Monday, August 9, 2010

Most disappointing players and prospects

The 2010 season, while not over, has been a disappointment for the Dodgers. Despite not making any major moves in the off-season, the core of a 95-win team returned. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier were coming off career seasons and Clayton Kershaw established himself as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.

But it just hasn't come together as some thought it would, and should, have.

This is a list of my three most disappointing players and prospects in the Dodger organization.

MLB players

C Russell Martin
- I have railed on Martin enough, but suffice it to say, he has been going downhill for the last nearly three years. And now he's out for the rest of the season.

3B Casey Blake
- Blake has performed like one would expect a 36-year-old third basemen to perform. After a solid .280/.363/.468/.832 line in 2009, Blake has completely fallen off from those numbers. He's putting up .247/.324/.401/.725 this season while striking out in 26.1 percent of his at-bats, which is up from 22.4 percent for his career. His WAR was a surprising 6.1 last season. This year, it's 1.3. There's no doubt he's been one of the most disappointing.

RHP Ronald Belisario
- A key cog in the Dodger bullpen in 2009, Belisario was late getting into big league camp because of Visa issues. Then just when it seemed he was getting back to the 2009 Belisario, he is placed on the restricted list for unknown reasons (rumors are it was for substance/alcohol abuse). If Belisario had been a steady contributor to the 'pen, the Dodgers might not have had to waste resources on Octavio Dotel. He is slated to come back Tuesday in Philadelphia. He has nearly two months to win over the management.

Just missed: RHP Ramon Troncoso


RHP Chris Withrow
- Withrow was my No. 3 prospect coming into the season and No. 2 by Baseball America. He had a taste of Double-A last year (27 1/3 innings, 8.6 K/9, 3.95 ERA), but his full season in Double-A is a tad disconcerting. His numbers are worse across the board: ERA up to 5.29; WHIP up to 1.61; K/BB down to 1.73; K/9 down to 8.6; H/9 up to 9.6; BB/9 up to 4.9. One thing he has working in his favor is his age. He's only 21 and playing against advanced competition. Next season will determine whether or not he's a future No. 2 starter.

RHP Ethan Martin
- Martin has disappointed much like Withrow. At A+ Inland Empire, Martin is putting up worse numbers than Withrow -- 5.61 ERA, 1.67 WHIP; 1.4 K/BB, 8.2 K/9, 9.1 H/9, 5.9 BB/9 -- at a lower level. Like Withrow, Martin is just 21 years old, so he has time to turn it around. However, he has a lot of work to do to get back to elite prospect status (was No. 2 on my Top 30 and No. 9 on my Midseason Top 15).

RHP Josh Lindblom
- Lindblom went from potentially making the major league roster out of Spring Training in 2009 to regressing mightily in Triple-A. He is strictly working out of the bullpen now, which is where most predicted he'd end up. He has a lofty 6.18 ERA, 1.78 WHIP and a scary 12.9 H/9 at Albuquerque. He dropped from No. 4 on my list in November to outside the top 15 on my midseason list. Despite the troubles, he still has a chance to be a solid MLB reliever.

Just missed: OF Kyle Russell

I'm not all doom-and-gloom, though. Stay tuned later in the week for my most surprising list -- both major leaguers and prospects.

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