It’s prospect-ranking time. I’m about the last to the party on this, but I have — throughout Dodgers Digest’s history — started my top prospects series on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Aside from 2014 when I ranked 50 prospects, this will be the fourth consecutive year in which I’ve ranked 100 prospects. I’m sick in the head, you know. Anyway, here are how things will break down:
- 100-76: Couple sentences with best tool, 2018 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, 2018 location and ETA in the majors
- 40-31: Same as 50-41
- 30-21: Full scouting reports/write-ups with scouting grades, 2018 location and ETA in the majors
- 20-11: Same as 30-21
- 10-1: Formal(ish) scouting reports, ala last year.
While not many will care about any of this until the Top 30 begins, you’re going to want a resource/reference when the Dodgers throw-in Leonel Valera in a trade to acquire Kelvin Herrera to bolster the bullpen at the trade deadline.
All players who have not reached 50 innings pitched or 130 at-bats in the MLB, and have fewer 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+
Despite graduating Cody Bellinger and Brock Stewart and trading Willie Calhoun, the farm system still has plenty of impact potential. It’s even better than the depth, which has taken a minor hit with trades. Walker Buehler is a legitimate top-of-the-rotation arm and the next tier of prospect could also be impact players — Yadier Alvarez, Yusniel Diaz, Jeren Kendall, Keibert Ruiz, Alex Verdugo, Mitchell White. There are also some up-and-coming players to who could vault into being impact player with a strong showing in 2018.
The depth is still there, but it isn’t as deep with likely future MLBers as it has been in the past. The Dodgers lost A.J. Alexy, Hendrik Clementina, Oneil Cruz, Brendon Davis, Grant Dayton, Chase De Jong, Angel German and Jacob Rhame in trades (Dayton was a waiver claim by Atlanta) and released Jose Miguel Fernandez this winter. All of them appeared in last year’s Top 100, but a solid draft and decent international signing crop helped mitigate some of these losses. Scott Barlow — who would have been in the 21-30 range, elected free agency after six minor-league seasons and signed a Major League contract with the Royals. Go figure. If the most recent draft class has a few guys take a step forward in 2018, then the depth will be helped substantially.
This is still a Top 10 system in the game, and that’s saying something after graduating premium prospects like Bellinger, Corey Seager and Julio Urias in the last two years. Buehler is a global Top 10-15 prospect, and the Dodgers should have another 3-5 players in most Top 100 lists come springtime. If Kendall booms this season, then he could challenge for the No. 1 spot on this list as early as midseason, but definitely next winter. His ceiling might be the highest of any prospect in the system.
A breakdown of the entire Top 100, by position.
Up Next: Prospects 100-76