I know I fell a bit behind schedule, but I am still going to finish my Dodger minor league countdown prior to Minor League Opening Day. This post will cover prospect #'s 60 - 31, and then tomorrow, in honor of opening day, I'll post my top 30 prospects in the Dodgers minor league system heading into the 2013 season.
This post will be a little long, but it doesn't include a lot of information about some of the fringe prospects who are just outside the top 30. Several of these guys are on the verge of breaking out and could be among the top prospects next year. So without further ado, here is the second to last post in my series for this year.
60. Juan Rodriguez, RHP (9.1 IP in HiA, 29 IP in LoA in 2012)
Trade with Red Sox for Trayvon Robinson
6’5”, 195 lbs, 24.25 years old
5-1, 6.34 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 5.39 FIP, 11.03 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 30; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
Despite the stats you see above, Juan Rodriguez continues to be an intriguing player. Acquired by the Dodgers as part of the Trayvon Robinson trade in 2011, Rodriguez has an upper 90’s fastball with good movement that continues to be both a blessing and a curse. His fastball allows him to rack up the strikeouts and limit the hits against him (.211 batting average against in 2012), but he has so much trouble harnessing it that he ends up issuing more than a walk per inning on average. Those walks usually end up burning him in the end, especially during his time with the Loons last year which ballooned his ERA. Rodriguez actually started out the 2012 season in HiA and was doing a solid job over 8 appearances before he was suspended in early for "conduct detrimental to the team." After about a month he re-emerged in LoA and that’s when his season really went downhill. Overall Rodriguez still has the chance to be something special, but he’s going to have to really cut down on his walks quickly. He’s also going have to improve at least one of his secondary pitches (he has a slider and a changeup) because the last scouting report I have on him rates them has fringy at best. At 24 years old I think his assignment in 2013 will really depend on how he performs this spring because I can see him all the way up in AA or all the way down in LoA. As of today he hasn’t been assigned to any of the 2013 opening day rosters.
59. Chris Jacobs, 1B (87 games in HiA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 17th round
6’5”, 257 lbs, 24.25 years old, bats right handed
.273 average, .846 OPS, 17 HR’s, 49 RBI’s, 2 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 55; Pre 2011 Rank: 82; Pre 2010 Rank: 55; Pre 2009 Rank: 24
Chris Jacobs has always had a ton of raw power, but early in his career he wasn’t able to translate that into “in game” success. He would constantly put on shows in batting practice, but struggled statically in his first four seasons. Something clicked in 2011, however, which is when Jacobs had a career year for the Loons despite having his cut short by a back injury. That success earned him a promotion to the Quakes in 2012 where he continued to thrive, setting a career high with17 homers even though he only had 300 at bats due to a couple of stints on the DL. I saw Jacobs hit one of those homers in person, and was definitely impressed by his size. There are some negatives for Chris, however, starting with the fact that he is extremely slow. It doesn’t impact him too much at 1st base outside of reducing his range, but on the basepaths he simply clogs it up. Then of course there are the strikeouts. While he improved his K rate a bit in 2011, it was back up in 2012 and he struck out in over 30% of his plate appearances. Overall Jacobs still intrigues me as a prospect because of his big time power, but it’s still going to be difficult for him to ever make it to the show given his position and lack of other skills. He will be moving up to AA in 2013 that will be a good challenge for him and it will probably be a make or break season for the big 1st baseman.
58. Malcolm Holland, 2B/CF (60 games in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 33rd round
5’11”, 165 lbs, 20.75 years old, switch hitter
.244 average, .696 OPS, 0 HR’s, 15 RBI’s, 44 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 96; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
When the Dodgers selected Malcolm Holland in the 33rd round of the 2011 draft, I figured he’d be a tough sign. He had been recruited to play defensive back for Boise State, and given that he was picked in such a late round I figured he’d want to either play football or try and improve his draft position by playing ball at a junior college. As it turns out, the Dodgers were willing to give Holland a $160K contract while letting him play both for the Dodgers and for Boise State football, but the Broncos didn’t like the idea. So Holland took the money and gave up football, and made his professional debut in the Arizona Rookie League. As the club’s primary 2nd baseman Holland hit just .159 and made 8 errors in 24 games, but given how raw he was as a ball player I wasn’t really too worried about that stats. In 2012 Malcolm was promoted to the Pioneer League where he had a very unique season. While Holland only hit .244, he managed to rank 7th in the league with his .421 OB% thanks to a league high 54 walks. He also was best in the circuit with his 44 stolen bases. Another interesting thing is that Malcolm only had 6 extra base hits all year, and they were all doubles. In terms of defense the Dodgers actually moved Holland to center field in 2012 where he was flawless over 24 games. He also continued to play his original position of 2nd base but he made 15 errors for a .919 fielding %. Heading in 2013 I’m not really sure what to make of Holland as a prospect because he definitely possesses some interesting tools, yet seems to be missing others. Logan White did compare him to Dee Gordon when he was drafted so if he could come anywhere close to a center field version of Dee that would be a huge plus for the Dodgers. Holland will move to LoA in 2013 where he’ll man 2nd base and center field for the Loons.
