Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The Los Angeles Dodgers are quickly building up the big league payroll but in order to keep a franchise strong and fill out a 25 man roster, a team needs quality production from home grown talent. That is something the Dodgers certainly have. To be eligible for this prospect list, a player must be rookie eligible but one player you will not see is Alexander Guerrero. Guerrero is a 27 year old Cuban who I find hard to consider a prospect despite his rookie status. He will likely be the opening day starter at second base for the Dodgers but has spent several years as a professional in Cuba. Two other players that did not make the list but worth mentioning are Chris Withrow and James Baldwin. Withrow pitched well in 26 big league games in 2013, but his upside just isn’t there to crack the top 15. Baldwin can flat out fly but he just doesn’t hit enough to make the list. In fact, he is hitting in the low .200’s in the Australian Baseball League this winter.
Triple A: Alburquerque Isotopes (Pacific Coast League)
Double-A: Chattanooga Lookouts (Southern League)
High-A: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (California League)
Low-A: Great Lakes Loons (Midwest League)
Advanced Rookie: Ogden Raptors (Pioneer League)
Complex-Rookie: AZL Dodgers (Arizona League), DSL Dodgers (Dominican Summer League)
Alex Santana – 3B
Date of Birth: August 21, 1993
Height/Weight: 6’4″/200 lbs.
Acquired: 2011, 2nd round
Analysis: Santana was originally drafted as a shortstop but was moved to third base due to his size. He is athletic, has decent enough speed and plays solid defense. He makes it into the top 15 because of his projectile upside. He has struggled with the bat at times but he could turn into a .275 hitter with 15-20 home run power. He will never be an All-Star but he could become a solid everyday third baseman, it will just take time.
2014 Prognosis: Santana will finally get out of Rookie League ball in 2014. Look for him to kick off with Great Lakes and if his bat plays, he cold find himself in High-A by July.
Jacob Scavuzzo – OF
Date of Birth: January 15, 1994
Height/Weight: 6’4″/195 lbs.
Acquired: 2012, 21st round
Analysis: Scavuzzo was a break out prospect in 2013. He has spent the majority of the time in center, but he projects more as a left fielder. He plays above average defense with an average arm, but he can hit. He has shown real power, and he has a body that will only add strength. He has a smooth swing, and should be able to hit in the high .200’s through the minors. So long as he is able to add strength to his body while keeping the athleticism, he could become a huge steal given he wasn’t drafted until the 21st round in 2012.
2014 Prognosis: Much like Santana, Scavuzzo will likely start off in Low-A, but if he flashes power early, he could move quicker. I like Scavuzzo to get the majority of his at bats in 2014 with Rancho Cucamonga, where his numbers will shine in the hitter friendly California League.
Jose Dominguez – RHP
Date of Birth: August 7, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’/160 lbs.
Acquired: 2007, International Free Agent
|2013||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||LAD||2||0||1.000||1.78||22||0||8||0||5||25.1||9||5||5||0||13||1||40||1||0||4||98||0.868||3.2||0.0||4.6||14.2||3.08|
Analysis: Jose Dominguez can plain bring it. His fastball has been clocked as high as 102 MPH, but that is really where the positives end right now. His slider is league average at best, but a league average slider can get guys out when the fastball comes at triple digits. He also throws a change, but it needs plenty of work, as does his control. He has flashed some success in the big leagues at the end of 2013, but he needs to improve his secondary stuff if he wants that to continue.
2014 Prognosis: If he can limit his walks and his slider improves, Dominguez can be a solid late inning arm, but I have my doubts. Expect him to bounce between Triple-A and the big leagues, providing a rare triple digit fastball in the seventh inning relief role.
Scott Schebler – OF
Date of Birth: October, 6 1990
Height/Weight: 6’1″/208 lbs.
Acquired: 2008, 26th round
Analysis: When so many fringe prospects are able to stick around thanks to athleticism or speed or great defense hoping their bats finally comes around, Schebler is different. There is little doubt his bat will be able to hit at a big league level, though never a whole lot better than league average, it is his athleticism, arm, and defense that may hold him back. His instincts are ok, but he is slow and he has saying he has a below average arm would be a compliment. The only position he can reasonably play at the big league level is left field because he will never develop the power needed to be a first baseman and the Dodgers are in the National League, so the DH route is out of the question.
2014 Prognosis: Schubler impressed with the bat in the California League, but it is a hitters league given many of the ballparks are located in the high desert of the California Inland Empire. His power numbers will dip in Double-A, but if his average and doubles stay where they are, he will find himself on the Dodgers 40 man roster by season’s end, with a call up likely in 2015.
Onelki Garcia – LHP
Date of Birth: August2, 1989
Height/Weight: 6’3″/220 lbs.
