Dodgers Minor League Countdown: 140 - 131

Here is the next part of my minor league countdown, and the final segment of 2010.  As promised, the names are now getting more recognizable, and I think there are several interesting players in this group. 

140.  Ariel Pena, RHP (17 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010           

6’4”, 208 lbs, 19 years old

0-1, 5.29 ERA, 2.53 WHIP, 7.14 FIP, 4.24 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A  

 

Ariel Pena did not have a great statistical season in 2010, but his size and youth give him an advantage over several other players in the Dodgers organization.  The 6’4” 19 year old has a perfect pitchers’ frame, and still has plenty of time to improve.  One interesting thing about Pena’s 2010 season is that he did not allow an earned run against left handed batters through 5 innings.  He will obviously return to the DSL in 2011 after posting a 2.53 WHIP in 2010, but a solid performance could land him a spot in a US based rookie league in 2012.

139.  Yimy Rodriguez, RHP (20.2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 27th round

6’2”, 215 lbs, 23.5 years old

3.92 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 4.12 FIP, 4.79 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

 

Yimy Queipo-Rodriguez was selected by the Dodgers out of Peru St. College (Nebraska) in the 27th round of the 2010 draft.  Rodriguez was the 1st player from Peru St. College to get drafted, and he made his school proud.  After the draft, PSC President Dan Hanson said, “This is a great day for Yimy and Peru State College baseball. In addition to making Peru State history, Yimy’s baseball success will undoubtedly inspire legions of young athletes from the area long into the future. I congratulate Yimy on his amazing accomplishment and the Dodgers on a great new recruit.”  At Peru, Yimy had a 3.83 ERA as a junior and a 4.52 ERA as a senior.  In his professional debut with the Arizona Dodgers, the 23 year old Rodriguez had a great WHIP of 1.11, but his ERA and FIP were less impressive.  Besides his stats, the only thing I know about Rodriguez is that he throws pretty hard, although his strikeout rate in college and in his professional debut wasn’t very impressive.  Rodriguez might move to LoA in 2011, but unless he improves his secondary stuff it seems doubtful that he’ll ever be a relevant Dodger prospect.

 

138.  Antonio Castillo, LHP (48.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 3/30/07

5’11”, 180 lbs, 23 years old

3-6, 8.32 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 3.20 FIP, 7.77 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 93;     Pre 2009 Rank: 45

 

Antonio Castillo appears to be homesick.  A Dominican native, Castillo absolutely dominated the DSL in 2008 and 2009, posting a combined 1.41 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 9.2 K/9 through 115 innings.  After getting promoted to the Pioneer year in 2009, however, Castillo has been terrible.  When you combine his 2009 and 2010 seasons with the Raptors, Antonio has a 7.19 ERA, a 1.87 WHIP, and a 7.6 K/9 through 96.1 innings. What a difference a country makes.  I watched him pitch this past season online, and he has a 3 quarter delivery with a decent sized leg kick.  In addition, he appeared to be extremely undersized for a pitcher.  Overall, given his lack of success over the past two seasons and his small stature, it appears that Castillo is no longer a legitimate Dodger prospect.  However, Castillo is still just 23 years old and did have a two year stretch when he dominated batters, so he shouldn’t be completely written off just yet.

 

137.  Andrew Edge, C (21 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 24th round

6’2”, 230 lbs, 23.25 years old, bats right handed

.259 average, .824 OPS, 4 HR’s, 15 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

 

Andrew Edge was selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2010 draft out of Jacksonville State, and he was ready to sign right away.  Upon getting drafted, he said “I was just hoping to get picked up by anybody.  I’m actually happy with the Dodgers. I like the team and hopefully I can work hard and make my way up there.  They told me to enjoy it right now.  I’m kind of on cloud nine and waiting to see what I need to do.”  While at Jacksonville State, the catcher had a very good senior season, hitting .330 with 11 homers and 64 RBI’s.  Edge made his professional debut with the Arizona Dodgers, and got off to a hot start.  Through July, Andrew had an average above .315 and already had 4 homers through just 56 at bats.  He hit the skids in August, however, which is what dropped his average to .259 for the season.  In addition, he struck out in 30.7% of his plate appearances in 2010.  One of the older players in the league, Edge did play solid defense and threw out 8 of 12 potential base stealers behind the plate.  Because the Dodgers have a crowded catching situation in their lower minors, it is difficult to project where Edge will play in 2011.  But given his age, it’s not out of the question for him to play in a full season league next year.

