Showing posts with label Andres Santiago. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andres Santiago. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Most surprising and disappointing Dodgers' prospects for 2013

There are surprises and disappointments in every sport, every year. I'm focusing on the Dodger prospects who surprised and disappointed.

Believe it or not, the "surprise" list was tougher to compile than expected. It's always easy to find the prospects who underperformed or didn't meet expectations.

No one in their right mind expected Julio Urias to do what he did in the Midwest League in his age-16 season, so he’s in a class all by himself.

The age listed is the player's age for the 2013 season.

Most surprising players

Noel Cuevas, OF, 21 years old
.284/.341/.454, 12 HR, 66 RBI, 38 SB, 6.9% BB rate
2013 Top 50 ranking: Not ranked
2013 Top 25 midseason: 24
- Cuevas had a pedestrian 2012 season across three minor-league levels. He was promoted to Rancho Cucamonga for the 2013 season and had his best year to date. He led the Quakes in stolen bases while playing predominantly center field. He was also one of three Quakes to post at least 20 doubles, 10 triples and 10 home runs. He could be a product of his environment, as he posted an OPS 157 points better at home than he did on the road. The conditions at LoanMart Field (The Epicenter) are fairly neutral, so a better indicator of his true skill at the plate could come next season in Chattanooga in his age-22 season.

Joey Curletta, OF, 19 years old
.326/.402/.461, 5 HR, 42 RBI, 41 R, 10.3% BB rate
2013 Top 50 ranking: NR
2013 Top 25 midseason: NR
- Despite playing in short-season ball, Curletta showed marked improvement from last season. The Dodgers’ sixth-round draft pick in 2012, Curletta established himself as one of the Ogden Raptors’ best hitters, posting an improved walk rate and a reduced strikeout rate. Curletta could be a big-time sleeper heading into 2014. He’ll need to prove himself in full-season ball. Here’s hoping he opens the season as the Loons’ right fielder. His massive power potential bodes well for his future, too.

Scott Schebler, OF, 22 years old
.296/.360/.581, 27 HR, 91 RBI, 95 R, 6.5% BB rate
2013 Top 50 ranking: 37
2013 Top 25 midseason: 18
- Schebler was my choice for first-team outfielder on my all-prospect team, and he was quite surprising in 2013. The talent was there, even if the results didn’t show it in 2012. He was the Quakes’ MVP in 2013, leading the team in virtually every major offensive category. And he posted good reverse platoon splits, which bodes well for him going forward. He’ll likely be one of the Lookouts’ best hitters next season, so he’ll need to prove 2013 wasn’t a fluke. He’s a corner outfielder long-term. He has enough arm for right to be at least average.

Most disappointing players

Garrett Gould, RHP, 21 years old
5-12, 6.64 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 10.0 H/9, 7.9 K/9
2013 Top 50 ranking: 9
2013 Top 25 midseason: NR
- Gould has long since been a favorite of mine, but his prospect star has diminished significantly since the start of the 2012 season. He had a poor showing with the Quakes last year and was even worse in 2013. Despite that, he earned a promotion to Double-A, where he didn't fare much better. The thinking was along the lines of what the Dodgers did with Ethan Martin a couple years ago. He struck out more than a batter per inning in Double-A as a starter and reliever. But his overall numbers in 2013 were disappointing to me.

Andres Santiago, RHP, 23 years old
5-12, 4.97 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 5.0 BB/9, 7.3 K/9
2013 Top 50 ranking: 18
2013 Top 25 midseason: NR
- Santiago was a surprise prospect last season, posting some really good numbers at High-A and Double-A last year, prompting me to rank him in my presason top 20. His numbers went the wrong way in virtually every category. By all indications, the stuff is still there, but his command went to hell. His 5.0 BB/9 is the worst of his career (save his debut year at age 17). He'll enter his age-24 season with something to prove, but he could be a middle reliever if everything clicks.

Jesus Valdez, 1B/OF, 21 years old
.249/.309/.397, 9 HR, 47 RBI, 41 R, 6.7% BB rate
2013 Top 50 ranking: 24
2013 Top 25 midseason: NR
- Valdez had done all his damage in short-season ball before 2013. He made his full-season debut at Great Lakes, and it was a flop. He posted a .454 OPS in 28 games, prompting a demotion back to Ogden. Valdez will likely get another shot in Great Lakes in 2014, but the numbers are not in his favor. Joc Pederson struggled at Great Lakes in 2011, but he was also 19 years old and has since thrived in the Dodgers' system.


Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dodgers' Rob Rasmussen establishes himself as legitimate pitching prospect

John Ely burst onto the scene with the Dodgers in 2010. The team had acquired him and Jon Link from the White Sox for Juan Pierre. Elymania spawned and lasted for longer than anyone could have expected. But it ended seemingly as quickly as it began.

Fast forward nearly three years. Ely was coming off of a masterful performance in the Pacific Coast League in 2012. He was named the Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year, an honor I never would have thought would go to a guy pitching half his games in Albuquerque. His performance, while great, wasn’t enough to keep him around. The Dodgers traded him to the Houston Astros for left-handed pitcher and Southern California native and former Dodger draftee Rob Rasmussen.

Rasmussen, 24, is making a mark of his own, as he’s been the Chattanooga Lookouts’ second-best pitcher (behind Zach Lee) this season.

Not a physically imposing pitcher, Rasmussen has a 3.12 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.27 FIP, 7.1 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9 and an 8.7 K/9 in eight starts with the Lookouts this season. That’s actually a really good line for a guy who had just 11 appearances in Double-A before this season.

Rasmussen has never been a big strikeout pitcher, averaging 7.3 per nine innings coming into the season. But Rasmussen has raised his rate by nearly 1.5 K/9 pitching in one of the more advanced leagues in the minors. That’s impressive. He’s also reduced his walk rate while also reducing his hits per nine innings rate. That’s a recipe for success.

Rasmussen is listed at 5’9, and that might be generous. Short pitchers don’t usually last in the rotation, and they usually do if they have elite arms (see: Martinez, Pedro). But Rasmussen is proving he’s more than just a future reliever.

He’s averaged 145 innings pitched in his first two full seasons. He’s on pace to best that this season. However, he’s only throwing 5.4 innings per start. He’ll need to increase that number going forward.

Being left-handed is an advantage for Rasmussen, as his stuff isn’t elite. He throws in the 89-92 MPH range that plays up due to his being left-handed. His two breaking balls are similarly matched. His curveball has a chance to be solid-average while his slider flashes plus potential. He also has a fringy changeup. Obviously, it’s all working for him in the Southern League so far.

Here’s what I wrote about Rasmussen (No. 22) in my preseason Dodgers’ Top 50 prospects list.
Rasmussen was acquired in December for John Ely, a net gain for the Dodgers and their farm system. Rasmussen was drafted in the 27th round of the 2007 draft by the Dodgers. He didn't sign and ended up attending UCLA. The Astros popped him in the second round of the 2010 draft and was traded in July for Carlos Lee. Despite being a small pitcher, he's started 53 of 60 career games in the minors. He reached Double-A Corpus Christi, where he didn't fare particularly well (4.80 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.07 FIP). Rasmussen has a four-pitch arsenal, featuring an 89-92 MPH fastball that touches 94, a slider that flashes plus potential, and a potentially average changeup and curveball. Like many lefties, he throws from a three-quarters arm angle. He also has a compact delivery. While he's likely destined for bullpen duty, there's no reason to pull Rasmussen from the rotation until he proves he can't handle it. He's definitely the exception, not the rule, when it comes to being big-bodied starting pitchers.
If he keeps it up, Rasmussen could be a much more significant prospect than many thought he was before – and after – the Dodgers signed. He’s teaming with Lee to form a nice 1-2 punch for the Lookouts as Chris Reed and Andres Santiago are struggling and Onelki Garcia is on the disabled list (and he wasn’t pitching well anyway).

The Dodgers went from Pierre to Ely (who is out after having Tommy John surgery) to Rasmussen. I’d say that’s a win for the Dodgers and Ned Colletti. The latter part of that sentence is something that is the exception, not the rule.

Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dodgers' full-season minor league team preview: Chattanooga Lookouts

This is the third in a four-part series projecting the Dodgers' full-season minor league teams. Up next, the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Of all the Dodgers' minor league teams, this one should be the best. Once you see the roster, you'll see what I'm talking about.

