Sunday, September 2, 2012

Pederson, Puig, Rodriguez among Dodgers' prospects to play in AFL

The Dodgers are sending four position players and four pitchers to this year's Arizona Fall League following the season.

Teams tend to have legitimate prospects participate in the AFL, and the Dodgers are no exception this year.

Position players
Gorman Erickson
Joc Pederson
Yasiel Puig
Rafael Ynoa

Eric Eadington
Red Patterson
Steven Rodriguez
To be determined

Baseball America has the full rosters on its site. It lists the Dodgers' final pitcher as "TBD," so we'll see who it might be. I'd be shocked if it was a guy like Zach Lee or Chris Reed. It'll likely be another reliever.

Steve Ames went last season and because he's been dominant in 2012, I don't think he needs the extra work. I could see it being Juan Rodriguez. He was suspended earlier this season in Rancho Cucamonga for "conduct detrimental to the team," so he doesn't have a lot of mileage on his arm this season. However, his 9.6 walks per nine innings rate (no, that isn't a typo) is quite alarming. He could probably use the extra work.

There's also the possibility of the Dodgers not filling that spot. We'll see what happens.

I'm really excited to see how Pederson and Puig handle the league. Since a lot of good prospects play in the AFL, it's a solid determiner of potential success. It isn't the be all, end all, but it helps when evaluating players.

Pederson has been fantastic this season and is opening up eyes. Puig, as we all know, got a late start to the season after signing his record-breaking contract. He can definitely use the extra baseball.

Erickson was in the AFL last season and has been massively disappointing in 2012. We'll see if it helps him at all going forward.

Ynoa, who's finishing up his age-24 season (turned 25 one day after my birthday), has virtually zero pop, but he has decent on-base skills. My guess is the Dodgers want to see how he handles advanced competition. He's been decent in Chattanooga.

The same could be said about Eadington and Patterson. Both are a little old for their level, but both could be serviceable bullpen arms down the road. Patterson is a bit underrated and has handled Double-A well. Eadington was able to strike hitters out in his 11 Double-A innings, but he gave up too many hits (13). The Dodgers probably want to see if he's a viable option sometime next season or in 2014.

Rodriguez could be the first player from the 2012 draft class to get the call to the majors after Marcus Stroman's suspension. He'll get a little more work in Arizona and could conceivably make the Dodgers' bullpen out of 2013 Spring Training -- but I wouldn't put money on it.

So, if you live in Arizona and want to see some Dodger prospects, this might be your best chance to do so. Some of them will probably get Spring Training invites, but they won't play a whole lot.

Lee rolling in Chattanooga

Remember when people were freaking out over Zach Lee's poor Double-A performance? Well, he's done quite a bit to shut those people up.

Lee's last eight starts: 4-1, 1.97 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 7.3 H/9, 0.6 HR/9 (three home runs allowed), 2.0 BB/9, 6.9 K/9 and a 3.5 K/BB.

That's damn good for a 20-year-old in the Southern League. His strikeout numbers are down from Rancho, but that's to be expected going forward. He's more of a control/location pitcher than a strikeout guy. However, he has shown the ability to get the strikeout when needed.

Perhaps that worry should be focused on Chris Reed, who's had a lackluster year while adjusting to the rotation.

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

1 comment:

  1. It's Lee's pedestrian k rate that I worry about. Most front end starters have good k rates. It's rare to see a guy with a k rate under 7 who is considered a front end starter.

    Also, Chris reed is consistently going about three innings per start. Are they that concerned with his stamina? I wonder when they'll take the kid gloves off him.