2017 Dodgers Top 100 Prospects: Introduction

Willie Calhoun (Photo: Stacie Wheeler)

It’s already that time. It seems like just yesterday I was putting the finishing touches on my 2016 Top 10 Prospects, but it’s 2017 now, for better or worse. This is the introductory offering in my 11-part series about the Dodgers’ Top 100 Prospects, ranked by yours truly. This is the third year in a row in which I’ve ranked 100 prospects (ranked 50 in 2014) in the Dodgers’ system, which, wow. Anyway, here are how things will break down:

  • 100-76: Couple sentences with best tool, 2017 location and estimated time of arrival in the majors
  • 75-51: Same as 100-76
  • 50-41: At least a solid paragraph, with scouting grades, 2017 location and ETA in the majors
  • 40-31: Same as 50-41
  • 30-21: Full scouting reports/write-ups with scouting grades, 2017 location and ETA in the majors
  • 20-11: Same as 30-21
  • 10-1: Something new this year; I hope it works

I know most of these guys won’t ever see the majors, but this is a labor love. I rank 100 prospects not because I think there are 100 legitimate prospects, but because I like to put out as much information on these guys as possible. Nowhere else on the Internet are you going to read about *spoiler alert* Gregorio Sequera? Also, it’s nice to hit on a prospect who is ranked in the back-half of the 100, like last year with Brock Stewart, who checked in at No. 61 on last year’s list. This year, well, let’s just say he’s considerably higher than that. Also, when Erick Meza hits 20 home runs for Rancho Cucamonga, you’ll have at least some idea who he actually is.

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I will follow-up the Top 100 with supplemental articles in the form of “Best Of” the Dodgers’ system (tools) and the projected 2020 lineup and pitching staff (2019 projection, for reference).

All my prospect coverage can be found in the “Prospects” tab at the top of the page. Go ahead and see who I ranked at No. 47 in 2014 — the answer may surprise you.

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Eligibility

All players who have not reached 50 innings pitched or 130 at-bats in the MLB, and have less than 45 days of pre-Sept. 1 service time in the MLB are eligible for this list. Ages are the league-age season for the player, i.e. “his age-23 season.”

Prospect System Grade

Impact Potential: B

With the graduations of Corey Seager and Julio Urias, the impact potential took a big hit. Despite that, the Dodgers still have decent impact prospects in Yadier Alvarez, Cody Bellinger and Jose De Leon. Some lower-level guys who could have impact potential include Walker Buehler, Yusniel Diaz and Jordan Sheffield. They’re not close to some of the guys who came before them, but if everything breaks right, perhaps they could become legitimate Top 100 prospects in baseball.

Depth: B+

The depth has taken a hit, but the recent draft and some international signings have helped mitigate the hit. Gone are Yordan Alvarez, Tommy Bergjans, Jharel Cotton, Joey Curletta, Caleb Dirks, Grant Holmes, Zach Lee (mercy inclusion, honestly), Frankie Montas and Phil Pfeifer via trade. All of them appeared in last year’s Top 100, save Alvarez, who was signed on July 2. Gone because of graduation, other than Seager and Urias, are Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and Trayce Thompson. Gone because they were released are Lisalverto Bonilla, Federico Celli, Justin Chigbogu, Yadir Drake, Spencer Navin and Jimy Perez. All of those guys appeared no higher than No. 67 (Chigbogu). And I totally whiffed on Andrew Toles last season, who wasn’t even on my radar (and missed this year’s list because he, apparently, had enough MLB service time).

Overall: B+

Despite losing some impact and depth guys, the system is still in pretty good shape. Bellinger and Alvarez aren’t Seager and Urias, but they’re in that next tier of prospect. Backed by guys like Buehler, Calhoun, De Leon, Stewart, Verdugo and their 2016 first-round picks, the system is in good shape going forward. Once the international signing restriction is lifted (on July 2, 2018), the system should get a nice infusion of talent (and hopefully, at some point, one Shohei Otani). Until then, the Dodgers will have to scout and draft well to have the system remain in the Top 10 in all of baseball.

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A breakdown of the entire Top 100, by position.

Player Position
C 5
1B 6
2B 8
3B 4
SS 6
LF/RF 19
CF 2
RHSP 21
LHSP 2
RHRP 19
LHRP 8

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Coming later today: Prospects 100-76

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 does contracts and depth charts for FanGraphs and 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 one-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, California, and has yet to be shot.