2011 Dodgers Minor League Preview - Great Lakes Loons

With the minor league season right around the corner, I’m doing a mini-series to preview each of the Dodgers minor league full season teams.  Since official rosters won’t be out for another few weeks, I am predicting what the minor league roster will be for each of the Dodgers full season affiliates at the start of the season.

To start off the series, I’m going to take a look at what has become my favorite full season team: the Great Lakes Loons.  The Loons have been a very fun team to follow over the past few years, and generally have many solid Dodger prospects on their team.  They were one of the best teams in the minor leagues last year, and are hoping to carry that into 2011 despite fielding a very different team.  Since 2010 manager Juan Bustabad has been promoted to HiA, the Loons will be led by John Shoemaker in 2011.  He last coached the Jacksonville Suns from 2005 – 2008, winning the Southern League championship in 2005.   For the past two seasons, Shoemaker has been the coordinator of the Dodgers complex in Arizona.  The Hitting Coach for the Loons will be former Dodger Lenny Harris, and the Pitching Coach will be Kremlin Martinez, who had the same role last year for the Ogden Raptors.

Because the Dodgers consider LoA and HiA as basically the same level, this makes it difficult to guess who will play in Greats Lakes in 2011.  The past few seasons have seen players get "demoted" to LoA after spending the previous season in HiA, so I’m sure that will happen again this year.  However, I have no idea which player(s) will happen to this time around.  In addition, some players will jump from a short season league in 2010 to HiA in 2011, and that also complicates my predictions.

Overall, please note that I did spend considerable time piecing together each of the minor league teams, and I looked carefully at a number of different factors, including age, position, experience, prior year stats, etc.  Also, you will notice that I put together 27 man rosters for each team instead of the traditional 25.  I did this to take into account any possible injuries at the beginning of the season.

Starting Pitchers:

Position

Name

Acquired

My Rank

DOB

Age

Height

Weight

Throws

SP #1

Zach Lee

2010, 1st

1

9/13/1991

19.50

6' 4"

210

R

SP #2

Garrett Gould

2009, 2nd

10

7/19/1991

19.65

6' 4"

190

R

SP #3

Derek Cone

2010, 31st

36

6/20/1990

20.73

6' 5"

210

R

SP #4

Ryan Christenson

2010, 7th

51

1/11/1989

22.17

6' 1"

185

L

SP #5

John Patterson

2010, 29th

98

5/11/1987

23.84

6' 3"

210

R

The Loons starting rotation has the potential to be very good, and will be led by a couple of 19 year old.  Last year’s top pick Zach Lee should be the #1 starter in the rotation, and will try to follow the Clayton Kershaw path in his first full professional season.  There will be a lot of hype following Lee in 2011 since he received such a big signing bonus and is supposed to a very polished young pitcher, so I’m sure every one of his outings will be closely monitored.  The #2 starter will be Garrett Gould, who along with Lee could provide a very solid 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation.  Gould will try to improve after a mediocre season in 2010, and hopefully will show increased velocity to compliment his outstanding curveball.  I’m putting Derek Cone in the #3 spot since he is also young and seems to have a lot of potential.  The 6’5" right-hander who ranked as Baseball America’s #29 prospect sat in the low 90’s last year, but he still has a lot of projection left in his frame.  Lefty Ryan Christenson and righty Red Patterson round out my Loons rotation.  Christenson was the Dodgers 7th round pick in 2010 and had a decent debut in 2010, while Patterson was selected in the 29th round and made a name for himself with a solid 2010 season.

Bullpen:

Position

Name

Acquired

My Rank

DOB

Age

Height

Weight

Throws

RP

Carlos Frias

Signed 1/3/07

42

11/13/1989

 21.33

6' 4"

170

R

RP

Steven Matre

2010, 39th

100

5/21/1988

 22.81

6' 2"

185

R

RP

Andres, Santiago

2007, 16th

107

10/26/1989

 21.38

6' 2"

200

R

RP

Bolivar Medina

Signed 2/9/07

109

7/11/1988

 22.67

6' 2"

175

L

RP

Andrew Pevsner

2010, 16th

96

10/15/1988

 22.41

6' 3"

205

L

RP

Arismendy Ozoria

Signed 11/22/08

70

8/7/1990

 20.60

6' 0"

195

R

RP

Logan Bawcom

2010, 17th

90

11/2/1988

 22.36

6' 2"

200

R

CL

Shawn Tolleson

2010, 30th

54

1/19/1988

 23.15

6' 2"

215

R

By my judgment, the 2011 Loons bullpen will closely resemble the Raptors bullpen from 2010.  We’ll start with the Great Lakes closer, who will most likely be Shawn Tolleson.  Tolleson had a remarkable debut season in Ogden last year as he had a 0.63 ERA and 17 saves through 28.2 innings.  He’ll try to carry over that success into 2011.  Logan Bamcow and Andrew Pevsner will hopefully provide middle relief like they did in 2010, as will last year’s 39th round pick Steven MatreBolivar Media and Andres Santiago spent most of last season in the Arizona League, but both have been with organization since 2007 and should be ready for a full season league in the Loons bullpen.  Finally, I’m guessing that Carlos Frias and Arismendy Ozoria will also be Great Lakes relievers, although both of these players could also be spot starters throughout the season as they have been starters in the past.

