Dodgers’ A-ball affiliates announce 25-man rosters

chigbogu_justin_ST 3.13.14

Justin Chigbogu figures to hit many home runs in a pitcher-friendly Midwest League. (By: Dustin Nosler)

The Dodgers’ Low-A and High-A affiliates announced their 2014 rosters on Monday. There were a few surprises on each squad, but nothing totally unexpected.

I did my best to project these rosters last week, and didn’t fare as well as I did last year. My Top 50 rankings are in parenthesis.

Great Lakes Loons

trinkwon_brandon_qs

Brandon Trinkwon (By: Dustin Nosler)

Pitchers
Victor Arano (33)
James Baune
Zachary Bird (20)
James Campbell
Luis Chirinos
Greg Harris
Michael Johnson
Brandon Martinez
Jonathan Martinez (35)
Jack McGeary
Mark Pope
Jacob Rhame
Francisco Villa

Catchers
Kyle Farmer
Webster Rivas

Infielders
Justin Chigbogu (23)
Paul Hoenecke
Delvis Morales
Dillon Moyer
Brandon Trinkwon (44)
Jesmuel Valentin (21)

Outfielders
Joey Curletta (22)
Malcolm Holland
Alex Santana (15)
Jacob Scavuzzo (14)

Prediction: 12 of 25 (48 percent)

Biggest surprise: Bird repeating the level, Santana as an outfielder

Best prospect: Scavuzzo

Projected lineup
Trinkwon SS
Valentin 2B
Scavuzzo CF
Chigbogu 1B
Curletta RF
Hoenecke 3B
Farmer C
Santana LF
Holland DH

Projected rotation
Bird
Martinez
Arano
Pope
Villa

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

urias_julio ST 3.15.14

Julio Urias (By: Dustin Nosler)

Pitchers
Chris Anderson (7)
Geoff Brown
Freddie Cabrera
Lindsey Caughel (38)
Daniel Coulombe
Owen Jones
Francisco Martinez
Luis Meza
Rob Rogers
Matt Shelton
Blake Smith
Julio Urias (4)
Tom Windle (11)

Catchers
Pratt Maynard (50)
Jose Capellan

Infielders
Brandon Dixon
Chris Jacobs
Adam Law
Tyler Ogle
Steven Proscia
Corey Seager (1)
Scott Wingo

Outfielders
James Baldwin (45)
Robbie Garvey
James McDonald
Jeremy Rathjen (34)

Prediction: 15 of 25

Biggest surprise: Jacobs repeating the level, McDonald listed as outfielder

Best prospect: Seager

Projected lineup
Law 2B
Baldwin CF
Seager SS
Ogle 1B
Jacobs DH
Maynard C
Rathjen RF
Dixon 3B
Garvey LF

Projected rotation
Anderson
Caughel
Windle
Urias
Martinez

=====

The Quakes are absolutely loaded to start the season, while the Loons have some quality lower-level prospects who could take a big step forward this season. The Lookouts have announced their roster, but I’ll include the with the Isotopes, which have yet to announce their roster.

Roster predictions for Dodgers’ minor-league affiliates

Zach Lee ST 2014

Zach Lee, future Isotope. (By: Dustin Nosler)

Predicting minor-league rosters is a crap shoot — especially at the lower levels. I’ve done my best to see which players could at least begin the 2014 at which level.

There’s a lot more talent on some of these teams than there has been in years past (thank you Logan White, Bob Engle and Co.). Each level has players to watch on the mound and in the batter’s box. These rosters likely won’t resemble my predictions (or the actual roster) come the end of the season, but if you’re within viewing range of any of these teams, expect to see at least some of the players listed below at these respective levels.

Low-A Great Lakes Loons

scavuzzo_jacob_st2014

Jacob Scavuzzo (By: Dustin Nosler)

Pitchers
Victor Arano
Victor Araujo
Scott Barlow
James Baune
Jordan Hershiser
Kyle Hooper
Michael Johnson
Jonathan Martinez
Jacob Rhame
Rob Rogers
Thomas Taylor
Francisco Villa

Player Position
Brandon Trinkwon 2B
Jesmuel Valentin SS
Joey Curletta RF
Justin Chigbogu 1B
Alex Santana 3B
Kyle Farmer C
Jacob Scavuzzo CF
Jesus Valdez DH
Pat Stover LF

Catchers
Austin Cowen
Kyle Farmer
Eric Smith

Infielders
Zach Babitt
Justin Chigbogu
Alex Santana
Brandon Trinkwon
Jesus Valdez
Jesmuel Valentin

Outfielders
Joey Curletta
Jacob Scavuzzo
Pat Stover
Henry Yates


High-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

law_adam_st2014

Adam Law (By: Dustin Nosler)

Pitchers
Chris Anderson
Crayton Bare
Geoff Brown
Zachary Bird
Ralston Cash
Lindsey Caughel
Jharel Cotton
Scott Griggs
Luis Meza
Blake Smith
Julio Urias
Tom Windle

Player Position
James Baldwin CF
Adam Law 3B
Corey Seager SS
Tyler Ogle 1B
Aaron Miller DH
Jeremy Rathjen RF
Jan Vazquez C
Scott Wingo 2B
Malcolm Holland LF

Catchers
Jose Capellan
Tyler Ogle
Jan Vazquez

Infielders
Paul Hoenecke
Adam Law
James McDonald
Corey Seager
Kevin Taylor
Scott Wingo

Outfielders
James Baldwin
Malcolm Holland
Aaron Miller
Jeremy Rathjen


Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts

arruebarrena_erisbel_st2014

Erisbel Arruebarrena (By: Dustin Nosler)

Pitchers
Daniel Coulombe
Eric Eadington
Carlos Frias
Garrett Gould
Joel Lima
Jarret Martin
Jon Michael Redding
Chris Reed
Raydel Sanchez
Andres Santiago
Craig Stem
Duke von Schamann

Player Position
Darnell Sweeney 2B
Noel Cuevas CF
Scott Schebler LF
O’Koyea Dickson 1B
Bobby Coyle DH
Jon Garcia RF
Pratt Maynard C
Erisbel Arruebarrena SS
Brandon Dixon 3B

Catchers
Pratt Maynard
Griff Erickson

Infielders
Erisbel Arruebarrena
O’Koyea Dickson
Brandon Dixon
Chris Jacobs
Angelo Songco
Darnell Sweeney

Outfielders
Bobby Coyle
Noel Cuevas
Jon Garcia
Casio Grider
Scott Schebler


Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes

dominguez_jose_st2014

Jose Dominguez (By: Dustin Nosler)

