2012 State of the Dodgers Minor League System - Right Field

Alex Castellanos is one of several strong Dodger right field prospects

We finish our review of the Dodger minor league offensive positions with a look at right field. As I've already mentioned many times before, for the list below 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 Yasiel Puig Signed in 2012 New 21.68 6' 3" 215 R Arz/HiA?
2 Alex Castellanos Trade w/Cardinals 24 26.02 5' 11" 180 R AAA
3 Blake Smith 2009, 2nd 15 24.68 6' 2" 225 L AA
4 Jonathan Garcia 2009, 8th 11 20.75 5' 11" 175 R HiA
5 Kyle Russell 2008, 3rd 20 26.13 6' 5" 195 L AA
6 Jesus Valdez 2011, 19th 56 20.38 6' 3" 180 R Ogden
7 Scott Schebler 2010, 26th 26 21.85 6' 1" 208 L LoA
8 Joey Curletta 2012, 6th New 18.43 6' 4" 225 R Arizona
9 Jorky Infante Signed 11/22/08 195 21.46 6' 0" 155 S DSL
10 Daury Urena Signed in 2012 New 21.34 6' 1" 170 R DSL

Follow the jump for the analysis...

Here is the list for last year. Bottom line, this is a very strong position for the Dodgers. The way I look at it, the organization has 8 legitimate right field prospects. The clear cut number one for this list is recent Cuban signee Yasiel Puig who shocked baseball by signing a $42M contact with the Dodgers in late June. Puig has already dominated the Arizona Rookie League, and my guess is that he'll be ready to join the big league club before the end of the 2013 season. While some think the Dodgers overpaid for Yasiel, recent scouting reports have been positive and he seems to have the potential to be a 5 tool player. It seems to make sense that at some point Ethier will move off of right field to eventually make room for Puig.

Alex Castellanos has moved all over the field during the past year, but I think his best position is right field which is why I have included him in this group. Castle has absolutely dominated the Pacific Coast League in 2012, but he struggled during his time with the Dodgers and to be honest I'm not 100% sure he has what it takes to be a big league regular. At 26 years old he's no youngster, but his bat seems like it could be useful as a part time player in the major leagues.

The next three players on this list all seem to have big league potential, but they each also have their flaws. Blake Smith has been a solid and consistent player over the past 3 years, but besides his rocket right arm he doesn't necessarily have a standout skill and he strikes out quite a bit. That being said he has good power and has good tools in all aspects of his game, so he's really not that far down on the Dodgers outfield depth chart. After an exciting professional debut and a solid year in 2010, Jonathan Garcia has regressed in each of the last two seasons and is falling fast in the Dodger minor league prospect rankings. Hopefully he's bottomed out after getting suspended for throwing a bat in the direction an umpire, but at this point there is no guarantee. Despite being just 20 years old I expected Jonathan to have a good season in the hitter friendly California League, but instead he is hitting just .236 with an ugly OPS and strikeout rate. As I've mentioned with other players I'm not writing him off due to his youth, but he's going to need to get himself together soon. Everyone knows that Kyle Russell's biggest weakness in the hole in his swing, but he still has legitimate power and I think he eventually makes it to the big leagues as a left handed bat off the bench. He also has under-rated defense in right field with a solid arm and surprising range. I'm surprised he's struggled so far in his brief appearances in AAA, but I think that he could have a huge season if he gets a real chance with the Isotopes.

Jesus Valdez has opened a lot of eyes over the past few weeks with his bat, and although the former pitcher has also played 1st base, 3rd base, and left field, I believe he's best suited for right field due to his strong arm. He's still a bit raw as a hitter and he struggles against lefties, but he has legitimate power and a solid frame. I really liked Scott Schebler when he signed with the Dodgers as a late round pick in 2010 because he was supposed to have a good combination of power and speed, but he hasn't shown much of either tool in 2012 and has a disappointing .719 OPS for the Loons. The 21 year old still has potential and I could see him rebounding with the Quakes in 2013 a la Leon Landry. Finally Joey Culetta has been simply terrible so far for the Arizona Dodgers, but his scouting reports talk about his light tower power and his strong arm so he deserves a mention in this post. He'll never be the fastest player on the diamond, but he is another youngster with potential.

Overall right field is a very strong minor league position for the Dodgers, although if Puig reaches his potential the other players on the list will pretty much be blocked due to the contacts of Either and Kemp. It never hurts to have solid depth, however, and as always some players on the list could move positions if their bat is truly big league ready.

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