Down On The Farm: 7/21 – 7/27 – Pederson, Seager, Urias, FedEx, Yimi

Erisbel Arruebarrena was optioned to high-A, which was less about his talent and more about him not getting into trouble with the Reno Aces … again. Meanwhile, Stephen Fife is back on the disabled list and still can’t stay healthy, which is a contributing factor in the big league club’s decision to roster Paul Maholm.

In non-depressing news, the golden trio of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias have continued to roll.

July 21

Hitter Of The Day: Tim Federowicz (AAA) – 2/3, HR (9), BB – FedEx is hitting again in AAA and he popped another homer today.

FedEx now has a .314/.374/.536/.910 slash in AAA, but there’s no way to really tell what it means. For example, Brian Cavazos-Galvez has a career .692 OPS in 1132 PA at Chattanooga, but in 238 PA in Albuquerque, he has a .912 OPS. Or in a smaller sample, Arruebarrena has a .896 OPS at AAA and a .555 OPS at AA.

Bottom line is that FedEx probably is a better hitter than he’s showed in the majors this year, but there’s no real way to tell if he’s improved any based on what he’s doing at Albuquerque.

Pitcher Of The Day: Zach Lee (AAA) – 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR – DeJon Watson kept to the company line about Lee when he talked with Chris Jackson earlier this month.

“I think it’s been a good learning process for Zach,” Watson said. “He’s facing much better hitters than he faced at Double-A. He’s really understanding how to use his mix, read swings and really incorporate his full mix. He’s not truly a power guy, per se, so he’s got to use all four of his pitches and execute at the right times with the right pitches. From that standpoint, I think he’s gaining ground and getting better.”

But if they were really pleased with what he was doing at AAA, they wouldn’t be clinging on the depth in the rotation for dear life. I think Lee is better than what he’s showed, especially because he’s still young, but there’s more than environment here.

Notables

Corey Seager (AA) – 2/4, 2B (1), K – Seager has handled this late-season promotion much better than he did last year, and it’ll be interesting to see how fast he adjusts or if he wears down at all like in 2013.

Alex Guerrero (A+) – 2/4, 2B (2), BB – BREAKING: An MLB-quality bat can hit A-ball pitching.

Justin Chigbogu (R) – 2/5, 2B (4), HR (9), K – Hit ball far.

Jose De Leon (R) – 6 IP, 1 H, 2 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 7 K – De Leon has looked great recently, allowing just one earned run in his last 20 innings, striking out 26 batters on the way.

Alex Verdugo (AZL) – 3/4, 2B (8) – Still hitting? Still hitting.

July 22

Hitter Of The Day: Johan Mieses (DSL) – 2/4, HR (4), K, 2 E (2, 3) – The 2013 international signing is a fleet of foot outfielder that has 20 stolen bases on the year along with a .297/.370/.534/.903 slash.

Pitcher Of The Day: Grant Holmes (AZL) – 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K – After getting knocked around a bit in his last start for the first time (five runs), Holmes bounced back strong. Given how he’s looked in the AZL, I would have to assume full-season ball with the Loons is on the table for 2015.

Notables

Corey Seager (AA) – 3/5, 2B (2) – A solid .845 OPS in AA, but 11 strikeouts and just one walk shows the adjustments he’ll have to make to his aggressive approach against advanced arms.

Cody Bellinger (R) – 0/5 – This is noteworthy considering he was hitting well over .500.

Justin Chigbogu (R) – 1/4, HR (10) – Power surge continues.

Ivan Vela (R) – 3/4, 3 2B (4, 5, 6), K – Still just 21, Vela can play shortstop and has posted a .344/.411/.516/.927 slash. The 21st rounder is 6’3″ and has a nice stroke, so he’s someone to follow once he gets out of the Pioneer League.

A.J. Vanegas (R) – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K – One run given up so far as a pro. If Vanegas can stay healthy, he should move quickly and I could see him in the Dodgers pen someday. Maybe not a back-end guy, but certainly in a middle relief role.

