Jarret Martin has one of the best arms in the system, by Dustin Nosler Jarret Martin has one of the best arms in the system, by Dustin Nosler

2014 Top 50 Dodgers’ Prospects: No. 41-50

Jarret Martin has one of the best arms in the system, by Dustin Nosler

Jarret Martin has one of the best arms in the system, by Dustin Nosler

This is the first in a 5-part series about my Top 50 Dodgers’ prospects for 2014.

Previous entries
Prospect landing page

Editor’s note: I am not a scout (#notascout). This is an amateur scouting report based on what I know about baseball and from following the sport all my life. I don’t claim to be a pro, I just want to pass along the information to the masses. Enjoy. All ratings in the charts below are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is roughly average, 80 is elite and nearly unattainable (think an Aroldis Chapman fastball), and 20 is unacceptably poor.

Tools Now Future
Fastball 40 45
Curveball 50 55
Slider 30 40
Changeup 45 50
Cmd/Ctrl 40 45
Delivery 45 50

41. Garrett Gould, RHP (6’4, 220, 22 years old)
Gould was once a promising starting pitching prospect, but he ran into a lot of trouble the last two years in the California League. Gould has relatively decent control, but his fastball velocity has been inconsistent. At times, it’s a low-90s offering he can sink. Other times, it’s a high-80s pitch that’s flat. There’s no denying his 12-6 curveball is one of the best in the system, but he can only succeed with that pitch for so long. He has a better changeup than most give him credit for, but he throws it infrequently.

Gould has a big frame that’s conducive to a heavy workload and above-average velocity. His delivery has a little funk to it from the wind-up, but he’s a little slow to the plate from the stretch. He throws his pitches from an over-the-top arm angle that helps him get a little bit of downward plane on his pitches. He earned a curious promotion to Chattanooga last year, and struggled there as well. He pitched some out of the bullpen, which might be where his future lies. He’ll go back to Double-A for a full season.

2013 ranking: 9
2014 location: Double-A Chattanooga
ETA: 2016

Tools Now Future
Hitting 40 45
Power 30 40
Speed 40 45
Fielding 45 60
Arm 60 65

42. Spencer Navin, C, (6’1, 185, 21 years old)
Navin was the Dodgers’ 11th-round selection in the 2013 MLB Draft, and was surprisingly given a $300,000 signing bonus ($200,000 than expected). It’s surprising because he was a college senior and didn’t have much leverage in negotiations. But, the Dodgers obviously saw something in him that prompted them to give him the bonus. An athletic catcher, Navin is a defense-first catcher who made a name for himself with his arm. It grades out at plus. He’s able to do things behind the plate prototypical catchers can’t because of his athleticism.

At the plate, he has work to do. He won’t hit for much power, but he has a good eye that should lead to a higher on-base percentage that isn’t tied to his batting average. Basically, he’s like a younger, right-handed Pratt Maynard. He only played in seven games in his debut season, so an assignment to Ogden could be in order, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start at Great Lakes.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Pioneer League/Low-A Great Lakes
ETA: 2017

Tools Now Future
Fastball 40 55
Curveball 40 55
Slider 35 40
Changeup 25 35
Cmd/Ctrl 30 45
Delivery 45 50

43. Ralston Cash, RHP (6’3, 215, 22 years old)
Cash is the cousin of former Dodger prospect Ethan Martin, who was traded to the Phillies for Shane Victorino in July 2012. Cash’s biggest issue has been health, as he’s yet to amass more than 55 2/3 innings in his three minor-league seasons. He missed the entire 2011 season after suffering a hip injury, and missed some time in 2013 while splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen (16 games, eight starts). When healthy, Cash is capable of throwing his fastball in the 88-92 MPH range. At times in the rotation, it touches 94 MPH. Out of the bullpen, it reached the mid-90s. his curveball is his best off-speed pitch and he gets some swings and misses with the mid-to-upper-70s offering. He has an extremely fringy changeup that he’ll likely ditch if he’s moved to the bullpen full-time.

His delivery is like most in the Dodgers’ system — relatively clean with the chance to be repeatable. Outside of health, throwing consistent strikes has been an issue for Cash. He’ll need to improve his command/control and health if he wishes to be a starting pitcher long-term. I have a hunch he’s destined for the bullpen sooner rather than later. He should get his first test at Rancho Cucamonga after spending most of the last two seasons at Great Lakes.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: High-A Rancho Cucamonga
ETA: late-2016

Tools Now Future
Hitting 35 40
Power 25 30
Speed 45 50
Fielding 50 55
Arm 50 50

44. Brandon Trinkwon, SS/2B (6’1, 170, 22 years old)
Trinkwon was the Dodgers’ 2013 seventh-round selection in the 2013 draft. He signed for the slot-recommended $171,900. A local kid, he was born in Tustin, Calif., and went to the University of California, Santa Barbara. He opened his pro career in Ogden, as a lot of advanced college draftees do. He hit extremely well there (.362/.411/.587), but that wasn’t indicative of his true offensive potential. He was promoted to Great Lakes, which was a rude awakening (.168/.198/.284).

