A good AFL by Shawn Tolleson could result in a return trip to Los Angeles in 2014. Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Dodgers stormed to the National League West title this season. The playoffs are underway for the team for the first time in four seasons. However, that doesn’t mean the NLDS are the only games the organization is watching. Eight prospects from the Arizona Fall League are set to begin their season on October 8th. Here is a look at those players with all rankings courtesy of mlb.com.
Corey Seager-The younger brother of Seattle’s Kyle Seager is listed as the #2 prospect in the Dodger organization. The 19-year old struggled a bit at High Class A Rancho Cucamonga after breezing through two lower levels. The overall 2013 numbers were still solid: 16 home runs, 72 RBI’s, 10 steals with a .269/.351/.473. Seager has the ability to hit to all fields with power and possesses good speed. He was drafted as a shortstop but scouts believe that he would be a better fit at third base.
Onelki Garcia-This left-handed pitcher defected from Cuba and was taken in the third round of the 2012 draft. Garcia pitched in the AFL last year and was able to split 2013 at Double A Chattanooga and Triple A Albuquerque with a late call-up to Los Angeles. He appeared in 35 games in the Minors and all but 6 of them were out of the bullpen. His fastball can get up to 95 and he uses two different breaking pitches. Garcia, the #8 prospect, has Dodger brass excited and it is possible we see him in LA sometime during 2014.
Yimi Garcia-The organization’s #12 prospect, Garcia has become a weapon in the bullpen. The righty had a strong 2013 at Chattanooga going 4-6 with a 2.49 ERA with 19 saves. In 49 games, Garcia threw 60 1/3 innings allowing 35 hits while walking 14 and striking out 85 holding opposing batters to a paltry .164 average. It would not be surprising to see him in the Dodgers’ bullpen at some point in 2014.
Brian Cavazos-Galvez-The 26-year old outfielder has played at every level in the Dodgers’ chain except for the big club. He spent 2013 at Chattanooga where he hit 7 homers and drove in 40 runs in 402 at-bats. Cavazos-Galvez’s five-year career slash line is .298/.329/.497. He has played at least 50 games in each outfield spot and has spent significant time at first base as well. It appears as though his shot to make LA’s roster is as a fourth outfielder.
Pratt Maynard-This catcher was taken in the third round of the 2011 draft. Maynard posted some nice offensive numbers at Rancho Cucamonga, hitting 6 home runs and driving in 27 with a line of .246/.360/.381. He has shown a disciplined approch at the plate, walking the same amount of times as he has struck out (41). Maynard has thrown out 25% of would-be base stealers during his minor league career.
Chris O’Brien–Here is another catcher that played at Rancho Cucamonga in 2013. Son of former Major League catcher Charlie O’Brien, Chris has inherited his father’s genes defensively. For his career, he has thrown out 31% of runners attempting to steal. Though not as polished as Maynard as a hitter, he is not far behind with a career line of .243/.304/385. Taken in the 18th round out of Wichita St., he was the Missouri Valley Player of the Year as a junior in 2011.
Mike Thomas–Though selected in the 35th round of the 2011 draft, Thomas has enjoyed a solid Minor League career thus far. He spent 2013 at Rancho Cucamonga and Chattanooga appearing in a total of 45 games, all but one of them in relief. The lefty went 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA and 11 saves covering 59 1/3 innings. He gave up 53 hits and 24 walks while striking out 68. His career ERA is 2.75 in 110 games. At the very least he will be moved up to Albuquerque for 2014.
Shawn Tolleson–Unfortunately, Tolleson’s 2013 season was wrecked by injuries. He endured surgery to repair a herniated disk in April and then suffered a hip injury in August while rehabbing. The right-handed reliever appeared in 40 games for the Dodgers in 2012 going 3-1 with a 4.30 ERA. Tolleson was dominant in the minor league system going 9-4 with a 1.34 ERA and 49 saves in 107 games. It would be nice to see the 2010 30th round draft pick back in Los Angeles in 2014.
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