Acquired: 2012, 3rd round
|2013||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||LAD||2||4||.333||2.90||35||6||7||0||0||1||62.0||47||23||20||3||35||0||67||3||4||7||265||1.323||6.8||0.4||5.1||9.7||1.91|
Analysis: Garcia made his big league debut in 2013, but those stats are not included above because he only appeared in three games and recorded four outs, and looked poor, but that should change in 2014. He throws from a low 3/4 slot with a fastball that can touch 95 and is never straight. He has a breaking ball that he can vary speeds with to keep hitters off balance. He is working on adding a change, and if he does, he could become a rare lefty that can pitch a seventh inning effectively against both left and right handed batters.
2014 Prognosis: The Dodgers bullpen has plenty of arms and likely won’t have room for Garcia out of camp, but he should see plenty of time with the big league club, and if his secondary stuff continues to improve, he could be a valuable arm out of the bullpen down the stretch.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Tom Windle – LHP
Date of Birth: March 10, 1992
Height/Weight: 6’4″/215 lbs.
Acquired: 2013, 2nd round
Analysis: Windle is still learning to be a starter after spending the majority of his collegiate career as a reliever, but he has adapted well. The tall lefty hides the ball very well, but at times his deliver can slow just a tad on his off-speed stuff, and that will be exploited big time in the higher minors if he doesn’t correct it. He does have a four pitch mix and can paint the corners that fits a starters repertoire well, but could also project well as a late inning reliever.
2014 Prognosis: Windle will get tested in the California league, but could feasibly move to Double-A quickly, if not straight out of camp. He needs to prove he can handle a starter’s workload, otherwise he could find himself back in the bullpen by 2015.
Matt Magill – RHP
Date of Birth: November 10, 1989
Height/Weight: 6’3″/210 lbs.
Acquired: 2008, 31st round
|2013||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AAA-Rk||LAD||6||2||.750||3.35||19||17||1||0||0||0||88.2||73||34||33||7||50||0||104||1||2||5||372||1.387||7.4||0.7||5.1||10.6||2.08|
Analysis: Magill struggled during his time in the big league rotation in 2013, and there really isn’t a spot for him to start 2014, but he does project to be a back-of-the-rotation starter for many years. His changeup needs to improve, as does his control, but he has the arsenal to be a successful big league starter. Going into his age 24 season, there isn’t a much upside left for Magill, and he will need to take advantage of every chance he gets in 2014.
2014 Prognosis: Due to the plethora of starters on the roster, Magill will either start the season in Triple-A or as a long reliever in the bullpen. Most likely he will kick off the season in the minors and be one of the first call ups should there be any injuries to the rotation.
Chris Reed – LHP
Date of Birth: May 20, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’4″/195 lbs.
Acquired: 2011, 1st round (16th overall)
Analysis: When at Stanford, Reed was as good a closer the collegiate ranks had seen since Huston Street. When he entered the system, the Dodgers tried to turn him into a starter, and have continued that experiment for two full years. It is time for the Dodgers to quit on that experiment and try and salvage the sure fire late inning reliever they drafted in 2011. Reed is a rare left hander that has the potential to close games, or at the very least, get guys out in high leverage spots late in games. Nothing Reed throws stays on a single plane, it all cuts and drops, but he isn’t able to keep his pitches sharp through multiple innings.
2014 Prognosis: Hopefully the Dodgers finally allow Reed to get back into the bullpen and dominate. Regardless as to where he starts the season, Double-A or Triple-A, so long as it is in the bullpen, he will be in the big leagues reminding people why he was a first rounder by mid-season.
Yimi Garcia – RHP
Date of Birth: August 19, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’1″/175 lbs.
Acquired: 2009, International Free Agent
Analysis: Garcia’s stock soared at the end of the 2013 season. After a solid campaign at Double-A, he got the invite to the Arizona Fall League, and pitched so well he had to be added to the 40-man roster as he would have been a sure pick in the Rule 5 draft. He is yet another Dodger prospect that has a big fastball and hard slider that can slide right into the late innings and be successful. Just because a guy gets a grade that means he fits into the bullpen and not in the rotation it does not mean he can’t be incredibly valuable, and watching Yimi Garcia pitch is a constant reminder of that.
2014 Prognosis: The Dodgers have many big arms that can play in the bullpen, so there is no rush to get Garcia to the big leagues, but he should make his debut sometime in 2014, and he will be successful.
Chris Anderson – RHP
Date of Birth: July 29, 1992
Height/Weight: 6’4″/215 lbs.
Acquired: 2013, 1st round (18th overall)
Analysis: Anderson skipped the complex league, bypassed rookie league ball, and jumped straight to Low-A. He has a fastball that has been clocked at 97, with a plus slider, and a solid curve and change. He had experience in both the bullpen and starting rotation in college, but it is clear his future is in the rotation. He has good control of his four pitch mix, and could definitely become a legit middle of the rotation starter.
