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Dodgers 200 Minor League Countdown: 160 - 151

Here is part 5 of my Dodger minor league countdown. With this post, we are now 25% of the way through the countdown to the Dodgers' top prospects. 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 2010, or were injured during the entire 2010 season; (2) is still within the Dodgers organization as of season end; (3) will be under 28 years old as of Opening Day 2011; 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 I put together this list after the season was complete, so there are some players in my list that are no longer with the Dodgers organization.

160. Eric Thompson, RHP (3.2 IP in AAA, 3 IP in AA, 20 IP in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2006, 23rd round

6’6”, 210 lbs, 23 years old

0-1, 9.79 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, 6.20 FIP, 7.76 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 156; Pre 2009 Rank: 121

Eric Thompson was drafted out of high school in 2006, and even though he was a 23rd round pick, the Dodgers had to pay him a fairly large signing bonus to convince him put his basketball career aside. The thought was that the 6’6” pitcher would have the ideal frame and size to be a power pitcher. After three years of struggling through Rookie ball, Thompson finally got the chance to play against tougher competition in 2010. The results were very ugly, however, as Thompson amassed a combined 9.79 ERA through stops in Inland Empire, Chattanooga, and Albuquerque. Like a few other Dodger minor leaguers, Thompson served as an emergency fill in when injuries struck the upper minor leagues. Probably the biggest surprise to his season was that after spending all of 2009 in the Pioneer League, Thompson actually made his 2010 debut in AAA. He only lasted for two appearances before moving down to AA for a single spot start. He finally settled in with the 66ers as he spent the final 2 months of the season in Inland Empire, but had an 8.10 ERA through 20 innings. Playing the entire 2010 season as a 22 year old, Thomason was simply unable to find a groove and it showed in his stats. I’m guessing that Eric would have been better off spending the entire season in either LoA or HiA, but the Dodgers had other plans. Despite his ugly stats, Thompson still seemed to have potential, and I was hoping he’d get the chance to prove that with a full season in Rancho Cucamonga next season. However, he has been released per Baseball America, so he won’t be around next year. Since I had already finalized my ranking by the time he was released, this is basically where he would have ranked had he stayed in the Dodgers system for 2011.

159. Adner Ruiz, LHP (39.1 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

6’1”, 180 lbs, 22 years old

1-2, 2.06 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.53 FIP, 7.55 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Adner Ruiz isn’t your typical Dominican Summer League because the Dodgers are actually his 2nd organization. He started is professional career with the Cubs in 2008, and actually had outstanding stats in both 2008 and 2009. In 2008, he had a 1.91 ERA in 47 innings and batters hit .177 against him, and in 2009 he had a 2.37 ERA in 38 innings and batters hit .171 against him. Nevertheless, the Cubs released Ruiz at the end of the 2009 season probably because he was already 20 years old. The Dodgers didn’t let his age scare them however, as they decided to take a chance on him in 2010. Ruiz had yet another solid season, albeit against much younger competition, as he posted a 2.06 ERA. He did walk too many batters, which is why his WHIP was a little high, but that was really the only negative to his season. At the end of the year, the Dodgers must have seen something they liked because he has already been re-signed for 2011 (according to Baseball America). I highly doubt the Dodgers would re-sign Ruiz to send him back to the DSL, so I expect him to make an appearance in Arizona next season.

158. Raul Burgos, RHP (24.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Acquired in 2009 minor league portion of Rule 5 draft

6’1”, 210 lbs, 23.5 years old

1-1, 4.74 ERA, 1.70 WHIP, 2.92 FIP, 9.12 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Raul Burgos was signed by the Giants out of the Dominican Republic prior to the 2005 season. After spending two seasons as a position player in the DSL, Burgos was moved to the mound because he was unable to get his average above .190 in either season. He spent 2007 pitching in the DSL, and then was moved to the Arizona League where he spent all of 2008 and 2009 and had a combined ERA over 5 over 26 innings. After the 2009 season, Raul was selected by the Dodgers in the AA portion of the Rule 5 draft and was sent to the Pioneer League for 2010. With the Raptors, Burgos had a 4.74 ERA and batters hit .330 against him, but his FIP was a more impressive 2.92 due to his solid strikeout to walk ratio and the fact that he only allowed 1 homer all year. Now 23 years old, Burgos will probably play in either LoA or HiA in 2011 and will try to hold his own against older competition.

157. Jose Capellan, C (16 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2009

6’0”, 190 lbs, 20.5 years old, bats right handed

.326 average, .828 OPS, 1 HR, 8 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 135; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jose Capellan is a 2nd year catcher of out the Dominican Republic who didn’t join the Dominican Dodgers until the end of July due to an undisclosed injury. He did his best to make up for lost time, however, hitting .323 in 46 at bats to go along with a .828 OPS. Capellan also posted a solid walk to strikeout ratio in the 16 games that he played, and is the perfect size for a catcher. Despite his lack of playing time in 2010, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jose in the Arizona Rookie League for the 2011 season.

