Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Looking at Baseball America's Top 10 Dodgers' prospects from 1983-1991

Baseball America released its archived Top 10 prospect lists from 1983 to 2000. I’m going to break down all of the Dodger prospects in those years. This is 1983 through 1991. The remaining years will be in another post (likely tomorrow).

1983

1. Greg Brock 1B
4. Cecil Espy OF
5. Gil Reyes C
8. Ed Amelung OF
10. Ricky Wright LHP

- I was all of 1 year old when this list was produced, but there are some recognizable names. Brock was the Dodgers’ top prospect in his age-26 season -- something that’s unheard of these days. He had a 10-year career. Fernandez is the most successful prospect from this list, but Stubbs and Maldonado enjoyed decent major league careers. Anderson was part of the 1988 World Series-winning team.

1984

1. Gil Reyes C
3. Sid Fernandez LHP
4. Dave Anderson SS
5. Franklin Stubbs 1B
8. Cecil Espy OF
10. Mariano Duncan 2B/OF
- Reyes debuted at age 19, playing 19 games. He played 20 games total until 1991, when he played 83 with the Montreal Expos. He was a bust. Lovelace works in the Dodgers’ front office as the vice president of player personnel. Duncan went onto become a serviceable major leaguer.

1985

1. Gil Reyes C
2. Mariano Duncan 2B
3. Franklin Stubbs 1B
7. Jose Gonzalez OF
9. Greg Mayberry RHP
10. Vance Lovelace LHP
- Duncan and Stubbs are really the only players of note here. Hillegas pitched 515 1/3 innings in his 7-year career.

1986

1. Jose Gonzalez OF
2. Greg Mayberry RHP
4. Franklin Stubbs 1B
5. Shawn Hillegas RHP
7. Ralph Bryant OF
8. Mike Watters 2B
9. Dennis Livingston LHP
10. Scott May RHP
- Hamilton was one of the first Dodgers I remember seeing, but he didn’t do much in his career. Gwynn was a part-timer and retired after his age-31 season.

1987

1. Jose Gonzalez OF
2. Jeff Hamilton 3B
3. Shawn Hillegas RHP
4. Greg Mayberry RHP
6. Chris Gwynn OF
7. Mike Watters 2B
9. Ralph Bryant OF
10. Manny Francois 2B
- Devereaux and Martinez are the best players on this list. Martinez went onto be one of the best Dodger pitchers of the late-1980s and early-90s.

1988

1. Ramon Martinez RHP
2. Dan Opperman RHP
3. Tim Belcher RHP
4. Shawn Hillegas RHP
5. Mike Devereaux OF
6. Jose Tapia RHP
7. Juan Bell SS
8. Chris Gwynn OF
9. Chris Nitchting RHP
- The world champs got a ton of help from Belcher, who threw nearly 180 quality innings as a 26-year-old. Offerman makes his first of four appearances in the Dodgers’ top 10.

1989

1. Ramon Martinez RHP
2. Jose Offerman SS
3. Dan Opperman RHP
5. Bill Bene RHP
8. John Wettland RHP
10. Mike James RHP
- Hansen carved out a niche as a pinch-hitter, Wettland would be let go too early and Karros would win the National League Rookie of the Year three years later. Probably the best top 10 of this 9-year stretch.

1990

1. Kiki Jones RHP
2. Jose Offerman SS
4. Braulio Castillo OF
5. Eric Karros 1B
8. Dave Hansen 3B
9. Dan Opperman RHP
10. Raul Mondesi OF
- Goodwin was a slappy, speedy guy. Vizcaino was a utility infielder and Mondesi ended up being the second- or third-best prospect on these lists.

1991

1. Jose Offerman SS
2. Raul Mondesi OF
4. Henry Rodriguez 1B/OF
5. Tom Goodwin OF
6. Kiki Jones RHP
7. Dan Opperman RHP
9. Eric Karros 1B
10. Dave Hansen 3B
- Rodriguez went to Montreal and had a 40-home run season while we all know about that Pedro guy.

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The Dodgers had some decent talent in this 9-year period: a hall of famer, some multiple-time all-stars and two rookies of the year. Considering the volatility of prospects, I’d call this stretch a win and it predates some of the great prospects to come.

Photo credit: bryce_edwards, Flickr

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