2014 Prognosis: He could start off in either Low or High-A, but could be a quick mover. Don’t be surprised if he makes it up to Double-A and pushes the big league rotation in 2015.Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Ross Stripling – RHP
Date of Birth: November 23, 1989
Height/Weight: 6’3″/190 lbs.
Acquired: 2012, 5th round
|2013||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-A+||LAD||8||4||.667||2.82||27||22||1||0||0||1||127.2||115||44||40||5||30||1||117||0||0||6||521||1.136||8.1||0.4||2.1||8.2||3.90|
Analysis: Stripling may not be in the top five of many Dodgers prospect lists due to the fact he was a college senior when drafted in 2012, his upside is still there. His delivery is very easy, but he can still push 95 with his fastball. His curve is a big 12-6 that can easily buckle knees. He also controls a change to give him a three pitch mix that can play at any level.
2014 Prognosis: Time will tell if he starts the season at the top of the Double-A rotation or the back of the Triple-A rotation, but he could certainly pitch his way to the big leagues in 2014 and not look back.
Zach Lee – RHP
Date of Birth: September 19, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’3″/190 lb s.
Acquired: 2010, 1st round (28th overall)
Analysis: Lee has slipped in prospect ranks the past couple years, and will probably do the same again this year. He did not exactly light the Southern League on fire despite repeating it in 2013. Despite the numbers not what you expect from a top prospect, he still has the pitch mix to keep him ranked fourth going into the spring. He has the control and off-speed stuff to garner a top five rank in the organization, and he has a good enough fastball, he just needs to put it all together.
2014 Prognosis: Lee must move forward and make the jump to Triple-A. The PCL can be rough on pitchers, but if he can hold his own, he can re-establish himself and possibly even make his debut in 2014.
Corey Seager – SS
Date of Birth: April 27, 1994
Height/Weight: 6’4″/215 lbs.
Acquired: 2012, 1st round (18th overall)
|2013||19||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||LAD||101||426||372||55||100||20||4||16||72||10||4||46||89||.269||.351||.473||.824||176||10||3||1||4||4|
Analysis: For the first time in eight players, a non-pitcher is back on the list. Seager’s older brother, Kyle Seager, has been alright in Seattle, but Corey is regularly considered the better of the two. There are questions as to whether or not he can stick at short, and I don’t think he can, but instead he will find himself at third like his brother. He has the potential to hit .290-.300 in the big leagues, but I don’t see the power coming to fruition. Instead, he will probably be a 10-15 home run player, but could do damage with doubles power. He could become a well above-average number two hitting third baseman.
2014 Prognosis: It wouldn’t be shocking to see him kick off the season back at High-A, but he should end the season at Double-A and would be a perfect candidate for the Arizona Fall League in October.
Julio Urias – LHP
Date of Birth: August 12, 1996
Height/Weight: 5’11″/160 lbs.
Acquired: 2012, International Free Agent
Analysis: Discovered when scouts were in Mexico to see the Yasiel Puig workouts, Urias could be just as important a signing. Many teams were scared away for fear of potential vision issues in his left eye due to the lazy look to it because he had to have a tumor removed when he was a kid, but he has never let it slow him down. Urias became the first player younger than 17 to play in the Midwest League since the 1950’s. In addition to him being incredibly young, he also has incredible stuff, and a great feel for how to pitch. He is smaller than most scouts want to see in a pitcher, but he is recently 17 years old, there still may be an inch or two to come. He has a plus plus fastball, and a decent curve and change, but his ability to work off those pitches is something many pitchers in the high minors aren’t able to do.
2014 Prognosis: Urias might head back to Great Lakes to start 2014 as the Dodgers start to slowly add to his innings limit, and they may even have him skip the California League altogether to protect his confidence. He may see Double-A this year, but wherever he pitches, he will be one of the youngest, and best, in the league.
Joc Pederson – OF
Date of Birth: April 21, 1992
Height/Weight: 6’1″/185 lbs.
Acquired: 2010, 11th round
Analysis: The Dodgers currently have too many outfielders on their big league roster, and their top prospect is yet another outfielder. Pederson is the future left fielder for the Dodgers, with Puig in right and a decision to be made in center. Pederson can hit for average, hit for some power (more doubles than home run power), he can be a plus defender, and he has flashed some impressive base stealing ability. He is not a plus plus five tools player, but he is an above average five tools player. He could be a solid top of the lineup guy that could see several All-Star games in his future.
2014 Prognosis: Pederson is clearly blocked at the big league level, but a trade and/or injury and he just might be on the short list for a call up. Not that the Dodgers need to worry about money, but, if he does make the big leagues in 2014, it will be post-July to slow his arbitration clock.