2019 Dodgers Digest All-Prospect Team

Miguel Vargas (Photo: Dustin Nosler)

This is one of my favorite prospect posts of the year. This is our 2019 All-Prospect team. This team is based primarily on 2019 minor league performance and not necessarily a reflection of where they rank within the system. However, age and competition level are taken into account.

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Here are our All-Prospect teams from the last five years:

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Here’s this year’s offering.

2019 Los Angeles Dodgers All-Prospect 1st Team

Catcher: Will Smith, 24, Double-A Tulsa/Triple-A Oklahoma City
.268/.381/.603, 20 HR, 54 RBI, 11 2B, 14.8 BB%

Smith had a breakout season in 2019. He clearly separated himself as the best catching prospect in the organization and, if you add his 13 home runs in Los Angeles, has hit an eye-popping 33 dingers this season. He’s probably not a 30-homer guy year in and year out, but he should be a 20-homer guy with a good OBP and good defensively behind the dish. That, folks, is a perennial All-Star.

First Base: Edwin Rios, 25, Triple-A Oklahoma City
.270/.340/.575, 31 HR, 91 RBI, 23 2B, 8.3 BB%

Rios’ power was down a bit last season. He showed this season that there shouldn’t be any concerns on that front. The hulking 25-year-old established a career-best in ISO (.305) and added a couple of homers in his time in Los Angeles this season.

Second Base: Zach McKinstry, 24, Double-A Tulsa/Triple-A Oklahoma City
.300/.366/.516, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 24 2B, 9.0 BB%

McKinstry might be the biggest pop-up prospect this season. The former 33rd-round pick (2016) had a breakout season that has put him on the prospect map. He’s not strictly a second baseman, either. He also saw time at shortstop, third base and even dabbled in the outfield.

Third Base: Miguel Vargas, 19, Low-A Great Lakes/High-A Rancho Cucamonga
.308/.380/.440, 7 HR, 77 RBI, 38 2B, 9.8 BB%

Vargas might be my favorite prospect in the system. He got off to a bit of a slow start with Great Lakes, but he picked it up and earned a promotion to Rancho. The home run numbers aren’t present yet, but the fact he hit 38 doubles shows there’s some untapped power in his swing. Soon, some of those will start going over the fence. He has a mature approach that is hard to teach — especially to a teenager.

Shortstop: Gavin Lux, 21, Double-A Tulsa/Triple-A Oklahoma City
.347/.421/.607, 26 HR, 76 RBI, 25 2B, 11.7 BB%

As if it’d be anyone else. Lux had an amazing season and took our MiLB Player of the Year honors. You thought last season’s performance was his ceiling, then he came out and did this, with a lot of the damage coming in Triple-A. He earned a late-season promotion to LA and probably should be the starting second baseman to start the 2020 season.

Left Field: Zach Reks, 25, Double-A Tulsa/Triple-A Oklahoma City
.291/.385/.536, 28 HR, 93 RBI, 21 2B, 12.2 BB%

Reks is another guy who established himself as a legit prospect, even if he’s a bit on the older side. A swing change helped his power numbers improve dramatically and could now have a big-league future because of it.

Center Field: Andy Pages, 18, Rookie Ogden
.298/.398/.651, 19 HR, 55 RBI, 22 2B, 9.3 BB%

A $300,000 signing out of Cuba in July 2017, Pages saw his production improve immensely from his debut season. Some of that could be thanks to the extremely hitter-friendly environment of the Pioneer League, but there are some who say he’s legit. The Midwest League will be a nice test for the to-be 19-year-old. He’s following a similar career path to that of Vargas, right down to the signing bonus and country of origin.

Right Field: Donovan Casey, 23, High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Tulsa
.260/.322/.479, 23 HR, 76 RBI, 22 2B, 8.1 BB%

Casey, like many Dodger prospects, saw his power numbers improve this season. He has always be lauded for his athleticism, and it showed as he played all three outfield spots competently and was even 22-for-25 in stolen bases. Next season could be a make-or-break for him as a prospect.

Starting Pitcher 1: Josiah Gray, 21, Low-A Great Lakes/High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Tulsa
2.28 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 0.99 WHIP, 6.0 BB%, 28.5 K%

Like Lux, was there any wonder who would fill this spot? Gray came over from the Reds and has gone to another level. He’s really taken to the Dodgers’ developmental philosophy and could even get better, as his changeup has improved and he’s added a curveball to his repertoire.

Starting Pitcher 2: Dustin May, 21, Double-A Tulsa/Triple-A Oklahoma City
3.38 ERA, 3.24 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 6.5 BB%, 24.6 K%

May is pretty consistently good. His numbers this season weren’t that dissimilar from his 2018 campaign. But he did it against Double- and Triple-A competition, and that earned him a promotion to LA.

