because he is still so young which puts his potential through the roof.  I’m sure he’ll regain the velocity on his fastball, and his great curveball gives him a very solid out pitch.  I believe his ceiling is that of a #2 starter in the big leagues, which is enough to rank him in my top 10.

 

9.  Allen Webster, RHP (131.1 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 18th round

6’3”, 185 lbs, 21 years old

12-9, 2.88 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.50 FIP, 7.81 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 11;     Pre 2009 Rank: 100

Allen Webster was pretty much an unknown when he was selected by the Dodgers in the 18th round of the 2008 draft.  He played mostly shortstop in high school, and when he was first used as a pitcher he could barely hit 90 mph.  Just a few years later, Webster has bloomed into one of the Dodgers best pitching prospects and had an All Star season for the Great Lakes Loons in 2010.  He led the Midwest League with 12 wins, and had an outstanding 2.88 ERA for the season.  He was also very consistent, posting a 2.88 ERA against both lefties and righties, and recording a 2.90 ERA at home vs. a 2.85 ERA on the road.  In addition, while his strikeout numbers weren’t overpowering, batters still only hit .239 against him.  Stats aside, the best part about Webster is that he has the potential for three plus pitches.  His fastball sits in the low 90’s with good sink, and during one start I watched online last season the announcer had him topping out at 97 mph.  He also has a solid curveball, which is improving with every start.  His best pitch, however, is his changeup which was rated by Baseball America as the best in the Dodgers organization.  Since Webster is still just 21 years old, the Dodgers probably won’t rush him so he’ll most likely start the 2011 season in Rancho Cucamonga.  In terms of his more distant future, one scout was quoted as saying “He could end up being a stud.  He has a couple of plus pitches and will be a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy.”

Why #9: Webster has three very good pitches and is still very young, which definitely gives him a good chance of making it to the big leagues one day.  I believe that he “only” has the ceiling of a #3 starter, but I have him higher on the list than Gould because he has already had success in a full season league.  That being said, I just don’t think he has the upside of the other pitchers ranked above him, and that is why I don’t have him higher on my list.

 

8.  Trayvon Robinson, CF (120 games in AA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2005, 10th round

5’11”, 195 lbs, 23.5 years old, switch hitter

.300 average, .842 OPS, 9 HR’s, 57 RBI’s, 38 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 15;     Pre 2009 Rank: 44

Drafted in 2005 out of Crenshaw High School, Trayvon Robinson’s career got off to a slow start.  In his first three professional seasons he was very ordinary and wasn’t mentioned in any of the Dodger top prospect discussions.  In 2008 he showed some signs of life while in Inland Empire, then really broke out in 2009 with 17 homers and 47 stolen bases.  That brings us to the 2010 season, which Robinson spent in AA.  While his stats weren’t eye popping with the Lookouts, the switch hitter had a solid all around year.  He led the team with a .300 average, hit 9 homers, stole 38 bases, and only made 4 errors in center field.  He also had an impressive .404 on base percentage which ranked 3rd in the entire Southern League, and recorded 12 outfield assists despite having a below average arm.  After the season, Robinson played in the AFL and DeJon Watson has this to say about him: “He had a big year. Look at his numbers over the last three years, the trend is up. His on-base percentage has gone up 150 points in a three-year window. We’re trying to expand his overall game, to get him to be more aggressive defensively. He’s still pushing the envelope with his baserunning. We want him a little more aggressive going first to third. He gets good reads and jumps. He’s relatively close to finishing off the skill set. This will be a really good test for him.”  After watching him play in the AFL, Don Mattingly also had some praise for Robinson and said “He’s coming. I’ve had the chance to see him play with my son in Michigan, saw him in the spring and fall, and every time I see him, I love to see the progression. Each time he’s gotten better. He’s getting there. If he continues to progress, he’s got a chance to be an impact guy.”  Besides his arm, which worries some scouts enough to say that he might not be able to handle center field at the big league level, Trayvon has solid 4 tools and a knack for getting on base.  None of his tools are really outstanding, however, which limits his ceiling.  Robinson also strikeouts out a little too much, so he’s going to try and polish his game in AAA next season.  That being said, I’m almost positive that Robinson will make his major league debut at some point in 2011, even if it is just as a September call up. 

Why #8: I like Robinson’s athleticism and the fact that he is a switch hitter, but I’m not as high on him as most other people.  I think his ceiling is that of a solid defensive center fielder who has a weak arm and hits around .270 with 10 homers and 20 steals annually.  While that’s still pretty good, I just think the prospects I’ve ranked above him have brighter futures.