The left-hander is a line-drive hitter who’s best when he’s driving the ball to left-center field. With some work, he could be an average hitter with the slightest bit of pop, but that doesn’t seem too likely. He has decent plate discipline, but only walked 5.1 percent of the time in his debut season. He doesn’t strike out a lot, which plays in his favor. Defensively, he’s solid. While he played shortstop in college and primarily in his debut, he’s probably ticketed for second base. Trinkwon could carve out a niche as a light-hitting utility player in the majors, if he makes it that far. He has average, at best, speed. He should begin the 2014 season at Great Lakes with an outside shot at a promotion to Rancho Cucamonga if he performs well enough.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Low-A Great Lakes
ETA: 2017

45. James Baldwin, CF (6’3, 190, 22 years old)
Baldwin is the best athlete in the system, but he’s yet to put it all together on the field. Sadly, that time might not ever come. His defense is unquestioned, as he’s a true center fielder with plus-plus defensive potential. Baldwin has an average arm in center field. He has the best speed of anyone in the system, which is a true plus-plus tool. Unfortunately, his bat has not improved. He was drew a comparison to Matt Kemp by Logan White, but it’d be a shock if he were ever a quarter as good as Kemp is with the bat.

Tools Now Future
Hitting 30 35
Power 30 35
Speed 70 70
Fielding 55 55
Arm 50 50

He strikes out far too often for a guy without plus-power. His strikeout rate has never been less than 30.8 percent in his four professional seasons. While his walk rate is improving, it isn’t improving enough to justify a 35-percent strikeout rate. His swing is long and he doesn’t have the bat speed to make up for it. If he could shorten up his swing and turn into a slap hitter who can draw a walk, there could be hope for him. But he’s been this way throughout his entire minor-league career. He did have a solid showing in the Venezuelan Winter League, so perhaps there’s a little hope for him. He spent the last two seasons at Great Lakes and figures to get a promotion to Rancho Cucamonga. He’ll need to keep his swing in check in the hitter-friendly California League.

2013 ranking: 34
2014 location: High-A Rancho Cucamonga
ETA: late-2016

Tools Now Future
Fastball 45 55
Slider 45 50
Changeup 30 40
Cmd/Ctrl 40 45
Delivery 45 50

46. Jarret Martin, LHP (6’4, 227, 24 years old)
Martin has been a starter for most of his professional career, but it seems he’s finally been moved to the bullpen, where his stuff should play up quite a bit. Martin has elite velocity, as his fastball sits in the 92-94 MPH and touches 95-96 MPH. It has solid arm-side run and a little sink. His best breaking pitch is a low-to-mid-80s slider with a sharp break that flashes plus potential. It’s a true swing-and-miss pitch when he gets on top of it and snaps it off. He also has a “show-me” changeup in the low-80s. He’ll probably scrap that pitch going forward.

I saw him in May and he didn’t walk a batter in his six-inning outing. He told me the next day it was the first time in his career he hadn’t issued a walk. But that’s still Martin’s biggest bugaboo — his control and command. He’ll need to be more precise with his command as a reliever. His delivery is quiet and somewhat repeatable. He throws from a high three-quarters arm slot that allows him to get some good run on his fastball. He also doesn’t lose much velocity when throwing from the stretch and throwing with the slide-step. He pitched at Rancho Cucamonga and Chattanooga last season, and he should begin with the Lookouts in 2014. He could see Major League action if he improves his control/command and there are a few injuries ahead of him. He was added to the 40-man roster in November.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Double-A Chattanooga/Triple-A Albuquerque
ETA: late-2014

Tools Now Future
Fastball 45 55
Curveball 40 45
Cmd/Ctrl 40 45
Delivery 45 50

47. Pedro Baez, RHP (6’2, 235, 26 years old)
Baez made the transition from light-hitting third baseman to somewhat hard-throwing reliever, but rest assured: He’s not the next Kenley Jansen. Baez uses a low-90s fastball that touches the 95-96 MPH range. The velocity is nice, but it’s a fairly straight pitch. His primary breaking pitch is a curveball that’s inconsistent. It’s a mid-to-upper-70s offering with 11-5 tilt. When he snaps it off correctly, it flashes solid-average potential, but those are few and far between. He gets under the pitch at times, causing it to be flat. Sandy Koufax was impressed by the pitch in spring training. Far be it from me to question one of the greatest pitchers ever, but I didn’t see it in the multiple times I saw Baez in 2013.

