Top 20 PRE-SEASON Dodgers Prospects in Review
This is the PRE-SEASON list. That means it was generated BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED and that the grades were PRE-SEASON. Anyone complaining about the grades based on 2006 performance will be smacked up the side of the head with a Dan Opperman autographed baseball.
1) Chad Billingsley, RHP, Grade A-
6-3, 3.95 in 13 starts for Triple-A Las Vegas, then 0-2, 4.45 in 6 starts for the Dodgers, 18/26 K/BB in 32 innings points need for sharper command. Very high upside remains of course.
2) Joel Guzman, OF, Grade A-
.281/.341/.442 in 70 games for Vegas, 9 homers in 260 at-bats. Doing OK but I thought he was poised for a breakout, and I am starting to have doubts about how he is going to develop. More on this later.
3) Andy LaRoche, 3B, Grade B+
.309/.419/.483 in 62 games for Double-A Jacksonville, .279/.367/.512 in 11 games for Vegas. Still looks good to me.
4) Jonathan Broxton, RHP, B+
3.29 ERA in 32 games for the Dodgers, 44/17 K/BB in 38 innings. Can dominate when his command is working.
5) Russell Martin, C, B+
Hitting .286/.356/.448 in 55 games for the Dodgers. Doing very well and should continue to do so.
6) Scott Elbert, LHP, B+
5-5, 2.37 in 15 starts for Class A Vero Beach. Just promoted to Double-A, won his first start with 9 strikeouts in 5 innings. Looks good to me.
7) Blake DeWitt, 3B, B+
Hitting .269/.348/.427 with 12 homers for Vero Beach, 40/63 BB/K in 342 at-bats. I like his BB/K mark, and I think he will break out in 2007.
8) Chin-Lung Hu, SS, B
.260/.331/.317 for Jacksonville in 85 games. Making contact, but lack of power appears to be an issue.
9) Andre Ethier, OF, B
Hitting .345/.396/.532 in 60 games for the Dodgers. I don't think he's really a .345 hitter, but I expect he will be a consistent .280-.300 guy, and who knows, maybe he really can hit .340 over a full year.
10) Justin Orenduff, RHP, B
4-2, 3.40 in 10 starts for Jacksonville, 54/19 K/BB in 50 innings. Decent numbers but pitching time limited by an elbow injury.
11) Etanislao Abreu, 2B, B-
.287/.353/.414 for Jacksonville, 21 doubles is a good marker. Holding his own.
12) Delwyn Young, 2B, B-
.274/.336/.463 with 27 doubles, 11 homers for Vegas. Numbers look OK but aren't that hot for Vegas. I think he can and will do better but might not fit on the roster.
13) Travis Denker, 2B, B-
.220/.309/.330 at Vero Beach, resulting in demotion to Columbus where he is .284/.463/.444. Which is the real Denker?
14) Matt Kemp, OF, B-
Hitting .279/.316/.500 with 7 homers and 5 steals in 37 games for the Dodgers. Rushed a bit, and his strike zone judgment is a weakness, but I think he will be excellent down the road. Underrated at this slot at the beginning of the season.
15) Blake Johnson, RHP, B-
4-4, 4.45 in 18 starts for Vero Beach, 72/19 K/BB in 95 innings, 100 hits allowed. Good control, but hittable. Still projectable and intriguing for the future.
16) Hong Chi Kuo, LHP, B-
5.60 ERA in 21 games for the Dodgers, struggling with command issues, note 29/24 K/BB in 27 innings. Still trying to figure out how to pitch but has upside.
17) James Loney, 1B, C+
Hitting .383/.422/.555 for Vegas, also 9-for-40 (.225) in 14 games for the Dodgers. Looks like he is finally breaking through.
18) Justin Ruggiano, OF, C+
.261/.369/.446 for Jacksonville. Sleeper candidate is drowsy but conscious.
19) Anthony Raglani, OF, C+
.224/.330/.350 for Jacksonville. Sleeper candidate has taken too much ambien.
20) Josh Wall, RHP, C+
1-2, 5.11 in 5 starts for short-season Ogden, 10/12 K/BB in 25 innings. Sample is small but these numbers aren't impressive at this point.
Still lots of good news here. Although Guzman has been somewhat disappointing, the strong performance from Martin and emergence of Kemp help make up for that. Loney looks great again, and Ethier has been even better than expected. Foundation for future success is definitely here.