Thursday, October 4, 2012

No surprise: Joc Pederson and Zach Lee two of the Cal League's best

Dodger prospects Joc Pederson and Zach Lee both cracked the Top 5 of Baseball America's California League Top 20 list, published today.

Pederson checked in at No. 3 while Lee was No. 5 on the list.

Pederson's amazing second half helped to catapult him near the top of this list. Overall, he finished the season with a .313/.396/.516 triple slash with 18 home runs, 70 RBI, 96 runs and 26 stolen bases.

What made Pederson's performance that much more impressive is the fact he's only 20 years old and is roughly two years younger than league-average.

Pederson was also named the Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Year. I bestowed the same honor upon him on this site last month.

Lee was the highest-rated pitcher on this list and there were just six pitchers in the Top 20. That's not surprising considering the Cal League is a notorious hitter's haven.

Before his promotion to Chattanooga Lee, also 20 for most of the season (turned 21 Sept. 13), had some really good peripherals with the Quakes: 1.26 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 8.5 K/9 and a 4.03 FIP.

He gave up a few too many hits (9.8 per nine) an home runs (1.5 per nine), but he was good otherwise. Lee showed improvement in those areas in the Southern League.

I wrote about his time in the Cal League earlier this season. Lee's ability is unquestioned and his floor is higher than most pitching prospects.

Chris Reed and Yasiel Puig were mentioned in the piece, but they didn't have enough playing time to qualify. Reed would have been, at best No. 6 and at worst No. 10 on this list had he qualified.

Former Dodger-now-Mariner prospect Leon Landry was ranked No. 15 on this list after winning the league batting title. He was traded along with Logan Bawcom to Seattle in July for Brandon League. He had a truly remarkable season after struggling mightily in the Midwest League in 2011.

Jim Shonerd, the author of this list, has written the last two Dodger Top 30s for BA and it will be interesting to see if he does it again.

It will also be interesting to see if he does indeed rank Pederson (presumably No. 1) ahead of Lee. Lee is still my top player in the system, but it's a close race among the top four (Puig and Corey Seager included).

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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