This is the introductory offering in my 11-part series about the Dodgers’ Top 100 prospects, ranked by yours truly. This is how things will break down:
- 100-76: Short write-ups with best tool, 2015 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, 2015 location and ETA in the majors
- 40-31: Same as 50-41
- 30-21: Full scouting reports/write-ups with scouting grades, 2015 location and ETA in the majors
- 20-11: Same as 30-21
- 10-1: Same as 30-21 and 20-11
I will follow-up the Top 100 with supplemental articles in the form of “Best of” the Dodgers’ system (tools) and the projected 2018 lineup and pitching staff (2017 projection, for reference).
You can find everything prospects in the aptly named “Prospects” tab on the top of the page. There will be a link to all the 2014 coverage, if you’re feeling nostalgic.
I’ll be the first to admit that there aren’t a ton of guys — especially in the back half of the 100 — who are ever going to sniff the majors. I will also be accused of making up names and ranking players too low, the latter of which is fine. But every player on the list is a real-life human baseball player (except maybe Julio Urias, because he’s clearly not of this world).
It’s nice to have at least some information on these guys. I mean, Jose De Leon — a player which almost no one knew about before last season, would have been in this 51-100 range of my Top 50 last year, because he, obviously, wasn’t in the Top 50.
All players who have not reached 50 innings pitched or 130 at-bats in the MLB, and have less than 45 days of pre-Sept. 1 service time in the MLB are eligible for this list. Ages are the “age” season for the player, i.e. “his age-23 season.”
Prospect System Grade
Impact Potential: A
The Dodgers didn’t lose any of their top three prospects — Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, Julio Urias — to trades or graduations, added a legitimate mid-rotation starter in Grant Holmes and potential center fielder in Alex Verdugo in the first two rounds of the 2014 MLB Draft. They also had guys like Jharel Cotton, Jose De Leon and Julian Leon make huge jumps in the low minors, which helps the overall bottom line.
The Dodgers did lose the likes of Jonathan Martinez, Jesmuel Valentin and Victor Arano, but they also gained guys like Austin Barnes, Adam Liberatore, Shawn Zarraga, as well as other 2014 draftees. I graded the depth as a “C+” last year, so it only stands to get better from additions and some guys taking steps forward. Some guys took a step back (Jacob Scavuzzo, Alex Santana), but the depth is as good as it has been in recent years.
This is the strongest the Dodgers’ farm system has been since the mid-2000s, when it was consistently in the Top 5 of system rankings. Adding to the Big Three with high-ceiling prospects helped the overall grade, and the depth has improved noticeably. I expect the system to remain strong. But if the front office decides to trade from it, they’ll do it intelligently — either trading top prospects for true impact players or trading fringy guys for fringy upgrades. This system should be regarded as a Top 10 system in the game by most publications.
And a breakdown of the entire Top 100, by position
Coming later today: Prospects 100-76