The Lookouts were the only full-season Dodger minor league affiliate to make the postseason, thanks to a 41-29 second half.

Pederson
Chattanooga faced off against the Jackson Generals (Mariners), filled with a bevy of prospects (James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Mike Zunino, just to name a few). Jackson took the first two games of the series before an absolutely dominant pitching performance by Chattanooga gave the team its only playoff win. Jackson would take the series with in the next game.

Led by Nick Buss, Blake Smith and J.T. Wise, the Lookouts actually struggled a bit. They received some late-season reinforcements from Rancho Cucamonga in the form of C.J. Retherford and Bobby Coyle, but it wasn't enough to help the offense.

The pitching is where the Lookouts thrived. The team started the season with Nathan Eovaldi, Matt Magill, Ethan Martin and Allen Webster in the rotation. Unfortunately for the Lookouts, only Magill is still with the organization. The team did add Zach Lee, Chris Reed and Andres Santiago to bolster the staff late in the season -- all of whom are expected to be Lookouts for at least a portion of 2012.

The bullpen was great, with Geison Aguasviva, Steve Ames, Logan Bawcom (later traded), Red Patterson and Javier Solano leading the way.

Joc Pederson and Onelki Garcia made cameos in the playoffs and both could be two of the brightest starts on the squad.

The 2013 roster will be filled with all kinds of talent, including the $42-million man: Yasiel Puig.

Projected roster

O'Brien
Catchers (2)
Gorman Erickson
Christopher O'Brien

Infielders (6)
Joe Becker
Casio Grider
C.J. Retherford
Miguel Rojas
Angelo Songco
Scott Wingo

Outfielders (5)
Bobby Coyle
Omar Luna
Joc Pederson
Yasiel Puig
Kyle Russell

Lee
Starting pitchers (5)
Onelki Garcia
Zach Lee
Aaron Miller
Rob Rasmussen
Chris Reed

Relievers (7)
Ryan Acosta
Freddie Cabrera
Kelvin De La Cruz
Jose Dominguez
Eric Eadington
Jordan Roberts
Andres Santiago

Guys like Erickson  and Retherford could see promotions to Albuquerque, but there's a lot of players in line ahead of them. The offense looks like it could be strong, especially if Songco has a bounce-back season. The outfield will likely be formidable with some big-time prospects.

The pitching looks absolutely filthy. The rotation is headed by three of my top eight prospects, while Rasmussen could be a nice fit after his acquisition from Houston.

The bullpen probably won't be as good as it was last season, but Dominguez, after his 25-game suspension, should be the team's closer. Santiago, who has ability as a starter, is forced to the 'pen in favor of former supplemental first-round pick Miller. Those two are interchangeable in my eyes. Cruz could make the roster as a non-roster invite and gives the Lookouts three left-handers (along with Eadington and Roberts).

My lineup
Wingo 2B
Pederson LF
Puig CF
Songco 1B
Retherford 3B
Russell RF
Coyle DH
Erickson/O'Brien C
Grider SS

I don't think it's too likely Wingo leads off (hell, he might start with Rancho Cucamonga), but he has good on-base ability -- second only to Erickson in this lineup -- but there's no way Jody Reed (yes, that Jody Reed) bats his catcher leadoff. The 2-7 spots could be damn good, if everyone is clicking.

The rotation should be the team's bread and butter, as it has six legitimate starters and some highly ranked prospects.

Photo credits: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dodgers' news: Kenley Jansen, Shohei Otani, Yunel Escobar, Andres Santiago

Kenley Jansen underwent successful heart surgery on Tuesday. His recovery time will be three to four months.

Hopefully, this solves Jansen's issues, as he's missed time the last two seasons with this. Barring anything unforeseen, he should be ready to go for 2013. And the Dodgers are going to need him anchoring the bullpen.

Otani update

Chad Moriyama has a great breakdown of the Shohei Otani situation.

The Dodgers need to land this kid. His potential is off the charts. But he might not even be the best pitching prospect in Japan.

Ben Badler of Baseball America had a look at Otani as a prospect and wrote there's an even better pitching prospect in Japan (subscription required).

Baseball America also released its report card for the Dodgers' 2013 draft class (subscription required).

Yunel Escobar for shortstop?

Mike Petriello wonders if the Dodgers should take a run at Yunel Escobar.

