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Los Angeles Dodgers Top 20 prospects for 2017: Mid-season review

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Checking in on the status of the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system. . .

Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers
Cody Bellinger
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

We continue our mid-season organization reviews with a look at the Los Angeles Dodgers Top 20 Prospects from the beginning of 2017. The index for other team reviews can be found here.




This list was originally published January 6th, 2017 and revised on February 6th, 2017.

1) Cody Bellinger, 1B-OF, Grade A-: Age 22, fourth round pick in 2013; hitting .265/.346/.602 with 28 homers, 39 walks, 96 strikeouts in 309 at-bats in the majors; obviously a huge success, exceeding already-lofty expectations.

2) Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Grade B+/A-: Age 21, signed out of Cuba in 2015 for $16,000,000 plus another $16,000,000 as penalties; erratic this year, combined 5.03 ERA in 68 innings between High-A and Double-A, 71/35 K/BB, 73 hits; not as refined as advertised, needs better consistency with command and secondaries; still a very high ceiling.

3) Alex Verdugo, OF, Grade B+/B: Age 21, second round pick in 2014; hitting .330/.402/.450 in Triple-A with 42 walks, 37 strikeouts in 349 at-bats; pure hitter looks ready for major league trial at any time.

4) Andrew Toles, OF, Grade B: Age 25, third round pick in 2012 by the Rays; career seemed over due to personal issues but signed with Dodgers as free agent in late ’15; hitting well enough at .271/.314/.458 in the majors until going down with torn ACL.

Minor League Baseball: Arizona Fall League-Fall Stars Game
Willie Calhoun
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

5) Willie Calhoun, 2B, Grade B: Age 22, fourth round pick in 2015 from Yavapai Junior College; hitting .296/.354/.574 23 homers, 34 walks, 49 strikeouts in 371 at-bats in Triple-A; like Verdugo, the bat looks ready for an MLB trial; lack of range remains biggest defensive question but error rate has improved.

6) Yusniel Diaz, OF, Grade B: Age 20; Cuban defector signed in 2015 for $15,500,000 plus another $15,500,000 in penalties; hitting .278/.341/.417 with 33 walks, 73 strikeouts in 324 at-bats in High-A; not a bad season but almost identical to the numbers he put up at the same level in 2016 (.272/.333/.418); certainly has the tools to be much better than just decent.

7) Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Grade B: Age 22; compensation round pick in 2016 out of Vanderbilt; 3.84 ERA in 82 innings in Low-A, 81/41 K/BB; best news is that he’s fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and has his fastball velocity back but his secondary pitches are still a work-in-progress.

8) Walker Buehler, RHP, Grade B/B-: Age 23, first round pick in 2015 from Vanderbilt; had Tommy John surgery after signing, fully recovered now, 3.33 ERA in 70 innings between High-A, Double-A, Triple-A, with 100/25 K/BB, just 51 hits; scouting reports have been glowing.

Los Angeles Dodgers v Miami Marlins
Brock Stewart
Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

9) Brock Stewart, RHP, Grade B-: Age 25; sixth round pick in 2014 from Illinois State University; missed much of season with shoulder issues but back in action now and pitching well, 16.2 innings with 0.00 ERA out of MLB pen with 12/4 K/BB.

10) Keibert Ruiz, C, Grade B-: Age 19, signed out of Venezuela in 2014 for just $140,000; hitting combined .329/.376/.479 between Low-A and High-A, 20 walks, 35 strikeouts in 280 at-bats; good receiver, too; stock moving up rapidly.

11) Gavin Lux, SS, Grade B-: Age 19, first round pick in 2016 from high school in Wisconsin, hitting .205/.308/.305 in Low-A; 45 walks, 62 strikeouts in 302 at-bats; defense has sharpened quickly but lack of strength holds bat back; young enough to improve of course.

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
Austin Barnes
Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

12) Austin Barnes, C-INF, Grade B-: Age 27; older prospect but has a consistent track record of success; hitting .296/.413/.536 with 24 walks, 28 strikeouts in 125 major league at-bats; I told you they just needed to let him play.

13) Chase De Jong, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 23, traded to Seattle Mariners in spring training; not a good year with 6.34 ERA in 71 Triple-A innings, 6.35 ERA in 28 major league innings and weak 13/13 K/BB; deserves more chances given his otherwise strong track record.

14) Josh Sborz, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 23, compensation pick in 2015 from University of Virginia; 4.17 ERA in 82 Double-A innings, 54/44 K/BB, 78 hits; not a great year, low K rate worrisome, may be better in bullpen.

15) Mitchell White, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 22, second round pick in 2016 from Santa Clara; combined 3.25 ERA in 53 innings between High-A, Double-A, and rookie ball injury rehab stint, 60/22 K/BB, just 33 hits; missed several weeks with a broken toe; was on everyone’s breakthrough list before the injury and deservedly so.

16) Imani Abdullah, RHP, Grade C+: Age 20, 11th round pick in 2015; just 12 innings this year in Low-A due to undisclosed injury; status unclear.

17) Mitchell Hansen, OF, Grade C+: Age 21, second round pick in 2015 from high school in Texas; hit just .198/.288/.312 in 263 at-bats in Low-A; sent down to the Pioneer League on July 25th but had already mastered that level in ‘16; pre-season concerns about swing look justified.

18) D.J. Peters, OF, Grade C+: Age 21, fourth round pick in 2016 from Western Nevada Community College; hitting .285/.388/.532 with 20 homers, 51 walks, 135 strikeouts in 372 at-bats in High-A; big power obviously, we’ll have to see if contact is an issue at higher levels but so far it isn’t in the Cal League.

19) Edwin Rios, 1B-3B, Grade C+: Age 23, sixth round pick from Florida International University; hitting .310/.355/.530 with 19 homers, 22 walks, 87 strikeouts in 368 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A; more brute strength than pure bat speed but it works so far; defense adequate at first base, poor at third; has been seeing some outfield innings; bat intriguing but where does he fit?

20) Grant Dayton, LHP, Grade C+: Older prospect at age 29, 4.94 ERA in 24 major league innings, 20/12 K/BB; capable of much better, currently DL with neck injury.


Omar Estevez, INF: Cuban, .241/.304/.338 in 328 at-bats in High-A; steady glove.
Starling Heredia, OF: Mashing in rookie ball, .427/.489/.732 in Pioneer League.
Ibandel Isabel, 1B: Good power in High-A, 22 homers with .256/.323/.485 line.
Dustin May, RHP: 3.75 ERA in 98 innings in Low-A, 96/21 K/BB, stock up.
Brandon Montgomery, 2B: .248/.277/.323 in High-A, versatile but lacks power
Trevor Oaks, RHP: Good year in Triple-A, 3.64 ERA in 84 innings, 72/18 K/BB, but went on DL July 5th with undisclosed injury.
Jacob Rhame, RHP; Good year in Triple-A, 3.73 ERA in 41 innings, 49/8 K/BB, but went on DL July 16th with undisclosed injury.
Dennis Santana, RHP: Good year between High-A and Double-A, 3.57 ERA in 91 innings, 98/24 K/BB; needs more attention.
Will Smith, C: Hit .231/.358/.446 with 11 homers in 251 at-bats in High-A, promoted to Double-A and got hurt in first game, out with broken hand.
Andrew Sopko, RHP: 4.40 ERA in 72 innings in Double-A, 46/39 K/BB, 72 hits; a rather blah season.

I will answer any questions in the comments section, including about players not ranked pre-season and 2017 draftees.