 

7.  Ethan Martin, RHP (113.1 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 1st round

6’2”, 195 lbs, 21.75 years old

9-14, 6.35 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, 4.82 FIP, 8.34 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 3;     Pre 2009 Rank: 3

Ethan Martin was the Dodgers 1st round pick in 2008, and he ended up being the first high school pitcher selected in that draft.  Prior to the draft he had been named as the Baseball America High School Player of the Year as a two way player.  His overall pitching stats as a senior were 11-1 with a 0.99 ERA and 141 K’s in 79 innings, but he was also a great power hitting 3rd baseman.  Due to a knee injury Martin didn’t make his professional debut until 2009 when he threw an even 100 innings in the Midwest League.  He did very well for the Loons, as he had a FIP of 3.45 and a K/9 of 10.8 for the season.  In 2010 he was promoted to HiA but the results were ugly.  While he got off to a decent start and showed flashes of brilliance throughout the season, Martin ended up with a 6.35 ERA and 14 losses.  When I asked DeJon Watson about Martin’s struggles in 2010, he said that the biggest challenge for Ethan is the mental game.  Watson went on to say that he needs to make mental adjustments in order to succeed, and will most likely repeat the California League next year and will stay there until he can prove he can dominate that level.  I also heard from another scout that Martin’s fastball was much too straight last season and lacked the movement he had during 2009.  However, even though Martin had a poor season and needs to make some adjustments to his game, there is still reason to be excited about him as a prospect.  Both Watson and Charlie Hough told me that he still has great stuff and that he continues to get his fastball up to 98 mph.  Martin also has a big breaking curveball and a developing changeup, and is still just 21 years old.  Overall, I think it is much too early to give up on Martin after just one poor season.  He was invited to participate in the Dodgers Winter Development Minicamp, and hopefully he’ll continue to get good coaching during spring training.  I do expect to see Martin back in the California League to start the 2011 season, but if he does well he might make it up to AA at some point next year.

Why #7: Ethan Martin still has a ton of potential in my book and has the ceiling of a #2 starter in the big leagues.  Therefore I decided that he deserved to stay in my top 10 although he did drop a few spots due to the emergence of other Dodger prospects.

6.  Kenley Jansen, RHP (27 games in AA, 18 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 11/17/04

6’6”, 220 lbs, 23.5 years old

5-1, 1.60 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 1.27 FIP, 15.60 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 16;     Pre 2009 Rank: 36

Since Kenley Jansen burst onto the scene in Los Angeles last season and dominated major league batters, almost everyone already knows his story.  Nevertheless, I’ll give a little background on the Dodgers rookie phenom.  The former catcher was signed by the Dodgers out of Curacao as a 17 year old, and made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League.  After showing some offensive potential in his first season, things went downhill for Jansen at the plate over the next 2 and a half years.  But then something amazing happened as Jansen found new life on the pitching mound.  He started throwing blazing fastballs and was striking batters out at an astonishing rate.  Even though he had immediate success on the mound, nobody could have imagined how well he would do in 2010.  Jansen dominated the minor leagues for a few months, and then went on to record the 4th lowest major league rookie ERA in major league history with the Dodgers (minimum 25 innings) at 0.67.  Armed with a mid 90’s fastball that can get up to 100 mph and a developing slider, Kenley is the perfect late inning relief pitcher and definitely has closer potential.  He also throws a changeup on occasion, although it is a work in progress and he basically hasn’t needed to use it yet.  Despite his outstanding big league debut, however, there are a few things keeping from ranking in my top 5.  His walk rate last season was much too high, and he currently only has one plus pitch.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Jansen as a prospect and Dodger, but if he doesn’t improve his secondary stuff I’m sure major league hitters will eventually figure him out.  When the 2010 season ended it appeared the Jansen was a lock for the Dodgers 2011 bullpen, but now things seem more uncertain given that the team has signed or acquired several relievers this offseason.  Even if he doesn’t start the season with the Dodgers, there is no question that he will still be a big part of the Dodgers’ plans next year.

Why #6: Jansen has already dominated big league hitters, and has a very bright future as a late inning reliever and/or closer.  As I mentioned above, his lack of a plus second pitch keeps him from being ranked any higher, but he still should be a very good bullpen arm for a long time.

