Prospect Rankings Thoughts
Zach Lee has the projection to eventually be a #1/#2, but his stuff right now definitely resembles more of a #2/#3. Hence his production in low-A.
I liked both Webster and Eovaldi as sleepers a while ago, but I gave the edge to Allen Webster over Nate Eovaldi because although there’s more risk to Webster, I think there’s more upside as well. Eovaldi can improve his breaking pitches, but not enough to be more than a #3 starter, and I think ending up as a reliever is a definite possibility.
I have Joc Pederson higher than most, and I acknowledge the risk, but I liked his swing, his plate discipline, and he’s probably going to be good defensively. If the power projection comes through, he’ll end up as a solid regular.
Angel Sanchez is currently what everybody assumes Chris Reed will be. Both can pitch in the mid-90s, have good secondary pitches, and possess a solid tertiary offering. They are basically the same to me, but Sanchez actually accomplished something as a professional, so he gets the edge. It’s odd that people bag on Sanchez because he might be a reliever down the road but don’t pay any attention to the fact that while Reed has the pitches, he hasn’t even made the transition from reliever to starter yet.
Garrett Gould is a solid prospect that does everything well but has concerns about how his stuff will play against advanced bats.
Even though he’s a reliever, Josh Lindblom clocks in so high because it’s rare to have a guy on a prospect list that has posted a 2.73 ERA and 2.35 FIP in 29.2 innings over 27 appearances at the MLB level.
Chris Withrow has a ton of potential, but he’s going to be 23 and I have a hard time believing his control with improve drastically. However, it just needs to get a bit better for him to be MLB useful.
Gorman Erickson might be a surprise this high, but there’s a lot to like from big switch hitting catchers with pop, plate discipline, consistent contact, and decent defensive skills. A worry of mine is that the Dodgers don’t seem to like him, as they favor defensive catchers who can’t hit, but hopefully he hits enough in 2012 to change their minds.
Alfredo Silverio and Alex Castellanos both have the tools to succeed, but you’ll have to excuse me for not being excited about their plate discipline, and the strikeout rate of Castellanos is scary. Silverio has made me believe he can be a major leaguer, but I don’t know if he’ll ever be regular. Similarly, I think Castellanos’ bat only plays at second, so it’s important to me that he can stay at the position.
Shawn Tolleson could be better than Lindblom, but there are more question marks there with him, including experience and his almost dangerous throwing motion.
James Baldwin and Scott Barlow are the upside guys. Both could be out of the top 25 by November or be in the top 10, depending on how their 2012 goes. Following them are Tim Federowicz and Steven Ames, both of whom aren’t impact players but look to be a solid bet to be contributors.
Blake Smith and Angelo Songco are one to two years behind where most regulars are at this stage in their careers (well Songco isn’t that bad, but he lacks the raw tools), so they will always have questions about competition level until they hit at the MLB level. Speaking of that, it’ll be interesting to see if Scott Van Slyke ever gets a chance. I think he can hit, but he’s gonna have to hit a ton to be relevant.
Aaron Miller and Ethan Martin both need breakout 2012 seasons in a bad way. Miller simply needs to regain his old stuff and stay healthy. Martin needs to find his mechanics and the strike zone. Upside will only take them so far as they age.
Jonathan Garcia has always been an underdog favorite of mine. He wrecked the Midwest League early on but got exposed later by breaking balls. Realistically, he’ll have to hit a lot because he has little else of value, but he has surprising pop and a solid swing. O’Koyea Dickson is another prospect that will have to be rushed because of his age, but if he hits like he’s capable, he could reach high-A in 2012. I really like his swing and I think he has good pop, but he’s not tall and is stuck at first base, so there’s a ton of pressure on his bat.
Much like Webster and Eovaldi, Matt Magill was a favorite of mine from before, but unlike them, his stuff hasn’t exploded quite the same. Still, he has above average velocity and can miss bats with his off-speed stuff, but he’ll have to perform at AA to gain any respect. I’m interested to see if he progresses at that stage or becomes Tim Sexton.
Honestly, I thought it would be a lot worse than this. Fortunately though, the Dodgers have a ton of potential contributors, even if most of them are clocking in on the pitching side of the ledger.
The top 10 is quite solid from my view, even if it does lack huge upside. However, after that the Dodgers are stuck with a bunch of guys who are more likely to end up as part-timers or utility players than regulars. My hope is that one out of the seven or eight bats that are too old for their level but still produce in the minor leagues eventually becomes a regular.
No, there’s not a ton of star potential, but given the budget restraints, the complete lack of care in the international market, and the mass graduation of talent in 2011, it could have been a ton worse.