Dodgers 2012 Minor League Countdown: 150 - 141

Here is the next part of my Dodger prospect countdown, a group that includes some intriguing names along with other players who have fallen in my ranking from past years. As I alluded to last time, I've having a hard time ranking some of these guys all the way up in the 140's because I think some of them still have some solid talent, even though they each may have their flaws. But overall I guess that simply speaks to the depth of the Dodgers minor league organization as we head into 2012.

150. Joseph Becker, 2B/SS (70 games in AAA, 1 game in HiA, 13 games in LoA in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 1/11/07
5’10", 184 lbs, 26.25 years old, bats right handed
.300 average, .767 OPS, 3 HR’s, 19 RBI’s, 0 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: 173; Pre 2010 Rank: 169; Pre 2009 Rank: 190

Becker was originally signed by the Dodgers as a non drafted free agent in 2007 out of Antelope Valley College, where he hit .350 for his career. Since signing, Becker has been a traveling man as he’s played for 9 different Dodger minor league affiliates in five seasons. After playing in just 20 games in 2010, mostly with the Loons, Becker surprised a lot of people by spending most of the 2011 season in AAA with the injury riddled Isotopes. He actually filled in very nicely at 3rd and 2nd base, hitting .310 while in Albuquerque and posting a solid OPS of .803. That being said, his stats were definitely aided by the hitter friendly park of the Isotopes as he batted .432 at home and just .202 on the road. Heading into 2012, I’d imagine that the Dodgers will probably send Becker back to AAA, but his chances of ever making it to the show remain extremely thin.

149. Josh Walter, RHP (6 IP in AA, 65 IP in HiA in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 6/27/08
6’4", 250 lbs, 27 years old
3-1, 3.55 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4.07 FIP, 8.49 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: 183; Pre 2010 Rank: 99; Pre 2009 Rank: 189

Josh Walter was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2008 out of Texas State University where he posted a 4.71 ERA as a Senior. He actually didn’t pitch much at all in college, as he only threw about 40 innings in his career. Since turning pro, Walter has been on the every-other year plan as his stats were terrible in 2008 and 2010, but great in 2009 and 2011. Looking back over his past two seasons, Walter had an ERA of 6.59 in 2010 with the 66ers and posted a win/loss record of 1 - 10. He also allowed 13 homers in 95.2 innings, and ranked 2nd in the California League with his 64 walks. Josh managed to turn this around in 2011, however, as he returned to the California League but was able to cut his ERA almost in half. He also cut down his walk rate significantly and struck out almost a batter per inning. He even spent about a month in AA toward the end of the season and only allowed 1 earned run over 6 innings. Heading into 2012, I’m really not sure what to expect from the soon to be 27 year old. It would make sense for him to spend the year in AA, but since he had a good year in 2011 history tells us that he should implode in 2012. Only time will tell. Finally, here is a video of Walter throwing in spring training last year against fellow minor leaguers.

Follow the jump for #'s 148 - 141

148. Jason West, RHP (1.2 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg, 17.1 IP in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers in June 2011 as a non drafted free agent
5’11”, 185 lbs, 23.5 years old
2-0, 0.47 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 1.94 FIP, 11.37 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jason West went undrafted after spending his college days at Stephen F Austin University where he had a career ERA of 3.82 and collected 19 saves over the course of three seasons. While his twin brother signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Mets, Jason signed with Los Angeles and joined the Arizona Dodgers in early July where he quickly became the club’s most effective reliever. The 5'11" righty threw 17.1 innings during the season and completely shut down the opposition by allowing just 1 run while striking out 23 and recording 4 saves. His success continued into the short Arizona League postseason as he saved both playoff games and got 5 of his 6 outs via the K. Of course West was one of the oldest pitchers in the league, but you still can’t deny the success he had in 2011. I don’t know much about West’s stuff on the mound, but have read that he throws side arm which I’m sure contributed to his success against the younger opposition. Looking ahead to 2012, West will probably get a chance with the Loons given his age and the success he had this past year.