It's definitely an out-of-the-box idea, but it also seems like an idea that was better suited during the McCourt era. Still, you can't fault Petriello for thinking about it. Many don't want Hanley Ramirez to be the Dodgers' shortstop come Opening Day 2013. I can't say I blame them, but I also think his offensive potential at the position outweighs his defensive shortcomings (and I can't believe I just typed that).

Of course, I could change my tune come the end of April and Ramirez has butchered multiple plays at shot.

Santiago shines in AFL Wednesday

Andres Santiago made his third start of the Arizona Fall League season and had his best outing by far: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB (both in the first inning), 5 K.

The only negative part about his performance was his strike percentage. He threw 70 pitches, but just 41 strikes -- good for a 56.3 percent strike rate. He had a 61 percent strike rate in 26 Southern League innings, so it's something he'll have to work on going forward.

Dugout Blues

Look for new episodes of the Dodgers' podcast "Dugout Blues" in the not too distant near future.

Photo credit: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue

Monday, September 17, 2012

My 2012 Los Angeles Dodgers' all-prospect team

There are lots of familiar names on this list, but also a lot of new names on this year's all-prospect team.

To be eligible for this team, the player must have been a prospect at the beginning of the season and is still with the organization. So, guys like Allen Webster, Nathan Eovaldi and Leon Landry will not be included on this list.

Without further adieu, here's my 2012 Dodgers' all-prospect team:

Catcher: Tim Federowicz, 24, Triple-A
.294/.371/.461, 11 HR, 76 RBI, 34 2B, 10.9% BB rate
- Federowicz established himself as the clear-cut best catching prospect in the Dodgers' system with a solid season for Triple-A Albuquerque. Federowicz was definitely helped by the Isotopes' home environment (.350/.415/.569 at home, .245/.331/.370 on the road), but he did show an improved walk rate from 2011 to 2012. He was selected to the Triple-A All-Star team and should be A.J. Ellis' backup starting next season.
Second team: Eric Smith, 21, Rookie-Ogden

First Base: O'Koyea Dickson, 22, Low-A
.272/.366/.479, 17 HR, 63 RBI, 27 2B, 10.2% BB rate
- Dickson is a favorite of mine and it looked like he was going to establish himself as truly a legitimate prospect in the system after a torrid first half. However, a poor second half brought his numbers down to a pedestrian level. Still, he had a .207 ISO and .845 OPS in a pitcher's league. He should begin next season with in Rancho Cucamonga with the Quakes.
Second team: Jesus Valdez, 20, Rookie-Ogden

Second Base: Rafael Ynoa, 25, Double-A
.278/.364/.352, 37 RBI, 23 2B, 23 SB, 11.8% BB rate
- Ynoa, while having no power potential, showed some nice on-base skills in Double-A. While I nearly gave this to Scott Wingo, I gave Ynoa the edge for playing against advanced competition, despite being 25 years old. Ynoa doesn't have much more than utility player upside (at best), so I wouldn't get too excited over him.
Second team: Scott Wingo, 23, High-A

Third base: Alex Castellanos, 26, Triple-A/Majors
.328/.420/.590, 17 HR, 52 RBI, 25 2B, 11.3% BB rate
- Castellanos played more games at second base (50) than he did third base (34) for the Isotopes this season, but he finished as the team's third baseman and might have a shot there going forward. He probably still ends up as an outfielder, but it's just nice to see production from a semi-prospect at a position of great need for the Dodgers. Most impressive was Castellanos' improved walk rate from 2011 (7.3 percent).
Second team: C.J. Retherford, 27, High-A/Double-A

Shortstop: Darnell Sweeney, 21, Rookie-Ogden/Low-A
.294/.374/.430, 5 HR, 33 RBI, 27 SB, 10.7% BB rate
- Sweeney, the Dodgers' 13th-round pick, wasn't expected to hit this well, but he was quite the surprise in his limited playing time. He showed a little pop, some speed and, most impressive, a good eye at the plate. He could surprise some folks and be a legitimate prospect this time next season.
Second team: Corey Seager, 18, Rookie-Ogden

