The preliminary rosters for each of the A-ball or higher affiliates were announced in the last two days, and man, some of these teams look really strong.[table id=10 /]
Players who made my Top 100 have their ranking in parenthesis (except for a couple newcomers).
The Oklahoma City Dodgers are shaping up to be a strong team once again. Yes, they’re going to lose players to promotion, but they’ll also gain some players from Double-A. Their Opening Day roster looks strong.
No. of players in my Top 100: 10
The Dodgers just acquired Breyvic Valera from the Cardinals. The 26-year-old utility player would have placed in my Top 100, if I did the rankings today. The number above reflects that.
The roster is subject to change, because there’s a good chance Stewart is going to get the call to replace Wilmer Font, who is probably going to go on the 10-day disabled list after throwing 95 pitches in the last two days. Also, I’m assuming Henry Owens is on the minor-league disabled list. Either that or he’s at extended spring training, but he isn’t listed on the preliminary OKC roster, and the “Minors DL” section looked lonely.
Of course, as I publish this post, J.P. Hoornstra does his best to torpedo it.
The Dodgers' pitching staff was taxed in a 15-inning loss last night, and Zach Neal is on his way to Phoenix from Triple-A Oklahoma City, per sources: https://t.co/9HJqIUHA3R pic.twitter.com/AlobUTxGkp
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) April 3, 2018
(Pay no attention to the timestamp on the tweet and this post.)
Zach Neal will need to be added to the 40-man roster, so expect Justin Turner to get moved to the 60-day DL. There’s also a chance Josh Fields or Ross Stripling could be optioned to make room for Neal on the 25-man roster, rather than putting Font on the DL. We’ll see what happens.
The Tulsa Drillers were lacking a bit in star power to begin last season, but by the end, they were in much better shape. They fell one game short of the Texas League championship and look primed to challenge for it again this season.
No. of players in my Top 100: 18
Again, a minor trade — this one for former Orioles’ RHP Jesus Liranzo — would have landed another player in my hypothetical/revised Top 100. The number above reflects that.
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes have a chance to be sneaky good, especially if a couple of their higher-ceiling prospects go boom. They’ll also get reinforcements from Low-A.
No. of players in my Top 100: 19
The Great Lakes Loons are the team lacking the most star power and present talent, but there are still some quality prospects to watch down there.
No. of players in my Top 100: 13
These rosters, as you can see above, are missing three rather significant prospects — Yusniel Diaz (6), Dustin May (11), Edwin Rios (10) and Mitchell White (4). All of them are back at Camelback Ranch, presumably working on strength and conditioning. May and White are working on building stamina, while Diaz and Rios — both of whom looked good in spring training — are getting further instruction.
It should be a fun minor-league season, as the Dodgers’ organization has some of the best teams in town.