Each September Baseball America does reviews of each league in the minors. Yesterday they did the AZL and answered questions about the Arizona League prospects. Two weeks ago I did my analysis of the Dodgers in the AZL, Baseball America and True Blue posters seemed to agree on who was the best prospect. By a large vote, True Blue picked Allen (Carl) Webster as the top Dodger Arizona Prospect, and he was picked by BA as the 3rd best prospect in the league. My own pick was Jonathan Garcia who BA picked as the ninth best prospect in the league. Three Dodgers got into the top 20 and two almost made it in Nick Akins and Carlos Frias. For detailed Baseball America analysis click on the jump and you will see quotes like this about Jonathan Garcia
The Dodgers may have gotten a steal when they selected Garcia out of Puerto Rico in the eighth round of the 2009 draft
No AZL player boosted his prospect stock this season as much as Webster
3. Allen Webster, rhp, Dodgers B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 165 Age: 19 Drafted: Dodgers '08 (18th) No AZL player boosted his prospect stock this season as much as Webster, who's listed in the MLB database by his first name (Carl) but prefers to go by his middle name. An 18th-round pick in 2008, he walked 17 batters in 18 innings during his first pro season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. After moving to Arizona when the Dodgers shifted their complex-based affiliate, he posted a 56-14 K-BB ratio in 48 innings before continuing to excel following a promotion to the Rookie-level Pioneer League. Though Webster still is growing into his 6-foot-2, 165-pound frame, he already has a fastball that reaches 94-95 mph. He throws strikes with his heater, as well as with a plus breaking ball and a promising changeup that he needs to use more often. Dodgers pitching instructor George Culver said an improved delivery was the key to Webster's big step forward. "He had a lot of issues with it last year. He was a green pea," said Culver. "His mechanics right now are as good as you want to see with a kid with no more pitching experience than he's had."
9. Jonathan Garcia, of, Dodgers B-T: R-R Ht.: 5-11 Wt.: 175 Age: 17 Drafted: Dodgers '09 (8) The Dodgers may have gotten a steal when they selected Garcia out of Puerto Rico in the eighth round of the 2009 draft. He had a reputation in high school as a player who was better in workouts than in games, but that wasn't the case in the AZL. He hit .304 with 16 doubles in 138 at-bats. Garcia, 17, is very aggressive at the plate and the ball jumps off his bat. He has power to all fields and is expected to get stronger. He worked closely with hitting coach Leo Garcia and continually made adjustments during games. Garcia doesn't have the speed to play center field, where he saw some action in Arizona, but his plus arm should allow him to handle right field. He has below-average speed but could get quicker with better technique, as he currently runs on his heels. "He's a hard-working kid," Dodgers manager Jeff Carter said. "He wants to learn and has fun playing the game."
19. Danny Danielson, rhp, Dodgers B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 220 Age: 20 Signed: Dodgers '07 (7th) Danielson is a product of Russell County (Ala.) High, the same school that produced first-round or sandwich picks Kasey Kiker and Colby and Cory Rasmus. A seventh-rounder in 2007, Daniels pitched just 30 innings in his first two years as a pro. After losing 30 pounds in the offseason, he completed an entire season and managers noted his ability to put hitters away. "This is the first season we've had him healthy through the whole season," Culver said. "He's made huge strides. He's been a pleasant surprise." Danielson's fastball topped out at 88-89 mph in 2009, though he reached 93 in the past. His best pitch is an outstanding changeup, and he also uses a big, slow curveball. Culver believes that Danielson will need a harder breaking ball in order to remain a starter, so he may switch to a slider.
John (Los Angeles): Did Dodger prospect Nick Akins get any consideration for the top 20, or did his age play a factor?
Bill Mitchell: Akins got a lot of consideration. While he's already 21 he's still relatively inexperienced in that he hasn't played at any big baseball programs. When it came down to cutting the list, I didn't include him not so much because of his age but because he's likely to be strictly a left fielder. He's very athletic and was well respected this summer. His manager said that he believes that Akins can move quickly. But for me it came down to the defense.
Bill Mitchell: I mentioned Nick Akins in a previous post. The guy who came really, really close was pitcher Carlos Frias. He's got a very good arm, hitting 96 with his fastball and has an excellent changeup. Command of the breaking ball is his biggest area for improvement. He's still relatively inexperienced but made great progress this year. A year from now I may be kicking myself for not slotting him onto the list somewhere.
I love the Baseball America reviews of each league and would suggest to anyone who likes to follow the prospects that they purchase the web subscription to Baseball America. They are the old stand bye yet still at the top of their class.