Pitchers
Pedro Baez
Sam Demel
Jose Dominguez
Stephen Fife
Yimi Garcia
Zach Lee
Matt Magill
Daniel Moskos
Hector Nelo
Red Patterson
Michael Thomas
Chris Withrow

Player Position
Chili Buss RF
Joc Pederson CF
Tim Federowicz C
Clint Robinson 1B
Brian Cavazos-Galvez DH
Alex Guerrero 2B
Trayvon Robinson LF
Osvaldo Martinez 3B
Miguel Rojas SS

Catchers
J.C. Boscan
Tim Federowicz

Infielders
Alex Guerrero
Brendan Harris
Osvaldo Martinez
Clint Robinson
Miguel Rojas
J.T. Wise

Outfielders
Mike Baxter
Chili Buss
Brian Cavazos-Galvez
Joc Pederson
Trayvon Robinson

=====

The Loons have a lot of low-level talent, even if some of the pitchers don’t end up there quite yet. Scavuzzo and Arano (if he makes it) are the ones to really watch.

The Quakes are infinitely more talented than last season, as they’ll boast four of my Top 11 prospects to begin the season (Seager, Urias, Anderson, Windle).

The Lookouts should have the Dodgers’ most recent international signee and some interesting pitchers. I assume Arruebarrena will get promoted to Triple-A shortly after Guerrero is recalled to the Dodgers.

The Isotopes stand to have more talent than in most years. I know Chris Jackson doesn’t think Lee will go to Albuquerque, I don’t see a point to bringing him back to Chattanooga. Plus, pitching in the pitcher’s hell that is the Pacific Coast League could help Lee refine his approach and try to get more grounders — something that could help him going forward.

Dodgers should consider pre-MLB deals with Joc Pederson and Julio Urias

pederson_joc ST 3.13.14

Joc Pederson stands to make a lot of money, but the only question is when it happens. (By: Dustin Nosler)

Free agents are becoming fewer and less talented because of the new trend of teams locking up their players a year or two before they accumulate six years of service time.
Before the 2012 season, the Reds locked up Joey Votto and the Giants locked up Matt Cain to massive deals. They were both set to become free agents following the 2012 season. The Dodgers, famously, locked up Clayton Kershaw this winter — before he entered potentially his last year in Los Angeles.

For teams with money, it’s easier to accomplish this. For teams pinching pennies, they have to be creative.

Ken Rosenthal reported last week the Astros offered outfield prospect George Springer a 7-year, $23 million deal. This is interesting for a couple reasons:

  1. It would buy out his six arbitration years and first year of free agency
  2. Springer has yet to make his Major League debut

The second one is more interesting to me. With the changing financial landscape of baseball, this could end up being the next new fad. I cannot remember a prospect, who was drafted and came up through a team’s minor-league system, being signed to a Major League deal before he had even made his first plate appearance.

The closest I can recall is the Rays locking up Evan Longoria to a 6-year, $17.5 million deal after logging just six games and 24 plate appearances in the majors in 2008. The Rays are still reaping the benefits of that decision, as Longoria is making a paltry (for his level of production) $30 million in the next three seasons. His new deal (six years, $100 million) doesn’t even begin until the 2017 season. Mike wrote about Longoria’s deal over at ESPN on Friday (Insider required).

Springer was the Astros’ minor-league player of the year after posting a .303/.411/.600 triple slash with 37 home runs and 45 stolen bases between Double- and Triple-A. He’s 24 years old and should have a spot on the talent-lacking Astros’ roster … right? Well, thanks to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams are more inclined to keep their players in the minors until June so said teams get an extra year of arbitration (avoiding Super Two status). That’s another issue for another day.

Twenty three million dollars over seven years is just less than $3.3 million per season — a minuscule sum to pay for a player after his first year or two of arbitration. Some say the Astros’ offer wasn’t good enough, which it really wasn’t (Negotiation 101), but they had the right idea. Signing players to deals in their arbitration years is a gamble — they’re trying to sign third baseman Matt Dominguez to a 5-year, $17 million deal with two options at $8 million and $10 million — but signing players to pre-MLB deals (for lack of a better term) is almost unprecedented. But it’s also something that could be more common (especially for smaller-market teams) as the years progress.

So, I’ve rambled for nine grafs almost exclusively about non-Dodger interests. What does this have to do with LA? May I present two names: Joc Pederson and Julio Urias.

The Dodgers aren’t strapped for cash (breaking news, I know), but I wonder if it would it make any bit of sense for them to lock up these two to pre-MLB debut deals.

Pederson

Pederson, 22, is the Dodgers’ best position prospect closest to the majors (he’s expected to play at Triple-A Albuquerque in 2014). He was their MiLB POY in 2012 and had arguably a better season in 2013 at Double-A Chattanooga. If there’s any prospect in the system worthy of a deal like this, it’d Pederson.

The only thing that gives me pause isn’t his “inability” to hit lefties (I don’t think it’s entirely accurate), it’s the roughly four outfielders in the majors signed through at least the next four years.

Yes, the Dodgers will probably trade Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier, but there’s no telling when that might happen. Pederson could use some seasoning in Triple-A, but if they came either midway through this season or shortly after the season with a 7-year, $35 million offer, I’m betting Pederson would take it. He could make more via the arbitration process and his first year of free agency — if he performs well. This way, he’s guaranteed $35 million before he hits free agency. I used Shin-Soo Choo‘s arbitration numbers for comparison’s sake. Choo made a little more than $17.5 million in his six years (hey, there’s that Longoria number). Choo is making $21 million in the first year of his 7-year deal in Texas. I’m not sure Pederson will ever be a $20-plus million per year player, but that’s $38.5 million for seven years. So, my 7-year, $35 million proposal isn’t that far out.

Urias

This is where it gets awfully interesting. It’s entirely possible my opinion is impacted by Urias’ spring training debut on March 15, but if the Dodgers are going to attempt one of these deals, it might be worth it get it done with him.

Urias will pitch the vast majority of the 2014 season as a 17-year-old (he turns 18 on Aug. 12). Some say he could make his MLB debut before he turns 18. It sounds crazy, but the only things that are seemingly holding him back are his lack of stamina and experience at the higher levels.

Now, Urias isn’t the next Kershaw. The Dodgers don’t have a guy like that. So, he probably won’t make nearly as much as Kershaw did in his first six years (almost $38 million), but perhaps the Dodgers can buy out more years of free agency because Urias is so young.

