Baseball Prospectus released their annual list of the top 101 prospects in baseball this morning, and the Dodgers managed to land an impressive six players on the list. Perhaps more impressive is that four of them fell within the top 50 names, with the other two falling closer to the bottom but still showing the progress being made on the international signings front.
Here are all six of the prospects in order:
1. Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
6. Julio Urias, LHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
28. Jose De Leon, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
40. Grant Holmes, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
78. Yadier Alvarez, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
91. Yusniel Diaz, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers
Everybody knows about Corey Seager already, mainly because Seager was already thrust into the middle of the Dodgers lineup in the playoffs after a blistering start to his MLB career. To expect a repeat of that fast start is delusional and unfair to him, but as far as prospects go, he seems like as solid a bet as any to be a major contributor.
Julio Urias is in the same boat as Seager in that everybody knows his name and the hype is off the charts. There’s no real question about his ability, but the unknown lies in his unfortunate lack of innings thus far. Urias may find himself in a Dodgers uniform before the end of 2016, but if he doesn’t, the reason will most likely be endurance-related rather than due to performance questions.
Jose De Leon shut down any doubt of him being a legitimate prospect with his 2015, as he carried over his swing-and-miss prowess against advanced bats after being just a pop-up prospect the year before. De Leon’s rise has been amazing, as he’s gone from a 24th-rounder in 2013 to being ranked two spots ahead of 2011 1st-rounder Robert Stephenson on this list. Now De Leon is just about ready for his closeup, and a bit more control in 2016 along with adding polish to his breaking pitch could vault him a lot higher on the prospect list in 2017 or directly into the majors.
Finding Grant Holmes this far up the list was a bit of a surprise to me considering it’s starting to look like he may always struggle with pitchability. However, when one looks at the power fastball and power curve combo that plays now, it’s not hard to envision a tweak here or there sending his results into the stratosphere. 2016 should be interesting for him, both in terms of how he’s handled and whether he can develop his change while also fine-tuning his command.
Yadier Alvarez is somewhat of a surprise to have made this list, just because there’s so much we don’t know … like basically everything. We almost have no idea if he can repeat his delivery, no idea if he can use a second pitch consistently, and no idea if he can even get batters out at this point, honestly. Fortunately, there’s things we do know that made him a risk worth taking on a list like this, like a near triple digits fastball in spurts, a slider that flashes plus-plus, and enough athleticism to hope he can put it all together.
Yusniel Diaz is quite frankly another surprising addition, but it’s understandably hard to get away from a player that flashes the potential to be a five-tool center fielder at just 19. Diaz is one of those high-risk, high-reward prospects that could find himself 40 spots higher next year or not even close to an honorable mentions list depending on how he shows.
Overall, this ranking just adds affirmation that the Dodgers do indeed have an impressive and deep farm system from which to draw, and with many observers liking many different prospects in the middle of the system, the farm might end up being even better than advertised.