57. Jharel Cotton, RHP (15 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 20th round
6’1”, 197 lbs, 21 years old, bats right handed
1-0, 1.20 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 1.13 FIP, 12.00 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A
Jharel Cotton had a history with the Dodgers even before the 2012 draft. Born in the Virgin Islands, Cotton eventually moved to the United States and went to high school in Virginia. He went undrafted after his senior year but was noticed by the Dodgers when he played summer ball for the Peninsula Pilots. The Dodgers offered him $125K at the time after their scout said that Jharel “has a big-league fastball, big-league change-up, and a big-league curve." Cotton decided not to sign and instead attended Miami Dade Junior College then later the University of East Carolina. During his 2012 season at East Carolina Cotton had a 3.65 ERA and a 62 K’s in 74 innings as a starter, and the Dodgers picked him in the 20th round. They only offered him $40K this time around, however, so Jharel went back to the Peninsula Pilots where he teamed with 2012 16th rounder Josh Henderson to show he was worth more. According to Cotton “The Dodgers came out and watched me a couple times and they liked what they saw. So they offered me $75,000. I don't think I'm going to do any better than that, so I decided to take it." Upon signing Cotton join the Raptors and had immediate success, although he was shut down in mid-August probably to limit his workload for the year. In terms of his stuff, Baseball America’s most recent scouting report says that he can barely reach 90 mph, however in the aforementioned article that talked about his signing it said that he hit 98 mph out of the bullpen while with the Pilots. His changeup is described as a plus pitch, and he also had a curveball. A few different sites have recently called Cotton a sleeper in the Dodgers system, and after reading about that 98 mph fastball I’d have to agree that he is a late round pick who has potential. He’ll start the 2013 season in LoA, and as of now it seems that the Dodgers will use him as a reliever.
56. Pratt Maynard, C (9 games in HiA, 81 games in LoA in 2012 in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 3rd round
6’0”, 215 lbs, 23.25 years old, bats left handed
.248 average, .656 OPS, 3 HR’s, 37 RBI’s, 7 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 39; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
Pratt Maynard never caught a game while in high school, but upon arriving at North Carolina State the Wolfpack decided to try him behind the plate. The conversion was obviously a success, and it led to the Dodgers picking Maynard in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft. An ankle injury limited him to just 25 games with Ogden in his professional debut and he never really got in a groove as he hit just .239 with only 5 extra base hits. Despite his struggles and limited professional experience Pratt moved up to LoA in 2012 but unfortunately he had a very disappointing season. He started the year in a terrible slump, and while he showed some improvement later in the season Maynard’s overall offensive production was well below expectations. He did receive a late season promotion late in the year to HiA where he got into 9 games, but that was due to the Quakes needing a catcher and not a reward for his performance. The good news is that Maynard played solid defense in 2012 and has pretty good polish behind the plate despite for a guy who has only been catching for a few years. He’ll return to the Quakes in 2013 and will hope for a breakout season.
55. Jeremy Moore, OF (Injured in 2012)
Signed as minor league free agent in 2012
6’1”, 195 lbs, 25.75 years old, bats left handed
No stats in 2012
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A
Drafted out of high school by the Angels way back in 2005 as a raw yet athletic outfielder, Jeremy Moore moved up steadily through their system over the next 7 years. By 2011 Moore had reached AAA, and after a very solid season with the Salt Lake Bees Jeremy was actually a September call up for the Angeles that season. That off-season he was ranked by Baseball America as the Angels’ 11th best prospect and was projected to spend his career as a major league backup outfielder. Unfortunately that next spring he injured his hip and the subsequent surgery caused him to miss the entire 2012 season. He was released this past November and signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers a month later with an invitation to spring training. While he did pretty well this spring he didn’t find himself on a 2013 opening day minor league roster, but that could be due to a late injury we didn’t hear about. I expect him to spend most of the year in AAA where he’ll split time in the outfield.
54. Eric Eadington, LHP (11 IP in AA, 38.1 IP in HiA, 17.2 IP in LoA in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers in July 2011 as a non drafted free agent
6’2”, 220 lbs, 25 years old
4-3, 3.63 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.04 FIP, 10.34 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 68; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
Eric Eadington spent 5 years at Harvard, so at the very least you know he’s a smart guy. He started his collegiate career way back in 2007, but after a decent debut he was injured after throwing just 5.1 innings in 2008. Tommy John surgery was required, so Eric redshirted in 2009 and got back onto the field full time in 2010. During his senior season in 2011 Eadington actually went 0 - 7 for Harvard with a 5.16 ERA, but on the plus slide he had a 9.29 K/9. That wasn’t enough to get him drafted, however, so Eric signed with the Dodgers as a free agent shortly after the 2011 draft. Since signing Eric has moved very quickly through the Dodgers system. He’s made every stop along the way, but simply never stays on any team for more than a few months. After starting 2012 in LoA as the Loons closer, Eadington was promoted to HiA after posting a K/9 of almost 14. With the Quakes Eric again assumed the closer role and while his strikeout numbers fell slightly, he was still very good with a 3.29 ERA and 21 saves which ranked 2nd in the league. In August Eric was promoted again, this time to AA where he found the competition to be a little tougher as his ERA climbed to 5.73. After the season Eadington received another promotion of sorts as he was sent to the AFL where he faced some of the baseball’s best prospects. He again struggled a bit against the more advanced competition, but the good news is that he was able to maintain his strong K rate. In terms of his stuff, Eric has a low to mid 90’s fastball from the left side, and according to Baseball America his “second pitch is a slurvy breaking ball that he throws at 79-81 mph.” Overall the fact that Eric has moved so quickly as a non drafted free agent is truly amazing, and if he eventually makes it to the big leagues he’ll be quite a story. As a left hander he seems to have the pure stuff to one day make it to the show, but 2013 will be a good test for him when he returns to AA since he has yet to succeed against advanced competition.
