Sunday, August 5, 2012

Yasiel Puig comfortable in the AZL, plus notes on Seager and Pederson

OK, it's only been four games, but Yasiel Puig is having no problem adjusting to professional baseball -- even if it's in one of the lowest levels of the minors.

The 21-year-old smacked two home runs on Saturday and has a .313/.313/.938 triple slash so far. He's struck out four times in 16 plate appearances without drawing a walk. His plate discipline was reported to be good, so we'll see where he is in, say, 100 plate appearances.

Puig played at the highest level of baseball in Cuba, which is equivalent to Class-A ball in professional baseball. It would be nice to see him get the call to Low-A Great Lakes or (for selfish reasons) High-A Rancho Cucamonga, but I'd be surprised if he is promoted this season. Hell, there were questions just last week if Puig would even play this season.

I'm expecting Puig to dominate the Arizona League and go into next season as one of the Dodger top prospects while being assigned to either Low-A or High-A. For his development, I'm hoping the Dodgers push him a little. While many believe they overpaid for him ($42 million), I don't think there's any harm in starting him at Rancho before promoting him to Chattanooga midseason (or sooner).

The Dodgers and the rest of baseball need to see what Puig is made of. Him toiling in the low minors isn't going to accomplish that.

Seager hits first home run

On the same the Dodgers' biggest international signing hit two home runs, the Dodgers' 2012 first-round draft pick Corey Seager hit his first career home run.

It took him 25 games, but he finally was able to drive one out of the park. Seager's power was the biggest question mark surrounding him during the pre-draft process. So far, he has just five extra base hits (four doubles and the aforementioned home run) in 109 plate appearances.

Power is usually the last thing to develop in a hitting prospect, but Seager has struggled a little bit in his debut: .253/.333/.326. I like the on-base ability (10 walks) and the decent strikeout rate (15 in 109 PAs).

Seager is just 18 years old, so I'm not too concerned about his lack of power thus far. If we're still talking about this in few years, then it might be something to be concerned about. He's still the Dodgers' future at third base and shall be until he proves he's not able to handle it.

Pederson showing his ability

It took awhile, but Joc Pederson is showing what makes him one of the Dodgers' best hitting prospects. His OPS was .739 on June 30. His OPS is now .846. In just more than a month, he's improved it almost 100 points. That's a great sign.

He had a three-home run game on July 1, but he's also been walking a lot more. He's drawn 21 walks since June 30. Before that, he had just 19 on the season. He also has 16 extra base hits in that time (including the three homers).

With Leon Landry being traded (he hit for the cycle earlier this week), Pederson should finish the season with the Quakes and begin 2013 with the Lookouts. Plus, he's still just 20 years old. There's no need to rush him to Double-A (and there isn't much room for him there anyway).

It's nice to see him improving his play as the season progresses. I'm expecting big things from him next season.

Photo credits
Puig: YouTube screen cap
Seager: Courtesy of Perfect Game
Pederson: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue


  1. Seager hit two bombs today. Puig, Seager and Pederson are our best 3 hitting prospects in a long time.

    Seems like this years draft is turning out pretty well with Jesmuel Valentin, Jeremy Rathjen and Pat Stover all hitting well. Let's hope the draft gave our system the hitting depth it needed.

    1. Cool... We've still got a couple of bats in the high minors to hope for: Sands is meteoric right now, Castellanos & Retherford are both doing very well. They recently moved Castellanos to 1st base... preparing for a Loney-less future maybe?