Baseball America's Top 10 Dodger Prospects

Baseball America, which is my favorite site for Dodger Prospect information, released their Dodger top 10 Prospect list today.  The reason I prefer Baseball America to other minor league publications is because Baseball America has a big staff, many of whom have been with the company for several years.  This allows their writers to focus on a few teams when compiling the prospect lists instead of one or two individuals trying to tackle all 30 clubs.  In addition, Baseball America has a ton of minor league contacts and talks to lots of scouts when compiling their lists.

1. Dee Gordon, ss
2. Zach Lee, rhp
3. Rubby De La Rosa, rhp
4. Chris Withrow, rhp
5. Allen Webster, rhp
6. Jerry Sands, of/1b
7. Scott Elbert, lhp
8. Kenley Jansen, rhp
9. Ethan Martin, rhp
10. Trayvon Robinson, of

Click here to go to see the additional analysis provided by Baseball America, including the best tools and their projected 2014 lineup. 

Also, because the scouting reports about each player are behind the paywall, I can't post what the article says about each player.  However, I will summarize some of the more interesting details below and provide some additional analysis.

In terms of the top 10 list itself, the biggest surprises for me were the inclusion of Scott Elbert and the fact that Trayvon Robinson was all the day down at #10.  I know that Baseball America has always been pretty high on Elbert and used to give him a lot of respect in their top 100 lists, but that was a few years ago and he had a crazy 2010.  In their report, BA really likes Elbert’s fastball and slider and figure he could emerge as a dominant two pitch reliever.  For Robinson, it looks like the fact that he doesn’t have any plus plus skill is hurting his ranking.  They say he has 4 average or better tools, but again no tool is outstanding and they also don’t like his strikeout totals and his fringy arm in center field.

For moderate surprises, I didn’t think Rubby De La Rosa would be so high, but Baseball America really liked that he can keep his velocity deep into games and predicts he can be a #2 starter or a closer in Los Angeles.  Allen Webster is another player I thought would be a bit lower, but #5 makes sense.  Finally, having Scott Elbert in the top 10 caused Aaron Miller to miss the cut, which is pretty surprising given that I’ve seen him in the top 5 in other publications.

In terms of what didn’t surprise me, I figured that Dee Gordon would be #1, and that Zach Lee would be #2.   I also knew that they would continue to have faith in both Chris Withrow and Ethan Martin since they were first round picks and are still young enough to rebound.  Jerry Sands at 6 is another guess that I was basically correct on.  Since he as a 25th round pick I knew BA couldn’t put him in the top 3 or 4 just yet. 

When I look at the Best Tools section, what stood out to me was that they gave Justin Sellers some love with the Best Strike-Zone Disciple title, and that Dee Gordon was named the Best Defensive Infielder.  We all know that Dee is extremely quick and makes athletic plays, but he makes a ton of errors so is he really the organization’s best defensive infielder right now?  Everything else in this section mostly made sense, especially in terms of pitching where they awarded Kenley Jansen with the best fastball, Chris Withrow with the best curveball, Scott Elbert with the best slider, Allen Webster with the best changeup, and Zach Lee with the best control.  Finally, I like seeing James Baldwin’s name on the list as the Best Defensive Outfielder in the organization.

For the projected 2014 lineup, which obviously doesn't take into account any potential free agent signings between now and then, I love the potential starting rotation of Kershaw, Zach Lee, Chad Billingsley, Rubby De La Rosa, and Chris Withrow.  Having Ivan De Jesus and 2nd base and Pedro Baez at 3rd base, however, shows that we are pretty weak at those positions.  Also, putting Sands in left field gives us a powerful lineup when you add in Kemp and Ethier.

At 12 pm today Baseball America will be holding an online chat where subscribers to Baseball America can ask him questions.  This is probably my favorite chat of the year because it focuses solely on the Dodger prospects and usually provides quite a bit of insight to what coaches and scouts say about our minor leaguers.  If you are not a subscriber and have a question you want to ask, let me know in the comments and I'll ask it for you. 

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