Alex Verdugo (AZL) – 2/4, BB – Rolling along.

Ibandel Isabel (AZL) – 3/4, 2 2B (2, 3) – My speculative sleeper pick at the beginning of the year is finally showing some signs of life, hitting .290 in his last 10 games.

July 23

Hitter Of The Day: Joc Pederson (AAA) – 1/2, HR (20), 2 BB, SB (25), E (4) – Pederson is now hitting righty and lefties hard, and he’s dominating his league, so there’s not much more you can ask from him. That said, there is a legitimate concern in the form of his 27% strikeout rate. But even in that regard, he’s made adjustments recently and has more walks than strikeouts in July.

Pitcher Of The Day: Michael Johnson (A) – 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K – In 50 innings, Johnson has a 1.80 ERA and a 60/21 K/BB ratio. Johnson’s been impressive, but he’s also a year older than the league average at 23, so he’ll have to move fast to make an impact in the bigs.

From the left side, Johnson can now sit in the 92-94 range with life, and while he has a change, it’s mostly been his evolved hard slider that’s been his out pitch. With that profile and in relief, there’s always hope that he can move fast if he continues to perform.

Notables

Greg Harris (A) – 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K – ERA after the ASB is 2.96 and he has 82 strikeouts to 25 walks in 75.1 innings on the year.

Kam Uter (AZL) – 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K – The follow-up to his pro debut could’ve been smoother, but regardless of what they paid him, I wouldn’t expect him to be a fast mover in the system. Uter needs time to develop.

Johan Mieses (DSL) – 3/4, 2B (9), HR (5), K, SB (19) – Should be interesting to follow when he’s probably in the AZL next year.

July 24

Hitter Of The Day: Justin Chigbogu (R) – 0/4, 3 K, E (5) – The thing about Chigbogu’s hot streak, which has resulted in him amassing 11 homers in just 40 games in Ogden, is that the Dodgers didn’t demote him from A-ball because he lacked power. No, he couldn’t make contact, striking out 40% of the time. And that problem hasn’t been rectified yet, since Chigbogu has struck out in 33% of his plate appearances in Rookie-ball. What he really needs is to show progress with the hit tool rather than sell out for power.

Pitcher Of The Day: Yimi Garcia (AAA) – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K – As a fly ball pitcher in the worst pitching environment in baseball, he has a 4.18 ERA at home but a 2.01 ERA on the road with essentially the same peripherals. Just saying.

Notables

Joc Pederson (AAA) – 1/5, HR (21), K – Joc go boom.

Red Patterson (AAA) – 5 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 2 HR – You guys really like Paul Maholm, right?

Darnell Sweeney (AA) – 2/3, 3B (3), BB, 3 E (27, 28, 29) – Still hitting in AA (.868 OPS) and still making errors. Sweeney strikes me as the type of prospect that will be dealt for a reliever at the deadline. Probably has the upside of a fringe regular in the MLB, but most likely a utility role.

Chris Reed (AA) – 4.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR – Reed is now approaching a league-average FIP in his third try at AA. Fastball/change in relief with his slider for lefties … come on.

Alex Guerrero (A+) – 2/4, 2B (4), 3B (1), BB – Shocking.

Victor Gonzalez (R) – 2.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R (6 ER), 4 BB, 0 K – Thought the change and command would result in him playing better in 2014 than Victor Arano. Oops.

July 25

Hitter Of The Day: Erisbel Arruebarrena (AAA) – 1/3, HR (1), BB, K – Erisbel has an .896 OPS in AAA thanks in large part to a .472 BABIP. But he struck out 30% of the time when he struggled in AA, and outside of AA in 2014 he’s struck out 32% of the time.

Erisbel has been more patient, so he’s making adjustments, but not much has really changed aside from a 200-point increase in BABIP.

