Friday, September 28, 2012

Two Dodgers' draftees make Pioneer League's best prospects list

Dodgers' 2012 first-round pick Corey Seager on Thursday was named the fourth-best prospect in the Pioneer League by Baseball America.

Seager had a nice showing in the league after a somewhat slow start. He posted a .304/.383/.520 triple slash with eight home runs, nine doubles, a surprising eight stolen bases and a 10.4 percent walk rate.

The 18-year-old played shortstop in 44 of his 46 games (two games as the designated hitter), but struggled defensively, as he committed 17 errors. The Dodgers could give him one more shot at shortstop, but he's the team's future at third base.

Joining him in the Top 20 was fifth-round pick Ross Stripling. Because he pitched a lot of innings for Texas A&M prior to being drafted, his innings were limited in his debit. He made 14 appearances (12 starts) and threw just 36 1/3 innings.

But Stripling showed the ability to get strikeouts (9.5 K/9) while not walking hitters (1.5 BB/9). That's always good to see, especially in a hitters' league.

He doesn't have elite stuff, but Stripling has a good feel for pitching early in his career.

I was a little surprised to see the 22-year-old on the list, but I was even more surprised not to see another 22-year-old on the list.

Jeremy Rathjen, the Dodgers' 11th-round pick, posted better numbers than Seager (despite being four years older), but didn't make it.

Rathjen had a .323/443/.500 triple slash with nine home runs, 17 doubles, 16 stolen bases and a 14.8 percent walk rate.

The Corey Hart clone fell to the 11th round because of a knee injury. Otherwise, he easily would have been a Top-10 round selection. He's definitely a sleeper in the organization and it will be interesting to see him in full-season ball.

I also thought shortstop Darnell Sweeney was possibly an omission. The 13th-rounder wasn't expected to hit much when he was drafted, but he's adjusted quite well to professional ball. He could be a big mover next season, as he's already reached Low-A and could conceivably reach Double-A with a fantastic 2013.

There's a reason Assistant General Manager Logan White is excited about the Dodgers' 2012 draft class. I'm not as excited, but its definitely growing on me. I need to see the prospects at the higher levels of the minors, but so far, so good.

Pederson and Ely earn top honors

Outfield prospect Joc Pederson and pitcher John Ely were named the Dodgers' Minor League Players of the Year on Thursday.

As you'll recall, I also named Pederson my player of the year last week. But I think I overlooked Ely, who had a fantastic year with Albuquerque. I focused on prospects, which is why I went with Matt Magill as the pitcher of the year. Despite the oversight, I stand by my selection.

But congratulations to Pederson and Ely. They both had amazing years.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Perfect Game


  1. Dude, a 22 YO in the Pioneer League is not a prospect.

  2. Not Rathjen's fault the team started him in the Pioneer League. Also not saying he's the next Mike Trout or anything, but I thought he deserved a look.

    There's a couple other 22-year-olds on the list and a lot of 21-year-olds.