I’m thinking a 10-year, $50 million deal before he debuts. That would buy out four years of free agency (for argument’s sake, let’s say $15 million per season) and his six arbitration years (approximately $15-20 million), potentially saving the Dodgers $25-30 million in that 10-year span. Not many players who go through the arbitration process can say they made $50 million before reaching free agency.

There’s risk in either deal, but there’s especially more risk in the Urias deal. Pitchers are prone to more serious injuries than their position player counterparts — especially teenage pitchers who have all of 54 1/3 innings in professional ball.

If Urias agreed to such a deal, let’s say next year, he’d be a free agent in time for his age-28 season — prime time for players to hit the market.

=====

The Dodgers probably won’t continue to have a payroll north of $250 million every year. The luxury tax cost would be enough to afford two or three quality players (50 percent tax on the amount more than $187 million after the 2016 season). By that time, Crawford and Ethier should be playing elsewhere, a cheap Corey Seager will have replaced Juan Uribe, someone other than Alex Guerrero could be playing second base and the Dodger rotation could have cheap options in Urias and Zach Lee. The Dodgers will effectively get younger while saving money longer than a team normally would.

Signing players to pre-MLB deals could be the way for the Dodgers to reduce payroll while not only keeping their homegrown players, but their potentially superstar homegrown kids. These deals would require the youngsters to be on the 40-man roster soon after signing them, so if they’d be open to such deals, the Dodgers would have to make sure there’s room for them to play.

Also, it’s a two-way street. Players would need to be willing to sign such deals, and there’s no guarantee Pederson or Urias would be interesting in doing this.

I don’t expect either of these deals to happen, but it’s something the Dodgers should look into with their top-flight prospects (if they aren’t planning to trade them) to (hopefully) save some money in the long run.

Julio Urias dominates in first Dodgers’ spring start

urias_julio ST 3.15.14

Julio Urias made his spring debut on Saturday, and dominated. (By: Dustin Nosler)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Word went around Saturday morning that Dodgers’ 17-year-old prospect Julio Urias was slated to pitch on the Major League side, yet it wasn’t clear when that would be.

Sam Demel was originally expected to start the first game of a split-squad Saturday for the Dodgers (they won 5-4, if anyone cares). It was announced about 45 minutes before the game that Urias would be starting instead. And what a start it was.

He fell behind 3-0 to the Padres’ leadoff hitter Will Venable only to come back and strike him out. He then got Chris Denorfia to ground out to Miguel Rojas on three pitches. Finally, Urias faced Yonder Alonso. He got a called first strike, a check swing on what looked like a slider for strike two and, after a ball, made Alonso look silly on a slider.

The park was buzzing after that and it was a slight letdown when he didn’t come back out for a second inning. Seriously, this is the most disappointed I’ve ever been to see Kenley Jansen come into a game.

Longtime Dodgers’ scout Mike Brito watched Urias’ start from the scout seats and liked what he saw.

“I am very happy because he showed greater stuff than what I expected,” Brito said.

Brito would go onto call Urias’ curveball and slider “nasty,” while his changeup was “good.” This is the first I’ve heard of Urias using a slider. Perhaps it’s something he worked on over the winter, because he’s been known as a fastball-curveball-changeup guy in his brief professional career, even if his curveball has slider tendencies.

A scout said Urias was working from 92-95 MPH, while Brito had him clocked at 94-96 MPH — which is insane for a 17-year-old.

“I felt really happy,” Urias told reporters after his start. “I was under control and not nervous at all.”

Dodgers (ss)
White Sox
7:05pm PT
Glendale, Ariz.
RF
Puig
CF
Eaton
SS
Turner
2B
Beckham
1B
Van Slyke
1B
Abreu
3B
Uribe
RF
Garcia
C
Ellis
DH
Dunn
2B
Guerrero
LF
Viciedo
CF
Pederson
SS
Ramirez
LF
Figgins
3B
Gillaspie
P
Kershaw
C
Flowers

Urias said pitching for the Dodgers has always been one of his dreams.

Urias said he found out this morning that he’d be starting this game. Don Mattingly was reluctant to divulge exactly when Urias would pitch in the afternoon game.

“Have a pretty good idea it’ll be one of the nine (innings),” Mattingly joked with reporters during his morning press conference.

Urias said while he doesn’t know a lot of players on the Major League side (yet), he said he’s been getting a lot of help from the coaches on the minor-league side.

He threw 14 pitches — nine strikes and five balls. He mixed in all four of his pitches and showed plus-velocity. His delivery is free and easy, which leads to projected plus-command/control. He twists his body slightly, ala Odalis Perez, and hides the ball extremely well before he releases it. That added deception makes his stuff look that much more impressive.

Urias, as expected, will begin the 2014 season with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, but one of his goals is “to finish in the big leagues. If I can’t do that, (then) at least get up to Double-A.”

Here’s the video from his outing.

A Look At Historic Scouting Reports

(via)

Well scouted. (via)

 
Padres
   
Dodgers (ss)
 
1:05pm PT
   
Glendale, Ariz.
CF
Venable
 
2B
Gordon
RF
Denorfia
 
LF
Crawford
1B
Alonso
 
SS
Ramirez
LF
Smith
 
1B
Gonzalez
C
Hundley
 
CF
Ethier
2B
Amarista
 
C
Federowicz
SS
Jackson
 
RF
Baxter
3B
Gonzalez
 
3B
Rojas
P
Urias
 
P
Demel

A few weeks ago, Daren Willman added another search database to his excellent Baseball Savant website. The new database searches through scouting reports found on the Hall of Fame’s archives. It makes it easier to sort through the reports by team. Obviously, my first instinct was to search for Dodgers. Below are some of my favorite reports from the list.

Clayton Kershaw – 3/11/2006 - Report Link

Best quotes: “Dead ringer for Dave Righetti at the same edge”, “Likes to hit, has some power, but is where he belongs on the mound”, “Fits nicely in first round”

I can’t do anything but smile when I read this report. I think the pitch grades in relation to each other are fun. The scout gave Kershaw’s curve, slider, and change-up the same present grades. He also projected Kershaw’s slider to be his best off-speed pitch in the future, which is interesting since Kershaw didn’t really develop the pitch in the majors until 2011.

Matt Kemp – 4/16/2003 - Report Link

Best quote: “He presents an interesting package… Tools are there and so is size and strength”

When he was in the minors, Kemp had the reputation of being an extremely raw athlete with a lot of potential in his tools. This scouting report, filed when Kemp was in high school, had the same conclusion. It’s fun that Kemp’s hit tool was only listed as a “30″, but the scout projected a big improvement. Knowing what we know about Kemp’s peak, it’s nice to think about how far he advanced from the low present grades on the report.

