Dodgers 200 Prospect Countdown: 180 - 171

As things are pretty dead around here, I figured I'd post the next part of my ranking. Hopefully some of the names will start sounding familiar, but I’m sure most are still unknowns to the majority of people. 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.

180. Jose Ramirez, RF (51 Dominican Summer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’2", 200 lbs, 21.5 years old, bats right handed

.213 average, 2 HR’s, 21 RBI’s, 10 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: N/A

I’m guessing that Jose Ramirez won’t be replacing Andre Ethier as the Dodgers right fielder anytime soon, as Ramirez hit just .213 in his first professional season. In addition, Ramirez is already 21 years old and only has 51 games under his belt, so his inexperience could be a problem as he moves up. His one strong point, however, seems to be his speed. He stole 10 bases on the year, with 8 of them coming in the month of June. Those 8 stolen bases in June were good for 3rd place among all Dodger minor leaguers for that month. In addition, at 6’2" and 200 lbs, Ramirez seems to have good size. He is also pretty versatile in the outfield, playing in both right and center field during the 2009 season. As for his future, I’m pretty sure the Dodgers will keep Jose in the Dominican Summer League for another year, even though he’ll be one of the oldest player in the league.

179. Adam Godwin, CF (95 games in AA in 2009)

Drafted by Dodgers 2005, 11th round

5’11", 170 lbs, 27.25 years old, bats right handed

.254 average, 1 HR’s, 22 RBI’s, 13 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: 145

Adam Godwin is definitely fast. How fast you may ask? Try 84 stolen bases in 93 attempts during his senior season at Troy State. That same season, Godwin hit .367 with 5 HR’s. Ever since his professional debut, however, Adam success has seemed to fade away. After hitting .310 in 2005 with the Ogden Raptors, Godwin has seen his game steadily decline. While he continued to steal bases from 2006 through 2008, even that tailed off in 2009 as he was limited to 95 games due to a crowded Lookout outfield. Besides his lack of playing time, Godwin’s biggest disadvantage is his age, as he will turn 27 before the start of the 2010 season. As Godwin looks toward his 6th professional season, he has to wonder if he will ever get the chance to play full time again. I see him as a part time player in AAA at best, but I think that he’ll start the 2010 season in AA for yet another season.

178. Jose Garcia, LHP (7.3 innings in Dominican Summer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

5’11", 185 lbs, 18.75 years old

0-0, 13.50 ERA, 2.86 WHIP, 8.59 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: N/A

Jose Garcia is a young lefty from the Dominican Republic who has a lot to learn before he’ll be a successful professional pitcher. In 2009, he was ridiculously wild, walking 14 batters in just over 7 innings, allowed way too many runs, and only pitched in 10 games. Despite these negative, however, Garcia showed flashes of success during 2009. He struck out almost one batter per inning, and allowed only a .259 batting average. In addition, Garcia was even able to pick up two saves in his limited appearances. Jose is only 5’11", but given the fact that he is only 18 years old, maybe he’ll still grow an inch or two. He’ll return to the Dominican Summer League next year, and I’m assuming the Dodgers will try to get him some more innings than during 2009.

177. Kyle Wilson, RHP (Did not play in 2009)

Drafted by Dodgers 2004, 22nd round

6’2", 200 lbs, 26.75 years old

No stats for 2009

Prior Year Ranking: 128

Does anyone know what happened to Kyle Wilson during 2009? I had originally excluded him from my list because I thought he had been released, but then I saw on Baseball America that he had been reinstated from the DL at the end of the season, so I put him back in. Last year, I ranked Wilson a respectable #128 because the UCLA alum was actually extremely dominate in 2007 (1.09 ERA in 33 innings at Inland Empire), and then did pretty well in limited innings in 2008. However, as he has pitched just 22.2 innings over the past two season, and is now pushing 27 years old, I felt that I had to drop his ranking a little. His stats demonstrate that he has good stuff when healthy, but I have no idea how hard he throws or what kind of pitches he has. In 2004 at UCLA, he led the team with 12.5 strikeouts per 9 innings, so he most likely has a good "out pitch". Wilson topped out in AA in 2008, and if healthy, will look to return to that level in 2010.

176. Jose Lugo, 1B (41 games in Dominican Summer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’1", 200 lbs, 19.75 years old, bats right handed

.223 average, 0 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, 1 SB

Prior Year Ranking: N/A

Jose Lugo is a young player from Venezuela who made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2009. While his stats weren’t pretty, I’ll give the 19 year old Lugo a break because he was getting himself used to the life as a professional baseball player. In addition, I like the fact that Lugo improved as the season progressed, as he hit .206 in June, .238 in July, and .250 in August. However, the biggest negative about Lugo is that he didn’t show any speed or power in his game. Listed as a first baseman, Jose also played 12 games at catcher, which could potentially boost his value if he can continue to improve behind the plate.

