Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dodgers invite top prospects to Winter Development Program in Arizona

The Dodgers have invited 13 12 prospects to their annual Winter Development Program, which begins next week at Camelback Ranch.

The camp is usually held at Dodger Stadium, but as Ken Gurnick wrote, the stadium is undergoing major renovations, making it unavailable for use.

Position players (5 4)
Tim Federowicz
Jeremy Moore
Joc Pederson
Yasiel Puig
Matt Wallach

Pitchers (8)
Steve Ames
Onelki Garcia
Zach Lee
Matt Magill
Rob Rasmussen
Chris Reed
Paco Rodriguez
Chris Withrow

Last year's camp included players such as Rubby De La Rosa, Gorman Erickson, Alfredo Silverio, Shawn Tolleson and Allen Webster -- just to name a few.

This year's list is even more impressive. Aside from Wallach and the recently signed Moore (former member of the Angels' farm system), I couldn't be happier with those the Dodgers invited. Wallach and Withrow have attended three development programs prior to this, so they're seasoned veterans in that regard.

I'm particularly interested to see what Puig and Garcia take from the camp. They didn't get a lot of playing time in the minors this season, so they should benefit from the big club seeing the Cuban duo for an extended period of time..

Despite the inclusion of a couple 2012 draft picks (Garcia and Rodriguez), first-year draftees don't usually get the nod, which is why you don't see the likes of Corey Seager and Jesmuel Valentin invited. The camp focuses on players who are closer to or have already seen a little bit of time in the majors.

Speaking of Jeremy Moore...

Moore was signed to a minor-league contract by the Dodgers. The 25-year-old missed the entire 2012 season with a hip injury.

The Angels nabbed him in the sixth round of the 2005 MLB Draft out of North Caddo High School in Louisiana.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball had this to say from August 2011 about the toolsy outfielder:
"The 24-year-old Moore is a left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower, listed at 6-1, 190 pounds. His only weak physical tool is a substandard throwing arm, although this hasn't stopped the Angels from using him in right field frequently. He is very fast and can handle center field without difficulty. He'll make errors on defense, but his range is a major asset.

His speed also shows up on offense, particularly with the large number of triples he hits. He's exceeded double-digits in triples for four consecutive seasons. He is still refining his baserunning skills to go with the speed tool and isn't a terrific percentage stealer, although his ratios are improving. Unlike many speedy players, Moore has legitimate gap power and will knock occasional home runs.

Moore's biggest problem is plate discipline. His swing is mechanically sound, but he is overaggressive and seldom draws walks, hampering his OBP and reducing the value of his speed at the top of an order. A .299 batting average and .334 OBP aren't that impressive for Salt Lake and the Pacific Coast League, and with his current approach he would be hard-pressed to duplicate these numbers in the majors.

That said, Moore's toolset stands out, and his combination of speed, occasional power, and defensive ability is tempting. The flaws in his skills give him a high risk factor, but even a small amount of progress in his hitting approach could take him a long way."
It's pretty easy to see the lack of plate discipline with Moore's numbers. He has a 6.7 percent walk rate in 2,469 minor-league plate-appearances. And while he has speed (124 stolen bases), he isn't as successful as one may think (caught 63 times).

Moore showed good pop in the Angels' system, posting a career .473 slugging percentage. He has 92 doubles, 62 triples and 75 home runs for his career.

He compares favorably to former Dodger-now-Marlin prospect Alfredo Silverio. Their numbers are pretty similar (.292/.326/.479 to .277/.329/.473 for Moore), but Moore can legitimately handle center field.

Moore is likely slated for Albuquerque, where he figures to thrive (if he's fully recovered from the hip injury). While his plate discipline is concerning, his tools are intriguing.

Photo credits
Rodriguez: Courtesy of Eric Stephen, True Blue L.A.
Moore: Keith Allison, Flickr

1 comment:

  1. Are the Mariners really adding Ethier or Stanton to build a team of outfielders and DH?