53. Javier Solano, RHP (62.2 IP in AA in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 1/18/08
6’0”, 177 lbs, 23 years old
3-0, 2.73 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 2.98 FIP, 8.62 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 44; Pre 2011 Rank: 28; Pre 2010 Rank: 111; Pre 2009 Rank: 139
The Dodgers purchased Javier Solano's rights from the Mexican League's Monterrey Sultans before the 2008 season for $250,000. According to Baseball America at the time of his signing, they said that “Solano's two best pitches are an 89-93 mph fastball that sits around 91 and a plus 75-78 mph curveball. He also has some feel for a changeup and uses a slider as his fourth offering.” Solano quickly made his way to AA in 2010, and since then he’s been extremely solid and consistent for the Lookouts. He’s been used as a late inning reliever over the past three years, and 2012 was his best season with a 2.73 ERA and a good strikeout to walk ratio. The interesting about Solano’s 2013 season, however, is that is now apparently playing back in Mexico with the Sultanes de Monterrey. My guess is that he is on loan from the Dodgers, but I cannot find any mention of that and his milb.com player page doesn’t mention the Dodgers anywhere. It doesn’t make sense that the Dodgers would just let him go, but either way it doesn’t look like he’ll be playing in the US in 2013 which would appear to diminish his prospect status. I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out with Javier.
52. Ralston Cash, RHP (40.2 IP in LoA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 2nd round
6’1”, 197 lbs, 21.5 years old
1-6, 6.42 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 5.04 FIP, 6.42 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 32; Pre 2011 Rank: 16; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A
As a 2nd round pick Ralston Cash was always a bit of an overdraft, but three years later the pick looks even worse for the Dodgers. While he “only” signed for $463K, Cash has missed a ton of time due to various injuries, and when he has been healthy he’s been less than impressive. After missing the entire 2011 season Cash finally returned to the mound in May of 2012, but he was pretty terrible for the Loons over 9 appearances, posting a 6.42 ERA and walking almost as many batters as he struck out. He was shut down for the season in early July, and while he claims to be finally healthy after an off-season surgery, I remain skeptical that he’ll ever amount to much of anything. That being said, when he is fully healthy Ralston has the stuff to eventually make it to the big leagues. He throws a fastball from 88-92 mph with good sink, and he has touched 94 mph. Some scouts describe his secondary stuff as fringy, while others believe his changeup and slider can one day become plus pitches. He’s still just 21, but after missing so much time due to injury he has some catching up to do in 2013 when he returns to the Midwest League.
51. Red Patterson, RHP (70.1 IP in AA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 29th round
6’3”, 210 lbs, 25.75 years old
7-1, 3.07 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 3.00 FIP, 9.09 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 64; Pre 2011 Rank: 98; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A
Heading into 2012 John “Red” Patterson had made 42 career starts and 0 relief appearances. He had succeeded as a start at every level, including in the hitter friendly California League where he posted a 3.91 ERA and struck out over a batter per inning in 2011. Given his success and age the Dodgers wanted Patterson to spend 2012 in AA, but because there simply wasn’t room in the AA rotation it was determined that Red would throw out of the bullpen instead. Initially the move looked brilliant on the part of the Dodgers because Patterson was outstanding over the first few months of the season. During the months of June and July he was much more average, but the good news is that he ended the season on a hot streak with a 1.74 ERA over his final 8 appearances. When you look at his overall stats he had a very strong year in his relief debut, and was sent to the Arizona Fall League after the season to get some additional work. While he did struggle quite a bit in the AFL, the good news is that I was finally able to get a limited scouting report on Red thanks to Gameday who had Patterson's fastball in the low 90's, topping out at 93 mph. His best secondary pitch is a slider he throws in the low 80's, and uses a changeup as a “show-me” pitch. Overall Red’s move to the bullpen was in his best interest as it really was going to be his only way of potentially making it up to the big leagues. He will move up to AAA in 2013 where he’ll probably take his lumps in the hitter friendly environment, but if he does have another good season he could potentially be one of those emergency fill in relievers who sneaks his way to the big leagues at some point in his career.
