The Dodgers' minor league system enjoyed the most success it has in a long time with three teams advancing to their respective postseasons.
With good team performances comes good prospect performances. So, here is my 2011 All-Prospect team for the Dodgers.
To be eligible for this team, the player must have been a prospect to start the 2011 season.
Catcher: Gorman Erickson, 23, High-A/Double-A
.293/.379/.486, 13 HR, 66 RBI, 14.1% BB rate
- I wrote a piece on Erickson a few days after Federowicz was acquired. Even with Federowicz good month of August in the Pacific Coast League, I still like what Erickson brings to the table. His 14.1 percent walk rate is impressive and he is clearly No. 1 on the catching depth chart for me. He finished 2011 in Double-A and I bet he returns there to start 2012 with a midseason call-up a possibility.
Second team: Tim Federowicz, 23, Triple-A
First Base: Scott Van Slyke, 25, Double-A
.348/.427/.595, 20 HR, 92 RBI, 45 2B
- Van Slyke is the odds-on favorite to win the Southern League MVP award, according to an unbiased source -- me. He led the league in batting and doubles and was second in total bases. While his prospect star has never shone too bright, he's making some noise in the Dodgers' organization and could get a look on the 2012 Opening Day roster. This slot could have gone to Sands or Songco, but they'll be mentioned later on.
Second team: O'Koyea Dickson, 19, Rookie-Ogden
Second Base: Ivan DeJesus, 24, Majors/Triple-A
Majors: .188/.235/.188, 6 RBI, 2 BB
Minors: .310/.389/.432, 8 HR, 59 RBI, 11.6% BB rate
- DeJesus actually made the Dodgers' Opening Day roster in 2011, but he could never get on track with the big club. However, a hot second half in the PCL made him the clear choice for this team. He should get a September call-up any day now, seeing as the Isotopes are no playoff-bound.
Second team: Justin Sellers, 25, Triple-A/Majors
Third Base: Tony Delmonico, 24, High-A
.268/.387/.424, 12 HR, 63 RBI, 14.4% BB rate
- Delmonico has always been a favorite of mine, but I liked him a lot more when he was a catching prospect. At 24 and in High-A, his prospect status is dwindling. His walk rate is impressive, which leads to an impressive on-base percentage (compared to his batting average). He could be a late bloomer, ala Van Slyke, but I wouldn't expect him to be much more than a 24th/25th man on a Major League roster. The fact that he's the Dodgers' best third base prospect says something about the lack of talent at the position in the minors.
Second team: Russ Mitchell, 26, Triple-A/Majors
Shortstop: Dee Gordon, 22, Triple-A/Majors
Minors: .333/.373/.410, 6 3B, 24 RBI, 30 SB
Majors: .277/.288/.336, 6 2B, 7 RBI, 16 SB
- Gordon might be one of the most-liked players in the organization. His happy-go-lucky attitude plays well, and he can play a little himself. Despite striking out more than half the times he did in Triple-A, he's still the Dodgers' future shortstop. He's 16-for-19 in stolen bases in the Majors, so Davey Lopes' impact is apparent.
Second team: Jake Lemmerman, 22, High-A/Double-A
Left Field: Angelo Songco, 22, High-A
.313/.367/.581, 29 HR, 114 RBI, 48 2B
- Songco could very well be my Dodger Minor League Hitter of the Year. After a late-season slump in 2010, Songco did the exact opposite this season. He hit a respectable .301/.360/.504, with 10 HR, 49 RBI and 21 2B in the first half, but took his game to another level in the second: .324/.375/.660, with 19 HR, 65 RBI and 27 2B. He led the California League in doubles and total bases. He should be the starting first baseman or left fielder for Chattanooga in 2012.
Second team: Joc Pederson, 19, Low-A/Rookie-Ogden
Center Field: Alfredo Silverio, 24, Double-A
.306/.340/.542, 16 HR, 85 RBI, 18 3B
- Silverio made my 2010 second team as a left fielder, but he three-quarters of his games in center field this season -- and he had a career-year. His 18 triples and 289 total bases led the Southern League. He's a free-swinger, so his prospect star isn't as bright as it could be, but he could be a serviceable fourth outfielder in the Majors. He'll probably start 2012 in Albuquerque.
Second team: Trayvon Robinson, 23, Triple-A
Right Field: Jerry Sands 24, Triple-A/Majors
Minors: .278/.344/.586, 29 HR, 88 RBI, 10.3% BB rate
Majors: .200/.294/.328, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 13.6% BB rate
- Sands started off the Triple-A season on fire, earning a call-up to the Dodgers. He started slow for Los Angeles but seemed to be heading in the right direction, even hitting a monsterous grand slam in Houston. At that time, he was hitting .239/.343/.413 and looked like he was ready to take the league by the horns. However, he struggled and was sent back to Triple-A. The team tinkered with his swing, leading to a poor performance for most of the second half (.246/.306/.536). A late-season surge boosted his overall numbers. If the Dodgers move Andre Ethier this off-season, Sands would be the odds-on favorite to start in right field in 2012.