Gilbert Bodet, the same scout who wrote the report on Kershaw, also filed this one. He evaluated Kemp as a fourth to sixth round pick and the Dodgers managed to get him at the end of that range. How did they use the fourth and fifth round picks that year? They selected Xavier Paul and Jordan Pratt.

James Loney – 3/30/2002 - Report Link

Best quote: “His mechanics to hit are very similar to that of Garret Anderson who was the same kind of hitter as HS player”, “Also a LHP but did not see him that way”

This is another Gilbert Bodet report. He was pretty high on Loney’s talent at the time, especially his defense. In terms of overall hitting ability, comparing Loney (105 career wRC+ without late career decline) to Anderson (100 career wRC+ with late career decline) isn’t too far off, though Anderson did it without the huge platoon splits. Given Bodet’s low grades in other scouting reports, the future 75 that he gave to Loney’s defense sticks out quite a bit. Loney was always very good at first for the Dodgers, but probably not quite to that magnitude. The 30 grade on running speed is amusing, too.

This high of an evaluation of Loney seems to be a “miss”, but given the talent Loney showed during his trip through the minors (and occasionally in the majors), it doesn’t seem that bad. The Dodgers drafted Loney in the first round, higher than what Bodet suggested in this report.

Darren Dreifort – 1993 (multiple) - Link 1 - Link 2

Best quotes: “Throws an overpowering and explosive fastball with well above average ML slider”, “Become a closer out of the bull pen”, “could be youngest closing pitcher in ML history”

Both of these reports aren’t from the Dodgers, so they show some interesting insight on how other organizations viewed Dreifort. Both the Angels and the Royals viewed him as a closer, but Dreifort only ended up with 11 saves in the majors. Neither of the reports could have seen Dreifort’s injuries coming, though. The superlatives given to Dreifort’s fastball, such as “overpowering”, don’t quite match what we’d say about it today (87 to 92 per the Royals report). Times have changed. Both reports also said that Dreifort had the ability to jump straight to the majors, which he did.

 
Dodgers (ss)
   
White Sox
 
7:05pm PT
   
Glendale, Ariz.
RF
Puig
 
CF
Eaton
SS
Turner
 
2B
Beckham
1B
Van Slyke
 
1B
Abreu
3B
Uribe
 
RF
Garcia
C
Ellis
 
DH
Dunn
2B
Guerrero
 
LF
Viciedo
CF
Pederson
 
SS
Ramirez
LF
Figgins
 
3B
Gillaspie
P
Kershaw
 
C
Flowers

Mike Piazza – 4/15/86 - Report Link

Best quote: “A long way to come with overall ability but worth selection on bat and power”

Piazza was famously a 62nd round draft pick, but this scouting report seems more positive. The highlighted quote definitely seems like something that would be selected earlier. I found the “2″ rating on Piazza’s hit tool to be interesting (as well as the future “4″, far below where he ended up). He was also scouted as a first baseman on this report.

Sandy Koufax – 5/15/1954 - Report Link

Best quote: “Not interested in pro ball until he graduates”, “also plays first because of his hitting ability”, “has averaged 16 strikeouts per game this season”

Koufax’s Wikipedia article briefly mentions this scouting report, saying it was filed away and forgotten. That’s baffling, given how positive the language is. Perhaps the Dodgers were less inclined to pursue Koufax due to the interest in schooling that is stated on the report. Koufax tried out for a few other teams before the Dodgers finally signed him, and we all know what happened after that. The high grades are interesting, given how rocky Koufax was at the start of his career.

I also enjoyed the line about Koufax’s hitting, but that ended up being fairly inaccurate. Koufax was a terrible hitter during his career (-4.2 oWAR), but he did manage two home runs.

Today’s split-squad double header features some fun news. Julio Urias is on the roster for the afternoon game and is scheduled to pitch one inning. Of course, that game is one of the only spring training games that the Dodgers will not be televising this year.

We are now less than a week from baseball that counts.

Update: The Dodgers have announced that Urias will be starting the game in Demel’s place. They have also confirmed that there will not be a webcast from Camelback (which the White Sox do sometimes). I guess we’ll have to wait for first-hand reports from Dustin and the other media in Glendale.

Projected 2017 Dodgers’ pitching staff

If you thought projecting the 2017 lineup was tough, you haven’t seen anything yet. While you’ll recognize a lot of the names listed here, the pitching projections are a lot more unstable than the position player projections.

Without further adieu, here is who you should expect to see Opening Day 2017.

Starting Pitcher 1
If Clayton Kershaw isn’t the Dodgers’ No. 1 starter in three years, it’s highly likely he’s been abducted by aliens.

Options
Clayton Kershaw: Will be in his age-29 season and rolling around in his millions of dollars he’ll have already earned.

2017 SP 1: Kershaw

Even with the opt-out clause in his 7-year deal (after the fifth year), Kershaw will still be owed $33 million for the 2018 season, with a $65 million due the next two seasons — which will be his age-31 and 32 seasons. Odds are he’ll opt out, and the Dodgers will sign him to a new mega deal.

Starting Pitcher 2
This is a situation similar to Kershaw’s, as Greinke is clearly the second-best starting pitcher the Dodgers have now (and probably will have) in 2017.

Options
Zack Greinke: Will be 33 and will likely have been re-signed to a new contract (opt-out after 2015).
Hyun-Jin Ryu: Will be in the fifth year of a 6-year deal and entering his age-30 season.
Julio Urias: Almost preposterous to include him, seeing as he’ll be 20 years old and could conceivably be in his second full season.

Dodgers
Reds
6:05 p.m. PT
Goodyear, Ariz.
CF
Gordon
CF
Hamilton
DH
Crawford
2B
Phillips
RF
Puig
1B
Votto
1B 
Gonzalez
LF
Ludwick
3B
Uribe
RF
Bruce
LF
Pederson
3B
Frazier
2B
Guerrero
SS
Cozart
C
Federowicz
C
Pena
SS
Rojas
DH
Duran
P
Ryu
P
Bailey

2017 SP 2: Greinke

Greinke is probably going to opt out of his deal in 2015. He’s such a good pitcher, has such good mechanics and is one of the smartest pitchers in the last 15 years that the Dodgers couldn’t possibly pass on bringing him back. He figures to age well as he doesn’t rely on elite velocity to be successful.

Starting Pitcher 3
Here’s where things get a little murky — in a good way. There are two or three guys who could realistically lay claim to this spot in the rotation.

