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Los Angeles Dodgers Top 20 Prospects

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Joel Guzman in the field

  1. Joel Guzman, SS, A
  2. Chad Billingsley, RHP, A-
  3. Jonathan Broxton, RHP, B+
  4. Edwin Jackson, RHP, B
  5. James Loney, 1B, B
  6. Chuck Tiffany, LHP, B
  7. Yhency Brazoban, RHP, B
  8. Delwyn Young, 2B, B
  9. Dioner Navarro, C, B
  10. Russ Martin, C, B
  11. Blake DeWitt, 3B, B
  12. Cory Dunlap, 1B, B
  13. Willy Aybar, 2B, B- (grade change)
  14. Andy LaRoche, 3B, B-
  15. Chin-Lung Hu, SS, B-
  16. Scott Elbert, LHP, B-
  17. Justin Orenduff, RHP, B-
  18. Julio Pimentel, RHP, B-
  19. Matt Kemp, OF, C+
  20. D.J. Houlton, RHP, C+
This system has improved rapidly and is now among the better systems in the game.

Guzman looks like a potential Miguel Cabrera to me. There is some risk there due to his mediocre plate discipline, but the improvement in his overall numbers last year was marked, and he did extremely well in the Southern League for a 19-year-old. Billingsley is another prodigy. He needs sharper command, but again we're talking about a guy who acquitted himself well in Double-A at age 20.

I think Broxton is underrated by a lot of people. Jackson and Loney were disappointments last year, Loney due to injury and Jackson due to "I'm a young pitcher" syndrome. I expect rebounds from both. Chuck Tiffany may be underrated at Grade B; you can make a case for him being Grade B+ and in the Top 50 overall pitching prospects.

Delwyn Young is a favorite of many statheads due to his booming bat. Defense remains a big questionmark, but if he keeps hitting like that they will find a place for him. I gave Willy Aybar a Grade C+ in the book. Some other analysts have started rating him as among the best prospects in the game. I went back and reviewed my reasoning for the Grade C+ grade. In retrospect I think that was too low. He did improve last year, and was young for Double-A, but I still don't see him as among the best prospects in the game, not yet. I'll move him to Grade B-.

Watch Julio Pimentel, who has "2005 Breakthrough" tattooed on his forehead.

Other Grade C+ guys include Travis Denker, Joel Hanrahan, and Blake Johnson. Depending on what you want to emphasize, any of them could rank ahead of Rule 5 control artist D.J. Houlton. Lefty Greg Miller shows up on many prospect lists, but for me he's a Grade C until he shows he is healthy again. He has A- talent, but shoulder problems are a big red flag for me.

There are lots of intelligent and informed Dodgers fans out there. Feel free to comment/critique this list. I'll be back this afternoon.