Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Midseason Top 15 Prospects

This is my midseason Top 15 Dodgers' prospect list. The numbers in parenthesis are the rankings from my post-2009 season rankings.

1. LHP Aaron Miller (5)
- Aaron Miller is definitely living up to his draft slot. Miller has a 2-5 record, but his peripherals are great. He has a 2.73 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 8.9 K/9IP and 2.13 K/BB ratio. He started the season at High-A before being promoted to AA.

2. SS Dee Gordon (1)
- Gordon's numbers are down just a tad. His fall from No. 1 is mostly due to Miller's improvement and not Gordon's play. He still projects as a top-of-the-order basestealing threat with good defense at shortstop. He has 30 stolen bases in AA this season.

3. RHP Chris Withrow (3)
- Withrow holds serve at No. 3. He had a slow start in AA, but he's come on as of late. He currently owns a 4.69 ERA and 8.5 K/9IP. He still projects as a No. 2 starter and should be in line for a late-seaosn promotion to AAA.

4. RHP Allen Webster (9)
- Webster is just 20 years old and is dominating at Low-A. He's 8-5 with a 2.67 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.6 K/9IP and a solid 2.85 K/BB ratio. He could get the call to High-A Inland Empire before the season ends. If he keeps up his impressive numbers, he has an outside shot of getting a taste of AA.

5. RHP Garrett Gould (13)
- Gould was hurt to start the season and has only thrown three games, so this ranking might be a tad aggressive. However, in 14 innings, he's struck out 12 batters and has a 1.93 ERA. He is only in the Pioneer League, so we'll see how he does when he gets promoted to more advanced leagues.

6. 1B/OF Jerry Sands (NR)
- Sands was drafted in the 25th round of the 2008 draft and had a slow start to his minor league career. He hit .205 in the Gulf Coast League. He followed that up with an impressive .315/.401/.618 line between rookie ball and A-ball in 2009. This season, he has absolutely torn the cover off the ball, hitting .332/.425/.664 between Low-A and AA. He has six home runs in 43 Double-A at-bats. The only reason he isn't getting more hype is because he is 22 and is just getting to AA. He could be a late bloomer. If so, that will only benefit the Dodgers.

7. OF Trayvon Robinson (10)
- Robinson came on really strong last season and has been solid this season. In AA, he is hitting .298 with a .376 OBP and 25 stolen bases. If he keeps up his current pace, it will be a second consecutive .800+ OPS season for a guy who has never been known for his power. He could solidify himself in the top five if he closes the season on a strong note.

8. RHP Kenley Jansen (28)
- This guy appears to be the real deal. He is dominating at AA, as he has a 1.23 ERA and 15.5 K/9IP ratio since being recalled from High-A. Overall, he owns a 1.35 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 40 innings of work. He could be in Los Angeles before too long.

9. RHP Ethan Martin (2)
- Martin is battling control issues. He is having trouble throwing strikes, as is evidence by his 5.3 BB/9 IP, 1.56 WHIP and 1.53 K/BB ratio. Martin still has some of the most talent and promise in the system and could re-solidify himself as a top-five prospect with a solid second half.

10. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (8)
- I'm a bit higher on Eovaldi than most. He has a mid-90s fastball, but he doesn't get as many strikeouts as he should. He is still developing his off-speed stuff. He is in High-A as a 20-year-old, so he's facing some advanced hitters. Eovaldi has shown his potential by throwing two complete-game shutouts and still has a low home run ratio, giving up just two this season.

11. OF/1B Andrew Lambo (6)
- Lambo started off the season on fire but has cooled off a bit since. He was suspended 50 games for violating MiLB's drug policy. Surprisingly, it wasn't amphetamines or performance-enhancing drugs. Nevertheless, this suspension doesn't quell the concern about Lambo's off-the-field behavior. It isn't a gross offense, but it's something worth keeping an eye on.

12. SS/2B Ivan De Jesus (9)
- It's just nice to see De Jesus playing. He is in AAA hitting .292/.330/.394. He has yet to get back to his 2008 numbers (.324/.419/.423), but he might just need some more time. Also, his fielding has taken a hit, as he's committed 15 errors this season. He still has an outside shot of becoming an everyday player in the big leagues.

13. OF Xavier Paul (15)
- I think Paul could take over for Manny Ramirez in left field next season. A few years ago, this would not have been possible. With the McCourts' financial issues, it almost seems like a certainty. He isn't going to hit 20 home runs or be a middle-of-the-order hitter, but he could be a serviceable third outfielder. At worst, he'll have a long career as a fourth outfielder.

14. OF Blake Smith (16)
- Drafted out of Cal in the 2009 draft, Smith is in Low-A right now putting up some solid numbers (.282/.360/.493). He could be ranked higher if he puts up these numbers against better competition. Many saw him as a pitcher, so he's making the transition to full-time hitter well so far.

15. OF Mario Songco (NR)
-Songco is similar to Smith, except he's a year younger and hitting a little better. Right now, Songco boasts a .309/.374/.498 line. He could be up for top-10 consideration with a strong second half; perhaps in AA?

Next five (in no order): RHP Josh Lindblom (4, AAA), RHP Rubby De La Rosa (NR, Low-A), RHP Brett Wallach (26, Low-A), RHP Matt Magill (NR, Low-A), RHP Elisaul Pimentel (NR, Low-A)

Quick analysis: Lots of right-handed pitching and outfielders, lack of lefties, catchers and infielders.

That's it for now. I'll have another prospect ranking edition following the season. Go Blue!

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