50. Justin Chigbogu, 1B (32 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 4th round
6’1”, 240 lbs, 18.5 years old, bats left handed
.200 average, .595 OPS, 3 HR’s, 12 RBI’s, 2 SB
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A
Heading into his senior year of high school Justin Chigbogu was known more for his skill as a defensive end on the football field, but once scouts saw his power potential as a hitter they knew they had a legitimate baseball prospect on their hands. The Dodgers liked Justin the most apparently because while Baseball America had him ranked as the 423rd best prospect in the draft, Los Angeles took him the 4th round, #146 overall. Because he was a bit of an overdraft the Dodgers were able to sign him for slightly under slot money ($250K vs. slot of about $306K), and he was assigned to the Arizona Rookie League. In his professional debut Chigbogu had a terrible season, but to some extent that was to be expected for the youngster who will most likely spent at least a few seasons in the rookie leagues. The one stat that is quite worrisome, however, is the fact that Justin struck out in 38.2% of his plate appearances. Defensively Chigbogu is a 1st baseman by trade due to a below average arm, although some scouts think he could get by in left field if it was absolutely necessary. Overall Justin’s value is going to come from his ability to hit the ball with power, so it’s difficult to judge him based on a 32 games played as a 17/18 year old. I’m sure he’ll be back in Arizona in 2013 and hopefully at the end of next season we can get a better sense of Justin’s value as a prospect.
49. O'Koyea Dickson, 1B (106 games in LoA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 12th round
5’11”, 215 lbs, 23 years old, bats right handed
.272 average, .845 OPS, 17 HR’s, 48 RBI’s, 11 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 40; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
After leading Sonoma State to a Division II championship in 2011, O’Koyea Dickson was selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2012 draft. Dickson's 11 homers in were more than double of any college teammates in 2011, and he also hit .341 for the Seawolves. Dickson signed with the Dodgers for $45,000, and after getting assigned to the Pioneer League he quickly became one of the Raptors best players. His 13 home runs lead the club, as did his 1.005 OPS. That performance obviously got Dickson onto the Dodger prospect radar so when he wasn’t on any of the full season rosters to start the 2012 season people started wondering what was wrong with him. It turned our Dickson suffered a hand injury in spring training which delayed the start of his season, and when he was ready to play in early May he joined the Loons. O’Koyea started off hot with 5 homers and an OPS above 1.000 in his first month of play, but he quickly cooled off over the next two months. Luckily he found his stroke again in August, which is when he hit 8 of his 17 homers, so he had some momentum heading into the off season. Overall Dickson ended up having a good season, especially when you consider the tough hitting environment of the Midwest League. Strictly a 1st baseman, Dickson is going to have to continue to be an offensive force if he wants to make it to the big leagues. He has a wide stance and generates a lot of bat speed with his quick swing, and so far that has worked. His raw power only grades out as average, however, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in the upper minor leagues. Dickson will be spending 2013 in the California League, and given that it’s a hitter friendly league I would expect him to put up better numbers than he did in 2012.
48. Jesus Valdez, OF/1B (70 games in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 19th round
6’3”, 180 lbs, 21 years old, bats left handed
.324 average, .906 OPS, 9 HR’s, 62 RBI’s, 4 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 56; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
Like several players in the Dodgers organization, Jesus Valdez has an interesting background. Selected by the Angels in the 5th round of the 2010 draft out of high school as a pitcher, Valdez declined to sign with the Halos and instead decided to attend Oxnard Jr. College. He was a two way player for Oxnard, spending a lot of time on the mound while also playing 3rd base, and according to Baseball America he was expected to be picked in a similar round in 2011 and had improved as a pitcher. Things didn’t go as expected for Valdez, however, as he lasted all the way to the 17th round where he was scooped up by the Dodgers. In addition, instead of selecting Valdez as a pitcher, the Dodgers announced Jesus as position. Surprisingly Valdez signed quickly and was sent straight to the Arizona Rookie League where he had a relatively quiet debut. In 2012, however, the former pitcher made the transition to an offensive player look easy as Valdez was promoted to the Pioneer League was among the league leaders in several categories. He tied for the Raptor team lead with 9 homers, hit a robust .324, and had a respectable walk to strikeout ratio. While he was playing in a very hitter friendly league, his numbers were impressive nonetheless. Now the biggest question is what position will be going forward. He was originally announced as a 3rd baseman on draft day, but this past season he spent most of the season at 1st base while occasionally appearing in the outfield. Given that Valdez is a former pitcher who had a 94 mph fastball it seems like a waste to put him at 1st base, but for now that seems to be his home. In 2013 Jesus will make the jump to LoA where he’ll face a much more challenging hitting environment.
47. Angelo Songco, 1B (46 games in HiA, 34 games in LoA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 4th round
6’0”, 190 lbs, 24.5 years old, bats left handed
.201 average, .636 OPS, 12 HR’s, 40 RBI’s, 1 SB
Pre 2012 Rank: 16; Pre 2011 Rank: 31; Pre 2010 Rank: 39; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A
After an MVP type season in 2011 with the Quakes, things really went south for Angelo Songco in 2012. First, the former Loyola Marymount slugger missed the first two months of the season after he had a rod inserted into his leg due to a complication from a stress fracture he suffered late in 2011. Then when he did return to game action, Angelo struggled immensely as he hit just .201 in a season that was split between LoA and HiA. He did have 12 homers, but there is no getting around his .636 OPS. The lefty continued to keep his strikeouts at a respectable level, but he just couldn’t seem to get anything going. Heading into 2013 we know that Songco has power potential, but now that he’s limited to 1st base he’s going to need to hit more than a few homers to get promoted up through the system. He’ll be returning to the California League and maybe he can rediscover the 2010 magic he had with the Quakes.
