Dodgers 200 Prospect Countdown: 190 - 181

Here is the next part of my Dodger prospect countdown. As a reminder, my ranking includes players in Dodgers minor league system who meets the following qualifications: (1) played in the Dodgers minor league system during 2009, or were injured during the entire 2009 season; (2) is still within the Dodgers organization as of season end; (3) is under 28 years old as of Opening Day 2010; and (4) the player is still considered a prospect by Baseball America Standards, which means that pitchers must have less than 50 innings pitched in the majors, and hitters must have less than 130 at bats in the majors, regardless of service time. Also, remember that the players age I’ve listed is their age as of the start of the 2010 season. As always, feel free to discuss, comment, and let me know what you think.

190. Keyter Collado, C (9 games in Pioneer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 5/27/04

5’11", 178 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.273 average, 0 HR’s, 5 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: 154

Collado is another young catcher in the Dodgers system who hasn’t amounted to much. After back to back successful seasons in 2006 and 2007, in which he was even named to the GCL post season all star team (in 2007), Collado has only played in 32 games over the past two years. I’m not sure what has limited Collado over that time, but the 23 year old is running out of time to impress. The one thing I noticed about Collado in 2009 was that he had a ridiculous ground ball percentage of 79%. Granted it was only through 9 games, but still, I’ve never seen a ground ball percentage that high. Overall, Collado has yet to play above rookie ball, so if he does return in 2010, he be a 24 year old either returning to rookie ball, or playing at Lo-A for the first time.

189. Noel Acevedo, LHP (4 innings in Dominican Summer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

5’11", 160 lbs, 19.75 years old

0-0, 4.50 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 2.25 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: N/A

When players debut for the Dodgers in the Dominican Summer League, they are generally 18 years old or younger. Noel Acevedo, however, was 19 when he threw his first pitch for the Dominican Dodgers, and then went on to appear in only three games, probably due to injury. In those three games, Noel didn’t have very good stats, as he walked 4 and only had one strikeout. In addition, Acevedo is only 5’11" and 160 pounds, so I can’t imagine that he will ever develop into a significant prospect, even though he is a lefty. So basically my ranking of Acevedo is based on his inexperience going into his 20 year old season, and his lack of impressive makeup.

188. Rafael Aybar, 2B (Did not play in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 4/9/07

6’0", 160 lbs, 19.75 years old, switch hitter

No stats for 2009

Prior Year Ranking: 148

First of all to clarify, Rafael Aybar is not related to former Dodgers infielder Willy Aybar or Angels infielder Erick Aybar. That being said, last year I thought that Aybar had some potential as a 2nd baseman because he had some speed, and had shown an improvement to his overall game when compared to the prior year. However, before the 2009 season, Aybar was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for the steroid boldenone. In fact, even though the DSL season is longer than 50 games, Aybar ended up missing the entire year. This will not only hurt his development, but also has put him in the doghouse with Dodger management. You can’t blame the guy for trying to get ahead in such a competitive environment, but steroids are obviously not the way to go. When the 2010 season begins, he’ll already be almost 20 years old, so he’ll have to make up for lost time quickly. My guess is that his career is pretty much finished.

187. Gabriel Gutierrez, C (33 games in AA in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2002

5’11", 190 lbs, 26.25 years old, bats right handed

.267 average, 0 HR’s, 14 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: 161

Gabriel Gutierrez is an interesting case. One of the few Mexican born players in the Dodgers minor league system, Gabriel returns to Mexico to play baseball any chance he gets. In addition to playing in the Mexican Winter League for the past three seasons (where he has struggled, especially in 2008), Gutierrez was actually loaned to the Mexican League by the Dodgers during the 2009 regular season. No matter where he has played, however, Gutierrez hasn’t had very good results. While he holds his own as a catcher, Gabriel doesn’t project to be a starter in the minor leagues, let alone in the majors. He has never shown any power whatsoever, and obviously has no speed. He will be 26 years old next season, and while he has worked his way up to AA, I don’t see him being promoted beyond that.

186. Johan Garcia, 3B (40 games in HiA, 12 games in Arizona League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 4/19/05

6’0", 170 lbs, 23.5 years old, bats right handed

.189 average, 0 HR’s 10 RBI’s, 13 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: 155

After spending two season in the Dominican Summer League, and then two more seasons in the Dodgers U.S. based rookie leagues, Johan Garcia finally got a chance to prove himself in Hi-A after he was promoted to the California League in July of 2009. Unfortunately, his promotion was far from memorable. In 111 at bats, Garcia hit. 162 with only 4 RBI’s. While he may have been a little unlucky with his .205 batting average for balls in play, that is no excuse. His only asset is his speed, but even that isn’t overly impressive. At 23 and a half years old, Garcia is running out of time to impress. I’m sure he’ll return to Hi-A again next year, but I doubt he’ll ever have the chance to play every day.