He has a high leg kick not unlike Jansen’s, but his delivery is a little quicker. He sets his hands low when he comes set and uses his leg kick to generate some torque. His delivery is relatively smooth and repeatable. He throws from an over-the-top arm slot to generate a little bit of downward plane. He began last season with Rancho Cucamonga before a late-season promotion to Chattanooga. He should begin in Double-A in 2014 with a chance to make his big league debut later in the season, as he was added to the 40-man roster in November.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Double-A Chattanooga/Triple-A Albuquerque
ETA: late-2014

Tools Now Future
Fastball 40 55
Curveball 40 50
Slider 35 45
Cmd/Ctrl 40 45
Delivery 40 45

48. J.D. Underwood, RHP (6’2, 215, 21 years old)
Underwood was the Dodgers’ fifth-round selection in the 2013 draft, and, after Chris Anderson, has the most potential of any pitching draftee. He signed for the slot recommended amount of $306,200 as a community college draftee. Like a lot of Dodger draft picks in recent years, Underwood has bloodlines, as his father Tom Underwood threw 1,586 innings as a professional and tallied a 3.89 ERA. The younger Underwood threw just 22 innings in his debut and got roughed up a bit, but the ability to get the strikeout will be big for him going forward. He split time between the Arizona Rookie League and Ogden in the Pioneer League.

Underwood uses an 87-90 MPH fastball that touches 92 MPH. He also has a slider and curveball that he throws in the strikezone — perhaps too often, as his 12.3 hits per nine innings might indicate. Best-case scenario is a middle-of-the-rotation starter, with a spot in the bullpen possible if he can’t cut it as a starter. Underwood was a two-way player at the junior college level, but he’s strictly a pitcher going forward. He could see the Midwest League this year, but he’ll likely start at Ogden in the Pioneer League.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Pioneer League/Low-A Great Lakes
ETA: mid-2017

Tools Now Future
Fastball ? ?
? ? ?
? ? ?
Cmd/Ctrl ? ?
Delivery ? ?

49. Jairo Pacheco, LHP (6’0, 165, 17 years old)
Pacheco enjoyed a lot of success in his debut season in the Dominican Summer League. His 1.24 ERA in 43 2/3 innings was the best on the team. He allowed just 26 hits and 13 walks in those innings and struck out 45. Those are Urias-esque numbers, but Pacheco is far from the next Urias. More likely, he’s the next Miguel Sulbaran, which isn’t exactly a bad thing at this point. Scouting reports are limited on Pacheco, but he likely throws at least an average fastball that probably plays up from the left side.

He controls his pitches well, as a 2.7 walks per nine innings would indicate (from a 16-year-old). He presumably has a breaking ball and changeup, but I can’t confirm that. He should be brought stateside in 2014 to see what he’s really made of. With dominant numbers — albeit at the lowest level of the minors — he’ll be a guy to watch closely in 2014. He should get a shot in the Arizona Rookie League, with the outside shot at an extreme assignment to Ogden.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Arizona Rookie League Dodgers/Pioneer League
ETA: mid-2017

50. Pratt Maynard, C (6’0, 215, 24 years old)
Maynard was the Dodgers’ third-round selection in the 2011 draft, and was my personal favorite of all the picks. His development has been slow, as his bat hasn’t really come around as some may have expected. He spent all of the 2013 with Rancho Cucamonga in the hitter-friendly California League and hit just .246 in 279 plate appearances. His .360 on-base percent was solid, as was his 41:41 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Athletic for a catcher, Maynard doesn’t project to hit for much power as he develops. If he were to reach double-digits, it would surprise folks.

Tools Now Future
Hitting 40 45
Power 35 40
Speed 40 45
Fielding 45 55
Arm 50 50

He has a short swing that’s conducive to singles and some gap pop. Maynard compacts his stance by holding his hands close to his ear while standing nearly straight up-and-down. He loads and has a slight hitch to get his hands into hitting position and generates average (at best) bat speed. His plate discipline is among the best in the system, so that should help him going forward. Behind the plate, his athleticism shines. He moves well and is improving at blocking pitches in the dirt. His arm strength is a tick above-average and his release is relatively quick. A knock against him is his game-calling, but that will improve with time and experience. He might not be Yadier Molina behind the plate, but he has a slight chance to carve out a backup catcher role in the majors. He could begin the season back at Rancho in hopes of improving his game-calling and working with some of the better Dodger pitching prospects.