5.  Rubby De La Rosa, RHP (51 IP in AA, 59.1 IP in LoA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/2/07

6’1”, 170 lbs, 22 years old

7-2, 2.37 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.16 FIP, 7.67 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 35;     Pre 2009 Rank: 51

Rubby De La Rosa was signed out of the Dominican Republic on the first day of international signing period in 2007.  After throwing just 6 innings in 2007, De La Rosa played a full season in the Dominican Summer League in 2008 and put up some very impressive numbers.  His stellar season prompted the Dodgers to bring De La Rosa to Camelback Ranch for spring training in 2009, and it was there that Rubby began to get noticed.  Keith Law was the first to report on his strong fastball and overall great stuff, and that was enough to get me interested.  However, after appearing in just 5 games with the Arizona Dodgers in 2009 and recording a 6.06 ERA, De La Rosa sat out the rest of the season for what some have called disciplinary reasons.  That caused many to forget about Rubby as a prospect, but I saw his potential last season and ranked him favorably at #35 last year.  That brings us to 2010, which is when RDLA truly had a breakout season.  Rubby joined the Loons in late April, and was initially in the Loons bullpen where he picked up 6 saves.  After he was stretched out a bit, RDLA joined the Great Lakes rotation and continued to show plus stuff.  He reached 100 mph with his fastball on multiple occasions, and showed a lot of potential with both his slider and changeup.  Loons manager Juan Bustabad said that Rubby reminded him of Pedro Martinez, although Rubby throws harder.  De La Rosa was promoted to AA in late July and spent the remainder of the season in Chattanooga.  He got off to a great start by not allowing an earned run in his first three starts, and after posting a 3.19 ERA in LoA RDLA actually lowered his ERA to 1.41 with the Lookouts.  After the season, Lookout manager Carlos Subero raved about Rubby’s ability to add extra velocity late in games, and compared De La Rosa to Edinson Volquez.  The one thing that worried me about Rubby’s season was that he jumped from 16 innings in 2009 to over 100 in 2010.  However, DeJon Watson put my worries to rest when he told me “The Dodgers are not concerned with his workload this year because he threw way more than the listed 16 innings in 2009…the 16 innings are just what you have listed in your book.”  Watson also said that “Rubby’s skill set is what caused the Dodgers to promote him to AA.  In particular, his poise, his demeanor, his fastball command, and his ability to make adjustments inning to inning and batter to batter.  He has come a long way in a short period of time.”  De La Rosa’s season culminated with him winning the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year award and an invitation to the Dodgers major league spring training.  In 2011, Rubby will return to AA to continue refining his game.  His strikeout rate dipped quite a bit in 2010 despite his outstanding fastball, so getting more swings and misses is something he’ll probably work on.  If he continues to put up solid stats, however, a call up to Los Angeles towards the end of the 2011 season isn’t out of the question.

Why #5: Rubby De La Rosa moved up quite a bit in my rankings, and at just 22 years old his youth is just one of his many valuable assets.  With three potential plus pitches Rubby’s ceiling could be as high as a #2 starter in the big leagues, although I still have this feeling that could end up in the bullpen where he would also be very good, just not quite as valuable. 

 

4.  Chris Withrow, RHP (129.2 IP in AA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 1st round

6’3”, 195 lbs, 22 years old

4-9, 5.97 ERA, 1.66 WHIP, 4.50 FIP, 8.33 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 2;     Pre 2009 Rank: 8

After getting selected by the Dodgers in the 1st round of the 2007 draft, Chris Withrow’s professional career got off to a rocky start.  A freak accident involving a snorkeling mask and a case of tired arm limited Withrow to just 13 innings in his first two seasons, and some people were starting to get worried about the top prospect.  However, in 2009 Withrow silenced most of his critics by staying healthy and putting together a very solid season as a 20 year old.  He split the year between HiA and AA, and his most impressive stats that season were his K/9 rate of 10.4 and his 3.13 FIP.  2010 started off with a bang for Withrow as he wowed fans in Spring Training with two near perfect innings while striking out 5 of the 7 batters he faced.  He then returned to Chattanooga for the 2010 minor league season, but as most people already know things didn’t go so well.  He had a couple of good streaks, including a solid month of June when he had a 2.89 ERA and a .226 batting average against, but overall he had very ugly stats.  For the season as a whole Withrow had a 5.97 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP, although his FIP was a little more favorable at 4.51.  One of his biggest problems was his ability to keep the ball in the park as he allowed 13 homers, compared to just 5 allowed in 2009.  Despite his dreadful statistical season in 2010, Chris continued to show good stuff off the mound.  His mid 90’s fastball shows good movement and has been clocked as high as 99 mph, and according to Baseball America he has the best curveball in the Dodgers minor league system.  After the season I talked to DeJon Watson about Withrow, and he said Withrow has made big strides in the past one and a half years.  He also said that Withrow was only the age of a college junior during the 2010 season, so he was still way ahead of most 21 year olds.  In terms of Withrow’s struggles, DeJon said that his mental composure needs to improve for him to pitch more effectively.  After the season Withrow participated in the Dodgers instructional league, but unfortunately he suffered a herniated disk in his lower back which limited his throwing until the Winter Development Program.  When I saw him throwing during the Winter Development Program he luckily looked fine, so he should have no trouble being ready for spring training.  Chris will almost certainly spend 2011 back in AA and hopefully this time he’ll have better results.  At just 22 years old there is no need to rush him, so at this point Withrow’s MLB debut will be in 2012 at the earliest.

