Los Angeles Dodgers Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
Continuing with our mid-season reviews of our pre-season Top 20 Prospect Lists, we are staying in the National League again with the Los Angeles Dodgers. I had originally scheduled the Detroit Tigers for this morning, but I am altering the deal.
Remember, this is the pre-season list. It is NOT a new list.
This list was originally published December 11, 2011
I should get to the Detroit Tigers later today. The San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers are the next teams I intend to do, but the schedule may get changed depending on what is going on with the trade deadline.
1) Zach Lee, RHP, Grade B+: 4.55 ERA with 52/10 K/BB in 55 innings for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, 60 hits. Promoted to Double-A and hit hard so far, 9.45 ERA with 16/12 K/BB in 20 innings, 32 hits. Getting some grounders at least, 2.07 GO/AO. Was he really ready to move up? Scouting reports are solid and he's been pushed very quickly, so he gets some slack at this point.
2) Nate Eovaldi, RHP, Grade B, Borderline B+. Traded to Miami Marlins in Hanley Ramirez deal. 4.15 ERA with 34/20 K/BB in 56 major league innings, 63 hits. I expect he will improve.
3) Allen Webster, RHP, Grade B: 3.90 ERA with 89/40 K/BB in 95 innings for Double-A Chattanooga, 98 hits, 1.97 GO/AO, one homers allowed. Has been pitching very well lately with a 1.89 ERA in his last seven starts. All a matter of command here, his stuff is solid-to-excellent.
4) Garrett Gould, RHP, Grade B: 4.90 ERA with 97/36 K/BB in 101 innings for Rancho, 105 hits, 12 homers. Needs to make adjustments against right-handed hitters, who are batting .320 with 10 homers against him; lefties just .192.
5) Alfredo Silverio, OF, Grade B-, borderline B: Injured in car accident, then needed Tommy John.
6) Chris Reed, LHP, Grade B-, borderline B: 3.25 ERA with 51/24 K/BB and 36 hits allowed in 53 innings, split between High-A and Double-A. 2.06 GO/AO, has been on a tight leash since moving up, just 18 innings over six starts.
7) Josh Lindblom, RHP, Grade B-: I expected him to be a fine reliever and that's what he's been, 3.09 ERA with 42/18 K/BB in 47 innings for the Dodgers, 40 hits.
8) Chris Withrow, RHP, Grade B-: 4.88 ERA with 54/31 K/BB in 52 innings in Double-A, 47 hits. Recently moved to bullpen which may be his long-term role. Plenty of stuff but command remains problematic and holds him back.
9) Joc Pederson, OF, Grade B-: .300/.374/.449 with 29 walks, 54 strikeouts, 17 steals for Rancho. Although these aren't exceptional numbers for the Cal League, he is just 20 years old and virtually skipped Low-A. I like him.
10) Angel Sanchez, RHP, Grade B-: 6.00 ERA with 79/32 K/BB in 99 innings for Rancho, 117 hits, 19 homers. Another live-arm guy with command issues and problems with his secondary pitches.
11) Gorman Erickson, C, Grade C+: Hitting .232/.346/.320 with 33 walks, 43 strikeouts in 203 at-bats. I thought he was a big pre-season sleeper but it is not happening. Has thrown out just 22% of runners. Big disappointment for me.
12) Angelo Songco, 1B-OF, Grade C+: Hitting just .176/.272/.332 with 20 walks, 39 strikeouts in 187 at-bats in A-ball. Struggling after having a rod inserted into his right leg in the off-season. He was a monster last year at the same level, so I have to think the injury has something to do with his bad season.
13) Blake Smith, OF, Grade C+: .266/.354/.411 for Chattanooga, 11 homers, 44 walks, 99 strikeouts in 338 at-bats, 10 steals. Needs to show more with the bat to have a chance in a corner outfield spot.
14) Shawn Tolleson, RHP, Grade C+: 2.82 ERA with 34/5 K/BB in 22 innings in Double-A/Triple-A, then 5.40 ERA with 11/6 K/BB in 11 major league innings. I expect he'll be hanging around major league bullpens for a long time.
15) Aaron Miller, LHP, Grade C+: 4.14 ERA with 86/56 K/BB in 91 innings in Double-A, 82 hits. Not great, not terrible, this is another guy with command issues although he's been more effective than he was last year.
16) Alex Castellanos, OF-INF, Grade C+: Hitting .359/.451/.636 with 11 homers, 32 walks, 54 strikeouts in 231 at-bats for Triple-A Albuquerque, 12 steals. 3-for-21 in a major league trial. Worse players have had long careers as reserve outfielders.
17) Scott Van Slyke, OF-1B, Grade C+: .321/.395/.554 with 11 homers, 27 walks, 36 strikeouts in 224 at-bats in Triple-A, hit .167/.196/.315 in 54 major league at-bats. Older prospect, just turned 26. May get stuck as a Quadruple-A type unless he can force himself into playing time soon.
18) Jonathan Garcia, OF, Grade C+: Hit .236/.271/.380 with eight homers, 12 walks, 106 strikeouts in 297 at-bats for Rancho, was just suspended for throwing a bat at an umpire. He's already got enough problems chasing pitches outside the strike zone.
19) Steve Ames, RHP, Grade C+: 1.90 ERA, 11 saves, 53/10 K/BB in 47 innings for Chattanooga, 44 hits. Another solid relief arm who can help in the next year.
20) Jake Lemmerman, SS, Grade C+: .240/.353/.358 with 37 walks, 69 strikeouts in 271 at-bats for Chattanooga, eight steals in eight attempts. Reliable defender though range works better at second base, could be a good utility guy if he can hit more, and I think he might eventually.
Pitching is the key to this system, as they like to collect physical, hard-throwing right-handers. Javier Solano out of Mexico is having a good year in Double-A and is someone else to watch. The biggest story is the return of Ethan Martin to effectiveness after two years of serious command problems. He still has some control issues but his stock is moving back up after it looked like he might Blass-out on us. Yimi Garcia is collecting saves and strikeouts at Great Lakes.
On the hitting side, more depth would help. Outfielders Bobby Coyle and Leon Landry are having a lot more fun hitting in the California League than they did in the Midwest League last year, but will that carry forward? O'Koyea Dickson faded after a fast start for Great Lakes, but he could be another Cal League revival next year.
Draft investments bring in promising high school bats with Corey Seager and Jesmuel Valentin, while Ross Stripling and Paco Rodriguez are college arms who could move rapidly. The Dodgers are investing in Cuban talent as well, beginning with draftee southpaw Onelki Garcia and outfielder Yasiel Puig. Opinions on Puig differ, with some experts believing that the Dodgers paid too much ($42 million over seven years) but others thinking he can be a star, including the Dodgers obviously. Either way, it indicates that the front office has money to invest with now that the ownership issue has been resolved.