Outfield:

Position

Name

Acquired

My Rank

DOB

Age

Height

Weight

Bats

LF

Scott Schebler

2010, 26th

27

10/6/1990

 20.44

6' 1"

208

L

CF

Leon Landry

2010, 3rd

19

9/20/1989

 21.48

5' 11"

185

L

RF

Jonathan Garcia

2009, 8th

12

11/11/1991

 19.34

5' 11"

175

R

I’m guessing that the Great Lakes outfield will feature three solid Dodger prospects.  Center field will most likely be patrolled by the speedy Leon Landry.  While he has a below average arm, Landry is an outstanding defensive player and is quick to get to balls.  At the plate, it will be interesting to see if Landry continues to hit for a high average after batting .349 for Ogden last season.  Despite having just 5 games of professional experience under his belt, I’m betting that Scott Schebler will play outfield for the Loons in 2011.  He was drafted out of a community college and played in a wood bat summer league prior to signing with the Dodgers, so he should be prepared for a full season league. He also has great speed and can play center field, but with Landry on the team I’m penciling him in for left.  I’m excited to see what kind of power and stolen base numbers he puts up over a full season.  In right field should be the youngster Jonathan Garcia, who will play the entire season as a 19 year old.  We should know after the season if his skills are legit, or if his 2010 production was a result of the hitter friendly Pioneer League.

Infield:

Position

Name

Acquired

My Rank

DOB

Age

Height

Weight

Bats

1B

Chris Jacobs

2007, 17th

82

11/25/1988

 22.30

6' 5"

257

R

2B

Enlly Morales

Signed 10/12/07

91

9/13/1989

 21.50

5' 11"

168

R

3B

Jesse Bosnik

2010, 13th

87

7/23/1988

 22.64

6' 2"

205

L

SS

Jake Lemmerman

2010, 5th

25

5/4/1989

 21.86

6' 1"

192

R

From what I can tell, the Loons infield is going to be a pretty uninspiring bunch.  The one legitimate pospect of the group will be shortstop Jake Lemmerman, who was the Pioneer League MVP and should be fun to watch in 2011.  He appears to have the stick to make it as a major league shortstop, but it’s his defense that concern some scouts as some believe he’ll end up at 2nd base where he bat will be less impressive.  He’s already turned some heads, however, and can take another big step forward in 2011.  I’m guessing that Lemmerman’s double play partner will be Enlly Morales, even though he had a down season in the Arizona Rookie League last year.  The Dodgers could go with a more veteran player in this spot, but there really aren’t too many 2nd base options in the Dodgers minor leagues.  Jesse Bosnik appears to be a good fit at 3rd base for the Loons given that he is 22 years old and has college experience.  Finally, 1st base will literally be anchored by big Chris Jacobs who will most likely return to the Loons for another season.  As I mentioned in my offseason write-up, Jacobs could really do some damage in the HR category if he finally gets to play a full season.

Catcher/DH:

Position

Name

Acquired

My Rank

DOB

Age

Height

Weight

Bats

C

Michael Pericht

2009, 16th

68

5/23/1988

 22.81

6' 5"

235

R

DH

Robert Coyle

2010, 10th

64

3/6/1989

 22.02

6' 1"

215

L

BU C

Andrew Edge

2010, 24th

137

12/31/1987

 23.20

6' 2"

230

R

The DH role will obviously feature a number of players throughout the season, but when I set my Loons lineup I have 2010 10th round pick Bobby Coyle in that spot.  He led the Ogden Raptors last season with 52 RBI’s and has great pitch recognition.  When he’s not being utilized as the DH, Coyle has the ability to play in the outfield.   Behind the plate, my guess is that the Loons catching role will rotate between a few different players, with Michael Pericht getting the majority of the starts.  Pericht has the most power and upside of the group, and could really move up the prospect charts if he can show he can stick as a backstop.  The backup catcher could be a variety of players, but I’m going with Andrew Edge because he had a pretty good professional debut in 2010 and at 23 should be ready for a full season league.  Finally, Steve Domecus will probably serve as a super-utility player because he can play both catcher and the outfield.  He was a relatively high pick last year so the Dodgers should give him plenty of looks in 2011.

Bench:

Position

Name

Acquired

My Rank

DOB

Age

Height

Weight

Bats

BU INF

Charlie Mirabal

Signed 3/1/07

165

4/2/1987

 23.95

5' 11"

164

R

BU OF

Austin King

2009, 31st

136

12/1/1988

 22.28

6' 2"

200

R

Utility

Steve Domecus

2010, 9th

78

6/29/1987

 23.71

6' 3"

220

R

Utility

Chance Gilmore

2010, 25th

149

4/1/1987

 23.95

5' 11"

187

L

Predicting a minor league’s team bench is always a crapshoot, but here it goes.  I’ve already mentioned backup catcher Andrew Edge and super-utility player Steven Domecus, so that leaves 3 more bench spots on my roster.  Austin King was a backup outfielder for Ogden in 2010, and should serve as a similar role for Great Lakes in 2011.  He’s a speedy player with a decent amount of power, and I think he’s a sleeper who could turn some head this season if given the opportunity.  Charlie Mirabal is a 24 year old middle infielder who could backup several infield positions for the Loons, while Chance Gilmore could be yet another backup outfielder on the team

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