Options
Chad Billingsley: Will be entering age-32 season and could be on a different team by this point.
Zach Lee: If he reaches his potential, this could be his spot — even in his age-25 season.
Hyun-jin Ryu: Only figures to get better; certainly doesn’t figure to get any worse.
Julio Urias: The most potential of anyone on this list.

2017 SP 3: Ryu

Ryu figures to have some really solid campaigns behind him by this point. He’s the best pitcher of the four listed above and could be one of the game’s best left-handers by 2017.

Starting Pitcher 4
This spot almost seems reserved for a certain 20-year-old, as he has some of the most pure talent in the Dodgers’ farm system.

Options
Chris Anderson: The 2013 first-rounder will be 24 and probably one of the best prospects in the system, if he’s still eligible.
Chad Billingsley: Probably on a different team by now.
Zach Lee: More likely the No. 5 starter — or a No. 3 or 4 on another team.
Ross Stripling: Will be 27, unlikely after Tommy John surgery, but still has a starter’s repertoire/build.
Julio Urias: This is his spot.

2017 SP 4: Urias

This will be just the beginning for Urias. He’ll be 20 years old and on his way up. He’ll eventually be the Dodgers’ No. 2 starter — at least, as long as Kershaw is still around.

Starting Pitcher 5
This spot will likely be filled from within the system — and could even be a player who isn’t yet a member of a Dodger (i.e. a draftee).

Options
Chris Anderson: While it’d be nice to see him make it as a starter, he could be dominant reliever.
Chad Billingsley: Love ya, Chad, but I’m sure you’ll be in Cincinnati by this time.
Zach Lee: Hoping that $5.25 million bonus pays off by this time.
Ross Stripling: Might be a reliever or with another organization.

2017 SP 5: Lee

Lee could end up being a Kyle Lohse-type, which would be a fantastic No. 5 starter in this game (at a fraction of the cost). His stuff could be average at this point and he’d still be a great No. 5 starer.

Closer
At one time, everyone thought Eric Gagne would never break down and he’d go down as one of the greatest closers ever. He had the best 3-year stretch of any reliever, but he eventually broke down. Kenley Jansen is great, but there’s a chance he could — eventually — break down. Not because of anything he has or hasn’t done, but because of the position itself.

Options
Chris Anderson: Has the arsenal to do the job, but makeup/poise are unknown.
Onelki Garcia: Has a potentially devastating 2-pitch combo that gives him a closer’s ceiling.
Kenley Jansen: Will be 29 years old and be making crazy money.
Chris Withrow: Has the best stuff of this quartet, but control/command are question marks.

2017 Closer: Jansen

Provided Jansen’s cutter is still as filthy as it is now, I don’t see him breaking down physically (as long as his heart is OK) and I see his control/command holding up just fine. But it’s nice to see the Dodgers have some legitimate options if things change dramatically in three years.

Relief Pitchers
The most volatile of any player on the baseball field, don’t expect to see a lot of veteran presents here, as the Dodgers should fill voids in the bullpen from within.

Options
Chris Anderson: Heavy fastball and slider combination should play up out of the ‘pen.
Jose Dominguez: Elite fastball velocity should be sustainable as he enters his age-26 season.
Onelki Garcia: Will be in age-26 season and could find himself traded by this time.
Yimi Garcia: Will be entering age-26 season, and despite fastball spin, lack of plus-velocity could hold him back.
J.P. Howell: Will be 34 and a free agent, likely not brought back.
Matt Magill: Will be 27 and needs to keep command/control in check to have a long-term career.
Chris Reed: Only on here because of his prospect ranking, I have no faith in him — even out of the ‘pen.
Paco Rodriguez: Should have established himself as one of the best lefty relievers in the game at age-26.
Tom Windle: Will be 25 and a cheaper option than a guy like Rodriguez.
Chris Withrow: Should start getting expensive at age-28, could be a trade candidate.

2017 RPs (6): Anderson, Dominguez, O. Garcia, Rodriguez, Windle, Withrow

Aside from Howell and, to a lesser extent, Rodriguez, these are all power arms and all should do quite well setting up the Dodgers’ 2017 closer. The only problem is, guys like Rodriguez and Withrow figure to start getting expensive — perhaps too expensive for the Dodgers (as funny as that sounds). That’s where the next tier of reliever prospects comes in — Victor Arano, Ralston Cash, Jharel Cotton, Scott Griggs, etc.

Player Position
Clayton Kershaw SP 1
Zack Greinke SP 2
Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 3
Julio Urias SP 4
Zach Lee SP 5
Jose Dominguez RP
Onelki Garcia RP
Tom Windle RP
Chris Anderson RP
Paco Rodriguez RP
Chris Withrow SU
Kenley Jansen CL

Looking at Dodgers’ propects on Top 100 lists

Julio Urias might top this list next year. (Photo courtesy of the Great Lakes Loons)

Baseball America released its Top 100 prospects on MLB Network Wednesday night. This is the 25th year the publication has compiled such a list. With BA’s list, most of the big-time prospectors have checked in with some form of a Top 100. I’m going to look at the Dodger prospects who placed on each list and figure how they shape up.

Included in the data are Baseball America (John Manuel, J.J. Cooper, Ben Badler), Baseball Prospectus (Jason Parks), FanGraphs (Marc Hulet), ESPN (Keith Law), MLB.com (Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo) MLB Draft Insider (Chris Crawford) and Scout.com (Kiley McDaniel).

There are five prospects who ranked on these lists — only one of them failed to rank on all the lists (Chris Anderson). Zach Lee, Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias ranked on all seven lists. They are the consensus four-best prospects in the system.

Player BA
Parks
Hulet KLaw
MLB.com
Crawford
McDaniel
Avg. Rank
Corey Seager 37 44 28 18 34 26 25 30.3
Julio Urias 51 35 73 14 63 24 41 43
Joc Pederson 34 50 58 41 36 75 35 47
Zach Lee 95 84 71 75 64 57 76 74.6
Chris Anderson NR NR NR 96 NR 97 94 95.7

While Urias got the highest placement of any prospect (14 on Law’s list), it’s Seager who is the consensus best prospect in the system. Self-promotion: I ranked Seager as my No. 1 prospect in the system, and my first four match the first four here.

The biggest outlier is Pederson’s 75 from Crawford. If you look at the rest of his rankings, the 75 sticks out like Brandon League‘s 3-year contract. The biggest disparity is Urias’ 14 from Law and 73 from Hulet. A 17-year-old prospect will cause those disparities. Admittedly, 14 is a bit high for Urias — this year.

