Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects
Los Angeles Dodger Top Ten Prospects
Times are good for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team is now owned by a group committed to winning (including Magic Johnson pictured above), signed the most lucrative television contract in baseball and has has a major league roster loaded with talent including manchild Matt Kemp.
The Dodgers farm system by most standards is middle-of-the-road. While there's some pitching talent, there's not a lot of position players. Some of this has to do with trades the organization has made to improve the big club, but the organization has made a strong commitment to pitching. And it shows. Seven of the ten top prospects are hurlers. Interestingly enough, the organization's best prospect isn't a pitcher. Plus, three of the top five prospects are position players. But the organization is rich with pitching.
With a team that is one-of-the-early favorites in the NL and still looking to add talent on the major league level, it's fair to say that the Dodgers aren't going to look to their farm system for much help this year. Their prospects are most-likely going to be allowed to develop or be traded for talent on the big league club.
For an organization that always boosted on of baseball's best farm systems, it is a little disappointing to see the Dodgers not at the top of the list. Much of this can be equated to the issues of ownership from the past few years, but with a new commitment from management and plenty of money in the coffers, the Dodgers will most-likely have things headed back in the right direction down on the farm.
#10 Oneklis Garcia, LHP
Oneklis Garcia hasn't flown under the radar. The Cuban born pitcher was originally a free agent, but at the last moment became eligible for the 2011 MLB Draft. The Dodgers decided to draft the southpaw in the third round.
Garcia has good but not great stuff. While his fastball is in the low-90s, he can top out at 94. He also throws a curve and a change-up. Both pitches aren't consistent. But being a southpaw with a solid fastball, there's thoughts of him being a solid relief pitcher on the big league level. As we've learned, there's no shortage of mediocre left-handers in the big leagues.
#9 Garrett Gould, RHP
Garrett Gould was a second-round selection of the Dodgers in the 2009 MLB Draft. Originally slated to attend Wichita State, the Dodgers gave Gould a nice signing bonus to skip college. Gould is a big kid with a solid build.
He projects out to a middle-of-the-rotation guy with his low-90s fastball. His best pitch is his curveball and change-up, but needs to improve the velocity on his fastball to be more effective on the big level. Gould could be a contributor on the big-league level, but don't expect him to be a star.
#8 Paco Rodriguez, LHP
Drafted last season out of Florida in the second round of the MLB draft, Paco Rodriguez was quickly brought up to the big club. The former Florida Gator has above-average stuff for a left-handed relief pitcher including a solid curveball, but that suited the needs of the Dodgers just fine down the stretch.
Look for Rodriguez to stick around the big leagues as a relief pitcher for years to come.
#7 Chris Withrow, RHP
Chris Winthrow was a 2007 first-round selection out of Midland, Texas has battled arm injuries to find his way on this list. His stuff continues to baffle minor-league hitters (better than a strikeout per inning), but his control continues to be an issue. Plus, his velocity isn't quite there. But, he's still young enough where the organization is willing to remain patient. But they need to start seeing results soon.
#6 Matt Magill, RHP
Sneaking up the charts is Matt Magill. The former 31st round selection out of Simi Valley, CA is getting noticed. Last season for Chattanooga, Magill struck out 168 batters in 146.1 innings. While his stuff isn't impressive, his ability to miss bats is. He continues to grow as a pitcher, and the Dodgers are excited to see where he goes.
#5 Chris Reed, LHP
Chris Reed was the 2011 first-round selection by the Dodgers. And if you look at his size and stuff, you can see why. There's still some thought he may end up as a back-of-the-bullpen guy, but the Dodgers still want to see if he can start. You can see why with his unbelievable arm and huge upside. But control continues to be an issue for Reed. If he has any shot of pitching in the big leagues, he must throw strikes.
#4 Joc Pederson, OF
A member of the Team Israel for the upcoming World Baseball Classic, Joc Pederson continues to rise up the ranks of Dodger prospects. Last season for Rancho Cucamonga, Pederson hit .313 with 18 HRs. Scouts see him as a Matt Holiday-type hitter, but his glove is an issue. He tried (not-so-successfully) to play center field, and lacked the instincts to effectively play the position. The team is hoping he can find some consistency in the field, because his bat is quite appealing.
#3 Corey Seager, SS/3B
Having a brother at the big league level gives Corey Seager (Kyle) a tough act to follow, but the Dodgers thought highly enough of this kid to draft him in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft. Seager will most-likey move over to play third base. Last season in rookie ball, the highly touted Seager showed a strong bat and speed. The sky is the limit for this 18-year old, and the Dodgers will be patient with his development.
#2 Zach Lee, RHP
Zach Lee has the make-up to be a front-line starter in the big leagues. While his numbers aren't impressive in the minor leagues ,the Dodgers have high hopes for this former first-round selection. His name has been thrown around in trade rumors, but he's still a Dodger. While his stuff still isn't quite major league ready, the team feels that his mechanics and athleticism will carry him down the road.
#1 Yasiel Puig, OF
This Cuban import signed a HUGE seven year contract ($42 million) dollar deal with the Dodgers. He's very raw, but the skill-set and athleticism for this kid has the whole organization in awe. The sky is the limit for Yasiel Puig, but there's no timetable on his assent to the Major Leagues. When it does happen, it will be one of the more anticipated moments considering his contract and hype. The organization sees him as their next superstar, and that is high-praise for a guy that has a ways to go.