True Blue LA and Parks had a conversation about Dodger prospects and in this first part of that chat, we will go straight to the top as he talks about No. 35 Julio Urias, No. 44 Corey Seager, No. 50 Joc Pederson, and No. 84 Zach Lee, the four Dodger prospects that are in the top 101 prospects.
The 2014 Baseball Prospectus book is now being shipped by Amazon (it won't be in book stores until mid-February). Parks will be at the Baseball Prospectus event at Dodger Stadium in April 26, too.
Last week Jason tweeted about the left-handed pitcher Urias, his top Dodger prospect:
Before last season, Parks asked the Dodgers about Urias and they said, " 'Just wait, something's coming.' [Urias is] 91-93, with 3s, 4s and 5s in every start, touching 95 in every start."
"He was throwing curveballs for strikes, if you can go throw the curveball for strikes at the lower levels (aka short-season or A league), you will get a lot of swinging strikes because they are already geared up to hit a fastball because that is all they can hit for the most part," Parks said.
Parks added that Urias is "a little bit bigger than 5'11", probably closer to 6'1", good delivery," and Parks remarked that Urias can do a lot with his fastball: "Urias can cut it, sink it, bore it in."
"There is not a ton of projection here, meaning that [Urias] probably not going to sprout to 6'4" and become this mid-90s power pitcher guy. He is what it is, he's just going to refine some more," Parks said. "I would not be surprised if he finds his way to Double A this year and wouldn't be surprised if [Urias] pitches in the big leagues in 2015, which is remarkable."
The number two Dodger prospect is the infielder Seager, No. 44 overall. Parks thinks he could be play in Double A now.
"He's a big guy, he's still finding his body, growing into that adult frame," Parks said.
Parks agrees with other scouts about Seager's ultimate position
"He's not a shortstop long term although he has good glove, he has pretty good range, strong enough arm for third," Parks said. "I would move him sooner rather than later, settle in at third, learn the angles."
As to Seager's hitting, Parks noted that "there were some scouts who soured him as he faced better pitching in the Cal league and the Arizona Fall league, his approach at the plate broke down a little bit, his balance at the plate became more of an issue than it had in the past."
Parks said don't worry if you don't see home runs right away.
"Power will come but not immediately, he's a hit-first guy, he will learn how to hit for power later on." [Seager] is a hit tool guy, he will hit for average," Parks said. "I like him as a player, I think he is a first-division third baseman at the end of the day."
Pederson was number three for the Dodgers and number 50 of the BP 101. Parks was succinct in his praise for the outfielder, "[Pederson] is a five-tool guy." And Parks said of those tools, the one that he is strong at might surprise you: "[Pederson] has lot more power than people realize, his raw power is really, really, really impressive."
Not surprising, Parks has heard this from other team's personnel "lot of teams are interested in him because they know the situation in the Dodger outfield is crowded, they think he is guy that maybe they can snatch." Finally, as to where Pederson will end up as a player, Parks said "I think he is first division guy if he can stick in center, if he plays a corner it will be more of regular player. Big power."
The right-handed pitcher Lee was the fourth Dodger prospect in the BP 101. Parks tweeted about Zach last week too:
#Dodgers pitcher Zach Lee has gone from unattainable to overrated to really overrated to underrated since being drafted in 2010.— Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) January 20, 2014
"[Lee] became a pitcher, not just a strike thrower," Parks said. "[Lee] became a pitchability guy, fastball 90-92, he knows how to move it."
Adding to his fastball, Parks talked about Lee's other pitches.
"[Lee has] a couple of breaking ball looks, [Lee's] change up has taken few steps forward," Parks said "[Lee is] not going to miss a lot of bats at the Major League level, a more of a pitch to contact guy."
As Parks said in his tweet, Lee might be overlooked in the Dodger system but that is a mistake.
"I think he's going to be a number 4 starter for a very long time and that's a valuable thing under team control now," Parks said. "I think its a big developmental win for them and an investment that will pay off."
Part two of our chat with Jason Parks will look at the next four prospects on the list, 4 pitchers who moved from college campuses to the Dodger organization.