Left Field: Scott Schebler, 21, Low-A
.260/.312/.388, 6 HR, 67 RBI, 32 2B, 5.4% BB rate
- Schebler led the Loons in hits, runs batted in, doubles and runs scored. Yet, he didn't play all that well this season. His inability to draw walks at a high rate could eventually be his undoing. At 21, he still has a chance to realize his potential. However, the former 25th-round pick is going to have to get it going quickly in Rancho next season.
Second team: Austin Gallagher, 23, High-A

Center Field: Joc Pederson, 20, High-A
.313/.396/.516, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 96 R, 10.2% BB rate
- This one should come as no surprise as Pederson was my Dodgers' minor league Player of the Year. He had a fantastic season in High-A as a 20-year-old and it'll be interesting to see how he handles himself next season in Double-A.
Second team: Jeremy Rathjen, 22, Rookie-Ogden

Right Field: Scott Van Slyke, 26, Triple-A/Majors
.327/.404/.578, 18 HR, 67 RBI, 34 2B, 11.2% BB rate
- Van Slyke performed well for the Isotopes this season. He even got a cup of coffee in the majors and hit a game-winning three-run home run against the Cardinals -- a game that was more important than anyone thought. Van Slyke benefited from the friendly hitter's environment in the Pacific Coast League, but he didn't slump when the team took to the road.
Second team: Blake Smith, 24, Double-A

Starting Pitcher 1: Matt Magill, 22, Double-A
11-8, 3.75 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, 10.5 K/9
- Like Pederson, this one should come as no surprise as Magill was my Dodgers' minor league Pitcher of the Year. He did well against older competition and led the Southern League in strikeouts. That's saying something. He still profiles as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter, but there's always a need for those guys.

Starting Pitcher 2: Zach Lee, 21, High-A/Double-A
6-6, 4.39 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
- Lee had good peripherals in Rancho Cucamonga, so he was promoted to Double-A. Despite a rough start, Lee finished his season on fire and established himself as the clear-cut No. 1 prospect in the organization. He'll get a full season at Chattanooga in 2013.

Starting Pitcher 3: Andres Santiago, 22, High-A/Double-A
6-5, 3.69 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.8 K/9
- Santiago is quickly becoming a favorite of mine and at 22, he has some upside. He repeated High-A to start the season before getting promoted to Double-A. Santiago was able to handle both levels and could be a sleeper in the organization. His 9.8 K/9 trailed only Magill among Dodger starting pitchers.

Starting Pitcher 4: Aaron Miller, 24, Double-A
6-6, 4.45 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 5.3 BB/8, 8.7 K/9
- Miller gets this spot due to trades and a nice strikeout rate. As you can tell, the walks are an issue for him. He had a decent 2012 season and, more importantly, he stayed healthy for it. If he can, somehow, harness his stuff and have better control, he could still be something. However, I see him ending up in the bullpen.

Starting Pitcher 5: Duke von Schamann, 21, Rookie-Ogden/Low-A/Double-A
6-4, 3.00 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 1.7 BB/9, 5.3 K/9
- Duke is the second 2012 Dodger draftee to make the first team and he made it through three levels of the minors in his debut season. He isn't a big strikeout guy and obviously relies on his control. His WHIP and walk rate are mighty impressive. Double-A might have a stacked rotation in 2013, so he could begin the season in Rancho Cucamonga.

Second five: Stephen Fife, Chris Reed, Jon Michael Redding, Arismendy Ozoria, Jarret Martin

Relief Pitcher 1Steve Ames, 24, Double-A
3-3, 18 SV, 1.56 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 10.2 K/9
- Ames really had a great season for the Lookouts. Ames took over for Shawn Tolleson after he was promoted to Triple-A and eventually the majors. He doesn't get the acclaim guys like Tolleson and Kenley Jansen got, but he could be every bit as good as them (well, maybe not Jansen). He throws strikes, keeps the ball in the yard and misses bats -- hard to ask for much more than that from a reliever.

Relief Pitcher 2: Shawn Tolleson, 24, Double-A/Triple-A/Majors
0-1, 5 SV, 2.82 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 13.7 K/9
- Tolleson's accumulated numbers are low because he's thrown 33 games in Los Angeles. That doesn't take away from his performance in the minors before being recalled. He should be a fixture in the Dodgers' bullpen for many years, hopefully dissuading Ned Colletti to acquire a reliever next July.