 

136.  Austin King, OF (35 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 31st round

6’2”, 200 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats right handed

.241 average, .682 OPS, 3 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, 15 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 149;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

 

Austin King was drafted out of high school by the White Sox in the 40th round of the 2007 draft, but obviously didn’t sign.  He went on to play at a JC, and in 2009 the Dodgers selected him 9 rounds earlier than in 2007.  Upon signing, King made his professional debut with the Arizona Dodgers and got off to a slow start before catching fire in August.  That earned him a promotion in 2010 as he spent the season in Ogden.  Unfortunately for Austin the Raptor outfield was pretty crowded, so King only accumulated 108 at bats in the Pioneer League.  When he did play he spent most of his time in center field, and only made one error all year.  In addition, King showed off his speed by stealing 15 bases in 17 attempts, which was good for 9th in the league despite his limited playing time.  Since he just turned 22 years old, King is still pretty young, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’s a sleeper prospect for me because I like his speed and his size.  He’ll probably have to fight again for playing time in 2011 in the Midwest League, but I’m hoping that he’ll surprise some people and jump up the prospect rankings by this time next year.

 

135.  Chris Handke, RHP (22.1 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 41st round

6’11”, 235 lbs, 23 years old

1-0, 4.03 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 4.81 FIP, 8.06 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 154;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

 

As I mentioned last year, Chris Handke is an interesting prospect with an even more interesting background.  The giant pitcher was actually a much better basketball player at Cornell College, averaging 9.8 points per game and setting the single season record for blocks with 45 during the 2008-2009 season.  In addition, Handke had a 3.92 GPA while majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.  And by the way, his career pitching stats at Cornell looked like this: 0-1, 10.12 ERA, 25 walks, and 11 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.  Based on the above information, who would have guessed that he’d be playing in the Dodgers minor league system?  Well, Chris didn’t even believe it after he was drafted.  He was quoted as saying “I told the Dodgers that I want to finish my degree at Cornell and complete my basketball career.”  Handke ended up signing with the Dodgers because they allowed him to finish his degree last winter.  He only got into two games in his professional debut because an injury shut him down, however, and after the 2009 season he was quoted as saying “After my first two outings in the Arizona Rookie League, it was clear that I needed more work on my mechanics to be able to throw strikes and quality pitches consistently. Luckily though the Dodgers have some great pitching coaches who were all more than willing to work with me and I spent about a month just working on refining and repeating my delivery with them.”  He was sent back to the Arizona League in 2010, and this time he got a little more work in.  Besides being very wild, Handke was actually pretty good through 22.1 innings.  Because taller pitchers are historically late bloomers and need to grow into his body, I’m not overly concerned about his control or his age.  I do know that he has hit 93 mph in the past, so I’m sure the Dodgers will continue to spend time on him to see if they can maximize his potential.  I’m hoping he’ll get a chance to play in LoA next season so we can see what he does in a full season league against older competition.

 

134.  Luis Mesa, RHP (56.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’4”, 170 lbs, 20.75 years old

4-4, 3.02 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.18 FIP, 7.31 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 173;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

 

Luis Mesa is a young player from Venezuela who debuted with the Dominican Dodgers in 2009.  He struggled in 2009 to the tune of a 6.37 ERA, but really turned things around in 2010.  The 6’4” righty had a 3.02 ERA this past season, and batters only hit .227 against him in 56.2 innings.  He also only allowed 1 homer all year, and he was especially effective in the month of August when he threw 18 innings without allowing an earned run.  With a solid pitching frame and two years of professional experience under his belt, Mesa is a prime candidate to move up to the Arizona League in 2011. 

