Saturday, August 27, 2011

Most disappointing 2011 Dodgers' prospects

This is the third in a four-part series, this time looking at the most disappointing Dodgers' prospects.

This list will be populated by guys who were either hyped or high-round picks who just haven't gotten it together this season.

If these guys were to get on track, the Dodgers' system would be a lot better than it is right now. But not every prospect is going to pan out, so you have to account for that.

Most disappointing hitters

1. OF Jonathan Garcia
- Garcia showed a lot of promise in his first two seasons -- albeit in rookie ball. He had an .862 and .892 OPS the last two seasons. He started off on fire this season but has cooled off considerably. With the Loons, he has only a .736 OPS, but 49 of his 103 hits have been for extra bases (28 2B, 2 3B, 19 HR). His BB/K rate is bad right now: 32/125. That has to improve as he moves up the ladder. He is only 19 years old, so he's facing competition on average two years older than him.

2. OF Leon Landry
- Landry had the best debut of any Dodger 2010 draftee, hitting .349/.399/.510 for Ogden last season. He was my ninth-best prospect headed into the season, but he has struggled in the Midwest League. He's been on a tear of late, but his batting average has been in the upper-.230s to low-.250s all season. He's at .260/.317/.377 with four home runs, 21 doubles, 11 triples and 25 stolen bases. He's a candidate to bounce back in 2012 and I wouldn't be surprised to see him repeat Low-A before getting a promotion to Rancho.

3. OF Kyle Russell
- I've never been the biggest fan of Russell, but I penned a piece about him (and Nathan Eovaldi) earlier this season. At the time, he had a .909 OPS. His OPS was down to .847 before getting promoted to Albuquerque two days ago. Russell has power potential and good defense, so he should, at worst, be a bench player. But strikeouts continue to be a problem, as he's whiffing at a 36.3 percent clip. It's actually down from last season (37.6 percent), but it still doesn't bode well for his future success.

Honorable mentions: 3B Pedro Baez, OF/1B Brian Cavazos-Galvez, OF/1B Jerry Sands

Most disappointing pitchers

1. RHP Ethan Martin
- It's the same thing with Martin, who seems to be fairing much better as a reliever in Double-A than a starter in High-A. With the Lookouts, he has a 3.48 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 7.0 H/9, 9.6 K/BB in 31 innings. With the Quakes, he had a 7.36 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 10.6 H/9, 10.0 K/9 in 55 innings. No matter what team he's pitched for, though, walks have still been an issue. He has a 5.8 BB/9 rate on the season. It's actually down from last season, but still not where it needs to be. The Dodgers should seriously look at converting him to third base because I doubt he'll ever throw enough strikes to be a decent Major League pitcher.

2. RHP Derek Cone
- It's kind of hard for a 31st-round draft pick to be disappointing, but Cone was considered a steal and a nice signing for the Dodgers. Cone struggled at all three of his stops in the minors this season -- those most with the Loons, where he posted a 5.68 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 9.2 H/9 and a Martin-like 6.8 BB/9. He has all the talent to be a solid starting prospect. At 21, he still has time to figure things out.

3. RHP Matt Magill
- Magill was a personal favorite and put up solid numbers last season in the Midwest League. The California League hasn't been so kind to him (as expected by most). He had a 12-strikeout game a couple weeks ago, but he's been up and down overall. His 4.24 ERA is mediorce, but his 1.50 WHIP and 10.2 H/9 isn't going to cut it at any level. He's still just 21, so maybe moving to the Southern League in 2012 will help. His fringe fastball isn't going to be as effective unless he locates it well enough as he moves up through the minors.

Honorable mentions: LHP Aaron Miller, LHP Greg Wilborn, RHP Chris Withrow

Next up: Most disappointing Dodger hitters and pitchers (there is no shortage)

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