This is the Yin to Monday's Yang. With the Dodgers playing a little better of late and giving us false hope, I present to you my three most surprising Dodger major leaguers and prospects.
LHP Hong-Chih Kuo
- Kuo is as dominant as he's ever been. The Taiwanese lefty has a 0.93 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, 3.69 K/BB ratio and an ERA+ of 420 (league-average is 100). He's been especially dominant against left-handed hitters, as he's allowed two hits to them all season. Two! That's good for a .049 average. He's allowed five lefties to reach base in 45 plate appearances. The most surprising part is he's been healthy the entire season. Here's hoping he keeps it up.
SS Rafael Furcal
- After a dismal 2009 in which he played through injury, Furcal has been one of the team's most valuable players. His slash line is .316/.380/.492/.872 -- all career highs (not counting his 36-game 2008 season). However, he has been on the disabled list once and was just placed on the DL again after last night's game. I'm betting Furcal doesn't play a game for the rest of the season.
INF Jamey Carroll
- I was upset at this signing when it first came down, as I didn't think spending nearly $4 million for two years of a utility player was the smartest thing, considering the Dodgers' financial woes. But this signing has been terrific. While he's hitting an empty .276, he has a .3734 OBP and has the highest walk percentage of any Dodger (min. 250 PA) at 13.6 percent. He's played solid defense and has done everything asked of him (even play left field). He'll be getting the bulk of playing time at shortstop for the injured Furcal.
Just missed: Vicente Padilla
OF Trayvon Robinson
- After a breakout 2009, Robinson valuted himself into many top 10 Dodger prospect lists, including my own. Some we skeptical that he could continue to improve, especially against advanced competiton (Double-A). So far, Robinson has not disappointed. He has a .312/.409/.456./.856 line with 32 stolen bases. His walk rate is up (from 10 percent to 13.2 percent). His power has gone down, but only a little. He profiles as a solid center fielder. At worse, he's a serviceable fourth outfielder.
RHP (Carl) Allen Webster
- Webster came from out of nowhere last season to establish himself as one of the Dodgers' top RHP prospects. He is proving his 2009 was no fluke. He has a 2.50 ERA and 1.31 WHIP as a 20-year-old in Class-A ball. His K/9 is down from last year (10.1 to 7.9), but that's to be expected. He can still get a strikeout when he needs it. Webster has yet to be promoted, but I wouldn't be shocked if he gets promoted to High-A or Double-A before season's end.
RHP Matt Magill
- Magill is quickly becoming one of my favorite Dodger prospects. He's paired with Webster in the Great Lakes rotation and, like Webster, Magill is just 20 years old. He has a 3.36 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 9.5 K/9 and a low 6.7 H/9 ratio. If he has a good or great 2011, he could head a Dodger prospect list in 2012. He was in my midseason top 20 and barring a major meltdown or acquisition via trade, Magill is a lock for my top 10.
Just missed: RHP Rubby De La Rosa