46. Jarret Martin, LHP (3.2 IP in HiA, 77.2 IP in LoA in 2012)
Obtained in a trade for Dana Eveland
6’4”, 227 lbs, 23.5 years old
4-6, 4.65 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 4.33 FIP, 8.85 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 59; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
The Dodgers obtained Jarret Martin in a 2011 trade with the Orioles, and all they had to give up was Dana Eveland who didn’t have a spot on the roster anyways. Since making his professional debut Martin has been up and down, struggling with control early in his career and then fighting through a lower lat strain this past season. Prior to his injury he was the ace of the Loons staff, leading the Midwest League in strikeouts and holding opposing hitters to a .221 average. He still was a bit wild, but was showing improvement which is a great sign for the 23 year old. Upon returning to the mound Jarret was sent to HiA where he was hit around quite a bit, but most of that can be attributed to the rust he collected after a 2 month hiatus. In terms of his stuff, that is what gets people excited because he flashes a mid 90’s fastball from the left side and also has a solid curveball. His changeup isn’t great, but gives him a 3rd pitch to show batters. He’ll return to Rancho in 2013 where he’ll join a solid Quakes rotation.
45. Griff Erickson, C (94 games in AA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2006, 15th round
6’4”, 220 lbs, 25 years old, switch hitter
.234 average, .673 OPS, 3 HR’s, 25 RBI’s, 1 SB
Pre 2012 Rank: 22; Pre 2011 Rank: 62; Pre 2010 Rank: 45; Pre 2009 Rank: 103
Griff Erickson was the rise heading into the 2012 season, but he hit a wall in AA pitching. The odd thing is that Erickson actually had a good amount of success in 2011 after being promoted to the Lookouts as he hit 7 homers in 41 games and sported a .808 OPS, but those stats simply plummeted when he returned to the Southern League in 2012. In fact, Griff had more RBI’s in 41 games for the Lookouts in 2011 (26) than he had in 94 games for Chattanooga in 2012 (25). In terms of his defense he did continue to post an outstanding fielding % at .996, but his caught stealing % dropped from 30% in 2011 to just 21% in 2012. So what happened to the big switch hitter? Only he can tell you for sure, but at 25 years old his career is unfortunately on a downward trend. At one point he had a high ceiling and the potential to be a big league backstop, but at this point that’s looking like an extreme long shot. If he turns it around in his return to AA he still has a chance to turn into something, but I’m just not sure what that something will be.
44. Andres Santiago, RHP (26 IP in AA, 86.1 IP in HiA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 16th round
6’2”, 200 lbs, 23.25 years old
6-5, 3.69 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.17 FIP, 9.77 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 89; Pre 2011 Rank: 107; Pre 2010 Rank: 147; Pre 2009 Rank: 133
Andres Santiago was drafted out of Puerto Rico in 2007 at the tender age of 17, and spent his first four professional seasons in the Dodgers lowest US based rookie league (2 season in the GCL, and two seasons in the Arizona League). Santiago was finally promoted to the Quakes in 2011 and he surprised a lot of people by logging 121.2 innings (which was 3rd most on the team). While his overall stats weren’t great, Andres did gain some valuable experience that he parlayed into a breakout season when he returned to Rancho in 2012. In the hitter friendly California League Santiago not only managed to keep his ERA below 4, and he also struck out over a batter per inning and limited opposing hitters to a .214 average. That earned him a promotion to AA in August where he continued to succeed, and eventually a trip to the Arizona Fall League. There was some good news and bad news about Santiago’s performance in the AFL as he continued to show good stuff with almost a K per inning, but his ERA was an ugly 6.86 over 19.2 frames. In terms of his stuff Andres has a low 90’s fastball that can touch 94 mph, and he also throws a slider. His best pitch, however, is his changeup which he used as his “out” pitch. Despite his breakout season I’m not the biggest fan of Santiago and I think his stats will come back down to earth in 2013. His ceiling appears to be a back of the rotation/spot starter, and his career could follow the path of a guy like Stephen Fife. He’ll return to AA for the 2013 season.
43. Scott Schebler, OF (137 games in LoA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 26th round
6’1”, 208 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats left handed
.260 average, .700 OPS, 6 HR’s, 67 RBI, 17 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 26; Pre 2011 Rank: 27; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A
The Dodgers selected Scott Schebler in the 26th round of the 2010 draft after a huge season at Des Moines Area CC where he hit .446 with 20 jacks and 82 RBI’s. While negotiations went down the wire, the Dodgers eventually signed Schebler for $300K and a commitment to pay for his college. Scott spent the 2011 season in the Pioneer League and quietly had a very good season for Ogden, tying for the team lead with 13 homers while posting a .853 OPS. He was outstanding with runners on base, and ended the season on a hot streak. He also answered some questions about his defense as he spent almost all his time in right field and posted the best fielding percentage of all the outfielders. In 2012, however, Schebler found the Midwest League to be much more challenging. His stats regressed in almost every category, with his most disappointing number being his .700 OPS. He also moved to left field for the most of the season which lowers his value. The two bits of good news are that his strikeout % went way down from 2011 (from 30% to about 18%) and he showed off a little speed (although he was caught stealing 11 times). In 2013 Schebler will play for the Quakes in the hitter friendly confines of the California League so hopefully he’ll use that to his advantage. If he is ever able to live up to his pre-draft scouting report of a guy with a solid power and speed combo he could eventually make his way to the big leagues, but that is a long ways off at this point.
