Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A brief look at the Dodgers' farm system following trading season

The Dodgers were as active as they've been in years on the trade market this year. They acquired some big-name talent (Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez), but they also gave up quite a few young players.

Here's a scorecard of Dodger prospects and young players traded since July 25 (Ramirez trade):

Position players
Ivan De Jesus
Leon Landry
Jerry Sands (player to be named later)

Logan Bawcom
Rubby De La Rosa (PTBNL)
Nathan Eovaldi
Josh Lindblom
Ethan Martin
Scott McGough
Ryan O'Sullivan
Allen Webster

As you can see, the Dodgers certainly dealt from their strength. For the last few seasons, the Dodgers' biggest strength has been their young pitching. That's what the farm system was known for.

Of the three position players the Dodgers traded, two of them have every day potential. Sands, who curiously wasn't given a legitimate shot in Los Angeles, was sent to Boston in the August blockbuster. Landry, a player I'm higher on than most, just won the California League batting title (.341). He was traded with Bawcom to get Brandon League. He also led the league in triples (18) while finishing in second in total bases (262) and doubles (34).

The Dodgers traded eight young pitchers. Not many teams can do that and still have solid pitching depth. Don't get me wrong, it isn't as good as it was a couple months ago, but there are still some quality arms remaining. But the system, even more so now, lacks front-end starters.

Zach Lee and Chris Reed are the organization's top two pitching prospects by far -- and Lee is in a class my himself. Then there are starting pitching prospects like Garrett Gould, Matt Magill, Onelki Garcia and Andres Santiago. Definitely not the same potential star power as before with De La Rosa, Webster and Eovaldi paired with Lee and Reed.

The 2012 draft and International signings didn't really help strengthen the pitching side of things. Garcia was drafted in the third round and Zachary Bird, pegged as a sleeper by many, was a ninth-round pick. And we won't know much about a guy like Bryan Munoz, a 16-year-old, for a few years.

For the first time in a long time, it seems the Dodgers have more high-end (for this system, at least) hitting prospects than pitching prospects. Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager all have potential to be above-average everyday players.

So, Logan White has some work to do rebuild the pitching side of the system. Relief pitching is still strong (Shawn Tolleson, Steve Ames, Steven Rodriguez, Javier Solano), but the Dodgers will need some high-end starters down on the farm going forward.

Speaking of Andres Santiago...

This is my latest at Chad Moriyama's blog about the 22-year-old pitching prospect who's making a name for himself this season.
"There are a couple things that impress me most about Santiago. First, his increased strikeout rate. While he was able to get solid rates in the past (8.0, 7.4, 8.4 K/9 the last three seasons), he’s stepped up to another level this year. His 9.8 K/9 is second only to Matt Magill for best among starting pitchers in the system."
Looking forward to see how he handles a full season in Double-A.
Photo credits 
Reed: Courtesy of Brandon Lennox, True Blue LA
Landry: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue


  1. All the best to all the minor league players. Excited to see Songco next season. He is not 100% healthy this season because of his injury but he still has the raw power. His numbers was incredible las season 313 with 48 doulbles 29 homers 114 RBI 367 OBP. Hope to see him in AA next season, he already proved himself in high A. Also excited to see Blake Smith, BCG as well. Dustin, thank you for all your post I really enjoy reading them and wish you all the best!!!!

  2. Dustin...what do we know about Onelki Garcia..2 nice starts at end of season..but neither was on MilBtv...
    we know he has plus fb.good curve has could be plus..any other pitch dev yet..i can't find much on guy...i see he has underdev chup..
    your thoughts..?

  3. Mike Newman of FanGraphs saw Garcia's performance in the Southern League playoffs. He said he was so impressed he'd rank Garcia ahead of Chris Reed.

    Said he was up to 93 MPH on the fastball. I'm definitely bullish on him. He'll be a Top 10 prospect for me when I release my Top 50 this winter.