 

133.  Clay Calfee, 1B/OF (36 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 14th round

6’6”, 220 lbs, 24.75 years old, bats left handed

.233 average, .636 OPS, 2 HR’s, 11 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 86;     Pre 2009 Rank: 69

 

Clay Calfee was drafted out of Angelo State in Texas in 2008, and left the school as their all time leader in home runs (28), RBI’s (171), and hits (239).  He made his professional debut in the Pioneer League, and while he struggled with a .232 average, he did manage to hit 8 HR’s and drive in 35.  In 2009 Calfee actually played at three different levels (Arizona League, Pioneer League, and LoA), but only got into 44 games and was pretty mediocre overall.  Calfee was promoted to HiA for the 2010 season, but he was plagued by injuries and was limited to 36 games, hitting just .233 in the process.  In addition, he continued to strike out at an alarming rate.  Despite his size and power potential, the Dodgers decided to release Calfee in December, so he won’t be around next season.  Since I had already finalized my ranking by the time he was released, this is basically where he would have ranked had he stayed in the Dodgers system for 2011.

 

132.  Gregory Pena, OF (58 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’0”, 175 lbs, 19 years old, switch hitter

.212 average, .575 OPS, 0 HR’s, 12 RBI’s, 14 SB's

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

 

Gregory Pena was apparently born in New York, but must have moved out of the USA at some point because he wasn’t subject to the MLB draft.  Instead, he was signed by the Dodgers as an international free agent and made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2010.  The 18 year old severed as the Dodgers main center fielder, but he didn’t do much at the plate as he hit just .212 for the season.  He also didn’t show any power, and had an OPS of only .575.  Nevertheless, Greg does have a few things going for him heading into 2011.  First, Pena is a switch hitter.  Second, he stole 14 bases in 19 attempts, so he does have good speed.  Finally, he demonstrated a very good eye at the plate as he walked in 11.5% of his plate appearances.  Given his age, I’m sure Pena will return to the DSL in 2011, and he’ll be one of the players I watch closely in the DSL next year because I believe he’s a candidate to move up to the Arizona League in 2012.

 

131.  Alex Garabedian, C (19 games in AA, 23 games in HiA)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 8th round

6’2”, 210 lbs, 25.5 years old, bats right handed

.292 average, .789 OPS, 3 HR’s, 21 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 144;     Pre 2009 Rank: 98

 

Coming out of high school, Alex Garabedian was considered to be one of the better catching prospects.  He was a 2003 AFLAC All-American, was named as the top catcher in Florida by TeamOne Baseball, and was ranked by Baseball America as the second-best catching prospect and the 33rd-best overall prospect nationally going into the 2004 draft.  However, he fell to the Yankees in the 7th round of that 2004 draft, and decided to attend the University of Miami rather than turning pro.  After hitting .255 with the Hurricanes during his freshman season, he actually decided to transfer to the College of Charleston.  At Charleston, Garabedian did much better, and as a Junior, he hit .353 with 13 homers, and also threw out over 40 percent of attempted base stealers.  That led to him being drafted by the Dodgers in the 8th round of the 2007 draft.  Unfortunately, even though his biggest asset is his bat, he has struggled at the plate since his professional debut.  His career minor league average is .248, and he only has 16 homers in 818 minor league at bats.  In 2010, he started and ended the year in AA, but spent a good part of the season in Inland Empire.  While he put up solid stats during his 2010 campaign, he only participated in 42 games and struggled against the older competition (.239 average in AA vs. a .321 average in HiA).  Now 25 years old, Garabedian will probably spend the majority of the 2011 season in AA, and how he performs will definitely dictate the remainder of his career.

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