Los Angeles Dodgers Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
1) Joel Guzman, SS
Hit .287/.351/.475 with 16 homers, 31 doubles for Double-A Jacksonville. Something of a disappointing season, hampered by shaky plate discipline, but he was only 20 years old and is still an elite prospect.
2) Chad Billingsley, RHP
13-6, 3.51 in 26 starts for Jacksonville, 162/50 K/BB in 146 innings, only 116 hits allowed. Top-notch pitching prospect still on track for success.
3) Jonathan Broxton, RHP
3.17 ERA at Jacksonville, used as a starter and reliever. Posted 107/31 K/BB in 97 innings. Control problems kept his ERA over 5.00 in brief major league action, but his ceiling remains very high.
4) Edwin Jackson, RHP
Pitched horribly for the Dodgers and in Triple-A, but recovered his footing in Double-A to some extent. Jackson has been terribly mishandled by the Dodgers. Can he recover completely? Poll question in the comments thread.
5) James Loney, 1B
Hit .284/.357/.419 with 11 homers for Jacksonville. Still very young, power production has improved somewhat, but the big breakthrough everyone seems to expect is still tempting us over the horizon. Is it an illusion?
6) Chuck Tiffany, LHP
11-7, 3.93 in 21 starts for Vero Beach, 134/43 K/BB in 110 innings, 91 hits allowed. Continues to post excellent component ratios. Main red flag is high home run rate.
7) Yhency Brazoban, RHP
Picked up 21 saves for the Dodgers, albeit with an ugly 5.33 ERA. He can do better but is probably best-suited for short/middle relief work.
8) Delwyn Young, 2B
Hit .296/.346/.499 in 95 games for Jacksonville, then .325/.361/.475 in 36 games for Triple-A Las Vegas. Plate discipline is shaky but he has a lot of bat speed.
9) Dioner Navarro, C
Hit .273/.354/.375 in 50 games for the Dodgers. Power development has stalled out, but he is still very young at age 21 and should have a long career.
10) Russ Martin, C
Hit .311/.430/.423 in 129 games for Jacksonville, 78 walks against just 69 strikeouts in 409 at-bats. Power has stagnated, but has excellent on-base skills.
11) Blake DeWitt, 3B
Hit .283/.333/.428 in 120 games for Class A Columbus, decent but not spectacular. Then he went 13-for-31 (.419) with three doubles and a homer in an 8-game trial at Class A Vero Beach. A very promising bat.
12) Cory Dunlap, 1B
Hit .291/.382/.398 in 121 games for Vero Beach. Good on-base skills and can hit for average, but power is questionable considering his position.
13) Willy Aybar, 2B
Hit .297/.356/.419 in 108 games for Las Vegas, then .326/.448/.453 in 26 games for the Dodgers. He overachieved in Los Angeles, but he did make real progress refining his skills this year.
14) Andy LaRoche, 3B
Big step forward this year, hit .333/.380/.651 with 21 homers in 63 games for Vero Beach, then .273/.367/.445 in 64 games for Jacksonville. Strong improvement in strike zone judgment. His stock has definitely risen.
15) Chin-Lung Hu, SS
Good year, hit .313/.347/.430 with 23 steals in 116 games for Vero Beach. Not a walk machine but his strikeout rate is quite low.
16) Scott Elbert, LHP
Major improvement compared to '04, went 8-5, 2.66 in 24 starts for Columbus, 128/57 K/BB in 115 innings, only 83 hits allowed. A very solid young lefty.
17) Justin Orenduff, RHP
Went 5-3, 2.24 in 12 starts for Vero Beach, then 5-2, 4.07 in 13 starts for Jacksonville. Maintained strong strikeout rate after promotion, although other numbers slipped. Control an issue but I like him.
18) Julio Pimentel, RHP
5.08 ERA in 24 starts for Vero Beach, went 8-10, 105/43 K/BB in 124 innings but allowed 149 hits. Only 19 years old, has time to rebound from a season where he was far too hittable for a guy with a good arm.
19) Matt Kemp, OF
Hit .306/.349/.569 with 27 homers, 23 steals for Vero Beach. Very impressive tools, skills are coming along. Main issue is plate discipline, which will be a challenge in Double-A.
20) D.J. Houlton, RHP
Posted 5.16 ERA in 129 innings for the Dodgers, used as a swingman, with 90/52 K/BB. Allowed 145 hits and 21 homers. I think he can do better than this, but his window will close quickly if he doesn't improve.