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Dodgers 2011 #1 Prospect Vote & Chat

[Update} - The runoff vote between Zach Lee, Kenley Jansen, and Jerry Sands is taking place right now. Use this link.

Welcome to the TBLA Dodger Prospect voting for the 2010 offseason, where the TBLA community as a whole will vote on the Dodgers top prospects heading into the 2011 season. For the most part, the votes will be held daily, and I’ll set up run-offs if needed when the voting is too close. I’m not exactly sure how many prospects we will vote on this offseason, but I’m thinking somewhere between 15 and 20. To qualify as a prospect, a player must have less than 50 IP in the big leagues, or less 130 at bats. I generally do not take major league service time into account when ranking prospects, but that doesn’t really matter this year as the Dodgers don’t have any guys who are under the inning/at bat limit yet over the service time threshold.

Remember, this vote reflects the views of this community, and not my own. The summaryI have written about each player is meant to provide factual information and does not include any bias on my part. However, you can also read more about each of these players in several places, including my season in review series (AAA, AA, HiA, LoA, Pioneer League, Arizona League), and my 2010 Dodger Draft in Review.

I have selected the players to include in each vote based on the common sense, and based on the votes that have already taken place during my minor league seasons in review. For each vote, it is possible that the player that you feel is the best Dodgers prospect might not be listed. However, if that is the case, then that player didn’t have a chance to win anyways, so you are going to have to vote for one of the options I’ve provided. Heading into the later rounds, I’m definitely open for suggestions on who to add.

For this 1st round, I initially wanted on include only about 5 players, but I had a tough time cutting out any of the 7 guys that ended up on the list. Since that is the case, I’m guessing that we’ll probably have a run off unless somebody really runs away with this.

The Candidates (ages as of Opening Day, 2011):

Zach Lee (19.5 years old) RHP – 2010 1st round pick given a $5.25M bonus has solid makeup and 3 potential plus pitches. He is expected to move quickly throw the minor league system, though he signed too late to play in 2010. Baseball America’s most recent report says that he has "90-93 mph fastball that peaks at 95, with plenty of running, boring action and exquisite command".

Kenley Jansen (23.5 years old) RHP – Dominated the minor leagues, and then went on to record the 4th lowest major league rookie ERA in major league history (min 25 innings) at 0.67. Still technically a rookie heading into 2011, major league batters also hit just .130 against him. Will almost certainly stay in the bullpen for the rest of his career.

Dee Gordon (22.75 years old) SS – Has a .297 career minor league batting average and has 126 stolen bases over the past 2 seasons, and scouts still describe him as very raw with a ton of potential. Was one of the younger players in AA in 2010, and despite making a lot of errors at shortstop, many believe he has the tools to one day be a plus defender.

Jerry Sands (23.5 years old) 1B/OF – Had a monster season in 2010 and his 35 homers were just one shy of the minor league HR title. Also hit .301 in 2010 with 18 stolen bases and a .981 OPS despite playing in 2 pitching friendly leagues. Named as the Dodgers minor league player of the year in 2010, he has the defensive versatility to play several positions.

Trayvon Robinson (23.5 years old) OF – Is a switching hitting center fielder that has shown a ton of improvement over the past few years and has posted all around solid and consistent stats. He hit .300 in 2010 for the second season in a row, and was able to improve his OBP from .373 in 2009 to .404 in 2010. He also stole 38 bases in AA and had an OPS of .842

Allen Webster (21 years old) RHP – Webster has been excellent in his 3 minor league seasons, and has a career minor league ERA of 2.76 in 218.1 innings. While his strikeout rate dropped a bit in 2010, his 131.1 innings with the Loons as 20 year old almost doubled his workload from the previous year, so it was expected that he’d tire a bit. He has a low 90’s fastball that hits 94 and has a lot of sink, and his curveball is very solid.

Rubby De La Rosa (22 years old) RHP – Always known for his strong fastball, De La Rosa burst onto the prospect scene in 2010 with a 2.37 ERA in 110.1 innings and won the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year award. His season was split pretty evenly between LoA and AA, and he actually improved most of his stats upon getting promoted to Chattanooga. He was clocked at 100 mph this year and also has a power slider and a changeup that has potential.