2012 State of the Dodgers Minor League System - Center Field

Joc Pederson batting for the Quakes this season

Our journey through the Dodger minor league system now takes up back to the middle of the field as we will focus on one of the most important defensive positions; center field. In case you missed any of my other reports to far, here are the links: Catcher, 1st Base, 2nd Base, Shortstop, 3rd Base, and Left Field. As a reminder, I am providing the overall preseason rank that I gave to each player (Pre Overall) and of course their current ranking 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 or new to the position since my preseason ranking. Like my pre-season rankings, I will only include guys who are under 28 years of age and are considered prospects (less than 130 AB's).

I am including all players that are in the Dodgers minor league system except for the recent international signees who have not yet played in a professional game because there simply isn't any information about them out there. I will also be providing how each player was acquired, their age, height, weight, and current level.

As I mentioned before, I have ranked each player at is the position that I believe is best long term position 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. Here is the list:

Current Name How Acquired Pre Overall Age Height Weight Bats Level
1 Joc Pederson 2010, 11th 9 20.30 6' 1" 185 L HiA
2 James Baldwin 2010, 4th 7 20.83 6' 3" 190 L LoA
3 Jeremy Rathjen 2012, 11th New 22.53 6' 6" 190 R Ogden
4 Nick Buss 2008, 8th 74 25.65 6' 2" 195 L AA
5 Matt Angle Waiver Claim New 26.91 5' 10" 175 L AAA
6 Jacob Scavuzzo 2012, 21st New 18.57 6' 4" 185 R Arizona
7 Gregory Pena Signed 11/1/09 114 20.65 6' 0" 175 S Arizona
8 Devin Shines 2011, 38th 141 23.24 5' 9" 185 R Ogden
9 Gerson Nunez Signed in 2012 New 21.63 5' 11" 178 R DSL
10 Devon Ethier 2010, 32nd 152 22.18 6' 0" 165 R Ogden



Follow the jump for the analysis:

Here is last years list. Despite the loss of Leon Landry center field is top heavy in terms of prospects, especially when you consider that Joc Pederson is one of the best offensive prospects in the organization. After a MVP type season in the Pioneer League in 2011, the Dodgers were aggressive with Pederson as they sent him to the California League. As one of the youngest players in the league it took him a few months to adjust, but he's been tearing it up in the 2nd half which has a lot of people calling for another promotion. While some scouts seem to think Pederson will end up in a corner outfield spot, I've seen him play some center and I think that he'll handle it just fine.

James Baldwin probably has the most disappointing 2012 stats of any significant Dodger prospect, but there's no way writing him off yet. The most concerning part of his game continues to be his strikeout rate, although I also expected more power out of him. His speed has been impressive, however, and he's a raw 20 year old with a lot of projection so he's still refining his game. Hopefully he's just a late bloomer.

Jeremy Rathjen might be a surprise at #3, but I like his scouting report and I also like what he's done so far as a pro. He's a 6'6" guy with power and speed who is still just a little more than a year removed from a torn ACL, so he could still get better. Nick Buss looked like he had turned his career around after a breakout season in 2011, but he's come back down to earth in 2012 and hasn't shown any standout tools this year. Matt Angle is the AAA version of Buss, although he is on the 40 man roster so is closer to the big leagues. I don't really know much about 2012 21st round pick Jacob Scavuzzo, but he has good size, is very young, and is a local kid so I'll be rooting for him.

Overall center field has some promising young players coming up through the system who will hopefully provide the Dodgers with some internal options within the next few years. Hopefully they won't be needed for a while given that Kemp is locked up, but at some point Matt will probably move to a corner so that could make room for someone like Pederson or maybe even Baldwin.

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