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Dodgers shortstop of 2009 and beyond

As a Dodger fan, I feel extremely blessed right now. Essentially every position in the lineup, along with a full rotation and bullpen, can essentially be projected out of high-probability prospects and young stars. That is, except for shortstop.

Through 2008, the Dodgers have Rafael Furcal signed. They also have some decent candidates in the farm system. People rave about Chin-Lung Hu's defense, though his hitting is more in question. Tony Abreu is a natural shortstop, but has been moved in second because he's always played alongside Hu; his hitting might be more advanced than Hu's, though it is still nothing to write home about. Lower in the minors, Ivan DeJesus Jr, Preston Mattingly and Juan Rivera offer some promise.

My question is, what will the Dodgers do come 2009? Will they re-sign Furcal? Sign another big-ticket free agent? Will it be Abreu or Hu? Will they sign a stop-gap for one of the low minor leaguers, who is the true Dodger shortstop of future (and if so, which one)?

My vote is for Abreu. I don't think Hu will ever hit enough to be given the position. DeJesus won't hit enough to be a regular, either, and I doubt Rivera ever makes the big leagues, period. Mattingly might be able to hit, but I'd be shocked if he can stay at short. Also, I don't think Blake DeWitt -- who played there some in the Hawaiian Fall League -- will be able to handle short, either.

Knowing Colletti, of course, I think guessing "big-ticket (and sh*tty) free-agent" is the smart bet.

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