147. Ramon Jean, OF (88 games in HiA in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 3/12/07
6’0”, 160 lbs, 24.5 years old, bats right handed
.247 average, .622 OPS, 5 HR’s, 34 RBI’s, 13 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: 127; Pre 2010 Rank: 116; Pre 2009 Rank: 85

Signed before the 2007 season as a 19 year old out of the Dominican Republic, Ramon Jean only spent one season in the DSL before being promoted to a U.S. based rookie league. After playing two seasons in the Dodgers rookie league, he received a surprise promotion to the California League in 2010, and also changed positions. A middle infielder for the first three years of his career, Jean spent almost all of 2010 in center field. In 2011 Jean returned to the California League where he continued his career as an outfielder. Unfortunately he regressed at the plate and hit just .247 with the Quakes with an ugly .281 OB%. His power numbers increased a bit, an OPS of .622 in the California League just isn’t going to cut it. Heading into 2012 I’m not sure where Jean will spend the year as a promotion to AA seems unlikely. I guess he could return to HiA for a third season, but at the end of the day I’m guessing that he’ll be an organizational player at best.

146. Jose Capellan, C (25 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 5/30/09
6’0”, 190 lbs, 21.5 years old, bats right handed
.270 average, .691 OPS, 1 HR, 12 RBI’s, 3 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: 157; Pre 2010 Rank: 135; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

After spending two seasons in the DSL, Capellan got to the call to join the Arizona Dodgers in 2011 and did a decent job in limited playing time. The young catcher didn’t show much power, collecting just 3 extra base hits for the season, but he did walk at a decent clip and struck out in just 16% of his plate appearances. He also had a solid year defensively, throwing out 30% of would-be base-stealers and posting a .980 fielding %. Still just 21 years old, Capellan should progress to the Pioneer League in 2012 and will probably again split playing time with other backstops. I’m not sure if he has the skills to ever be a legitimate prospect, but at the very least he should be a decent organizational player for us.

145. Pete Budkevics, RHP (85 IP in LoA in 2011)
Signed 6/28/10 as Non Drafted Free Agent
6’2”, 165 lbs, 24.25 years old
4-4, 3.39 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.60 FIP, 7.52 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: 150; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers signed Pete Budkevics as a non drafted free agent in June of 2010 out of C.W. Post (aka Long Island University). Budkevics had a solid senior season for the Pioneers, leading the team with 8 wins, posting a 2.97 ERA, and allowing just a .203 batting average against. He also left his school as the career strikeout leader with 291 K’s over 4 years. Shortly after signing with the Dodgers, Pete was assigned to the Ogden Raptors and probably surprised a lot of people by recording strong stats in 40 innings. That earned Budkevics a promotion to Great Lakes in 2011 where he was an invaluable part of the Loons bullpen. “Pistol” Pete led Great Lakes with 45 appearances, and posted a very solid ERA and FIP. He even stepped into the closer’s role for a short time after Shawn Tolleson got promoted and did a solid job by collecting 5 saves. In terms of his stuff, I don’t really know hard Budkevics throws or what other pitches he has, but I don’t think his fastball is all that over-powering. Looking ahead to 2012, I believe Pete will spend next season in HiA where he’ll have a similar role for the Quakes as he did for the Loons.

144. Anthony Jackson, OF (20 games in AA, 35 games in HiA, 3 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
PTNL in trade for Dotel
5’8”, 175 lbs, 27.75 years old, switch hitter
.315 average, .811 OPS, 4 HR’s, 32 RBI’s, 12 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: 118; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers acquired Anthony Jackson as the player to be named later in the trade that sent Octavio Dotel to the Rockies. The now 27 year old was originally picked by Colorado in the 16th round of the 2006 draft out of the University of the Pacific. In his 4 years with the Rockies, the switch hitter had a career .252 batting average and a .670 OPS in 528 games. Jackson made his Dodger debut with the Lookouts to start the 2011 season, but there wasn’t much room for him in the lineup and after a month and a half of limited playing time and mediocre stats Jackson was demoted down to Rancho Cucamonga. Anthony had immediate success with the Quakes, although I’m sure he was probably aided by the fact that he was one of the oldest players in the league. A broken finger in late July cut his season short, however, as he didn’t return from the injury until the tail end of the season. Overall, Jackson doesn’t have much value give his age and struggles in the higher levels of the minor leagues, but he’ll probably get another chance to play in either AA or AAA in 2012 as he does seem to be a decent organizational player when healthy.