Why #4: While he struggled in 2010, I still believe Withrow has great stuff and can be a top of the rotation starter in the big leagues.  I see him as the second best pitching prospect in the organization behind Zach Lee, and think he will have a solid rebound season in 2011.

3.  Dee Gordon, SS (133 games in AA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 4th round

5’11”, 150 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats left handed

.277 average, .687 OPS, 2 HR’s, 39 RBI’s, 53 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 1;     Pre 2009 Rank: 9

Dee Gordon was a bit of a surprise as the Dodgers 4th round pick in 2008 because he had been ruled ineligible as a college sophomore due to transcripts problems and didn’t even play baseball in the spring of before the draft.  Nevertheless he had a great professional debut in the Pioneer League in 2008 and has been a top Dodger prospect ever since.  His 2009 season in the Midwest League was one to remember since he was named league MVP with 73 stolen bases and a .301 average, and that earned him a promotion AA in 2010.  While Gordon was caught stealing 20 times and posted an on base percentage of just .332 while in Chattanooga, he showed a ton of raw talent and was voted as the most exciting player in the Southern League.  He was also rated as the Dodgers best defensive infielder by Baseball America despite making 37 errors for the Lookouts.  He already has a plus arm, and his athleticism leads scouts to believe that he’ll be able to make spectacular plays at the big league level.  In addition, several scouts ranked his speed as an 80 and the 20-80 scouting scale, which is a rating rarely given out.  Gordon has improved his bunting skills over the past few years, but he does need to be more patient at the plate and learn to take more walks.  He also needs to put on more muscle, which is something he struggled with since turning pro.  After the season Dee played in the Puerto Rican Winter League and led the league with a .361 average with a career high .889 OPS.  He then participated in the Dodgers Winter Development program, and was invited to the Dodgers big league spring training even though he isn’t on the 40 man roster.  Gordon will turn 23 years old this upcoming April, and will most likely spend 2011 in AAA.  He is the Dodgers heir apparent at shortstop, and if Furcal’s option doesn’t vest he could be the team’s starter as early as 2012. 

Why #3: Dee Gordon has the potential to one day be the Dodgers everyday shortstop, and could steal 50+ bases on a regular basis in the big leagues.  He’ll never have any power, but he could be a plus defender one day and is a very exciting player.  I almost put him #2, but I like Sands’ power more than Gordon’s speed. 

2.  Jerry Sands, RF (68 games in AA, 69 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 25th round

6’4”, 225 lbs, 23.5 years old, bats right handed

.301 average, .981 OPS, 35 HR’s, 93 RBI’s, 18 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 23;     Pre 2009 Rank: 81

