2012 State of the Dodgers Minor League System - Starting Pitching

Zach Lee throwing during 2012 spring training

The final installment in the State of the Dodgers Minor League System takes a look at the starting pitching depth. Nothing like saving the best for last. In case you missed any other other parts of the series, here are the links: Catcher, 1st Base, 2nd Base, Shortstop, 3rd Base, Left Field, Center Field, Right Field, and Relief Pitching. For the last time, I am going to remind everyone that 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 50 IP and less than 30 appearances).

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 in my previous post, I have split the pitchers between starters and relievers based on where I believe the player will eventually end up. Some of the pitchers below may currently be relievers, but for those guys I think they'll be better in the rotation in the long run. Because the list is so long I have put it after the jump, so click below for the ranking and the brief analysis.

Current Name Draft Year, Round Pre Overall Age Height Weight Throws Level
1 Zach Lee 2010, 1st 1 20.92 6' 4" 190 R AA
2 Allen Webster 2008, 18th 2 22.51 6' 3" 185 R AA
3 Chris Reed 2011, 1st 4 22.24 6' 4" 195 L AA
4 Chris Withrow 2007, 1st 3 23.37 6' 3" 195 R AA
5 Garrett Gould 2009, 2nd 5 21.08 6' 4" 190 R HiA
6 Matthew Magill 2008, 31st 45 22.76 6' 3" 190 R AA
7 Aaron Miller 2009, 1st 14 24.91 6' 3" 200 L AA
8 Stephen Fife Trade w/Red Sox 53 25.86 6' 3" 210 R AAA
9 Ryan O'Sullivan 2011, 4th 23 21.94 6' 2" 190 R HiA
10 Onelkis Garcia 2012, 3rd New 23.04 6' 3" 220 L Arizona?
11 Angel Sanchez Signed 7/12/10 19 22.71 6' 3" 177 R HiA
12 Zachary Bird 2012, 9th New 18.09 6' 3" 177 R Arizona
13 Ralston Cash 2010, 2nd 32 20.99 6' 1" 197 R LoA/DL
14 Scott Barlow 2011, 6th 28 19.66 6' 3" 170 R DL
15 Miguel Sulbaran Signed 3/30/2011 87 18.41 5' 10" 165 L Arizona
16 Ross Stripling 2012, 5th New 22.73 6' 3" 190 R Ogden
17 Jarret Martin Trade w/Balt 59 23.00 6' 3" 230 L HiA
18 Jon Michael Redding 2008, 5th 48 24.75 6' 1" 195 R HiA
19 Jonathan Martinez Signed 5/31/2011 95 18.14 6' 1" 170 R Arizona
20 Andres, Santiago 2007, 16th 89 22.80 6' 2" 200 R AA
21 Brandon Martinez 2009, 7th 37 21.72 6' 4" 150 R HiA
22 Duke von Schamann 2012, 15th New 21.20 6' 5" 220 R LoA
23 Derek Cone 2010, 31st 35 22.15 6' 5" 210 R Ogden
24 Arismendy Ozoria Signed 11/22/08 67 22.02 6' 0" 195 R LoA
25 Gustavo Gomez Signed 1/2/08 62 21.23 6' 1" 150 R LoA
26 Bryan Munoz Signed 3/26/12 New 17.06 6' 2" 180 R DSL
27 Raydel Sanchez Signed 4/21/2011 81 22.43 6' 0" 205 R LoA
28 Jose Dominguez Signed 7/2/07 98 22.02 6' 0" 180 R LoA
29 William Savage Signed 2/2/10 84 27.97 6' 4" 215 R AAA
30 Greg Wilborn 2009, 18th 72 25.20 6' 2" 175 L LoA
31 Jhosue Bermudez Signed 6/24/11 New 19.32 6' 0" 180 L Arizona
32 Lindsey Caughel 2012, 23rd New 22.01 6' 3" 190 R Ogden
33 Abdiel Velasquez Signed 7/2/09 107 19.45 6' 3" 184 R Arizona
34 Ryan Christenson 2010, 7th 66 23.59 6' 1" 185 L ?
35 Luis Mesa Signed 5/6/09 112 22.09 6' 4" 170 R Ogden
36 Wascar Teodo Signed 2012 New 18.14 6' 4" 190 R DSL
37 Jake Hermsen 2012, 28th New 22.75 6' 0" 205 L Ogden
38 Kazuya Takano Signed 11/11/10 94 19.76 6' 1" 170 R Arizona
39 Mario Querales Signed 2012 New 17.75 6' 1" 175 R DSL
40 Jackson Mateo Signed 11/13/09 90 19.98 6' 0" 193 R Arizona
41 Leonel Beras Signed 10/22/07 119 24.27 6' 0" 155 L DSL
42 Jose Agusto Diaz Signed 2/8/11 173 21.58 5' 11" 185 R DSL
43 Victor Araujo Signed 11/26/09 172 19.76 5' 11" 171 R Arizona
44 Welington Serrano Signed in 2012 New 17.94 6' 0" 170 L DSL
45 Edinson Bock Signed 3/21/2011 155 18.34 6' 2" 190 R DSL
46 Luis De Paula Signed 2012 New 20.31 6' 1" 170 L DSL
47 Giordanny Chavez Signed 1/29/09 138 21.33 6' 3" 185 R DSL
48 Moises Tamarez Signed 1/19/09 132 20.44 6' 3" 195 R DSL

