AFL - Update

Last year the Dodger prospects in the AFL were a big bore as they did nothing to make me want to write about them. 2009 is a different story, not only did we send Trayvon Robinson and Aaron Miller to the AFL but last years boys Lambo, May, and Mitchell are kicking Arizona butt.

Before we take a look at how they are doing read Kensai's excellent take on the Dodger prospects involved in the AFL.

Russell Mitchell is not really a prospect and hasn't had an outstanding minor league season since he was drafted. He had a solid rookie league debut and has climbed the minor league ladder very slowly stalling the last two years at AA.  Even though he's never shown much inclination to be a slugger he is tearing the AFL a new one, and if it wasn't for Josh Bell (11/14 with five XBH in his last three games) he'd be the hottest hitter in the league. After yesterday's three hit game Russ is carrying a 1.703 OPS with a slug% of 1.143 courtesy of eight extra base hits in only 21 at bats. Last year Mitchell was on the AFL but he got very few at bats and was a non factor. He was drafted as a 3rd baseman but has moved over to 1st base.  At 24 years old he's was of the older players in the league but I'd rather see him mashing then doing nothing. I'm sure this is just a glitch but it is fun to see his name at the at the top of the offensive leaderboards.

Andrew Lambo on the other hand is one of our top prospects and he's also laying the wood in the AFL. After a lackluster 2008 AFL and 2009 AA season Lambo's bat has come to life in the offensive fueled AFL. He's sporting a nifty 1.315 OPS at the moment but in this league that is not even good enough to get into the top five. Josh Bell is generating huge buzz while Lambo is being ignored even though Lambo is a full two years younger then Bell and doesn't have as much problems with LHP.  I'd love to be talking about both Bell and Lambo as future Dodgers but we have to move on.

Lucas May is the best catching prospect the Dodgers have and revived his prospect status with a solid 2009 AA season along with an excellent showing for the USA in helping them win the World Cup. We are still trying to get a read on his catching skills but the offensive part of his game is coming along nicely. Remember he was another one of the players who was moved to catcher from this original position and hasn't put very much time into it. At the moment he's carrying a .979 OPS which if you want a goofy comparison just for shit and giggles, Buster Posey the number one Giant prospect has an OPS of .528. Before you read to much into that the park the Giant prospect play in must be one of the few pitching parks in the AFL because no one on the combination team has an OPS over .979 while just about everyone on the Peoria Javelinas has an OPS that high.

Trayvon Robinson just isn't playing very much. He played one game last week and showed off all his skills and problems when he tripled, walked twice, stole bases, and then struck out twice. BP had this to say:

Trayvon Robinson, OF, Dodgers (AFL: Peoria Javelinas)
Tuesday's stats: 1-for-3, 3B, R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB

Works the count, hits for gap-to-plus power at times, runs very well, at times expands the strike zone, and whiffs a bit too much. That's pretty much Robinson's game in a nutshell right now, and every aspect of it was on display Wednesday. There are a lot of questions out there right now about what Robinson is right now. If he can truly play center field, he's a starter for many, but if he doesn't improve his jumps and routes and is forced to move to a corner in the end, he's a bit of a tweener for some, which equals a fourth outfielder. The jury is still out.

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