143. Jesse Bosnik, 3B (100 games in LoA in 2011)
Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 13th round
6’2”, 205 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats left handed
.232 average, .646 OPS, 8 HR’s, 42 RBI’s, 2 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: 87; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers selected Jesse Bosnik in the 13th round of the 2010 draft out of St. Bonaventure University, where he hit .387 with 11 homers and collected 62 RBI’s as a junior in 2010. In Baseball America’s pre-draft report, they called him more of a doubles hitter than a home run hitter, but they did call him a very good base runner. Bosnik signed quickly and started his professional career in Ogden where he had a very average season for the Raptors. He was promoted to the Midwest League in 2011, but he got off to a dismal start and ended up hitting all 8 of his homers in the second half of the season. He actually only had one good month – July – which is when he hit .309 with 5 HR’s and a .877 OPS. The rest of the year “Boz”, as he was called by his Loons’ teammates, was pretty bad. A shortstop in college, Bosnik has moved to 3rd base in the professional ranks but his defense is a work in progress as his fielding % is just .918 since signing with the Dodgers. I really don’t see many strengths with his game, and I don’t envision him having much value to the Dodgers even though they have limited options at the hot corner. That said, I’m guessing that Bosnik will move up to HiA in 2011 because the organization doesn’t really have many 3rd base options in the system. Maybe a move to the California League will jumpstart his bat, or maybe he’ll just continue to struggle.

142. Robert Boothe, RHP (5 IP in LoA, 21 IP in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 12/5/07
6’2”, 190 lbs, 26 years old
0-0, 4.15 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 5.16 FIP, 6.23 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: 111; Pre 2010 Rank: 77; Pre 2009 Rank: 82

Robert Boothe has had an interesting minor league career. He was originally signed by the Dodgers out of Japan as an international free agent, and at the time of his signing Logan White said that Boothe has “a nice delivery, good arm action, and a sound mix of breaking pitches which gives him the ability to be a future Major Leaguer.” The half Japanese half Caucasian right hander started his career in Ogden in 2008, then had a solid season for the Loons in 2009 where he had a K/9 of almost 12.5. At that point there was talk that Boothe and his 95 mph fastball might make the jump up to AA, but Robert was instead sent to the California League in 2010 where he struggled mightily with control. The Dodgers demoted Boothe back to LoA to start the 2011 season with hopes that he would return to form, but he instead completely imploded and was removed from the roster in early May. Boothe re-emerged in mid July, but this time it was all the way down in the Arizona Rookie League, which is where he finished out his season without much success. While his ERA in Arizona was only 2.57, he walked more batter than he struck out which is not what you want to see out of a 25 year old. I’m honestly not sure what the next step is for Boothe. The Dodgers will probably want to hold on to him for at least one more year if he still possesses a mid 90’s fastball, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if he was released at some point in the near future given his inability to find the plate. I guess only time will tell where he’ll be in 2012.

141. Devin Shines, OF (1 game in Pioneer Rookie Lg, 52 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 38th round
5’9”, 185 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats right handed
.319 average, .864 OPS, 4 HR’s, 33 RBI’s, 13 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Devin Shines, who is the son of former Expos first baseman Razor Shines, started his college career at San Jacinto Junior College where he hit about .340 over two seasons and slugged 16 homers. He transferred to Oklahoma State in 2010, but he red-shirted that year due to injury. He finally made his Cowboy debut in 2011 where he was one of the team’s starting outfielders, but he only hit .270 with 4 homers and 6 stolen bases. He also had a relatively weak fielding % of .968, but he did make this diving play. Despite his disappointing season the Dodgers selected Shines in the 38th round of the 2011 draft, and he quickly became one of the best offensive players on the Arizona Dodgers. Devin ranked 2nd on the club in many offensive categories including OPS, average, and OB% (.398). He also led the team with 13 steals and played a solid center field. The only issue is that Shines was one of the older players in the league at 22 years old, so you have to take his stats with a grain of salt. However, I’ve read scouting reports that say he has surprising pop for his frame and also has good speed, so based on those reports, his bloodlines, and his great professional debut I would venture to say that Shines does have some potential as a prospect. I could see him getting promoted to LoA for 2012, especially since his dad is the hitting coach for the Loons, but then again there is a bit of an outfield log jam in the Dodgers lower minor leagues so he might be forced to play in Ogden.

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