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Blue Sparks 4/13 - 4/20 2008

Previous Blue Sparks

The Dodgers bats are in a slumber and for the most part so are most of the prospects. However the pitching is making up for it and we had a number of excellent pitching performances in the past week. In fact some of the pitching was so strong it was hard to figure out who was top dog. The 2007 draft figures prominently in this weeks group of Blue Sparks.

At 1 and 1A were the dynamic duo from the Inland Empire.

1. James Adkins won 2 games and last nights game matched Sextons perfect game on Saturday night. What a duo this weekend they were. Adkins ends up with two wins, 11 inning, 7 hits allowed, 1 earned run, 4 walks, and 16 strikeouts. 11 of those strikeout came tonight. Adkins was picked with the 39th pick in last years draft after a dominating Tennessee career. At the time of the pick many who follow the Dodger draft lamented the fact we had picked a Loogy but Adkins appears to be much more then a Loogy. Baseball America had him ranked as our 19th best prospect.

1A. Tim Sexton by virtue of a 6 inning perfect game on Saturday ties Adkins for the top spot this week. Sexton matched Adkins on just about every account. Two wins, 12 innings, 5 hits allowed, zero runs allowed, 2 walks, and 10 strikeouts. Sexton is 1 1/2  years younger then Adkins and might have a higher ceiling even though he was drafted until the 25th round. His demands scared off some teams but the Dodgers got him signed for only a 123,000 bonus and he looks to be a steal for the 25th round.. He is on a fast track and pitching in the hitting friendly California league has not bothered him one bit. BA had him ranked 24th.

3. Andrew Lambo, was the top hitter for the week. As long as he stays in the Dodgers organization I may be writing about him on a weekly basis quite a bit. Lambo last week saw his average drop below .300 for the first time in his professional career and quickly made amends. By the end of the week his average was back to a robust .344. His average is about 50 points higher then anyone else on the Loons team. He did this by hitting .400 for the week with 3 home runs and 9 runs batted in. The only blemish might be the single walk. Most of his damage was done this weekend when he went 7/13. Lambo fell to the Dodgers in the 4th round due to character issues but luckily the Dodger scout in the area realized these were simple transgressions of a teen-ager and talked the Dodgers into drafting him. Lambo is playing the outfield even though his natural position is 1st base because Jamie Ortiz and Brian Mathews are playing 1st for the Loons. He is compared to Loney because they are both LH, both were stand-out high school pitchers and 1st baseman, and both have sweet line drive swings.

4. Justin Miller is another 2007 draftee, Miller was right there this week with Adkins and Sexton. The 20 year old Sixth round 2007 draft pick showed off his stuff this week with two superlative games. At the end of the week he had pitched 10 innings, given up 6 hits, zero runs allowed, 2 walks, and 10 strikeouts. One thing were seeing with these kids is excellent strike out to walk rations. BA had him ranked 22nd.

5. Ivan DeJesus, the 20 year old DeJesus continues to be impressive in AA even as he counts down to his 21st birthday on May 1st. DeJesus does it quite differently then Lambo. First off he's a SS and the scouts say he's very accomplished defensively, and the 2nd is he might have the best plate discipline in the entire organization. With his six walks for the week he put up a .411 OBA but he also added a grand slam tonight against the highly touted Morlan who was considered an important piece in the Delmon Young trade. Right now he's got an OPS 3 points higher then Cameron Maybin and he's one month younger then Maybin. Maybin was the 10th overall pick in the 2005 draft and  much has been made about his skills. He was the centerpiece of the Miggy trade. DeJesus was drafted in the 2nd round of the same draft and you would have a hard time finding anyone who even knows who he is that doesn't follow the Dodgers. Nate asked if DeJesus could be successful with his plate discipline and lack of power. I provided this list of players who had a slugging % below 420 but an OBA above .400. So yes, he could be successful if he is able to translate his plate discipline to the big leagues. He is like the bizarro version of his father. I'm not saying he's going to be as good or better then Maybin, I'm just saying I'm surprised at the lack of respect he gets for what he's accomplished at his age.

6. Clayton Kershaw is expected to make this list week every week but it is still a shock that he is this far down the list. This is more of an indication of how many good performances we've had this week from the pitching corps. Kershaw chipped in and threw 11.2 innings, gave up only 6 hits, 1 earned run, with 4 walks, and 11 strikeouts. The 20 year old top prospect is more then holding his own in AA. Kuo better stay healthy otherwise expect to see him before the all-star game.

7. Ghame Over Brazoban has yet to allow a run this season but the real story is that he's only allowed ONE HIT in eight appearances spanning 7.2 innings. His dominance and command harken back to his days before his 1st major league appearance when he dominated AAA for a brief time.

8. Steve Johnson doesn't get any love from the scouts. When he dominated the HFL I asked a few scouts about him and they were unanimous in their lack of enthusiasm for his stuff and he didn't even make BA top 30. We'll see. This week the former 13th round pick (2005) out pitched all of the more ballyhooed draft picks in the Midwest league when he hurled a gem on Friday Night. 6 innings, 2 hits, no walks, and 7 strike outs. For the season he nows sports a 15 - 1 strike out to walk ratio by virtue of the fact that he's only walked one person in three starts so far this season.

9.Lucas May didn't really have a hot week but he had two great games on Sunday and Monday. He went 7 for 10 with 5 extra base hits. He now leads the Suns in hitting at .343 but hasn't played since Tuesday. He was drafted way back in the historical 2002 draft in the 8th round as a SS but has been converted to catcher. He has plenty of power, now we will wait and see if the other parts of his game catch up. He's still only 23 and since he's a catcher, he has time on his side.

Honorable mention: Jonathan Meloan who threw a one hitter but walked 4, Corey Wade threw 5 shutout innings in relief,  Brent Leach also with 5 innings of shutout relief, and not to be outdone Johnathan Dutton with 6.2 innings of shutoff relief.

Permafrost: Jamie Pedroza hitting .140, Bastardo with a 8.10 ERA, other then Lambo the whole Great Lake Loons team especially the highly touted Pedro Baez.