Pitcher Of The Day: Jose Dominguez (AAA) – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K – Dominguez has quietly thrown seven scoreless innings, striking out nine and walking three.

Notables

Joc Pederson (AAA) – 2/2, 2B (14), 4 BB – Somehow showing a better approach in July.

Tim Federowicz (AAA) – 3/4, 2B (10), HR (10) – Continues to love Albuquerque.

Johan Mieses (DSL) – 2/3, 2B (10), BB – Continues to make his case to come over to America.

Gregor Mora (DSL) – 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K – Carries a 2.39 ERA and has been effective in the DSL, but I’m not sure the 18-year-old has the stuff or projection.

July 26

Hitter Of The Day: Corey Seager (AA) – 1/1, 2B (3) – The poop heard around the Dodger Twittersphere. IS HE TRADED? DID HE IMPLODE? COME BACK TO US, COREY! … Oh, he had the shits.

Pitcher Of The Day: Zach Lee (AAA) – 4.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K – Look, think what you want, but watch this week’s starts on MILB.TV and tell me if you think it’s just cause he’s at altitude.

It doesn’t mean he’s permanently terrible or anything, it just means that first he was a polished starter that would develop into a top of the rotation guy, then he was a sure-fire middle of the rotation guy, and now we have to wonder if his stuff will play in the rotation at all. I think he still has it to be an innings-eater type, but he has to show improvement, especially with his off-speed stuff.

Notables

Tim Federowicz (AAA) – 2/5, 2B (11), 2 K – When you’re wondering whether or not FedEx could be better than Drew Butera, you know your catching situation could be better.

Chris Anderson (A+) – 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 7 BB, 3 K – I like Anderson because I’m a velocity whore, but man he’s not making it easy. Anderson will probably repeat the level next year and try to tune his command before hopefully giving AA a try.

Cody Bellinger (R) – 3/5, 2 2B (5, 6), 2 K – Hasn’t slowed down much at all, putting up a .923 OPS in his last 10 games, and that’s really only dragged down by the 0-for-5 he put up earlier in the week.

July 27

Hitter Of The Day: Joc Pederson (AAA) – 1/4, HR (22), BB – Joc needs to be up before September, just so he can be eligible for the postseason roster. Nobody in the system has his usable power from the left side.

Pitcher Of The Day: Julio Urias (A+) – 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 6 K – Some question Urias because he hasn’t proved he can throw starter’s innings yet, but I actually think he’ll be more impressive when he’s set free. From my view, part of his advanced approach is that he gets better once he settles into a rhythm, and the pitch count (completely understandable, btw) hinders that more than helps him, much like he struggled at the start when they alternated him between starter and relief duties. I just highly doubt he would have trouble mixing pitches while facing a lineup a third time or something of that sort.

Notables

Scott Elbert (AAA) – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K – Elbert was designated, which isn’t all that surprising, but hopefully he’s back with the Dodgers. The team could use the depth and Elbert doesn’t figure to be that far away from the majors again.

Ralston Cash (A) – 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K – Cash is on a streak of 12 scoreless innings, and he has a 1.26 ERA since the ASB.

Jacob Rhame (A) – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K – In his last 10 appearances, Rhame has pitched 15.1 scoreless innings. He’s struck out 24 during that stretch, allowing just two hits and five walks.

Devan Ahart (R) – 2/4, 2B (8), BB, 2 SB (9, 10) – Showing contact ability, speed, and patience so far. Looking forward to seeing him with the Loons.

Julian Leon (R) – 2/5, 2B (9), K, SB (1) – In 27 games behind the plate, runners have attempted to steal 72 times against him, and he’s thrown out a respectable 32%. Like with Ahart, looking forward to seeing him with the Loons at age 19.

Justin Chigbogu (R) – 1/4, HR (11), K – Homers and strikeouts.

Jose De Leon (R) – 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K – Solid week for the 2013 pick.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times