Continuing my off-season recap of the Los Angeles Dodgers minor league affiliates, I will be moving on to the hitters of the Ogden Raptors.
I’ll be picking the prospects for the 2012 Prospective Prospect Profiles list from these reviews, so it might be worth reading. Or not.
Joc Pederson – OF – 19
2010 11th round draft pick Joc Pederson destroyed the Pioneer League in 2011, it’s as simple as that. He put up a .353/.429/.568/.997 line (.792 OPS=Average) in 310 plate appearances, striking out 17.4% of the time, while walking at a 11.6% clip, both clearly better than the league average.
He has solid plate discipline, makes consistent content, and should be able to play good defense in the corners. Perhaps most impressive is his flash of immediate power out of high school, even if it was the Pioneer League.
He struggled a bit in A-ball to take some shine off his 2011, but he was one of the youngest players in that league, so giving him a pass for now isn’t hard. He’ll end up in A-ball again to begin 2012 and I’m excited to see how he fares.
James Baldwin – OF – 19
A fourth round draft pick in 2010 and son of a former MLB pitcher, James Baldwin flashes tools but still lacks refinement.
His .250/.348/.480/.828 line is solid, especially for a raw player, but striking out 32.6% of the time is just unacceptable. He doesn’t walk a lot to compensate for it either (7.8%), so it’s obvious that plate discipline and consistent contact will be his main issues going forward.
Baldwin’s athleticism, speed, and arm are generally unquestionable. Furthermore, he has power projection, which stacks even more potential onto a player who projects in center field. With that said, it’s hard to get around that strikeout rate, especially in Rookie-ball. My main concerns are that I don’t think he has particularly quick hands and his swing is lengthy enough where it’s not in the hitting zone for long. He has closed his stance off a bit since high school in an effort to shorten his stroke, and I think it has helped simplify his timing, but the swing itself still has the same path to it.
Given the Dodgers history with pushing raw players (Dee Gordon), I expect Baldwin to be in A-ball in 2012.
O’Koyea Dickson – 1B – 21
Taken in the 12th round of the 2011 draft, O’Koyea Dickson set the Pioneer League on fire in his professional debut. He put up a .333/.402/.603/1.005 line, which is impressive regardless of where it was done.
He hit at home (.979), on the road (1.044), against lefties (.999), and righties (1.007). Perhaps most noteworthy is that his strikeout rate was above average (20.5%) despite his power stroke. Dickson’s walk rate could use work though (8.8%), as it’s solid, but it’ll need to inflate as he moves levels.
Dickson has a quiet approach at the plate without much movement or complexities, and his swing is generally short and efficient. When he gets the ball in his zone, he squares up well, but can elongate his swing against tough pitches at the edges of the strike zone. I really like his hands and I think there’s a chance that he could develop into a good prospect. I would be remissed if I didn’t mention his short stature for the position though, which could ultimately handcuff him.
I’d like to see how he performs in A-ball before getting too excited, as he’s limited to first base defensively, and the offensive bar for that position is quite high. Still, you couldn’t ask him to do much more at the level he was put at.
Scott Schebler – OF – 20
A 26th round pick in 2010, Scott Schebler was supposed to be able to hit, and that he did in his first extended season as a professional.
Schebler hit 13 homers en route to putting up a .285/.324/.529/.853 line for 2011. Of course, the problem is obvious, as he walked 4.1% of the time (13) but struck out in a frightening 30.8% of plate appearances (97).
I’m not all that optimistic going forward, mainly because he’ll need to do a ton better than that to play a corner.
Noel Cuevas – OF – 19
Sent to the California League to begin 2011, the 2010 21st round draft pick struggled immensely before being sent down to the Pioneer League.
Noel Cuevas played much better after the demotion, posting a .285/.326/.488/.814 line, both demonstrating that he can hit and why he struggled against better competition. The 20.2 K% is solid, but the 5.2 BB% is the problem area.
He’s not a refined product, so I’m unsure why they pushed him so quickly, as he’s one of the many that needs extra time to develop.
Scott Wingo – 2B – 22
The 11th round 2011 draft pick out of South Carolina had an impressive professional debut that begs the question of where he’ll end up in 2012.
His line of .275/.464/.459/.922 showed the extent to which he overmatched Pioneer League pitchers, carrying a 19.9 K% and a 18.5 BB%.
For the coming year, whether he starts in the Midwest League or California League should tell us what the Dodgers think of his tools.
Pratt Maynard – C – 21
Drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft because he could hit, Pratt Maynard did none of that in 2011. He put up a line of .239/.346/.341/.687 in 104 plate appearances and never looked comfortable.
It wasn’t bad luck either, as his BABIP wasn’t so far removed from the league average that it could explain away his issues, at least not so much as his 67.7% ground ball rate would. On the positive side, he controlled the plate reasonably well, posting a 23.1 K% and a 12.5 BB%, but as far as actually hitting the ball, he didn’t do it.
It’s certainly not enough to condemn him, but it’s not the start you want in a hitter friendly league from your third round, bat first college catcher. As a mediocre defensive receiver, he’ll need to improve in both aspects at this point.
Justin Boudreaux – SS – 21
Posting a .265/.400/.442/.842 line, Justin Boudreaux flashed plate discipline and pop, but didn’t make a significant impression considering he was a three year starter in college (Southeastern Louisiana).
He controls the strike zone well and makes consistent enough contact, but it’s his speed that has allowed him to excel thus far, stealing 16 bases without being caught. Defensively, he’s a tad error prone, but that can be cleaned up with time and he has the tools to stick at shortstop.
Boudreaux will have to be pushed to A-ball in 2012 if he’s going to be a relevant prospect.
Jan Vazquez – C – 20
To be totally honest, it’s starting to look like Jan Vazquez is becoming yet another example of why you don’t draft catch-and-throw backstops who have to be taught how to hit.
A sixth round selection in 2009, Vazquez is still in Rookie-ball sharing time with other catchers after three years as a professional. On the positive side, he’s getting better (OPS=.558/.648/.674 CS%=22/23/32). On the negative side, those still aren’t even average numbers and the scouting reports aren’t exactly glowing.
He might struggle to become even organizational depth if he doesn’t take a step forward in 2012.