Relief Pitcher 3: Yimi Garcia, 22, Low-A/High-A
6-5, 16 SV, 2.92 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.8 BB/9, 14.1 K/9
- Garcia established himself as one of the system's best fireballing relievers this season, as evidenced by his ridiculous strikeout rate. He threw nearly 11 innings with Rancho Cucamonga and I wouldn't be surprised to see him begin next season there with a midseason call-up to Chattanooga.

Relief Pitcher 4: Javier Solano, 22, Double-A
3-0, 0 SV, 2,73 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 8.6 K/9
- Solano is one of the more underrated relievers in the system and he just keep plugging away. He doesn't overpower hitters, but he does enough to get the job done. I could see him starting next season in Triple-A just as easily as I could see him repeating Double-A.

Relief Pitcher 5: Eric Eadington, 24, Low-A/High-A/Double-A
4-3, 26 SV, 3.63 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
- Eadington was a quick riser this season after dominating the Midwest League (13.8 K/9, 27.0 K/BB). He was less successful going up the ladder, but not to the point that hurt his prospect status too much. He misses bats, throws in the low-90s (touches 95 MPH) and is left-handed -- pretty much all one needs to be a Major League relief pitcher.

Second five: Steven Rodriguez, Red Patterson, Josh Wall, Jordan Roberts, Michael Thomas

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A brief look at the Dodgers' farm system following trading season

The Dodgers were as active as they've been in years on the trade market this year. They acquired some big-name talent (Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez), but they also gave up quite a few young players.

Here's a scorecard of Dodger prospects and young players traded since July 25 (Ramirez trade):

Position players
Ivan De Jesus
Leon Landry
Jerry Sands (player to be named later)

Pitchers
Logan Bawcom
Rubby De La Rosa (PTBNL)
Nathan Eovaldi
Josh Lindblom
Ethan Martin
Scott McGough
Ryan O'Sullivan
Allen Webster

As you can see, the Dodgers certainly dealt from their strength. For the last few seasons, the Dodgers' biggest strength has been their young pitching. That's what the farm system was known for.

Of the three position players the Dodgers traded, two of them have every day potential. Sands, who curiously wasn't given a legitimate shot in Los Angeles, was sent to Boston in the August blockbuster. Landry, a player I'm higher on than most, just won the California League batting title (.341). He was traded with Bawcom to get Brandon League. He also led the league in triples (18) while finishing in second in total bases (262) and doubles (34).

The Dodgers traded eight young pitchers. Not many teams can do that and still have solid pitching depth. Don't get me wrong, it isn't as good as it was a couple months ago, but there are still some quality arms remaining. But the system, even more so now, lacks front-end starters.

Zach Lee and Chris Reed are the organization's top two pitching prospects by far -- and Lee is in a class my himself. Then there are starting pitching prospects like Garrett Gould, Matt Magill, Onelki Garcia and Andres Santiago. Definitely not the same potential star power as before with De La Rosa, Webster and Eovaldi paired with Lee and Reed.

The 2012 draft and International signings didn't really help strengthen the pitching side of things. Garcia was drafted in the third round and Zachary Bird, pegged as a sleeper by many, was a ninth-round pick. And we won't know much about a guy like Bryan Munoz, a 16-year-old, for a few years.

For the first time in a long time, it seems the Dodgers have more high-end (for this system, at least) hitting prospects than pitching prospects. Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager all have potential to be above-average everyday players.

So, Logan White has some work to do rebuild the pitching side of the system. Relief pitching is still strong (Shawn Tolleson, Steve Ames, Steven Rodriguez, Javier Solano), but the Dodgers will need some high-end starters down on the farm going forward.

Speaking of Andres Santiago...

This is my latest at Chad Moriyama's blog about the 22-year-old pitching prospect who's making a name for himself this season.
"There are a couple things that impress me most about Santiago. First, his increased strikeout rate. While he was able to get solid rates in the past (8.0, 7.4, 8.4 K/9 the last three seasons), he’s stepped up to another level this year. His 9.8 K/9 is second only to Matt Magill for best among starting pitchers in the system."
Looking forward to see how he handles a full season in Double-A.
Photo credits 
Reed: Courtesy of Brandon Lennox, True Blue LA
Landry: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue