Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chattanooga Lookouts announce 2013 opening day roster, led by Yasiel Puig

Puig
Next up to announce their opening day roster is the Chattanooga Lookouts – easily the most talent team in the Dodgers’ farm system.
Half of my Top 10 prospects will begin the season with the Lookouts, led by the incomparable Yasiel Puig. Joining Puig in the outfield is Dodgers’ Minor League Player of the Year Joc Pederson, Blake Smith and Bobby Coyle. Four outfielders, three spots: not unlike the Major League situation involving Puig and the Dodgers’ starting outfield. But I digress.

The infield is less impressive, but Arizona Fall League star Rafael Ynoa returns for his second go-round with the Lookouts. C.J. Retherford also returns and Chris Jacobs – with his massive power potential – gets a promotion to Double-A.

I hit on 17 of 25 players from my February prediction.

Roster

Catchers

Infielders
Chris Jacobs
C.J. Retherford
Rafael Ynoa

Smith
Outfielders
Joc Pederson
Yasiel Puig
Blake Smith

Starting pitchers

Relief pitchers

Eadington
The rotation is stacked. All five of the pitchers could enjoy success in the Southern League, especially Lee and Reed, who are on their second stint in the league. Rasmussen has Double-A experience, but not Southern League experience. Garcia is the big wild card here, as his lone Double-A appearance was electric (3 IP, 7 K in the playoffs). I didn't see him at spring training and didn't hear much about him there, so I’m a little surprised he’s still slated for Chattanooga to start this season.

The bullpen has just one surprise – Yimi Garcia. He threw just more than 10 innings in High-A last year and I fully expected him to go there in 2013. But it’s nice to see the Dodgers challenging one of their better relief prospects.

My best guess at a lineup

Ynoa 2B/SS
Pederson LF
Puig CF
Wise 1B
Smith RF
Retherford 3B
Coyle DH
Erickson C
Rojas SS/2B

Pederson
I do have Puig playing center field so the Dodgers can see if he’s a legitimate option there going forward. Pederson likely ends up in left field long-term anyway, and Smith profiles as a classic right fielder. Overall, it should be a really good defensive outfield. Coyle can handle a corner outfield spot when the other guys need a day off.

This lineup is pretty deep. Ynoa has decent on-base skills and the Lookouts could do worse than guys like Retherford and Coyle hitting 6-7.

The bullpen won’t be as good as it was toward the end of last season, but there are other quality, live arms in Acosta, Eadington, Infante and Miller.

This team should be one of the best in the Southern League (at least until it loses Puig). Chattanooga could get some midseason reinforcements from Rancho Cucamonga, as is customary.

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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