There are only two guys in danger of losing their prospect status after the season — Pederson and Lee. But that would mean things aren’t going particularly well in Los Angeles (probably). Anderson, with a good season, is primed to shoot up the lists on which he placed, and actually place on the others, next season.

2014 Top 50 Dodgers’ prospects: No. 1-10

Corey Seager is going to be a stud, by Dustin Nosler

Corey Seager is going to be a stud. (By: Dustin Nosler)

This is the finale of a 5-part series detailing my Top 50 Dodgers’ prospects. These are scouting reports for Nos. 1-10.

Previous entries
Prospect landing page

No. 11-20
No. 21-30
No. 31-40
No. 41-50

Editor’s note: I am not a scout (#notascout). This is an amateur scouting report based on what I know about baseball and from following the sport all my life. I don’t claim to be a pro, I just want to pass along the information to the masses. All ratings in the charts below are on the standard 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is roughly average, 80 is elite and nearly unattainable (think an Aroldis Chapman fastball), and 20 is unacceptably poor. Enjoy.

1. Corey Seager, SS/3B (6’4, 220, 20 years old)
It looks like the Dodgers hit big on their 2012 first-round pick in Seager. His debut season was solid, and his sophomore season was even better. Seager began with Great Lakes and ripped up the league, hitting .309/.389/.529. A .918 OPS in the Midwest League as a 19-year-old is fantastic. A late-season promotion to Rancho Cucamonga didn’t go well (.160/.246/.320) and he struggled in the Arizona Fall League. But that shouldn’t matter too much. Seager uses his pure and smooth left-handed stroke to generate the best bat speed in the system. He has average power now and projects to have above-average power at his peak. He also has good opposite-field power. Seager is a polished hitter for being as young as he is, as he’s willing to go the other way and he’s more than willing to take a walk. He has a hole in his swing (inside corner) that could get exposed by advanced pitching, but he’s a good enough hitter to adjust to it. There’s still a lot of projection left in his body, but he’s starting to fill out, hence the plus-power potential.

Tools Now Future
Hitting 50 60
Power 45 60
Speed 45 45
Fielding 50 55
Arm 60 60

There isn’t much question about his offensive ability. His defensive position should change. Some in the organization think he can stick at shortstop, although that opinion is changing a bit. At worst, Seager is an average third baseman. He’s adept at shortstop, but his size and range should prevent him from playing there in the majors. He has a quick first step, soft hands and plenty of arm for either position. If he were to play shortstop in the bigs, however, he’d be the biggest shortstop to ever play the position. His final destination on the diamond is likely at third base, but the Dodgers are going to keep him at shortstop for a lot of the 2014 season. He’ll begin in Rancho Cucamonga with a midseason promotion to Chattanooga more than likely.

2013 ranking: 3
2014 location: High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Chattanooga
ETA: late-2015

Tools Now Future
Hitting 50 55
Power 50 60
Speed 55 55
Fielding 50 55
Arm 55 55

2. Joc Pederson, CF (6’1, 210, 22 years old)
Pederson established himself as a legitimate Top 40 prospect in baseball with a really good season in Double-A. He was one of the league’s youngest players, and one of its top performers. Pederson uses his strong hands and wrists to generate plus-bat speed and has flashed plus-power potential in batting practice. That power potential is carrying over to game action. Once considered a fourth outfielder by some, Pederson profiles — at worst — as a second-division starter, possibly in center field. His hit tool trails only Seager’s in the system, but he might have a better eye than the teenager. He’s a pull hitter, but has shown a willingness to go the opposite way at times.

Pederson also improved his defense in 2013, making a future home in center field a real possibility. His arm is a tick above-average and while he probably profiles better in left field, he could handle center field long-term. He also improved his baserunning. After stealing just 26-of-40 bases in High-A in 2012, he stole 31-of-39 bases at the most telling level of the minor leagues. He should begin 2014 with the Albuquerque Isotopes and will almost certainly debut in the majors at some point.

2013 ranking: 5
2014 location: Triple-A Albuquerque/Majors
ETA: mid-2014

Tools Now Future
Fastball 50 50
Slider 50 55
Curveball 40 45
Changeup 50 55
Cmd/Ctrl 50 55
Delivery 60 60

3. Zach Lee, RHP (6’3, 190, 22 years old)
Lee is basically the pitching version of Pederson (kinda). He’s underrated by most and has a future as a regular in the majors. Lee was facing advanced competition at age-21 in the Southern League and more than held his own. He was my Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year, and the Dodgers bestowed upon him the same honor. He posted career-bests in almost every major pitching category. What’s most impressive is he not only increased his strikeout rate, but also reduced his walk rate. Lee has a fastball that sits in the 89-92 MPH range and touches 95 MPH at times. He can cut and sink it to get outs as well. His best secondary pitch is a low-80s slider, which features inconsistent two-plane break. It flashes plus at times, but he can get under it at times. He also has a changeup that has above-average potential. It’s also a low-80s pitch and he gets good downward movement against left-handers. Lee also has a curveball he uses less than the other two secondary offerings that is an average pitch.

His delivery is smooth and repeatable. Combine his repertoire, poise, athleticism and pitchability, and there’s a No. 3 or 4 starter there. He’ll need to improve his stamina (5.4 innings pitched per start) and be more consistent with his off-speed pitches to reach that. The Dodgers could start Lee at Albuquerque, but it’s understandable if they send him back to Chattanooga. Either way — he’s nearly MLB-ready and should debut in 2014.

2013 ranking: 1
2014 location: Triple-A Albuquerque/Double-A Chattanooga/Majors
ETA: mid-2014

Tools Now Future
Fastball 45 60
Curveball 45 60
Changeup 45 60
Cmd/Ctrl 50 60
Delivery 45 55

4. Julio Urias, LHP (6’1, 180, 17 years old)
Urias was the talk of the Dodgers’ farm system after making his professional debut in May — and what a debut it was. Urias signed for roughly $1 million out of Mexico in 2012 and figured to pitch in short-season ball in 2013. His full-season assignment was a shock to most outside the organization. Urias didn’t do anything to fuel the naysayers. His 2.48 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9 and 11.1 K/9 are really, really good numbers for, say, a 19- or 20-year old in the Midwest League. Urias did it at 16. 16 years old. Amazing. His fastball is an 89-93 MPH offering that routinely touches 95 MPH and got as high as 97 MPH (as a 16-year-old!). It doesn’t do a whole lot, but it features a little arm-side run and projects as a plus-pitch. His best off-speed pitch can be debated. His changeup is nasty at times, but also a touch inconsistent. It features good diving action that can get a considerable number swing-throughs from righties. His curveball is a low-to-mid-70s pitch that is a little loopy at times. But when he gets on top of it, it almost acts more like a slider in its break.

