State of the Minor League System - 1st Base

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am doing an analysis of the Dodgers system at the midway point of the season.  This analysis will serve two purposes.  First, it will take a look at the Dodgers minor league system at each position and show the depth and talent at each.  Second, it will provide a re-ranking of the players within each position.  I am not going to provide an new overall ranking, but instead will just show the rankings within each position.  I will also provide the preseason rank that I gave to each player within the position.  You'll notice that some players have an N/A next to their preseason rank.  That is because the player is new to the Dodgers since my preseason ranking.  I will be providing a position by position breakdown over the next two weeks.

I am including the players that were drafted in the 2010 draft and have already signed with the Dodgers.  I know that it is difficult to evaluate such prospects so early into their Dodger career, but I am going to do my best and basically give them a preliminary ranking.

I use Baseball America's prospect restrictions (130 AB's or 50 IP), although I also limit my ranking to players under 28 years old.

Also, the position that I have each player ranked at is the position that I believe is best for the player.  It may not be the players current primary position, but it is where I believe each player will ultimately end up should they make the major leagues.  The same holds true for pitchers.  If I believe a pitcher is best suited as a reliever, then that I where I put them.  Finally, please feel free to leave comments, debate my rankings or challenge the positions that I have the players at.  Enjoy.

Preseason Current Name How Acquired Age Height Weight Bats Current Level
3 1 Tae-Hyeok Nam Signed 6/16/09  19.33 6' 0" 209 R Arizona Rookie
1 2 Austin Gallagher 2007, 3rd  21.65 6' 5" 210 L Hi-A
2 3 Steven Caseres 2008, 9th  23.30 6' 4" 220 L Hi-A
4 4 Chris Jacobs 2007, 17th  21.63 6' 5" 260 R Lo-A
N/A 5 Blake Dean 2010, 8th  22.38 6' 1" 175 L Pioneer Rookie
6 6 Jaime Ortiz 2006, 7th  22.00 6' 1" 220 L Lo-A
7 7 Eduardo Perez Signed 3/4/02  25.87 6' 1" 175 S AA
N/A 8 Beau Brett 2010, 35th  21.00 6' 3" 185 L Arizona Rookie
9 9 Carlos Mercedes Signed 2009  18.97 6' 2" 190 R DSL
5 N/A Kyle Orr 2006, 4th  21.79 6' 5" 205 L Released
8 N/A Gabriel Martinez Signed 2/2/09  27.16 6' 2" 180 L Released
10 N/A Edward Bens Signed 2/9/07  21.49 6' 1" 189 R Released

If you consider Jerry Sands an outfielder like I do, then the Dodgers first base position is pretty weak in terms of top prospects, but it does have some pretty good depth from top to bottom when you consider that most of these players could potentially break out and turn into legitimate prospects.  In my opinion, Tae-Hyeok Nam is our best 1st base prospect, yet is still a wildcard because has barely played since signing last year.  Nam has also played some 3rd base, but from everything I've read he seems destined to be a 1st baseman.   Nam is supposed to have legit power and is having a great start to his 2010 season, so we'll see how he finishes the year.  The 19 year old may also get promoted to the Raptors before the season is done.

Despite his extremely mediocre season, I still consider Austin Gallagher our second best first base prospect since I still think he has power potential and because he is still just 21 years old.  Steven Caseres is having a poor year in his 2nd season in the California League and is 23 years old, so I'm not sure if he'll amount to anything.

The next tier of prospects includes the guys who I've always thought had potential, but just haven't ever amounted to much.  Chris Jacobs and Jaime Ortiz are included in this group and I really hope at least one of them can break out in the 2nd half of this season.  Sandwiched between Jacobs and Ortiz is 2010 draftee Blake Dean who was a legitimate power-threat for LSU, but is already 22 years old and has yet to adjust to professional pitching.  The last guy I want to mention is Carlos Mercedes who is spending his 2nd season in the Dominican Summer League, and so far in 2010 is having a solid season.  He's just 18 years so he could turn into something down the road.  Finally, if you haven't heard already, Kyle Orr was recently released due to his injuries and consistent poor performances.

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