Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The 22-year-old Cuban outfielder, who topped True Blue LA reader prospect rankings, was named by Baseball Prospectus as the top prospect in the Dodgers' system.
Jason Parks called Puig's strength "lumberjack" and "near-elite," but noted that flaws in his swing, specifically using more of the upper body than he should, could prove troublesome for the outfielder, as soon as 2013 at Double-A Chattanooga.
"It’s difficult to rank a player like Puig, who could explode into one of the better power bats in the minors or underwhelm against better competition," Parks wrote. "At this stage, there are too many unknowns for a clear picture."
But despite the unknowns, Puig tops the Dodgers' list, a list that doesn't include Hyun-jin Ryu. Unlike Baseball America, who had Ryu atop the Dodgers' prospect list last week, Baseball Prospectus elected not to rank Ryu, who has seven years of professional experience in Korea.
Parks explained the rationale:
Because of the unique nature of his prospect status, we’ve elected to profile Ryu off the main top ten 10. As with Darvish and Cespedes last season, it’s difficult to rank foreign athletes arriving from foreign leagues who are set to debut at the major-league level, without spending time in the minor-league system. While their development is still ongoing and their assimilation to stateside ball is complex and strenuous, the players are expected to be players and not prospects, despite their rookie status. In order to maintain the precedent established on this site with the exclusion of the aforementioned players from previous lists, we will not be ranking Ryu on the team list or the Top 101. However, since I assume this will be asked, if eligible for inclusion, Ryu would fall firmly in the top 10, most likely in the 6-8 range.
Here is a look at the top 10 Dodgers prospects from a few sources, including True Blue LA readers, though Ryu wasn't yet signed when that list was voted upon, Dustin Nosler at Feelin' Kinda Blue, and John Sickels at Minor League Ball. Brandon Lennox will begin to release his top 200 prospects this week.
|Dodgers Top 10 Prospects|
|Rank||TBLA readers||Baseball Prospectus||Baseball America||Feelin' Kinda Blue||Minor League Ball|
|1||Yasiel Puig of||Puig||Hyun-jin Ryu lhp||Lee||Puig|
|2||Zach Lee rhp||Lee||Puig||Puig||Seager|
|3||Corey Seager 3b||Seager||Seager||Seager||Pederson|
|4||Joc Pederson of||Reed||Pederson||Ryu||Lee|
|5||Chris Reed lhp||Pederson||Lee||Pederson||Ryu|
|6||Matt Magill rhp||Magill||Reed||Magill||Garcia|
|7||Paco Rodriguez lhp||Garcia||Garcia||Garcia||Magill|
|8||Chris Withrow rhp||Withrow||Rodriguez||Reed||Reed|
|9||Garrett Gould rhp||Gould||Magill||Gould||Withrow|
|10||Onelki Garcia lhp||Zachary Bird rhp
||Ross Stripling rhp||Rodriguez||Stripling|
The one player unique to the Baseball Prospectus list is Zachary Bird, 18, who was drafted in the ninth round of 2012. The 6'3" right-hander had 46 strikeouts in 39⅔ innings in 10 starts for rookie league Arizona last year. Parks tabbed Bird as a potential No. 3 starter, and rated both his fastball and curveball as potentially a six on the 2-8 scouting scale.
"The raw stuff can survive the level, and its possible that a strong camp could push him to the Midwest League, but there is no reason to rush the young pitcher. Once the command rounds into shape and he finds comfort in the secondary arsenal, Bird could jump back on the accelerated advancement train and move through the system faster than most teenaged arms," Parks wrote. "It remains to be seen where the arsenal goes from here, but you have to like the body, the delivery, and the arm that he has to work with. Pay attention to this kid. It might not end up special, but it could end up being very solid."