I know it’s a little late in the season to start a weekly hot/cold minor league spotlight, but this is something I’ve wanted to do for a while. It will also give me a few weeks to get the format down for next season. Anyways, this is basically a weekly post about the best and worst minor league players in the Dodgers system for the past week. It is similar to the weekly Hot Sheet on Baseball America, except that it obviously focuses just on the Dodgers and will not only look at the players that are doing well, but will also feature players who are struggling. Also, I’ve chosen to look at stats from Wednesday through Tuesday of each week for no particular reason except that I wanted this to be a midweek post.
In addition, I’m not just going to focus on the bigger name prospects, but instead will consider anybody in the system that deserves to be on this list (although I’ll probably stay away from the older players who shouldn’t really be considered prospects). For the most part I’ll have 6 hot players (3 hitters & 3 pitchers) and 6 cold players per week, although it could vary depending upon performances. Hopefully you all enjoy this new feature, and I’m open to suggestions on how to make this better. Please also feel free to mention in the comments any other players who you think I should have included in my lists.
Name: Chris Henderson, Ogden Raptors
Key Stats: .593 average, 1.349 OPS, 9 RBI’s
Chris Henderson had 16 hits in 27 at bats this week which lead to his .593 average. His efforts this week included a 5 for 5 game, and even though only 3 of the 16 hits went for extra bases (all doubles), his OPS was 1.349. Drafted in the 21st round of the 2009 draft, Henderson was a catcher in college but has split time between 1st and 3rd base as a professional. Unfortunately, the 22 year old hasn’t shown any power since turning pro (only 1 homer), but is showing that he can hit for average in the hitter friendly Pioneer League.
Name: Jeff Hunt, Arizona Dodgers
Key Stats: 2 HR’s, .556 average, 1.778 OPS
Jeff Hunt only had 9 at bats this week, but made the most of them with 5 hits including his first 2 homers as a pro. His success translated to a 1.222 SLG% for the week and a 1.778 OPS. I’m not exactly sure why Hunt missed the beginning of the Arizona Rookie League or why his playing time has been limited thus far, but hopefully this week will kick start him. I also hope he can continue to have success so he can prove to management that he belongs in a full season league in 2011. We don’t need any more Kyle Orr’s on our hands.
Name: Justin Sellers, Albuquerque Isotopes
Key Stats: .368 average, 3 HR’s, 1.381 OPS
Shortstop Justin Sellers hit .368 this week and continued to show surprising power with 3 more homers. I know that most of his homers can be attributed to him playing in Albuquerque, but I’m still impressed with his overall play this year in AAA. The 24 year old has an .827 OPS with the Isotopes, has shown patience at the plate, and is playing adequate defense. Acquired via trade with Cubs in April 2009, he may just surprise people and make it up to the big leagues at some point in the future.
Name: Jake Lemmerman, Ogden Raptors
Key Stats: 2 HR’s, .364 average, 7 RBI’s, 1.209 OPS
Jake Lemmerman has been putting up great stats all year, so this week’s performance is actually quite normal for the 2010 5th round pick. The shortstop has a .349 average for the year to go along with 6 HR’s and a .966 OPS. I know you have to give some credit to the hitter friendly Pioneer League, but even still this is more offensive production than most people expected out of him.
Name: Andres Santiago, Arizona Dodgers
Key Stats: 5 IP, 0 Earned Runs, 0.60 WHIP, 16.20 K/9
Andres Santiago didn’t make an appearance in 2010 until August, but after a couple of mediocre outings he has really turned it on. In 5 innings this week Santiago had 9 K’s, a WHIP of 0.60, and an estimated FIP of -0.40. The 20 year old was selected in the 16th round of the 2007 draft out of Puerto Rico and has a solid pitchers frame, so hopefully he’ll move to a full season league before the season is out.
Name: Rubby De La Rosa, Chattanooga Lookouts
Key Stats: 7 IP, 1.29 ERA, 9.0 K/9
Rubby De La Rosa only made one start this week, but it was another solid outing as he allowed just 1 run over 7 innings while striking out 7. In addition, I’m giving him some credit for his previous AA starts in which he was brilliant since I wasn’t doing the Hot list at that time.
Name: Gustavo Gomez, Arizona Dodgers
Key Stats: 10 IP, 10 K’s, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WIP
Gustavo Gomez gets the edge over a couple of other pitchers this week because he threw more innings. The right hander out of Panama had excellent numbers last year in the DSL, and while his numbers in the Arizona League aren’t quite as good this year, this past week shows that he has some potential. At just 19 years old, he still has lots of time to improve his game.
Name: Preston Mattingly, Arizona Dodgers
Key Stats: 16 AB’s, .043 average, 5 K’s
Preston Mattingly has been playing in the Arizona Rookie League for some reason over the past few weeks, yet he still can’t hit. In the past week, the 22 year old went 1 for 16 against much younger players and had an OPS of .243. Yes, that’s his OPS, not his average. He really does suck.
Name: Mario Songco, Great Lakes Loons
Key Stats: 22 AB’s, .045 average, .283 OPS
Mario Songco only picked up 1 hit in 22 at bats this week, which resulted in a .045 average. The good news is that he only struck out 3 times during that time and still has solid stats for the season, but boy did he hit a rough patch this week.
Names: Trayvon Robinson and Kyle Russell, Chattanooga Lookouts
Key Stats: 23 AB’s, .217 average, 10 K’s
Trayvon Robinson and Kyle Russell had almost identical stats as they both struck out 10 times over the past week in 23 at bats, and had matching averages of .217. They did each collect a few extra base hits, but they still were not very good over the past 7 days.
Names: Antonio Castillo, Ogden Raptors
Key Stats: 2 starts, 3.1 IP, 29.70 ERA, 5.10 WHIP
Antonio Castillo was about as bad as you can get, allowing 14 runs in 3.1 innings spanning 2 starts. The undersized pitcher who signed as an international free agent in 2007 was great in the DSL for 2 seasons, but has struggled mightily over the past 2 years here in America. Might be time to write him off at this point.
Names: Eric Krebs, Inland Empire 66ers
Key Stats: 2.1 IP, 27.00 ERA, 5.10 WHIP
Eric Krebs allowed 7 earned runs in just 2.1 innings this week, and had a WHIP of 3.81. He blew one save, and at 25 years old he has no business being in the California League.
Names: Josh Lindblom, Albuquerque Isotopes
Key Stats: 2 apperances, 3 IP, 12.00 ERA, 7.53 FIP
There are several candidates that I considered for this last spot like Withrow and Jon Michael Redding, but despite their poor ERA’s both of those guys actually had good FIP’s for the week. Withrow also had a decent K/9. Therefore, I’ve chosen Josh Lindblom for the last spot as he made 2 appearances this week, and allowed 2 runs in each appearance. If you go back even further to last week he was even worse. Not sure what to make of him anymore as he hasn’t excelled in either the starter or relief role this year.