2013 ranking: 45
2014 location: High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Chattanooga
ETA: late-2015


About

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called “Dugout Blues.” He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.


348 comments
Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson

Old friend Ian Stewart has signed with the Angels. I thought he was a really nice guy, good quote, flashed a solid glove ... and couldn't hit anything. His bat was cooked when the Topes/Dodgers dumped him. 

Oh, well. Somebody has to play 3B at Salt Lake. And that someone is Luis Jimenez. So it's a mystery why they signed him.

BlueMarvin
BlueMarvin

Suck it Yankees, you may have Tanaka but WE got Chone Figgins!  Yeah!

Uncultured Bastard
Uncultured Bastard

IMO...

**** 12 Years A Slave

**** Lone Survivor

*** Inside Llewyn Davis

*** Wolf of Wallstreet

*** Dallas Buyers' Club

*** American Hustle

** The Butler

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Got a mailbag question from "VNDHASQUESTIONSATHOTMAILDOTCOM"

Tycho Blue
Tycho Blue

Chad is mean on twitter with hurtful truth.  


@ChadMoriyam 

@EephusBlue There's no risk, but just remember this if he's hitting .125 in July and pinch hits ahead of SVS. :o

HunterStricklandsOedipalComplex
HunterStricklandsOedipalComplex

Is everyone rooting for  Tanaka to be a bust?

I think it'd be funnier if he turns out to be Hiroki Kuroda, very solid but nowhere near what they thought he'd be worth

Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas
Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas

RE: My freaking out over Tanaka going to NYY: The other big factor was that if Tanaka bombs in NYY it could be good for Dodgers bc it means (with the new posting rules) the JP players need to be good in order to get big money.


So, in a way the NYY made a bigger gamble but if Tanaka does pan out they have JP's biggest star since Matsuzaka and set the market against smaller teams and . . . they could still get blown out by the Dodgers (or the Dodgers could just miss out by a hair). 


Hehe. 

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Today is Figgins' birthday.

Hoze
Hoze

AND they save $25 million in each of 7 years!

Moderately Excited Towel
Moderately Excited Towel

@Noel D have them all in the watch queue, except Lone Survivor, which I watched already. 7/10. Dislike that it diverged from the actual events.

LA_Woman
LA_Woman

@PagansOedipalComplex I'm conflicted. I really like him and want to see him do well. But I want the Yankees to have wasted their money. I'm also a little bit sour grapes that he chose Yanks over us.

Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas
Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas

@PagansOedipalComplex As a typical example of what I just said, if Tanaka does bomb he will add to a narrative that JP players should be treated more cautiously and not given long, high salary contracts by MLB teams. EXCEPT those with very good scouts and willing to spend the money (aka the Dodgers).

BlueMarvin
BlueMarvin

@Hoze Now we see why Ned passed on Punto.  It makes sense now.  Figgins was available.

Hoze
Hoze

@LA_Woman @DBrim the urbandictionary definition for this isnt very respectful lol 

Hoze
Hoze

Sure.. though I think Punto chose to play for a team that would get him more playing time

Tycho Blue
Tycho Blue

@TellMyWifeISaidHello @Tycho Blue Let me take it in for a day or two.  It's not like we're trading away farm guys for a utility guy in a desperation trade.  I just don't like it.  Let's see him in ST.

Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas
Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas

@TellMyWifeISaidHello ^Strawman. 


The organizations with lesser scouting will go off of a wider narrative of JP players performing on longer contracts (rather than advanced metrics). And if Tanaka bombs, it is not "crazy" to think that market value (for NBP and JP players) will go down after the recent big contract. 

Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas
Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas

@TellMyWifeISaidHello Adjusting to the lower inning pitch? Sure, it might actually be a good thing but only if the player is willing to adjust his training and internal schedule to playing less (compared to the IP in NBP for multiple yrs). That's why Tanaka needing to balance that with occasional NY rainouts might be a negative thing.

Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas
Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas

@ABSmileBunch Aand NY has a higher chance of rainout/delays. Something Tanaka probably isn't used to having to face. And you than need to take into consideration he might not get as much playing time in the MLB compared to his play time in NBP.

Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas
Junior PhD in muppet GIFs and Bananas

@TellMyWifeISaidHello I know, but we'll see how he plays in a non-pitchers park under and organizations that measures success by winning multiple championships in an environment were the temps are . . . well, just look at the national news to see how the weather is in NY.