If you needed any reassurance the Dodgers have a top-heavy farm system with impact potential, then Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus have it for you.
|Player||Baseball America||Baseball Prospectus|
Damn. The Dodgers’ farm system hasn’t been this strong since the days of Chad Billingsley, Andy LaRoche and Joel Guzman in 2006 or Edwin Jackson, Greg Miller and Franklin Gutierrez in 2004. Say what you will about some of these guys, at the time, they were potential impact prospects, just as Urias, Seager and Pederson are.
Here’s where each guy ranked before the season.
|Player||Baseball America||Baseball Prospectus|
Both publications excluded 2014 draftees. Baseball America excluded guys in the majors who have exhausted their rookie eligibility, while Baseball Prospectus excluded any prospect who is currently in the majors (exhausted rookie eligibility be damned). Despite that, it’s still really impressive to see three Dodger prospects ranked in the Top 20 of these lists.
Quite the jump for these guys, as all are having great seasons (especially Seager). Urias has struggled only a little bit. He was impacted by major leaguers on rehab assignments and pitch counts. He hasn’t yet been able to completely let it go, which is just fine because he’s 17 years old. Seager is destroying the California League (4-for-6, 2 HR, 6 RBIs on Sunday) and will be in Chattanooga before too long (like, after the Futures Game on Sunday). Pederson, despite being on the minor-league disabled list with a separated shoulder, is ripping through the Pacific Coast League.
This is the best trio of prospects the Dodgers have, and the best since the Jackson-Miller-Gutierrez trio in ’04. With all the talk of David Price coming to the Dodgers, hopefully the front office is wise to not deal all three of them for him. At this rate, maybe they could land Price for one of these guys and two other Top-10 guys (like a Zach Lee, Chris Anderson, Chris Reed, etc.), but I’m skeptical.
Under more “usual” (for lack of a better term) circumstances, Pederson 22, would likely already be in the majors. With the Dodgers’ outfield conundrum, coupled with his injury, it looks more and more likely he’ll remain in the minors for the majority of the season. That bodes well for next year’s top prospect list ranking. Before the injury, he was hitting .319/.437/.568 with 17 home runs, 20 stolen bases and a ridiculous 17.2 percent walk rate (that comes with a 28.6 strikeout rate).
Parks on Pederson (from his Top 50 chat transcript):
“ketchup pickle (condiment land): What’s up with Joc Pederson‘s strikeout rate?
Jason Parks on the Top 50: He sees a lot of pitches and has some swing and miss in his game.”
Seager will be in Chattanooga soon, and it’s long overdue. He’s hitting .353/.409/.628 with 17 home runs and 31 doubles. Yes, the Cal League is a hitter’s haven, but those are impressive numbers from a 20-year-old who had a poor end to his 2013 season (one month in the Cal League and a poor Arizona Fall League showing. Remember when people were freaking out about that? Yeah, neither do I.).
Parks on Seager:
“Adam (NYC): Thoughts on Corey Seager? Beast?
Jason Parks on the Top 50: Beast. Will likely develop into an above-average third baseman with utility in both hit and power tools. First-division player and potential all-star.”
Urias is 17. There isn’t much more to say. The Dodgers are — correctly — bringing him along slowly. For folks expecting him to debut in a year or so might be a little disappointed because he hasn’t yet built the stamina to start in the majors. More likely, he’s a late-season call-up in 2015 and energizes the bullpen for (hopefully) a second consecutive World Series run.
This trio of Dodger prospects should have everyone excited. Pederson and Seager look like safe bets to either reach their ceilings or come close to it. The most risky is Urias, obviously. Any 17-year-old prospect is risky, but especially a pitcher who sits in the low-90s and touches the mid-90s with some regularity.
At this rate, it isn’t unrealistic to expect these guys to be regulars with the Dodgers in the next 2-3 years — if they haven’t been traded.
I’ll have a midseason Top 25 prospect list next Monday (July 14), during the All-Star break. These three will be atop the list in some order.
Here’s a guy who could make an appearance:
“Mike (Chicago): What’s your take on Julian Leon? The #ass is intruigung
Jason Parks on the Top 50: Very legit prospect. The reports have been very good.”
Not sure about “#ass,” but yes, I think Leon is a legitimate prospect.
One final tidbit from Parks’ chat:
“Augie (Brooklyn): Loved the updated Top 50. Thanks for the great work! Who are your favorite 2014 draftees and how many do you think you will rank on the Top 101?
Jason Parks on the Top 50: Grant Holmes was a personal favorite. I think we are going to look back and wonder why such a fast-moving arm slipped so far in the draft. He could make a push for the 101.”
That should give you a hint where Holmes will rank in my Top 25.