Killing arbitration time

As we wait for who the Dodgers are going to offer arbitration to, lets take a look at the prospects one last time before BA comes out with their top ten list this Friday.

Last year this was how the Dodger prospect list looked. Several weeks ago TBLA voters decided who they wanted as their as their top 15 prospects.

So here is my top 30 list. I've never liked ranking players 1 - 30 combining hitters and pitchers so I'm going to do it a little differently. This is how I've always done it but this will be the first time I'll publish it this way.  This is not what I expect BA to rank our players, this is what I think about them.

We seem quite deep in pitching, but I don't see one impact bat in our midst unless Dee Gordon turns his raw talent into Jose Reyes.

So what do I see

A starting SS in Dee Gordon, ceiling of Reyes, low side Christian Guzman. Could be an exciting catalyst with his explosive speed or simply a Jose Offerman whose defense ruined any offensive contribution he made.

A starting 2nd in DeJesus with a ceiling of Luis Castillo without the stolen bases. Castillo had no power but was able to maintain a high OB rate, however part of that was due to his excellent speed which DeJesus does not possess. The key to Ivan is maintaining his excellent plate discipline once he cracks the major leagues. If he is unable to do that then he'll never amount to much and may not even have a career as good as his father.

Robinson probably a fourth outfielder but he might just keep improving enough to be a viable major league center fielder. He made huge strides in 2009, if he continues to improve instead of plateau we might have something interesting.

Lambo might end up being nothing at all, or at best a Jeremy Hermida in LF. Thoughts of him being a 30-35 home run guy seem misplaced.  His pedestrain summer gave way to an impressive beginning to the AFL season but by the time the AFL season had ended he was sucking wind and wasn't impressing anyone who saw him. Still, only 20 in  AA he deserves the chance to prove that 2009 was just a speed bump and not a wall. As many have said he probably would have torn up the California League if he had not been skipped and we'd still be excited. My main problem is not that Lambo won't hit but that he won't hit enough to be worthwhile as a left fielder. At least not as a premium left fielder and I'm not very interested in a ho hum hitting left fielder. I'd really like Lambo to succeed, he went to High School not to far away from me, his name is Lambo and I was born a Packer fan, plus he was a trouble maker in high school and I've always rooted for the rebellious ones provided they aren't jerks.

Jonathan Garcia did his work this year as a real 17 year old and was impressive, so maybe by this time next year he will be the talk of the organization. I've never seen him, I've only seen the stats, he rated this high because of what he did at age 17. To bad we can't find any good comps for him from the Arizona League other then Adam Jones and Jonathan is not expected to stay in center field.

May had fallen off the prospect map but his big summer, excellent World Cup tournament, and solid AFL puts him back with room to spare. If he truly is improving defensively he might just have a major league career after all.

After watching so many Dodger prospect fail to impress as a Loon, it was a revelation to see what Kyle Russell did in that league when he made contact. He has an impact bat, but the question looms will his bat make enough contact for it to matter? Canuck says no way, I say don't be so quick to bury him.

Delmonico has a strong bat but has to go such a long way as a catcher that I can't really tell if he is going to be able to make the transition.

I'm probably ranking Gerald Sands to high compared to Scott Van Slyke but of the two I'm betting on Gerald Sands.

Scott Van Slyke was so bad for most of his minor league career I simply need to see more before I can get serious about him as a viable corner outfielder prospect. 

Galvez was our best hitter from the 2009 draft. We know he can destory rookie league pitching, now we need to find out if he can handle the next level. BA says no, but this guy has such a great back story, I'll be rooting for him to prove them wrong.

Baez and Gallagher took huge steps back this past season. Baez may have one more year before they turn him into the next Kenley Jansen. Gallagher had shoulder problems so he gets a mulligan but he still drops quite a ways as he gets passed by productive prospects.

As pedestrian as our hitters appear to be our pitching is loaded with high upside big arm kids.

Elbert may be dismissed by BA, but his big arm might be just what the Dodgers need in 2010 to replace Randy Wolf. He has the stuff to succeed in the bullpen if he does not pan out in the rotation. This wild ass lefty has walked 4.8 batters per nine innings during his minor league stint. Yet, in AAA last year he improved that to 3.7 in a tough hitters park. I make fun of Elbert but I'm a fan when I'm being rational and not emotional and I hope he gets a shot in the rotation.

Chris Withrow is going to be a stud if he doesn't blow out his arm. Same could be said for several of these pitchers, but of those pitchers, WIthrow probably has the highest upside. He's going to be the talk of the prospect circles next summer.

Aaron Miller not only pitched like a first round draft but like an early first round draft pick. After impressing everyone while pitching for the Loons, he also got in some time in the AFL, and before he was shut down, scouts were amazed he was passed up by so many teams.

Ethan Martin is another big armed right hander who has a huge ceiling. Some would say he has a bigger upside then Withrow. I'm just glad we have both of them.

Lindblom quietly put together a solid year considering it was his first complete professional season. He didn't wow people but he was effective in the tough AAA PCL environment. DeJon said he's still being considered as a starter even though he pitched mostley in relief at AAA. Not as high a ceiling as many on this list but if I was going to be a conservative better I'd bet that he has the best chance of having the longest major league career.

Hard to believe but Allen Webster might have as good as stuff as the number one picks WIthrow and Martin even though he was snagged in the 18th round in 2008. He wore out at the end of the year, can't wait to see what he does in 2010.

Nathan Eovaldi another big armed right hand pitcher. At times he looked better then Martin this year and could easily end up being the best of this lot.

In 2010 we will see what all the hoopla is regarding  Gould, for now he's ranked here simply on his reputation.

So we have gone eight deep and each of these pitchers has a fairly high ceiling. Lindblom probably has the lowest ceiling but might have the best chance of reaching that ceiling.

Kenley Jansen has only thrown a few professional innings and I'm probably ranking him to high but when he does throw, he throws gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssss.  Pure petrol.  Wait until spring training, fans are going to go gaa gaa over this guy. He strikes out two for every one he walks but he walks about one hitter per inning. That will need to change but if it does then watch out.

The rest of the group could be decent pitchers, none of them have the upside of the top eight. Danielson has been percolating in the rookie leagues and really put some quality innings together in 2009. Next year we will see if he is going to keep improving. Frias was a big fan of DeJon Watson, made some big strides, could be comer. Aquasviva might be a solid man out of the bullpen along with Schlichting. Miller is here because I'm not giving up on his heavy sinker and Wallach is here because of where he was drafted and how he peformed in a small sample size this summer.

As unexcited as I am about our hitters that is made up with the anticipation of what these big arms could accomplish over the next few years.

Los Angeles Dodgers Top Prospect Ranking
Order Hitter Pitcher
1st Dee Gordon Scott Elbert
2nd Ivan DeJesus Chris Withrow
3rd
Trayvon Robinson Aaron Miller
4th Andrew Lambo Ethan Martin
5th Xavier Paul Joshua Lindblom
6th Jonathan Garcia Allen Webster
7th Luke May Nathan Eovaldi
8th Kyle Russell Garrett Gould
9th Anthony Delmonico Kenley Jansen
10th Gerald Sands Danny Danielson
11th Steven Caseres Carlos Frias
12th Scott VanSlyke Geison Aguasviva
13th Brian Cavazos-Galvez Jon Michael Redding
14th Pedro Baez Brett Wallach
15th Austin Gallagher Justin Miller
HON Gorman Erickson Travis Schlichting
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