Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ogden Raptors announce 2012 roster, less impressive than last year

With the Pioneer League season set to begin on Monday, it's time to take a look at the players who will be on the Ogden Raptors' initial roster.

Admittedly, this season's roster isn't as impressive as last year's, as players like Joc Pederson, O'Koyea Dickson and James Baldwin played for the team last year. But there are definitely some guys to keep an eye on down there.

The Dodgers send recent draftees and, most of the time, younger prospects to the Pioneer League.

Pitchers
Derek Cone
- Threw a couple innings with the Quakes last week, but will be on his third stint with the Raptors
Carlos De Aza
Gregg Downing
Michael Drowne
Carlos Frias
Sawil Gonzalez
Jake Hermsen
- 2012 29th-round draft pick
Owen Jones
- 2012 19th-round draft pick
Matt Laney
- Pitched with Great Lakes earlier this season (4.34 ERA, 1.51 WHIP)
Kazuki Nishijima
Craig Stem
Jason West
- Pitched with Great Lakes earlier this season (2.22 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Catchers
JJ Ethel
Jose Capellan

Infielders

Justin Boudreaux
- Struggled with Great Lakes this season (.144/.250/.212)
Tae-Hyeok Nam
- 21-year-old Korean prospect, had short stint with Ogden in 2009 (3-for-9, five strikeouts)
Alex Santana
- 2011 second-round pick, played in Arizona League last year (.238/.298/.339)
Darnell Sweeney
- 2012 13th-round pick
Kevin Thompson
Jesus Valdez
- 17th-round pick in 2011 (5th-rounder in 2010), played in Arizona League last year (.241/.312/.434)

Outfielders
Devon Ethier
- Andre Ethier's brother
Malcolm Holland
- Played 2B in Arizona League last year
Devin Shines
- Struggled with Great Lakes this season (.219/.287/.343)

Ross Stripling, the Dodgers' fifth-round pick, has said on Twitter he was going to Ogden, but he isn't on the roster. We'll see if that changes.

Keep an eye on...
  • Cone - He's probably pitcher with the most promise on the staff, but that isn't saying a whole lot because he's struggled so far in his professional career. He had a 5.03 ERA last year with the Raptors, but he also had a 10.6 K/9, so there's definitely promise. He was my No. 33 prospect heading into the season.
  • Santana - He was drafted high and is expected to produce. But he's just 18 years old and can't be expected to light up the league just yet. After Corey Seager, he's the Dodgers' best third base prospect. He was my No. 31 prospect heading into the season.
  • Valdez - He has good power potential and at 6'3, 180 pounds, he still has room to fill out. He's 20 years old and it's anyone's guess where he'll play. With Santana around, first base seems most likely. He was my No. 38 prospect heading into the season.
  • 2012 Draft Picks - Hermsen, Jones, Sweeney, all of whom were not professional ballplayers before June 4. It'll be interesting to see how they handle their first taste of pro ball.
Lineup
Here's my lineup and rotation if I'm Damon Berryhill (Raptors' manager):

Shines CF
Boudreaux 2B
Santana 3B
Valdez 1B (L)
Nam DH
Ethier RF
Ethel C
Holland LF
Sweeney SS (S)

Valdez is the only true left-handed hitter on the roster right now.

It's unlikely Seager will sign by Monday, but I assume he'll go to Ogden (or Arizona, I suppose) when he's signed. I'm a little surprised not to see Jesmuel Valentin on this roster, but that doesn't mean he won't get there eventually.

#####

J.P. Hoornstra of the L.A. Daily news wrote an article Friday about Dodgers' third-round pick Onelki Garcia, who signed with the team on Thursday. It's a good read about Garcia's trek to America and eventually professional baseball.
"After what Garcia has been through, with two months to work out a deal, the last place he seemed headed was free agency. Sure enough, he and the Dodgers agreed to terms Thursday. The terms were not immediately available."
Garcia could find himself in Ogden, but I'd like to see the 22-year-old be tested in Rancho Cucamonga.

Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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