Here is my starting pitching ranking from last year. Similar to the relief pitching report I'll keep my analysis pretty brief due to the size of the list. Starting at the top, it seems that most people will agree with the first three players on this list as Zach Lee continues to be #1 despite some early struggles in AA. The 20 year old is one of the youngest players in the Southern League and as I've written about him dozens of times, he's a polished pitcher with great control and a solid mix of pitches. He'll definitely need a decent amount of seasoning next season back in AA, but he could be ready to make it to the show at some point next year. Allen Webster is pretty much the consensus #2 starting pitching prospect in the organization, especially with his recent re-emergence and the fact that the Dodgers were so hesitant to trade him. He seems to be next in line for a big league call up if need be, and now at 22 years old he should be close to being ready. Chris Reed has had an interesting season as he was recently placed on the DL for the second time and has been limited to 3 for 4 inning starts for the most part, but I still really like him a starting pitching prospect. When he's on he really has good stuff, and when I saw him pitch live the ball seemed to jump out of his hand. Because we are so late into the year the Dodgers might just shut him down for the rest of the year, and while I would have liked to see him get more than 65 inning under his belt, I think that he's made good progress so far as a professional. Maybe he'll pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Either way hopefully he'll be ready for a full load in 2013, although the Dodgers will again probably have to limit him somewhat so his innings don't jump significantly from one year to the next.

Here is where the controversy might start because I have both Chris Withrow and Garrett Gould ahead of the recently hot Matt Magill. While there is no question that Magill is currently performing the best out of the three, I always base my rankings on who I think is going to have the best big league career at the end of the day. I personally think that Withrow's stuff is simply going to play better in the big leagues, and I do believe that he'll return to the rotation next season. Sure his walks are still a bit high, but besides that Chris has posted solid stats in AA and is still just 23. Hopefully I'm right for ranking him 4th on the list. For Gould, his ERA is a bit high and he's allowed quite a few homers, but I think that mostly a product of the California League as he continues to show good stuff. His curveball ranks as best in the California League, and he continues to strikeout almost a batter per inning. He's also still very young at 21 so even if he stays in A ball for another year he's on track to reach the big leagues by 2014. That brings us to Magill who as I mentioned has performed the best out of any pitching prospect this year. That caused me to bump him up quite a bit in my rankings, but I still have him behind the top talent because I don't think his big league career will be as successful as any of the players ranked above him. While he recently said he is hitting 95 mph I think that is more of his max velocity as first hand accounts by myself and others have him more in the high 80's to low 90's. I know that he has a very good slider, but again I'm just not sure how well his stuff will play against big league hitters. Only time will tell.

The rest of the analysis will be in short format, starting with Aaron Miller who hasn't been bad this year, but hasn't been good either. His K rate is strong, but he's almost 25 years old now and has walked way too many this year. Stephen Fife has moved up quite a bit after showing he has what it takes to get big league outs, although I think he'd get exposed once major league hitters got more tape on him. Ryan O'Sullivan has pitched mostly out of the bullpen this year, but I think the Dodgers will stretch him back out next year and I like his potential. 2012 3rd round pick Onelkis Garcia is a bit of a mystery since he hasn't played a professional game yet, but I think he'll be a fast mover next year and has a very solid fastball/curveball combination. I'm glad I never bought into the Angel Sanchez hype because he is getting destroyed in the California League. I'm not writing him off completely given his pitching environment, but I think most people will agree that his prospect status has lost some luster.

Zachary Bird might be the surprise of the 2012 draft as there have been some glowing scouting reports from hit out of Arizona this year, and he is extremely young and projectable. I'm not 100% sure what to do with Ralston Cash as he missed all of 2011, struggled in 2012, and now is back on the DL, but I don't think it's time to write off the 21 year old just yet. Scott Barlow was the Zachary Bird of the 2011 draft, but he unfortunately had Tommy John surgery and is missing all of 2012. He had his velocity up to 96 mph prior to the injury, so he hopefully he returns to form once he heals. Miguel Sulbaran opened up a lot of eyes with his performance in Arizona, but upon getting promoted to LoA he showed he's not quite ready for a full season league. He's still just 18 and as a lefty he has a lot of value. Ross Stripling has been brilliant since signing as a 5th round pick and he should be one of the starters with either the Loons or Quakes next year. Going down the list a bit you'll see Duke von Schamann who is performing well as a sinker baller and could move relatively quickly. Finally 17 year old Bryan Munoz checks in at #26 on the list and he is the Dominican native who signed for $300K a few months ago. He's just barely made his professional debut, but hopefully he shoots up the rankings over the next few years.

Overall the Dodgers pitching prospects are very strong and should be able to provide the organization with some home grown arms for years to come. And that's not even including Rubby De La Rosa who is no longer considered a prospect, but is on his way back from injury. It's not hard to imagine a home grown rotation within the next few years once the contracts of Harang, Capuano, and Lilly expire, although I'm not sure that management will ever go for that even though the majority of the top free agents are already locked up.

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