It's prospect season! Over the next few months we'll be seeing all of the top prospect lists start popping up around the web, from Baseball Prospectus to Minorleagueball.com. For my particular favorite, Baseball America, we'll have to wait until January 25th to see their top 10 Dodger prospect ranking, but for TBLA we are going to start our voting now.
This is the community's opportunity to decide on the Dodgers top prospects heading into the 2013 season. Just like last year we'll go 20 prospects deep in our voting, and have the discussion on the main page. Thanks to the new site upgrades this year the voting will be held in a new sub-section of the site for Prospect voting instead of in a fanpost. The first voting thread can be found here.
For the most part the votes will be held daily, and I’ll set up run-offs if needed when the voting is too close. To qualify as a prospect, a player must have less than 50 IP or 30 appearances in the big leagues or less 130 at bats, regardless of service time.
Remember, this vote reflects the views of this community, and not my own. The summary I have written about each player is meant to provide factual information and does not include any bias on my part.
The players I have selected to include in this first vote is based on common sense as there are only a handful of players who are logical choices to be the Dodgers #1 prospect. That being said, it is possible that the player that you feel is the best Dodgers prospect might not be listed. If that is the case, then that player didn’t have a chance to win anyways, so you are going to have to vote for one of the options I’ve provided. Heading into the later rounds, I’m definitely open for suggestions on who to add.
Without further ado, here are your options for the the TBLA's #1 Dodger prospect for the upcoming season:
Zach Lee - RHP (21 years old) - Tabbed as TBLA's #1 prospect last year, Zach Lee had an interesting season that had it's up's and down's. Lee was unspectacular yet held his own in the hitter friendly California League, then after getting promoted to AA he struggled through his first few starts. A mechanical adjustment helped him regain his form and over his final 6 starts in the Southern League he had an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP 0.92 as one of the league's youngest players. Constantly described as a polished pitcher with good command, Lee mixes a low 90's fastball (that can reach into the mid 90's when needed) with a slider, a curve, and a good changeup. Overall in 2012 he had a 4.39 ERA, a 3.95 FIP, and a 7.66 K/9 over 121 innings in a season he split between HiA and AA.
Corey Seager - SS/3B (18.5 years old) - The Dodgers top pick in the 2012 draft, Seager is a big kid with a smooth smooth swing and projects to have solid power as he matures. He spent the 2012 season in Ogden, and after a slow start Corey was outstanding in the month of August which helped him finish the year with an OPS above .900. As an 18 year old he showed great disciple as he stuck out in just 16.4% of his plate appearances, and he even stole 8 bases. His defense at shortstop is below average which is why I believe he'll eventually transition to 3rd base, but his bat easily plays at the hot corner so I don't see any issue with that potential move. Overall in 2012 he hit .309 over 46 games with 8 homers and a .520 slugging %.
Joc Pederson - OF (20.5 years old) - After an MVP type season in the Pioneer League in 2011, Joc started off the 2012 season slowly with the Quakes. Once the calendar turned to July, however, Pederson was one of the hottest hitters in all of minor league baseball as he batted .345 over the final two months and crushed 15 homers. While he's currently struggling in the AFL against some of the minor league's best competition, it's a small sample size and it's been a long season for the 20 year old. In terms of defense Joc has the ability to play center field thanks to his speed and his arm is average. Overall in 2012 Joc hit .313 over 110 games with 18 homers and a .913 OPS.
Yasiel Puig - OF (21.75 years old) - The Cuban defector who signed with the Dodgers for $42M, Puig is one of the biggest mysteries in the Dodger minor league system thanks to a lack of playing time. Yasiel did make quick work of the Arizona Rookie League when he hit 4 homers in 9 games, then played well in 14 HiA games although there were some critics when it came to his lack of hustle. He was all set to play in the AFL before a staff infection derailed those plans. Overall Puig is a physical specimen who looks like a big league player, but again he's a tough prospect to judge given his lack of playing time against advanced minor league competition. Overall in limited playing time in 2012 he hit .354 with 5 homers and 8 stolen bases.
Please use this post as the discussion thread, and cast your actual vote in this prospect voting post. For those of you who don't remember from last year, having the voting in a separate post makes it easier for me to count up the results.