Friday, April 29, 2011

Some Dodger minor-leaguers off to hot starts

We're nearly a month into the season and there are many Dodger minor-leaguers off to fast starts in their respective leagues. I'll break it down by level.

Triple-A
OF/1B Jerry Sands: .400/.422/.875, 5 HR, 17 RBI (Triple-A stats)
- Sands played so well in his 10 games in Triple-A that he earned a call-up to the Majors earlier this month. He hasn't fared as well with the Dodgers, but he does have five doubles.

OF Trayvon Robinson: .357/.423/.600, 4 HR, 19 RBI
- Robinson got off to a bit of a slow start but has really picked it up since Sands was called up. While his K-rate is higher than it should be (31.4 percent), he's still OPS'ing 1.023 in the hitter-friendly confines of the Pacific Coast League. He could be the next Dodger prospect to get the call, especially with James Loney's struggles.

RHP Jon Link: 1-0, 2.51 ERA, 14 1/3 IP, 12 K
- Link has started one game for the Isotopes, but he's been working mostly as a long reliever. The Dodgers have a lot of relievers and Link is buried a little bit on the depth chart.

Double-A
INF Jaime Pedroza: .305/.388/.492, 6 2B, 4 SB
- Pedroza is off to a fast start despite repeating Double-A (partly due to a glut of middle infielders at Triple-A). Pedroza has a solid glove and a little pop, but it still remains to be seen if it translates to the majors.

OF Scott Van Slyke: .371/.444/.774, 9 2B, 4 HR, 20 RBI
- Van Slyke is putting up outstanding numbers, but he's 24 and repeating Double-A. I'm not expecting much from him as a prospect.

LHP Cole St. Clair: 1-0, 0.73 ERA, 12 1/3 IP, 10 K
- St. Clair, a left-handed reliever out of Rice, has been pretty dominant thus far. As the old adage goes: he's left-handed and can throw strikes -- he's bound to make it to the majors some day.

RHP Rubby De La Rosa: 2-0, 2.35 ERA, 15 1/3 IP, 19 K
- De La Rosa impressed in Spring Training and has been really good for the Lookouts thus far. He could stand to cut down the walks, but he's on the fast track to the bigs.

High-A
SS Jake Lemmerman: .318/.372/.459, 2 HR, 11 RBI
- The Dodgers have been aggressive with Lemmerman, starting him a level higher than most thought. He started slow, but has really picked it up of late. I have him sliding over to third base in the future, but more because the Dodgers don't have a legitimate third base prospect right now.

1B Austin Gallagher: .375/.438/.542, 2 HR, 11 RBI
- Gallagher got on everyone's radar after an impressive showing in the California League in 2008, but he's gone back to the Gulf Coast League and repeated High-A before repeating it so far this season. I'm not too optimistic about his long-term chances.

RHP Matt Magill: 3-0, 1.64 ERA, 22 IP, 13 K
- Despite having a fringe-average fastball, Magill has asserted himself well in High-A thus far after having a great showing in Low-A last year. He isn't getting as many strikeouts, but his other peripherals are good so far.

RHP Steven Ames: 0-0, 0.90 ERA, 10 IP, 16 K
- Ames, a reliever, has been dominant, but he's a little old for the Cal League (23). Still, he has a 16/2 K/BB ratio, which is only a positive.

Low-A
OF Jonathan Garcia: .286/.333/.662, 8 2B, 7 HR, 16 RBI
- Garcia has been and extra-base-hitting machine so far (15-of-22), giving him a high slugging percentage. His K/BB ratio is alarming (5/20), but he's still really young and has a lot of promise.

RHP Garrett Gould: 3-0, 2.05 ERA, 22 IP, 18 K
- Gould has been impressive thus far in the Midwest League. Just seeing him pitch effectively is a good sign for the Dodgers and he could still reach his No. 2/3 potential as a starting pitcher.

RHP Zach Lee: 3-0, 1.37 ERA, 19 2/3 IP, 25 K
- Lee has been quite impressive in his debut season. While his control isn't where it needs to be (nine walks), he's been getting plenty of strikeouts and limiting damage by the other team.

RHP Shawn Tolleson: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 8 2/3 IP, 21 K
- That isn't a typo: Tolleson owns an unheard of 21.81 K/9 ratio. It's quite obvious he's having no trouble with the hitters in Low-A and he'll be pushed up to High-A before too long.

So far, so good for the youngsters.

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