Starting Pitcher 3: Edwin Uceta, 21, High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Tulsa
2.77 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 9.4 BB%, 27.0 K%

Uceta is one of the more unheralded pitching prospects in the org, but he turned in a fine 2019 season. He earned a midseaosn promotion to Tulsa and more than held his own. He could be one to watch for a bigger breakout in 2020.

Starting Pitcher 4: Andre Jackson, 23, Low-A Great Lakes/High-A Rancho Cucamonga
3.06 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 1.28 WHIP, 11.8 BB%, 29.2 K%

Speaking of breakouts, Jackson did just that. The 2017 12th-rounder didn’t debut until 2018 after recovering from Tommy John surgery. His performance last season left something to be desired, so he went out and had a stellar season between the Loons and Quakes. The big righty is one I’ll be keeping my eye on next season.

Starting Pitcher 5: Tony Gonsolin, 25, Triple-A Oklahoma City/Los Angeles
4.35 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 1.50 WHIP, 11.0 BB%, 26.2 K%

The numbers aren’t overly impressive, but Gonsolin is coming off a great 2018 season and his performance earned him a promotion to LA. He missed some time with an oblique injury, which limited his workload early on. If he had been healthy all season, I’m guessing his numbers would look a lot better.

Relief Pitcher 1: Melvin Jimenez, 19, Rookie Ogden/High-A Rancho Cucamonga
2 SV, 3.02 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 1.12 WHIP, 11.7 BB%, 30.0 K%

The Dodgers tried Jimenez as a starter, but it seems he’s best suited in the bullpen. He began with Ogden and struck out 43 of the 77 batters he faced. That’s not a typo. He struck out 55.8 percent of the Pioneer League hitters he faced. That quickly got him to Rancho (he pitched with Great Lakes in parts of the last two seasons) and still held his own. He might have the best pure arm this side of Yadier Alvarez in the entire system.

Relief Pitcher 2: Logan Salow, 24, High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Tulsa
5 SV, 2.31 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, 15.9 BB%, 34.4 K%

Salow was acquired in a deal that got no fanfare, and all he has done with the Dodgers’ org is perform. He doesn’t do it with overpowering stuff, but he still finds a way to miss bats. As you can see, though, he has a bit of a command/control issue, so he’ll have to improve that going forward if he hopes to make it to the majors.

Relief Pitcher 3: Victor Gonzalez, 23, High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Tulsa/Triple-A Oklahoma City
2 SV, 2.31 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 1.26 WHIP, 8.4 BB%, 24.5 K%

Gonzalez is a forgotten prospect. He was signed at the same time Julio Urias was signed and had a nice start to his pro career. He stalled a bit in the middle of it and came back this year to establish himself as a potential MLB arm. His fastball is up to 94 MPH and he still has a plus-changeup. He made 13 starts this season, but his future lies in the bullpen.

Relief Pitcher 4: Jordan Sheffield, 24, High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Tulsa
13 SV, 3.27 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 1.36 WHIP, 18.1 BB%, 31.2 K%

Sheffield was finally moved to the bullpen full-time and his stuff should play well in there. He struggled a bit in the second half, so a trip to the Arizona Fall League is in order for him. If he can even find 40/45-grade command/control, he should be a force out of the ‘pen.

Relief Pitcher 5: Josh Sborz, 25, Triple-A Oklahoma City
6 SV, 4.68 ERA, 2.44 FIP, 1.40 WHIP, 6.5 BB%, 24.9 K%

Sbroz had a poor outing on April 25 (1/3 IP, 6 R). Since that time, he was much better and showed why the Dodgers chose to add him to the 40-man roster. He could be a key cog in the ‘pen for LA in the near future.

2019 Dodgers Digest All-Prospect 2nd Team

Name Position
Diego Cartaya C
Justin Yurchak 1B
Devin Mann 2B
Cristian Santana 3B
Jeter Downs SS
Niko Hulsizer LF
DJ Peters CF
Cody Thomas RF
Leo Crawford SP 6
Jose Martinez SP 7
John Rooney SP 8
Jeronimo Castro SP 9
Jerming Rosario SP 10
Marshall Kasowski RP 6
Darien Nunez RP 7
Brett de Geus RP 8
Justin Bruihl RP 9
Nolan Long RP 10

Notes about the second team:

  • Keibert Ruiz is missing because of Cartaya’s strong season
  • Mann tapped into some power with a swing change
  • Downs would have, easily, been on the first team if not for Lux
  • Hulsizer was traded for Adam Kolarek, but before, he showed a lot of power
  • Peters saw his production improve from Double-A to Triple-A
  • Crawford, despite lacking anything close to premium stuff, was strong
  • Martinez is a deep sleeper in this org
  • Castro missed enough bats to make him an interesting prospect
  • Rosario, a big J2 signee, had a strong debut season
  • de Geus had the best ERA among Dodger pitching prospect with 50 or more IP
  • Bruihl, a lefty, allowed just a .452 OPS against this season

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This is the last prospect-heavy post until the 2020 Top 100 Prospects countdown begins early next year.

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.