185. Edward Bens, 1B (41 games in Dominican Summer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 2/9/07

6’1", 189 lbs, 21 years old, bats right handed

.266 average, 1 HR, 14 RBI’s, 1 SB

Prior Year Ranking: 132

Even though I thought Edward Bens would move to a U.S. based rookie league in 2009, the Dodgers decided to keep him the Dominican Summer League for a third straight year. And I guess the Dodgers were right to keep him there, as Bens only had a mediocre season in 2009, even though he was one of the oldest and most experienced players in the league. In addition, Bens saw his stock drop significant because he no longer appears to be a true catcher. Last season he played 35 of his 41 games behind the plate. In 2009, however, he only caught 18 games, while playing 23 at 1st base or DH. The one thing that Bens has going for him is that he doesn’t strike out very much. He K’d in less than 10% of his plate appearances in 2009, which was one of the best rates in the Dodgers minor league system. Looking to the future, I can’t image that Bens will stay in the Dominican League for a 4th year, so I suspect he’ll finally make it the U.S.

184. Gari Tavarez, RHP (18.7 innings in Arizona League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2006

6’0", 170 lbs, 22.25 years old

0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, 9.64 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: 149

While Tavarez didn’t exactly dominate in 2008, I still thought that the Dodgers would give him a chance in the Pioneer League in 2009. However, the Dodgers decided to put Gari in the Arizona League, and it looks like they made the right decision. While Tavarez wasn’t quite as bad as his stats may lead one to believe (his FIP was a respectable 3.75 and he struck more than one batter per inning), he was far from impressive. In fact, his 6.75 ERA was a far cry from the 1.49 ERA he posted in 2007 in the Dominican Summer League. I’m not sure why he was limited to just over 18 innings, but this undersized pitcher is running out of time as he is a 22 year old who has yet to play above rookie ball.

183. Christian Lara, SS (115 games in HiA in 2009)

Acquired via trade with Red Sox in April 2008 for Eric Hull

5’11, 150 lbs, 24.75 years old, switch hitter

.256 average, 6 HR’s, 46 RBI’s, 11 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: 200

I should apologize to Christian Lara. Last year, I ranked Lara dead last in my top 200 ranking. After further review, however, I realized that Lara wasn’t quite as bad as I had originally thought, and I also realized that there were other players who were more deserving of last place on my list. In fact, while browsing through the old Baseball America archives, I discovered that Lara was once a legitimate prospect. In 2003, Lara was the Red Sox player of the year for their Dominican Summer League. In 2004, Lara was actually ranked the 9th best prospect in the Gulf Coast League after hitting .433 in 60 at bats. During that season, Lara apparently had "good on-base ability and speed and focuses on getting the most out of those tools". Now that I got my apology out of the way, I will say that Lara still isn’t a very good player. He made the third most errors of any Dodger minor leaguer with 25, and struck out 4 times for every walk. He did show a little more speed and power in 2009, but those are both functions of him repeating in the California League, as he has much more experience in the league than the other players. I can’t see Lara as anything more than a bench player for Hi-A or AA in 2010.

182. Jean Eusebio, RHP (21.7 innings in Dominican Summer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 10/12/07

6’1", 195 lbs, 20.75 years old

0-0, 4.15 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 7.48 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: 174

After playing catcher in 2008, Jean Eusebio took the Kenly Jansen route and made the transition to the mound during the 2009 season. For a guy with no pitching experience, Eusebio was relatively successful. Playing in the Dominican Summer League, his 3.91 FIP was even better than his 4.15 ERA, and his strikeout rate was respectable. His only ugly stat was his WHIP, which was a function of his 15 walks in less than 22 innings. I’m not sure what 2010 will bring for Jean Eusebio. He will be 21 years old during most of next season, and will probably return to the DSL to continue his growth as a pitcher. He has the size to succeed, but he’s going to have to make great strides in the next 12 months to get his name on the Dodger prospect map.

181. Marlon Urriola, RHP (2 innings in Arizona League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 5/25/06

6’2", 165 lbs, 21.75 years old

0-1, 13.50 ERA, 4.00 WHIP, 13.50 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: 117

After pitching 3 seasons in the Dominican Summer League, the Dodgers fulfilled my prediction and decided to give Marlon Urriola a chance to play in a U.S. based league in 2009. Unfortunately, his 2009 U.S. debut lasted only 2 innings, which was spread over two days in late June. I can honestly say that I have no idea why Marlon only pitched in two games in 2009, but I can only assume it was due to injury. The good news, however, is that Marlon will only be 21 years old at the start of the 2010 season, so he has plenty of time to make up for his lost time. At 6’2", Marlon has a solid right handed frame, and hopefully he can stay healthy in 2010 and put together a solid season (while mostly likely repeating in the Arizona Rookie League).

This is a fan-written post that is in no way affiliated with or related to any of the authors or editors of True Blue LA. The opinions reflected in this post do not necessarily reflect those of True Blue LA, its authors or editors.

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