156. Josmar Cordero, C (51 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

5’10, 175 lbs, 19.5 years old, bats right handed

.255 average, .705 OPS, 4 HR’s, 20 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Josmar Cordero was signed out of Venezuela prior to the 2010 season, and led the Dominican Dodger in innings behind the plate. He also had by far had the best season among Dominican Dodger catchers as Cordero threw out 48% of potential base stealers, and also had a very strong showing with the bat. He finished 2nd on the team with 4 homers, and posted a .705 OPS. In addition, he played the entire season as an 18 year old, so he is still very young. While Cordero will most likely require another season in the DSL, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the Arizona Rookie League in 2012.

155. Marlon Urriola, RHP (28.1 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 5/25/06

6’2”, 165 lbs, 22.75 years old

2-4, 3.18 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4.01 FIP, 7.31 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 181; Pre 2009 Rank: 117

Marlon Urriola has been in the Dodgers organization since 2006, when he debuted as a 17 year old. After spending three seasons in the DSL, the Dodgers promoted Urriola to the Arizona Rookie league in 2009. Unfortunately, he only appeared in 2 games that season due to what I can only assume was some sort of an injury. In 2010, Marlon was able to get in a more work as he appeared in 14 games and threw 28.1 innings while posting a solid 3.18 ERA. However, Urriola’s peripherals were not quite as good as his FIP was 4.01, his strikeout rate was on the low side, and batters hit .261 against him. That prompted the Dodgers to release the 22 year old in December. I think that’s a little unfortunate because Urriloa is still pretty young yet already has 5 years of minor league experience under his belt, but I can see where the Dodgers are coming from. Since I had already finalized my ranking by the time he was released, this is basically where he would have ranked had he stayed in the Dodgers system for 2011.

154. Leo Rodriguez, 2B (49 games in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2010

5’11”, 160 lbs, 19 years old, bats right handed

.277 average, .682 OPS, 0 HR’s, 12 RBI’s, 5 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Leo Rodriguez was signed out of the Dominican Republic prior to the 2010 season, and made his professional debut with the DSL Dodgers. He was the Dodgers main 2nd baseman, although he also spent time at 3rd base and shortstop. He played the entire season as an 18 year old, and held his own at the plate with a .277 average and a .682 OPS. The 5’11” infielder also demonstrated great plate discipline and made good contact as he walked almost as much as he struck out in 2010. While Rodriguez didn’t really show any power or speed, the one thing he has going for him is his youth. If he can have a solid season in the DSL in 2011, he should be on track to make the jump to a US based rookie league in 2012. That’s a big IF, but I always hope for the best.

153. B.J. Larosa, C (10 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 23rd round

6’2”, 200 lbs, 22.75 years old, bats right handed

.280 average, .791 OPS, 0 HR’s, 2 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

B.J. Larosa was selected in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft out of Bucknell University. The chemical engineering major was coming off a senior season in which he hit a team-high .371 and only struck out 19 times in 202 at bats as the team’s starting catcher. Larosa signed quickly with the Dodgers, and while he probably should have gone to the Pioneer League because of his age, he was assigned to the Arizona Rookie League because the Ogden Raptors already had too many catchers. He played every couple of days through the month of July, but then sat out the rest of the season for an unknown reason. Overall Larosa played in just 10 games, and through 25 at bats the only skill he was able to show off was his ability to walk. B.J. took a base on balls in over 25% of his plate appearances which led to an impressive .471 on base percentage. Despite being 22 years old, I highly doubt Larosa will make it to a full season league in 2011 due to the aforementioned logjam of young catchers. Hopefully that won’t stunt his career before he really even gets a chance to play.

152. Irvit Mendez, RHP (32.2 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers in 2008

6’6”, 225 lbs, 20.75 years old

1-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 9.92 K/9, 3.97 FIP

Pre 2010 Rank: 196; Pre 2009 Rank: 175

After making just 4 appearances in his first two professional seasons (1 game in 2008 and 3 games in 2009), Irvit Mendez finally got a chance to play a full season in 2010. In 32.2 innings, Mendez had a solid ERA and strikeout rate, but his WHIP was very high due to his extreme lack of control. Mendez averaged almost a walk per inning, which is actually an improvement over the previous two seasons when he had 12 walks in just 1.1 innings (yes you read that correctly). Still just 20 years and entering his 4th professional season, the Dodgers will probably keep Mendez around because he has a great pitcher’s frame and apparently has good stuff when he can find the plate. He might even make it to a US based league in 2011 since I’m not sure the Dodgers keep any player in the DSL for 4 seasons.

151. Mike Drowne, OF (4 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 28th round

5’10”, 175 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats right handed

.143 average, .393 OPS, 0 HR’s, 1 RBI, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Mike Drowne is a leadoff type hitter who the Dodgers selected in the 28th round of the 2010 draft out of Sacred Heart University (Connecticut). In his senior season at Sacred Heart, Drowne hit .313 with 33 stolen bases and set a school record with 65 runs scored. Upon getting drafted, Drowne said “It feels great. It’s everything I’ve worked for my whole life and to achieve that goal is amazing.” Drowne signed quickly, and got into a few games in late June with the Arizona Dodgers before getting shut down until late August. Overall, Mike got into just 4 games in his first professional season. There isn’t a lot of upside with Drowne, but as a 28th round selection there wasn’t much risk with the pick either. The 22 year old will probably spend 2011 in the Pioneer League in order to get some additional experience before playing in a full season league.