Monday, September 30, 2013

Seager, Urias on Baseball America's Top 20 Midwest League prospects list

While I thought this list was going to drop tomorrow, it dropped today, and the Dodgers landed two prospects on the Midwest League Top 20 prospects list from Baseball America.

Teenage phenoms Corey Seager checked in at No. 4 behind the likes of Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa and Robert Stephenson (all justified), while Julio Urias was ranked at No. 7 in the league.

Seager had a fantastic showing at Great Lakes by hitting .309/.389/.529 with 12 home runs, 18 doubles and a 10.9 percent walk rate. That’s coming from a 19-year-old in a great pitcher’s league.

Seager played shortstop for the Loons. Despite Dodger folk thinking he can stick at shortstop long-term, a move to third base is all but inevitable.

Urias’ debut was surprising, but he did nothing but impress the entire season. While on a strict innings limit, Urias was able to post a 2.48 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and a ridiculous 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings rate.

But perhaps the most impressive thing about the lefty was his command and control, which stems from his poise and maturity on the mound. Pitching the majority of his debut season as a 16-year-old, he posted a 2.7 walks per nine innings rate. For comparison’s sake, Urias’ teammates -- first-rounder Chris Anderson and second-rounder Tom Windle -- posted a 4.7 BB/9 and 3.4 BB/9, respectively. Anderson is 20 and Windle is 22.

What Urias did was downright amazing. It’s hard to project what a now-17-year-old will do going forward, but if his debut season is any indication, the Dodgers might have the next great left-handed pitching prospect.

Speaking of Anderson, he had a really good debut by posting a 1.96 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and a 9.8 K/9 in his first 46 innings. I thought he warranted consideration for the Top 20, and he probably got it (someone will probably ask it in the chat later today).  And while Windle put up some solid numbers, he probably pitched a little over his head.

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The BA California League Top 20 will publish on Thursday. Unfortunately, Seager won’t qualify for that list because he didn’t average one plate appearance per team game in Rancho Cucamonga (114 plate appearances, 140 games). Ross Stripling is in the same boat as Seager because he didn’t appear often enough. The only Quake who I could conceivably see making the list is Scott Schebler. If he does, it’d likely be on the latter-third of the list.

Photo credits
Seager: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue
Urias: Nick Anderson, Courtesy of the Great Lakes Loons

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