42. Kyle Russell, RF (7 games in AAA, 74 games in AA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 3rd round
6’5”, 195 lbs, 26.75 years old, bats left handed
.251 average, .833 OPS, 11 HR’s, 44 RBI’s, 4 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 20; Pre 2011 Rank: 17; Pre 2010 Rank: 14; Pre 2009 Rank: 14
Kyle Russell was released by the Dodgers a few weeks ago, but this is where I would have ranked him had he stayed in the organization. The move was a bit puzzling since it couldn’t have hurt anything to keep a big power hitter around, especially in Albuquerque, but I guess the Dodgers had their reasons. H he has already been signed by Atlanta and will be playing for their minor league system in the upcoming season.
41. Joey Curletta, OF (25 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 6th round
6’4”, 225 lbs, 19 years old, bats right handed
.149 average, .411 OPS, 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s, 0 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A
Joey Curletta was the Dodgers 6th round pick in the 2012 draft out of Mountain Pointe High in Phoenix, and coming out of high school he was a two-way standout. As a junior he hit 21 homers and scouts say he has light-tower power at the plate, and on the mound he flashes a 94 mph fastball. The Dodgers wanted Joey as a hitter, and before you dismiss him after looking at his awful stats in his debut season you have to remember that he was playing the season as an 18 year old. Again it’s his raw power that is supposed to make his special as he matures because that is something you can’t teach. He’s actually been compared to Mark Trumbo. Because he’s a big kid at 6’4” most scouts think he’s best suited at 1st base, but the Dodgers are going to keep him in right field for now to take advantage of his arm. Given his lack of success in 2012 he’ll almost certain return to Arizona in 2013 where he’ll hopefully have more success in his second go-around.
40. Jonathan Martinez, RHP (9 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg, 59 IP in Arizona Rookie Lg in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 5/31/2011
6’1”, 170 lbs, 18.75 years old
3-1, 3.44 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 3.13 FIP, 9.00 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 95; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
Signed by the Dodgers in May of 2011 out of Venezuela, Jonathan Martinez has moved quickly through the Dodgers minor league system. He posted a 1.67 ERA as a 17 year old in the DSL in 2011 and struck out almost a batter per inning, and that earned him an early promoted to the Arizona Rookie League in 2012. As a key member of the Arizona Dodgers rotation J-Mart continued to hold his own despite playing against mostly older competition. Martinez posted a 3.05 ERA and had a great strikeout to walk ratio of 3.58 to 1. When the Arizona season ended he even moved up to the Pioneer League for a couple of starts to get some additional experience. Thankfully mlb.com really likes Jonathan because they were finally able to provide the scouting report I was looking for when the ranked him as the Dodgers 15th best prospect heading into 2013. They said that Martinez “has the makings of a good three-pitch mix that allowed him to strike out a batter per inning during his stateside debut. His fastball projects to be above-average and he could have two Major League average offerings in his slider and changeup.” Sounds good to me, especially for an 18 year old who has been in the organization for less than 2 years. Overall, the fact that Martinez has succeeded at such a young age has me excited about his future, although I’m not quite as optimistic as the guys at mlb.com who had him as a top 15 prospect. While it’s way too early to know what his ceiling will be, he seems to have the stuff to eventually make it to the big leagues which is why I’m ranking him within the top 50. He’ll be in the Loons rotation and will be one of the youngest players in the Midwest League.
39. Brian Cavazos-Galvez, OF (57 games in AAA, 20 games in AA, 12 games in HiA, 6 games in Arz Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 12th round
6’0”, 215 lbs, 25.75 years old, bats right handed
.310 average, .874 OPS, 15 HR’s, 58 RBI’s, 12 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 42; Pre 2011 Rank: 26; Pre 2010 Rank: 34; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A
As most people know by now, Brian Cavazos-Galvez is the son of a former Dodger minor leaguer who actually conceived Brian while he was playing AAA ball in Albuquerque for the Dodger affiliate then called the Dukes. While the two lost contact, Brian grew up in New Mexico and played his college ball there before being selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2009 draft. For that very reason it was a big deal that BCG made it up to AAA in 2012 where he was welcomed by his home town crowd. Taking a step back for a second, BCG actually started the year in AA, but after hitting just .167 over 20 games he was sent back to HiA to refocus. He did just that over a 12 game stretch where he hit .346, then when an outfield spot opened up in AAA he was sent home to Albuquerque. To the surprise of many BCG was outstanding in AAA, tearing the cover off the ball to the tune of a .354 average. He also socked 7 homers before an ankle injury cut his season short at the end of July. He played a few games in Arizona at the end of the season but he never returned to AAA. In the off-season he played in the Dominican Winter League but hit just .242 over 20 games with just 1 extra base hit (a double). Like always Brian had a very low walk rate in 2012, but his K rate was also low at just 13.9%. In terms of his defense he played both left and right field last season, but a below average arm makes him best suited for left. BCG will almost certainly return to Albuquerque in 2013, although he’s not on their opening day roster so maybe a minor injury will keep him in extended spring training for a bit. Another good season could have him knocking on the door of Los Angeles, but there are quite a few players on the depth chart ahead of him. Overall I still think BCG’s ceiling is quite low as I don’t think he has what it takes to be an everyday player at the big league level. He could eventually make it to the show as a backup outfielder if he continues to hit, however, so he gets a spot in my top 50. He’s not on the 40 man roster however and as I mentioned there are quite a few options ahead of him so he’s going to have to really force the Dodgers hand with his performance.
