5 Los Angeles Dodgers Prospects You Must Watch During Spring Training
MLB Spring Training: 5 Los Angeles Dodgers Prospects You Must Watch
Spring Training is the best place for most fans to get a good look at their favorite teams’ prospects, unless they happen to live close to one of the minor league affiliates. The Los Angeles Dodgers will have a solid group of prospects filtering in through Camelback Ranch this spring, so Dodgers fans will not want to miss out on glimpses of the future.
The Dodgers have been known to have an extremely weak farm system in the recent past, thanks in part to several large trades in previous seasons. With no backbone of young studs rising through the minor league ranks, the Dodgers’ future looked bleak for a while. Now, the Boys in Blue have begun to replenish their stock of green talent and have reestablished themselves with a legitimate farm system.
In recent days, MLB has come to respect the Dodgers’ minor league prospects, as DodgerNation.com noted on Twitter recently:
With two prospects ranked in the Top 40 and the other two in the Top 70, the Dodgers do not have the most intimidating group of youngsters, but certainly have some clout in the baseball world. You can be sure to read more about some of those prospects in this slideshow.
The young Cuban phenom, Yasiel Puig, started out Spring Training in 2013 with the Dodgers and was quite the spectacle, hitting around .500 and foreshadowing his amazing season to come. It is possible that there could be another star performer like Puig in the 2014 edition of Camelback Ranch and you will not want to miss out on seeing him play. To read about the five Dodgers prospects you must watch during Spring Training, click the “Next” button above.
1. Joc Pederson
As the clear top prospect in the Dodgers’ organization, Joc Pederson will garner the largest attention from fans hoping to get a glimpse of the young stud. As an outfielder with a big bat, Spring Training could be the only time for fans to get to see Pederson, who suffers from a logjam in outfield. With Puig, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford fighting for time at the major league level, it could be a long while before Pederson gets established. The 6-1 lefty from Palo Alto, CA boasted a .278 batting average in AA ball last season while smashing 22 homers. At only 21 years of age, Pederson is an exciting prospect you must see in Spring Training.
2. Zach Lee
Another of the Dodgers’ top five prospects is Zach Lee, a 6-3 right-handed pitcher from Texas. The 22-year-old has been making his way up the minor league ladder and spent a second year at the AA level in 2013. With a 3.22 ERA, a 1.171 WHIP, 131 strikeouts and a 3.74 strikeout to walk ratio last season, Lee has certainly impressed. As a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, it will be exciting to see the former LSU quarterback throwing in Dodger Blue.
3. Alex Guerrero
Even though Alex Guerrero already has a spot on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster, he still has a lot to prove before he gets a spot in the starting lineup. Unlike Puig in 2013, Guerrero will almost certainly be on the major league roster on Opening Day because of the Dodgers’ middle infield needs. All the same, if the Cuban wants to be the everyday starter, he will need a strong Spring Training. In this regard, Guerrero is definitely a prospect to watch.
4. Ross Stripling
At only 23 years old, Ross Stripling is one of the Dodgers’ most exciting prospects. The Texan has been quickly moving up the ladder as six short starts in High A ball led to a graduation to AA in 2013. On the year, Stripling combined for a 2.82 ERA and an 8-4 record with a 7.9 strikeout per nine innings ratio. When Stripling throws in Spring Training, you will not want to miss the potential future Dodgers’ starting pitcher show his stuff.
5. Miguel Rojas
The player who needs to step up the most during Spring Training in order to establish himself with the organization is Miguel Rojas. As a middle infielder, Rojas has the potential to make a run at some playing time with the club but still has a lot to prove. The 24-year-old native of Venezuela had a nice minor league campaign in 2011, hitting .273 mostly at the AA level. Nevertheless, 2012 and 2013 were shaky seasons at the plate. Rojas will need to use his glove to impress the Dodgers’ management and improve his bat during his time at Camelback Ranch.