His command and control are surprisingly advanced for a young teenager, but he’ll need to continue to work on it going forward. His delivery is polished and repeatable. But, Urias’ best attribute might be his poise on the mound. He pitches like a pitcher well beyond his years. He has more poise than some Major League pitchers. It’s hard to project a phenom at times, and Urias is no different. If everything comes together, he’s a future ace. As of now, he looks no worse than a No. 3, but more likely a No. 2 starter. An aggressive assignment to the California League could be in order, but it’s entirely possible the Dodgers could have Urias begin back in the Midwest League before a promotion. He’s only 17, after all.

2013 ranking: 26
2014 location: High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Low-A Great Lakes
ETA: late-2016

Tools Now Future
Hitting 45 50
Power 45 55
Speed 45 45
Fielding 40 45
Arm 50 55

5. Alex Guerrero, 2B (5’11, 205, 27 years old)
The Dodgers signed Guerrero two times before officially signing him to a 4-year, $28 million (with incentives up to $32 million) contract in October. Guerrero spent some time in the Dominican Winter League, but a hamstring injury hampered his ability to play and showcase his talents. The Cuban import isn’t the next Yasiel Puig, but he should be an above-average offensive second baseman. Guerrero’s best tool is his bat, and he shows surprising pop for a second baseman. His swing looks effortless at times and he has good bat speed. He’s not opposed to going the other way and shorten up his swing with two strikes. He won’t be a threat on the basepaths, but he also won’t be a base-clogger.

Guerrero was a shortstop in Cuba, but it’d be a surprise if he played there long-term in the majors. He’s a little stiff defensively and doesn’t have the greatest range. His arm is strong enough to play shortstop, but it profiles much better at second base, and he’s athletic enough to handle second. If he works at it, he could be a plus-defender, but the Dodgers would probably settle for average defensive ability at the position. Some penciled him in as the Dodgers’ opening day second baseman (present company included), but with an injury-riddled winter, it’s entirely possible he could begin the season in the minors with a quick call-up after some seasoning. As an older prospect, he might not need more than a month or so in the minors.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Majors/Triple-A Albuquerque
ETA: early-2014

Tools Now Future
Fastball 55 60
Curveball 50 55
Slider 40 45
Changeup 45 50
Cmd/Ctrl 45 50
Delivery 50 55

6. Ross Stripling, RHP (6’3, 190, 24 years old)
Stripling was the Dodgers’ fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft, he signed for nearly $100,000 less than slot — and he looks like an absolute steal. He isn’t Michael Wacha (his teammate at Texas A&M), but he has some of the same attributes as the budding Cardinals’ star. Stripling uses a four-seam fastball that is an 89-92 MPH pitch that touches 94-95 MPH on occasion. His mid-70s curveball is his best off-speed pitch. He throws it at 12-6 and it gets good downward movement when he snaps it off right. He also throws a high-70s/low-80s changeup that is a weapon against left-handed hitters. He also added a slider for the 2013 season that is still a work in progress.

His delivery is smooth and repeatable, leading to some of the best command/control in the system. From the stretch, he clocks in around 1.4 seconds. His arm angle is over the top, which allows him to get some nice downward plane on his pitches. Stripling has at least average athleticism on the mound. For me, he projects as a No. 4 starter with a low-end No. 3 ceiling. His floor is a quality reliever who could see his velocity tick up a bit in that role, but he struggled in that role with the Lookouts this season. He threw nearly 100 innings at Double-A, so a promotion to Triple-A could be in order. After Lee, Stripling could be the Dodger starting pitching prospect next in line to make MLB debut.

2013 ranking: NR
2014 location: Triple-A Albuquerque/Double-A Chattanooga/Majors
ETA: mid-2014

Tools Now Future
Fastball 45 60
Slider 40 55
Changeup 40 50
Cmd/Ctrl 40 50
Delivery 45 50

7. Chris Anderson, RHP (6’4, 215, 21 years old)
Anderson was the 18th overall selection in the 2013 draft, and the Dodgers found another good one. Despite being a college junior, he was drafted as a 20-year-old. Anderson was overused a bit at Jacksonville University, causing him to drop from a preseason Top-10 pick to a mid-first-rounder. Despite that, he showed real promise in his professional debut. He has three pitches that should be at least average. He throws heavy fastball in the 92-94 MPH range and can run it up to 96-97 MPH at times. He gets good sink on the pitch. It’s by far his best pitch. Anderson also features a slider that flashes plus-potential at times. He gets solid tilt on the pitch that sits in the low-80s. He can get a little inconsistent with the pitch at times, causing it to go flat. His changeup might be his best secondary offering. It’s also a low-80s pitch that he throws more consistently well than his slider. It’s his primary weapon against lefties. Anderson also has a curveball that’s little more than a “show me” pitch. It doesn’t project to be much more than a below-average offering.

Anderson’s delivery isn’t as picturesque as Lee or Stripling’s, but there’s potential for it to be cleaned up, thus improving his command/control. Right now, that’s his biggest weakness. Anderson’s ceiling is a No. 2 starter. More likely, he’s a No. 3 or 4 starter. If his off-speed pitches don’t improve enough, he could be a nasty back-end reliever, possibly a closer. He should go to the hitter-friendly California League to begin 2014, with a promotion to Chattanooga more than likely.

2013 ranking: 6 (midseason)
2014 location: High-A Rancho Cucamonga/Double-A Chattanooga
ETA: mid-2015

Tools Now Future
Fastball 45 50
Slider 50 55
Changeup 40 45
Cmd/Ctrl 40 45
Delivery 40 45

8. Chris Reed, LHP (6’4, 195, 23 years old)
A personal “favorite” of mine, Reed reinvented himself a bit in 2013. A college reliever who got plenty of swings-and-misses, Reed transformed into a groundball pitcher, with mixed results. The 2011 first-round pick spent all of 2013 in the Southern League and enjoyed moderate success. Reed’s fastball is an 89-92 MPH offering that rarely touches 94-95 MPH as a starter. He sinks at 88-91 MPH it to get a better groundball rate than the pitchers rated ahead of him on this list. His slider is his best secondary pitch, but it’s been quite inconsistent in his career. At times, it flashes plus-plus potential, but it has the potential to be just average because he can’t throw it from a consistent arm slot. Reed also has a changeup that is a below-average pitch and doesn’t project to be much more than that.