Second team: Blake Smith, 23, High-A
Starting Pitcher 1: Rubby De La Rosa, 22, Double-A/Majors
Minors: 2-2, 2.92 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 11.7 K/9
Majors: 4-5, 3.74 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 8.9 K/9
- De La Rosa was electric in the minors and the majors. Tommy John Surgery ended his 2011 and likely most of his 2012 season. Still, he showed he has the stuff to be a quality Major League starting pitcher. His fastball is the highest in terms of average velocity of any starting pitcher in the Majors -- including Justin Verlander. He'll be a fixture in the Dodgers' 2013 rotation.
Starting Pitcher 2: Nathan Eovaldi, 21, Double-A/Majors
Minors: 6-5, 2.62 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 8.7 K/9
Majors: 1-2, 3.09 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 6.5 K/9
- Eovaldi has been the biggest surprise prospect this season. He was ranked No. 28 in my preseason rankings and did nothing but show he's a legitimate arm. Now, his future might lie in the bullpen, but for 2012, he should be a starter on this team. Like most young pitchers, he needs to improve his control and miss a few more bats.
Starting Pitcher 3: Garrett Gould, 19, Low-A
11-6, 2.40 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 7.6 K/9
- Gould has long since been a favorite of mine and he came into his own this season. He led the Loons' starters with 2.40 ERA and 123 2/3 innings pitched. There was some concern with his velocity coming into the season, as he worked in the mid-to-upper-80s last season. He got back to the low-90s this season, and the numbers speak for themselves. He should start at Rancho next season with a potential mid-season promotion to Chattanooga (ala Allen Webster).
Starting Pitcher 4: Angel Sanchez, 21, Low-A
8-4, 2.82 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 7.6 K/9
- Sanchez seemingly came from out of nowhere to put up some impressive numbers in his first year of professional ball. His ERA and WHIP are identical to Gould's and he put himself on the prospect radar. It'll be interesting to see how he does in the hitter-friendly California League in 2012.
Starting Pitcher 5: Zach Lee, 19, Low-A
9-6, 3.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 7.5 K/9
- This one was between Lee and Webster, but I gave the nod to Lee because of Webster's poor second half with the Lookouts. Lee was the Dodgers' prized possession from the 2010 draft and had a solid debut season. Lee is quite polished for his age and should get a taste of the Cal League in 2012. The Dodgers have been known to push their young, first-round high schoolers, so it wouldn't be shocking for Lee and his four-pitch repertoire to make it to Tennessee.
Second five: Webster, Chris Withrow, Aaron Miller, Red Patterson, Jon Michael Redding
Relief Pitcher 1: Kenley Jansen, 23, Majors/Double-A/High-A
Majors: 2-1, 3.30 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 15.0 K/9
Minors: 0-1, 3.38 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 14.6 K/9
- Jansen burst onto the scene in 2010, posting a 0.67 ERA and 13.7 K/9 rate. He was set to be the closer if Jonathan Broxton and/or Hong-Chih Kuo failed -- which they ultimately did. Jansen got off to a bit of a tough start, but has been lights-out since giving up five runs to the Braves on April 19. In 35 innings (32 games), he has a 1.28 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 15.4 K/9 and a .104 BAA. He could be in line to close games in 2012 for the Dodgers.
Relief Pitcher 2: Javy Guerra, 25, Double-A/Majors
Minors: 1-0, 1.06 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 3 SV
Majors: 2-0, 2.19 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 15 SV
- Guerra was not considered a prospect by most, yet somehow found himself in the Dodgers' bullpen in May. He's been one of the most consistent performers of the Dodgers' relief corp. Guerra has magically found control after not being able to do so in eight minor-league seasons (2.7 BB/9 in MLB, 5.2 BB/9 in MiLB). He probably won't be this good, but he could be serviceable bullpen arm for years to come.
Relief Pitcher 3: Shawn Tolleson, 23, Low-A/High-A/Double-A
7-2, 1.17 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 13.7 K/9, 25 SV
- Tolleson was a 30th-round steal for the Dodgers in 2010, and his 2011 performance is something to be quite excited about. Tolleson started with the Loons where he had a 19.8 K/9 ratio. That's unheard of. He moved up to the Quakes for 9 2/3 innings, striking out 15.8 batters per nine before spending the bulk of his season with the Lookouts. For Chattanooga, he pitched 44 1/3 innings and struck out 55 batters -- good for only a 11.2 K/9 rate. He could challenge for a bullpen spot with the Dodgers in Spring Training.
Relief Pitcher 4: Logan Bawcom, 22, Low-A/High-A
5-3, 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 11.3 K/9, 27 SV
- Bawcom enjoyed most of his success in the Midwest League, but made it to the Cal League for 21 2/3 innings. His overall 11.3 K/9 rate and 3.00 K/BB ratio are nice. He needs to have a little better control, though (3.8 BB/9, which isn't terrible). He should start 2012 in Tennessee.
Relief Pitcher 5: Steven Ames, 23, High-A/Double-A
2-2, 2.06 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 12.9 K/9, 14 SV
- Ames is a lot like Bawcom and enjoyed a nice season between Rancho and Chattanooga. For the Quakes, he had a better-than-Cliff-Lee-like 14.00 K/BB ratio and a 16.4 K/9 rate. Ames, like Tolleson, could challenge for a bullpen spot with the Dodgers. If he doesn't make it, he could start in Double- or Triple-A in 2012 and be one of the first relievers in line for a call-up.
Second five: Josh Lindblom, Cole St. Clair, Javier Solano, Scott McGough, Josh Wall