To say Jerry Sands came out of nowhere in 2010 is a bit of an exaggeration since he’s shown tremendous power dating back to his college days.  During his 3 years at Catawba College in North Carolina, Sands had a .381 career batting average and hit 61 home runs.  His power numbers continued during his debut season with the Dodgers as he hit 10 HR’s in just 46 games, and he then smacked 19 bombs in 2009 despite logging just 267 at bats.  Even still, nobody could have predicted Sands’ meteoric rise through the Dodgers minor league system in 2010, although I came pretty close in my write-up last season when I said: “Sands is a very intriguing prospect with a very high ceiling.  With 29 home runs in 119 games over the past two years, that projects out to almost 40 HR’s over a 162 game schedule.  I’m not saying that Sands is ever going to hit 40 HR’s in the big leagues, but I think that if he continues to improve, he has the chance to be a solid MLB regular.  That’s pretty good for a former 25th round pick.  2010 should see Sands return to LoA to start the season, but by the end of the year he may find himself in AA.”  In 2010 Jerry didn’t quite hit 40 jacks, but he did have a monster season as his 35 homers were just one shy of the minor league HR title.  Sands also hit .301 with 18 stolen bases and a .981 OPS despite playing in two pitching friendly leagues, and ended up winning the Dodgers minor league player of the year award.  Scout say that he has power to all fields, above average bat speed, and very strong wrists.  When you look at Sands’ splits between LoA and AA, his batting average, slugging %, and on base % all dropped a bit in Chattanooga, but he had no trouble maintaining his power numbers as he hit 17 homers in just 68 games.  In addition, Sands was able to make decent contact throughout the entire season, and his strikeout rate actually decreased from 21.3% in LoA to 20.5% in AA.  After the season Sands played in the AFL where he continued to put up very solid stats against the advanced competition.  The big question that people have about Sands relates to his defense.  Is he an outfielder?  1st baseman?  DeJon Watson answered that question by saying that he can play both and that the Dodgers don’t have to limit him.  Watson thinks that Sands’ versatility will help Ned Colletti down the road when he is building his team, and went on to say “His defense is fine, his base running is fine, and his arm is above average.  Also his approach at the plate has been consistent all year.  However, you can’t put a time table on when he’ll make the big leagues, and it is going to come down to how he continues to progress and when the Dodgers have a need for him.”  Personally, I believe that Sands is a good enough fielder to play 1st base, left field, or right field at the big league level.  He might not ever earn a gold glove, but I’ve seen him play enough to know he can handle each of those positions.  3rd base, however, seems very unlikely.  My gut tells me that he’ll probably start his career as a left fielder while getting occasional starts in right, but that he’ll end up at 1st later on down the road.  2011 should see Sands start back in AA, and as Watson said his major league debut will really depend on when he’s needed.  No matter where he plays, I expect another big season out of the 23 year old.  Finally, Sands got engaged this offseason and is set to be married on November 19, 2011.  Sorry ladies.

Why #2: I really like Sands as a prospect, and I believe he has what it takes to be a big league regular for years to come with the potential for a .300 average and 30 homers annually.  The only reason I have him behind Zach Lee is because I think Lee is going to be a stud pitcher.  See below.

1.  Zach Lee, RHP (Did not pitch in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 1st round

6’4”, 210 lbs, 19.5 years old

No Stats in 2010

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

When the Dodgers drafted Zach Lee last June, I immediately had mixed emotions.  Since I knew Lee was going to be one of the toughest players to sign in the draft, my initial reaction was that we had wasted a pick due to high bonus demands, and I was very upset.  However I did have a small glimmer of hope that we’d somehow find a way to sign him, and that made me excited because I knew how good of a player Lee could be.  Well we all know what happened next, as the negotiations with Lee went down to the wire before the Dodgers miraculously lured him away from LSU baseball and football for $5.25M.  When the news broke of his signing, that was probably the best Dodger news I’d heard all season given the team’s poor performance.  Considered by some to be the 2nd best pitcher in the entire 2010 draft behind #2 pick Jameson Taillon, Lee is very advanced for his age and has a great feel for pitching.  He has an outstanding pitching frame with lots of projection, and has the potential for three plus pitches.  His fastball sits around 93 mph and hit 95 mph as recently as the Fall Instructional League, and it has good movement.  His changeup is very advanced for a high school pitcher and will only get better as he gains experience.  Finally he has a power curveball/slider that again has the potential to be a very good pitch.  When you combine those pitches with his plus control and clean mechanics, you have the makings for a very successful pitcher.  Zach will start his professional career in LoA, and he’ll probably remain with the Loons all season given that he is just 19 years old and there is no reason to rush him.  For 2012, however, I can see him making the jump up to AA, and while he probably won’t reach the major leagues as fast as Kershaw did, I think he can move quickly through the system.  He should be a very fun minor leaguer to follow over the next few years.

Why #1: From the moment Zach Lee signed with the Dodgers I knew he’d be my #1 Dodger prospect in this ranking.  I know Lee hasn’t thrown a professional pitch yet, but I rank players on their big league potential instead of basing it on their stats.  Of course it all still comes down one’s own opinion, but I personally think that Zach Lee will have a much more successful career in the big leagues than anyone else in the Dodgers minor system.  It’s really all about ceilings and the likelihood that a player will reach the ceiling, and I think Zach Lee has a strong possibly of being a #1 starter.

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