38. Duke von Schamann, RHP (5 IP in AA, 67 IP in LoA, 3 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 15th round
6’5”, 220 lbs, 21.75 years old
6-4, 3.00 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 3.31 FIP, 5.28 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A
Duke von Schamann was one of the better surprises of the 2012 draft. After posting one of the best ERA’s in Texas Tech history at 2.08, the Dodgers selected the son of former NFL kicker Uwe von Schamann in the 15th round and signed him quickly. After a very brief stop in the Pioneer League for his professional debut von Schamann was sent to LoA where he was a fixture in the Loons rotation for the second half of their season. Duke thrived with the Loons as he posted a 3.22 over 12 starts and walked just 13 batters. That earned him a surprise promotion to AA at the end of the season when the Lookouts were in need of a starter, and in his one start he allowed just 3 hits and 1 run over 5 frames. A sinker ball pitcher by trade, Duke lives off of ground balls and pitches to contact which is why his strikeout rate is so low. He throws in the low 90’s and also has a curveball, a slider, and a changeup that he uses to set up the sinker. One other thing to note about von Schamann is that he is a Tommy John surgery survivor which cost him the entire 2010 season. Given his success in 2012 it seems like Duke would be ready for an assignment to AA in 2013, however the Dodgers won’t be quite that aggressive with the 21 year old so he will start the upcoming season in HiA.
37. Darnell Sweeney, SS (51 games in LoA, 16 games in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 13th round
6’1”, 150 lbs, 22 years old, switch hitter
.294 average, .804 OPS, 5 HR’s, 33 RBI’s, 27 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A
The Dodgers may have gotten a top 3 round talent when they selected Darnell Sweeney in the 13th round of the 2012 draft. You see heading into his junior year at Central Florida there was talk that he could be picked in the top 3 rounds if he had a good season, but instead he hit just .261 for the Knights with 3 homers and made 22 errors at shortstop. Once he signed with the Dodgers, however, Sweeney showed improvement in all areas of his game in his professional debut. After hitting .303 in the Pioneer League over 16 games Darnell was promoted to LoA and he spent the final 2 months of the season with the Loons. In what was about the equivalent of a college season (51 games) Sweeney bested his college numbers with 5 homers and a .291 average, and he 17 bases in 21 attempts. The one area that he needs to continue to work on is his defense as his fielding % continued to hover in the .920 range. According to reports he’s able to make the tough plays because he has good range and instincts, but sometime struggles with the routine ground balls. Moving to another position isn’t really an option either because while he shown some offensive skills, he probably won’t be able to hit enough to make it to the big leagues at a position other than shortstop. Overall Sweeney had a great debut but needs to continue to work on his defense if he really wants a legitimate shot at making it to the show. I’m a little worried that at some point his number will revert back to where they were in college which would make his defensive skills all the more important. In 2013 Darnell probably start the year in HiA as the club’s main shortstop.
36. Angel Sanchez, RHP (130 IP in HiA in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 7/12/10
6’3”, 177 lbs, 23.25 years old
6-12, 6.58 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 5.51 FIP, 7.13 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 19; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
After taking the Dodger prospect world by storm in 2011, Angel Sanchez basically fell off the radar completely after a horrendous season in 2012. With the Loons in 2011 Angel posted a 2.82 ERA over 99 innings with a WHIP of 1.12. His most impressive stat, however, was that opposing batters hit just .198 against him. In 2012 with the Quakes his ERA ballooned to 6.58 and opposing batters hit a cool .300 against him. What a difference a year and a league makes. While I’m glad I didn’t completely buy into Sanchez last year, I will keep him inside my top 40 because he still does possess an exciting arm. He has a mid 90’s fastball to go along with a solid slider. He also possesses a curveball and a changeup. At the very least Sanchez could be a valuable arm out of the bullpen, but for now the Dodgers will keep the 23 year old in the rotation to try and preserve his value. The organization decided that a trip back to the Midwest League was the best place for Angel to get going again, but if he does succeed there he could move up midway through the year.
35. Jonathan Garcia, OF (95 games in HiA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 8th round
5’11”, 175 lbs, 21.25 years old, bats right handed
.233 average, .652 OPS, 12 HR’s, 41 RBI’s, 2 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 11; Pre 2011 Rank: 12; Pre 2010 Rank: 10; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A
After getting his career off to a great start as a teenager, Jonathan Garcia has stumbled significantly over the past year and a half. Ever since he blasted 7 homers in the month of April for the Loons in 2011 he simply stopped hitting for average and strikes out a ton. Even the hitter friendly California League couldn’t solve Garcia’s hitting woes as he struggled to a .652 OPS and K’ed in over 33% of his plate appearances. The good news is that he does continue to show power as he’s hit over 30 homers over the last two seasons. He also played solid defense in right field as he recorded 12 outfield assists last year. At the end of the day Jonathan is still just 21 years old so he has time to turn his career around. He will return to the Quakes in 2013 and hopefully he can figure out the league this time around.