175. David Iden, 2B (32 games in Pioneer League in 2009)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 35th round

5’9", 160 lbs, 23 years old, bats right handed

.239 average, 0 HR’s, 5 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: N/A

A late round pick for the Dodgers in 2009 out of Cal Lutheran University, David Iden is the type of player who just wants to be given a chance. Upon being drafted by the Dodgers, Iden was "ecstatic... relieved…and anxious". At Cal Lutheran, the Thousand Oaks native was a career .343 hitter, and ranked in the school’s top 10 for career RBI’s (100), runs scored (121), and stolen bases (63). However, upon arriving in professional baseball, Iden struggled to produce. He hit only .239 in 32 games, and only had 5 RBI’s. In addition, Iden proved that he wasn’t really a stolen base threat, as he was caught stealing 6 times in 11 attempts. At 5’9", Iden is the perfect size for a 2nd baseman, but must step up his game if he wants to make an impact with the Dodgers. Also, at 23 years old, time is against David, so I’m going to guess that he’ll play at Lo-A or Hi-A in 2010.

174. Luis Vasquez, RHP (58.3 innings in Pioneer League, 12.7 innings in HiA in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 10/20/03

6’4", 155 lbs, 24 years old

3-5, 5.96 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 6.46 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: 130

I’m actually a little confused about Luis Vasquez, because when I look him up on the minor league baseball website, it now shows that his parent club is the Colorado Rockies. It does make some sense, since he has been with the Dodgers for over 6 years and was probably a minor league free agent (although he wasn’t listed as one at Baseball America). However, it seems strange that he signed so quickly with another club. Whatever the case, Vasquez wasn’t the greatest player anyways, so he wouldn’t be a big loss. After putting up respectable numbers in 2008, albeit with a low strikeout rate, Vasquez was rocked in Hi-A before getting demoted to the Pioneer League. He continued to struggle with Ogden, allowing 8 HR’s to lead the team, and posting a 5.09 ERA. Stats aside, Vasquez is a tall and skinny ball player who has yet to fill out his lanky frame. He’ll be 24 years old at the start of the 2010 season, and I have no idea where his future lies.

173. Luis Mesa, RHP (29.7 innings in Dominican Summer League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’4", 170 lbs, 19.75 years old

0-3, 6.37 ERA, 1.62 WHIP, 5.16 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: N/A

Luis Mesa is another young player from Venezuela who debuted with the Dominican Dodgers in 2009. While his ERA and WHIP weren’t great, a closer look at his numbers show that he actually had a fairly successful first professional season. His FIP was actually a respectable 4.26, and his ground ball percentage of 64% was tops on the Dominican Dodgers. That ground ball percentage demonstrates that he probably pitches with sink, and has the ability to induce quite a few ground balls, which generally make a pitcher successful. A lanky right handed pitcher, Mesa has a great pitchers frame, and will hopefully gain some weight over the next few years. I expect the Dodgers to hang onto Mesa, and I’m sure he’ll return to the Dominican Summer League next season. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made an appearance in a U.S. based rookie league at some point in 2011.

172. Rafael Ynoa, 2B (35 games in Pioneer League, 14 games in HiA, 2 games in Arizona League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers in 2006

5’10", 162 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats right handed

.163 average, 0 HR’s, 9 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Prior Year Ranking: 89

I may have whiffed on my ranking of Ynoa last year. I had ranked him 89th last year because he was coming off a season where he hit .306, which led the GCL Dodgers. However, I should have taken a look at his prior year numbers more closely and realized that his 2008 season was a fluke, and not a breakout season. Ynoa hit .259 in 2006 and just .206 in 2007, and hadn’t shown any previous power. So really, his struggles in 2009 are nothing new. He started the 2009 season in Hi-A, but was absolutely awful through 37 at bats, hitting just .054. So the Dodgers demoted him to the Pioneer League in June, but he wasn’t much better. Also, he must have gotten injured at some point during his stay in Ogden because he finished up the season on a rehab assignment back in the Arizona Rookie League. Overall, Ynoa had a very forgettable season in 2009, and at 22 and a half, this prototypical 2nd baseman is going to have to do something special in 2010 to make a name for himself.

171. Amauri Guzman, RHP (13.3 innings in Arizona League in 2009)

Signed by Dodgers 3/30/05

6’3", 200 lbs, 23.5 years old

0-0, 3.38 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 8.78 K/9

Prior Year Ranking: 178

Even though Amauri Guzman is just 23 years old, he has already seen his baseball career take quite a few twists and turns. After signing with the Dodgers as an outfielder in March of 2005 out of the Dominican Republic, Amauri actually played his first few professional games in the Gulf Coast League before finishing the season in the Dominican Summer League. In 2006, Guzman spent the entire season in the DSL. In 2007, Guzman was promoted up to the Gulf Coast League, still as an outfielder, where he hit a respectable .310. Then, for whatever reason, Guzman was converted to a pitcher, and spent all of 2008 back in the DSL, posting a horrid 9.64 ERA. Nevertheless, the Dodgers decided to bring Amauri back to the U.S. again in 2009, and let him pitch in the Arizona Rookie League. I’ve never heard of any other prospect going back and forth between the U.S. based and foreign rookie leagues so many different times. Anyways, Guzman performed surprising well in 2009, although he was limited to just 13 and one third innings. With less than 28 innings of professional pitching experience, however, I’m not sure how the 23 year old will ever be able to move fast enough to make an impact in the Dodgers system, but the one thing he does have going for him is that he does have a good pitching frame. If healthy, he’ll probably move up to Lo-A in 2010.

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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