He throws his pitches from a three-quarters arm slot that has yet to be conducive to great command. The converted college reliever doesn’t have a great chance of sticking in the rotation. His mechanics aren’t smooth enough to have an easy, repeatable delivery. He’s likely a reliever at the next level, but there’s an extreme outside chance he remains as a starter if he can nail down a third pitch. If he goes to the bullpen, he could re-reinvent himself as a power lefty with a sinker that can’t be touched, but he’ll need to improve his command for that to happen. If he sticks in the rotation, he’s a No. 4 or 5 starter. After spending all of 2013 at Double-A, it isn’t unrealistic for the Dodgers to send him to Triple-A. If things fall his way (which means things aren’t going well in LA), he could make his big league debut in 2014.

2013 ranking: 8
2014 location: Triple-A Albuquerque/Double-A Chattanooga
ETA: late-2014

Tools Now Future
Fastball 45 55
Curveball 45 55
Changeup 35 40
Cmd/Ctrl 40 45
Delivery 40 45

9. Onelki Garcia, LHP (6’3, 220, 24 years old)
Garcia was the Dodgers’ third-round draft pick in 2012, and reports said he would have been the Dodgers’ selection over Reed in the 2011 draft, if he were eligible. A native of Cuba, Garcia has the most potential of any Dodger pitcher in the system, but there are a number of issues would need to overcome to realize that potential. Garcia throws a heavy fastball that sits in the 90-93 MPH range. He touches 95 MPH with the pitch at times with some heavy sink. He gets natural arm-side run with the pitch that he throws from a high three-quarters arm slot. His high-70s/low-80s curveball acts more like a slider than a curve because of its tight spin. It’s also the pitch on which he gets a lot of swing-throughs. Garcia has toyed with a changeup in the past, but it’s not even a “show me” pitch at this point. He’s really similar to Reed, but has better velocity.

His mechanics aren’t technically sound, as his delivery looks as if he’s “pushing” the ball toward the plate. The arm slot is fine, but his mechanics don’t lend themselves to being easily repeatable, and his command/control will suffer because of it. He profiles as a nasty late-inning reliever from the left side who should be able to get righties out with his plus-curveball. Garcia made his MLB debut in 2013, but there’s little chance he begins 2014 in Los Angeles without an injury ahead of him. Likely, he’ll go back to Triple-A, where he pitched in August for a few weeks before being promoted to the Dodgers in September.

2013 ranking: 7
2014 location: Triple-A Albuquerque/Majors
ETA: Now

Tools Now Future
Fastball 45 55
Curveball 40 45
Slider 50 55
Changeup 45 50
Cmd/Ctrl 40 45
Delivery 45 50

10. Matt Magill, RHP (6’3, 210, 24 years old)
Magill made his Major League debut in 2013 and was fantastic against the Brewers. He went 6 2/3 innings, gave up two runs and struck out seven. It looked like he might stick when the Dodgers needed pitching depth. However, he got roughed up in most of his remaining outings and ended up walking more batters (28) than he struck out (26). He was jerked around in the minors, having outings canceled, postponed or shortened on the off chance the Dodgers might need to recall him. In 2014, he should benefit from some consistently. Magill’s fastball is an 89-93 MPH pitch that touches 94 MPH at times. He’s able to get some movement on the pitch to throw a decent 2-seamer. His best off-speed pitch is his low-80s slider that flashes plus-potential at times. It’s still inconsistent and he has trouble locating it at times. He also has a changeup that has solid-average potential. His curveball is almost not worth mentioning. He’ll need to improve both pitches if he’s going to remain a starting pitcher.

He draws comparisons to former Dodger Tim Belcher, as his delivery is reminiscent. He throws from an over-the-top arm slot and his delivery appears to be repeatable. But Magill has trouble repeating it, which leads to his mechanics getting thrown off, which leads to below-average command. He seemed to have made strides in that department in 2012, and he showed an ability to throw his pitches for strikes in the minors. But the Major League stage proved to be quite the hurdle for him. If he can’t consistently repeat his mechanics and throw strikes, a bullpen role might be in his future. His fastball could play up out of the ‘pen, and he could ditch his changeup and curveball in favor of working on his slider. He’ll go back to Albuquerque in 2014 with a chance to contribute to the Dodgers in some capacity this season.

2013 ranking: 6
2014 location: Triple-A Albuquerque/Majors
ETA: Now

Analyzing Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10 Dodgers’ prospects

17 and the #1 prospect. (Photo via Nick Anderson, Great Lakes Loons)

17 years old and the #1 prospect. (Photo via Nick Anderson, Great Lakes Loons)

While the big news today is Masahiro Tanaka signing with the Yankees (sad, but oh well), I’m more excited for Baseball Prospectus’ Top 10 Dodgers’ prospect list.

Jason Parks ranked Julio Urias No. 1 in the system, which was no surprise. The rest of the rankings weren’t much of a surprise, either — except for one fella.

1. Julio Urias, P
2. Corey Seager, SS
3. Joc Pederson, OF
4. Zach Lee, P
5. Chris Anderson, P
6. Chris Reed, P
7. Ross Stripling, P
8. Tom Windle, P
9. Onelki Garcia, P
10. Victor Arano, P

Wait, Arano at No. 10? That’s ballsy.

While I’m higher on Stripling than most in the prospect world (especially more than Reed), the rest of the Top 7 are pretty status quo. And Parks didn’t rank Alexander Guerrero and wouldn’t rank Masahiro Tanaka because both have professional experience elsewhere.

Arano was signed by the Dodgers last year out of Mexico. He posted a 4.20 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 9.5 H/9, 0.7 HR/9, 2/4 BB/9 and an 8.9 K/9 as an 18-year-old in the Arizona League. Not bad. It was enough for me to be intrigued by by him, and to rank him as the 33rd-best prospect in the system. But Parks was much, much higher on Arano after talking to industry sources.

“Arano has a very easy arm with good present strength, and can pound the zone with a low-90s fastball that can bump a little higher. He shows both a quality curveball and a changeup, although both offerings are inconsistent at present.”

Not bad. He’ll have to improve his consistency going forward, but that’s pretty high praise for someone most have never heard of.

—–

Overall, this Top 10 is good. Like I said, I’d have Reed lower and I contemplated putting Windle in my Top 10.

My first round of write-ups, discussing prospects 41-50, will drop later today. You’ll get to read about guys who might never see the majors. Fun! After thinking about it a bit, I probably should have ranked Jarret Martin higher than No. 46, but here we are.