Dodgers’ minor-league affiliates talent-laden at all levels

The minor-league season began yesterday, and the Dodger affiliates have finalized their opening day rosters.

I did my best to project them, but some surprises threw off the predictions a bit. If you’re looking to get out to a game or just want to see where some of these guys will begin the season, look no further.

Here are the rosters, with my Top 100 ranking in parenthesis.

Great Lakes Loons

Pitchers (13)
Jeff Brigham (25)
Joe Broussard (57)
Victor Gonzalez (37)
Yeuri Gonzalez
Kevin Guzman (85)
Grant Holmes (4)
Karch Kowalczyk
Jose Molina
Trevor Oaks (98)
David Reid-Foley
Bubby Rossman
Brock Stewart (87)
J.D. Underwood (82)

Catchers (2)
Julian Leon (11)
Ryan Scott (68)

Infielders (7)
Michael Ahmed (86)
Jimmy Allen
Justin Chigbogu (32)
Josmar Cordero
Scott De Jong

Kelvin Ramos
Tyler Wampler

Outfielders (3)
Yadir Drake
Jacob Scavuzzo (35)
Alex Verdugo (7)

Disabled list (2)
Kyle Hooper (67)
Faustino Oguisten

Prediction: 12 of 25 (48 percent)
Biggest surprise: No Cody Bellinger
Best prospect: Holmes

Projected lineup
Allen 2B
Verdugo CF
Leon C
Chigbogu 1B
Scavuzzo RF
De Jong LF
Cordero DH
Ahmed 3B
Wampler SS

Projected rotation
Stewart
Holmes
Oaks
Brigham
Underwood

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The Loons were rained out yesterday, so they’ll play a doubleheader today with Stewart and Holmes getting the nods in Games 1 and 2, respectively. Great Lakes might have the deepest team in the system, initially. Their strength is in their pitching, as Holmes figures to enjoy success in the Midwest League. There are some other live arms like Brigham and Stewart — both from the 2014 draft class. On offense, it’ll be interesting to see how Leon and Verdugo fare in the tough hitting environment of the Midwest League (especially in April, when it’s still cold). It could be a redemption of sorts for Chigbogu, who struggled in his first go-round in Midland last year. One interesting case is Drake, who was signed out of Cuba last year but has yet to play. Ben Badler, in his international signing recap, said the Dodgers were going to try Drake behind the plate, but he’s listed as an outfielder. And with Leon and Scott (Reid-Foley doesn’t matter much), it’d be surprising to see Drake get any work behind the plate. Also, something like that is best tried first in the lower levels (like the Arizona Rookie League).

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Pitchers (13)
Victor Araujo (39)
Scott Barlow (20)
Zachary Bird (15)
Ramon Benjamin
Jose De Leon (6)
Luis De Paula
Randy Fontanez
Michael Johnson (48)
Jacob Rhame (36)
John Richy (26)
Rob Rogers (42)
Daniel Tillman
A.J. Vanegas (27)

Catchers (2)
Kyle Farmer (46)
Spencer Navin (53)

Infielders (6)
Cody Bellinger (16)
Jarek Cunningham
Paul Hoenecke
Dillon Moyer
Tyler Ogle (76)
Brandon Trinkwon

Outfielders (4)
Devan Ahart (38)
Joey Curletta (31)
Robbie Garvey
Adam Law

Disabled list (2)
Austin Chubb
Jordan Hershiser
Delvis Morales

Prediction: 15 of 25 (60 percent)
Biggest surprise: Bellinger
Best prospect: De Leon

Projected lineup
Law 2B
Ahart LF
Curletta RF
Farmer C
Bellinger 1B
Ogle DH
Hoenecke 3B
Moyer SS
Garvey LF

Projected rotation
De Leon
Bird
Richy
Barlow
De Paula

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This year’s Quakes aren’t as prospect-laden as last year, but there are still some quality players in Rancho Cucamonga. The squad is led by De Leon, fired a gem last night in Bakersfield (5 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K). The rotation has a chance to be solid with Bird, Richy and Barlow. The lineup looks a lot better with the surprising addition of Bellinger, who is skipping Low-A entirely. Ahart, who had a surprisingly good debut last year, should have fun in the California League. Also, Curletta could show off some of his power potential. Perhaps he can finally get to it in-game. The offensive-friendly environment should help what could be a lackluster lineup. The lineup will also need some reshuffling at some point, as first-year Quakes’ manager Bill Haselman batted Farmer in the cleanup spot in the team’s first game.