34. Jose Dominguez, RHP (7 IP in AA, 72 IP in LoA in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 7/2/07
6’0”, 160 lbs, 22.5 years old
4-4, 4.90 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 3.63 FIP, 9.91 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 98; Pre 2011 Rank: 113; Pre 2010 Rank: 134; Pre 2009 Rank: 60
Jose Dominguez’s career has seen it’s up and down’s. Signed for $50,000 as a 16 year old at the start of the 2007 international signing period, Jose Dominguez impressed scouts back then with a 90 mph fastball and a solid curve. After starting his career with a few promising seasons in the DSL, Domingez received a 50-game suspension for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol. That cost Jose most of the 2010 season, but the Dodgers didn’t hesitate to bring him to the US in 2011 where his career took another hit with a rocky season that resulted in a 6.20 ERA. But then 2012 rolled around, and so did the reports of his 100 mph fastball. While he only had varying degrees of success with the Loons, his stuff was electric at times and it earned him a late season promotion to AA where he was outstanding over 7 innings of work. However things went sour for him again after the season as Dominguez was suspended again due to complications with another drug test. Therefore he’ll miss at least the first 25 games of the season, and when he returns he’ll probably be in Chattanooga again. At the end of the day the 22 year obviously has obviously gotten into some trouble, but if he can stay clean he could be the kind of pitcher who could one day burst onto the big league scene with a big arm. I’m hoping for the best, but not crossing my fingers.
33. Bobby Coyle, OF (13 games in AA, 56 games in HiA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 10th round
6’1”, 215 lbs, 24 years old, bats left handed
.370 average, .983 OPS, 9 HR’s, 37 RBI’s, 3 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 83; Pre 2011 Rank: 64; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A
Bobby Coyle is a local boy who played his high school ball at Chatsworth, but was overshadowed by 2007 first round picks Mike Moustakas and Matt Dominguez. After spending two years at Arizona and another at Fresno State, the Dodgers made him their 10th round pick in 2010 and he had a solid debut that year. He was promoted to LoA in 2011 where he struggled with the Loons to the tune of a .250 average and a .671 OPS. In 2012, however, Coyle had a breakout season. After missing the first 6 weeks of the season due to an oblique injury, Bobby joined the Quakes in late May and did nothing but hit from that point forward. Coyle batted .378 with a 1.010 OPS over 56 games in HiA, then was promoted to AA where he proceeded to hit .324 over 37 at bats. In addition, Bobby stuck out just 10.6% of the time which is an outstanding rate. Defensively he can play either corner spot, but his arm is just average so he’s best suited for left field. That means he’s going to really have to continue to hit if he ever wants to make it to the big leagues. Baseball America actually had Coyle as their #15 Dodger prospect heading into this season, but despite his breakout season I don’t think he deserve to be that high. He spent most of 2012 in a hitter friendly league and was not very good at all in 2011 in the Midwest League. That being said he does have potential and is a guy I have always had a feeling about, but I just don’t think he’ll ever be more than a backup outfielder at the big league level. Coyle is slotted for AA in 2013 where he still has a lot to prove, but another solid campaign will really get him on the prospect radar.
32. Blake Smith, OF (133 games in AA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 2nd round
6’2”, 225 lbs, 25.25 years old, bats left handed
.267 average, .790 OPS, 13 HR, 65 RBI’s, 14 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 15; Pre 2011 Rank: 20; Pre 2010 Rank: 20; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A
Blake Smith was selected in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft out of Cal where he was a two way player for the Golden Bears. The fact that he was a pitcher in college could eventually come into play because the Dodgers have at least discussed moving him to the mound if he doesn’t work out as an outfielder, and that increases his prospect value a bit. That being said Smith didn’t overly impressive stats in 2012 in his first year against AA pitching. He did lead the Lookouts with 13 homers and was even successful in 14 of his 20 stolen base attempts, but his .790 was mediocre at best. His outfield defense continued to be strong, however, and with 13 more outfield assists he now has 40 for his career. Overall Smith doesn’t look like anything special when you look at his 2012 numbers, but it shouldn’t be forgotten just yet that he tore the cover off the ball in 2011 despite missing a good part of the season due to injury. Because the AAA outfield is so crowded he’ll be returning to AA in 2013, but he’s going to need to show some improvement if he ever wants to take his game to the next level.
31. Miguel Sulbaran, LHP (6 IP in LoA, 5 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg, 57.1 IP in Arz Rookie Lg in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers before the 2011 season
5’10”, 165 lbs, 19 years old
6-5, 3.82 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 2.79 FIP, 9.09 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 87; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A
Miguel Sulbaran is one of the fast movers in the Dodgers organization. After starting his career with an outstanding season in the DSL in 2011, Miguel was the ace of the Arizona Dodgers staff as an 18 year old. He led the league in strikeouts with 62 K's and ranked 3rd in the circuit with his 2.51 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. The organization was so impressed with Sulbaran that he was actually promoted to LoA where he made a couple of spot starts, then he ended the season in the Pioneer League. Listed at just 5’10” it’s hard to imagine that Miguel will ever turn into a big time prospect, but reports are that has a low 90’s fastball to go along with a solid slider and curve so you never know. He will start the 2013 season in the Midwest League where he will be one of the youngest players in the league, and hopefully he continues to find success.