The Dodgers are playing their best ball of the season. Too bad it's nearly September and the Dodgers have zero shot at the playoffs.
In the last week, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp have proven they're two of the best players in the National League. Kershaw is battling Roy Halladay for the Cy Young while Kemp is battling the likes of Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Justin Upton for NL MVP honors.
We all heard about the Andre Ethier drama. That's where I'll leave it.
James Loney's resurgence and Justin Sellers' emergence have also played a big role in the team's turnaround.
However, all this winning is really hurting the team's draft stock. If the season ended today, the Dodgers would have the 14th overall pick in the draft. The team is also on the verge of losing first-round pick protection, as the top 15 teams in the draft would not have to forfeit their first-round pick if they signed a Type-A free agent. Of course, we know the Dodgers likely will not sign any Type-A free agents with the ownership in flux, but on the off chance it happens, the pick needs to be protected.
Now, I'm not saying the Dodgers should throw the rest of the season to get a higher draft pick, but the Dodgers should throw the rest of the season to get a higher draft pick.
There's still a month left in the season, so who knows what'll happen. If they somehow finish above .500, I'd be shocked.
It seems Justin Sellers can play a little ball. In his first 18 games, he has a .254/.333/.381 line with an impressive eight walks and 15 runs scored. He's not a franchise-changing prospect, but he has a chance to be a solid utility player, ala Jamey Carroll. Sellers' defense at short is solid and should have a spot on the Dodgers' 2012 roster.
Speaking of Carroll, the Dodgers pulled him off waivers after the Braves claimed him earlier today. I said back in July the Dodgers should have traded him, but I can (somewhat) understand why they didn't. With Sellers' emergence, Dee Gordon set to come back any day and Ivan DeJesus ready to get the call, there was really no reason not to ship Carroll to Atlanta for a chance at the playoffs.
Jamey Carroll, untouchable.
Angelo Songco and Scott Van Slyke continue to mash at Rancho Cucamonga and Chattanooga, respectively. Songco hit his 27th home run last night and has a California League-leading 293 total bases (45 doubles, 4 triples, 27 home runs). This is most encouraging after his dismal finish to 2010.
Van Slyke is poised to win the Southern League MVP award, posting a .346/.422/.596 line with 20 home runs, 44 doubles and 267 total bases. He is 25 and in Double-A, but he could have a legitimate chance to be the Dodgers' Opening Day starter in left field or at first base in 2012.
Since his return from sports hernia surgery, Quakes' outfielder Blake Smith has picked up where he left off. He's hitting .458/.500/.708 with one home run, three doubles and five runs scored in six games. I'm higher on Smith than most because of his power potential and defense. He should get a shot in Double-A in 2012.