Tulsa Drillers

Pitchers (13)
Chris Anderson (5)
Ralston Cash (30)
Juan Gonzalez
Jeremy Horst
Jeremy Kehrt
Fabio Martinez
Deck McGuire
Chris Reed (23)
Matt Shelton (91)
Blake Smith (61)
Michael Thomas (74)
Chin-hui Tsao
Julio Urias (2)

Catchers (2)
Webster Rivas
Ali Solis

Infielders (7)
Lars Anderson
Brian Burgamy
Brandon Dixon (59)
Luis Mateo
Daniel Mayora
Nate Samson
Corey Seager (1)

Outfielders (4)
Jon Garcia (83)
Jeremy Hazelbaker
Peter Lavin
Travis Witherspoon

Prediction: 11 of 25 (44 percent)
Biggest surprise: Reed
Best prospect: Seager

Projected lineup
Lavin LF
Seager SS
Mayora 3B
Anderson 1B
Dixon 2B
Hazelbaker DH
Garcia RF
Solis C
Witherspoon CF

Projected rotation
Anderson
Urias
McGuire
Kehrt
Shelton

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The Drillers got off to a good start last night with a 10-4 win. Anderson got the opening night nod and pitched relatively well (5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR). He’s looking to build off a strong finish last year. Urias is the prize on the pitching side, and he makes his Double-A debut tonight. Seager is the best prospect in town and figures to get a promotion to Triple-A before too long. I was a little aggressive in projecting him to start with Oklahoma City. Two players missing are Chris O’Brien and Ben Rowen. I had O’Brien projected to start in Tulsa and Rowen to start in Oklahoma City, but they were traded yesterday in a pre-opening day deal. Also missing are Lindsey Caughel and Jharel Cotton. I’m assuming Caughel is hurt and know Cotton is hurt.

Oklahoma City Dodgers

Pitchers (14)
David Aardsma
Scott Baker
Mike Bolsinger
Ryan Buchter
Daniel Coulombe (22)
Jorge De Leon
Carlos Frias (17)
Freddy Garcia
David Huff
Zach Lee (8)
Adam Liberatore
Josh Ravin
Sergio Santos
Joe Wieland

Catchers (2)
Austin Barnes (14)
Ralph Henriquez

Infielders (5)
Buck Britton
O’Koyea Dickson (34)
Enrique Hernandez
Elliot Johnson
Darnell Sweeney (10)

Outfielders (4)
Matt Carson
Chris Heisey
Kyle Jensen
Scott Schebler (9)

Prediction: 19 of 25 (76 percent)
Biggest surprise: Ravin
Best prospect: Lee

Projected lineup
Sweeney 2B
Heisey CF
Hernandez SS
Jensen DH
Schebler LF
Dickson 1B
Barnes C
Carson RF
Britton 3B

Projected rotation
Baker (until he’s recalled, then Garcia)
Frias
Lee
Bolsinger
Wieland

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I knocked this one out, pegging 19 of the 25 players. Baker was really good in his opening night start (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 68 pitches, 54 strikes, 44 GO/AO), and he was just signed a week ago. The rotation looks somewhat formidable, but the lineup looks even better. Once Damon Berryhill figures out how to situate it, the lineup has a chance to be really, really good. Seager will add to it later, but having young guys like Barnes, Hernandez, Schebler and Sweeney with some seasoned veterans who could be on MLB rosters right now (Britton, Heisey, Jensen) makes for a potentially great offense. The bullpen looks strong, but some guys have opt-outs coming up on May 1 (Aardsma and Santos), so I wouldn’t expect the bullpen to look this way in a month. Ravin throwing 100 MPH heat is nice, but I called him a surprise because I thought he’d be back in Double-A to work on his command.

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That’s it. Enjoy some minor-league baseball. The state of the system is really strong.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
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 is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. 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.