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Dodgers Minor League Countdown: 100 - 91

My ranking has now reached the Dodgers top 100 players, so now we are going to start seeing the real prospects. Most of the names should be recognizable by now, although some of the players drafted in 2010 might still be new to some people.

100. Steve Matre, RHP (2 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 39th round

6’2”, 185 lbs, 22.75 years old

0-0, 4.50 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 5.20 FIP, 4.50 K/9

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

The Dodgers took a late flyer on Steve Matre in the 2010 draft as they selected him in the 39th round even though he didn’t play college ball last season. He was recovering from Tommy John surgery that he had in 2009 after three outstanding seasons at College of Mount Saint Joseph. As a freshman he immediately stepped into the closer role, and held it all throughout his college career. His career ERA was 1.19 and he registered 32 saves – just 3 short of the Division III record. His best season came in 2009 when he had a 0.41 ERA, a 13.1 K/9, and a .133 batting average against in 22 innings. In addition, even though he missed the 2010 college season, he was cleared to play in a summer league and continued to impress by striking out 20 and walking just two in 15.2 innings of work to go along with a 1.15 ERA. Upon getting drafted, Matre said “I was really excited to hear that I was chosen. It was like a dream come true and something that I’ve wanted to do (play professional baseball) for a long time.” While he didn’t sign right away, he eventually joined the Dodgers in July and worked out in Arizona before getting into two games in August. His professional sample size was too small to evaluate, but based on his college stats I’d say that he does have some pretty good stuff. I know he wasn’t playing against the premier competition because he was in DIII, but it does take some type of talent to put up the ridiculous college stats that he did. For 2011, I don’t think Matre will play in a full season league because his arm probably isn’t ready for a full workload given his Tommy John surgery in 2009. Therefore, my guess would be that he spends the year in the Pioneer League, and might even serve as the Raptors closer.

99. Pedro Guerrero, SS (2 games in AAA, 13 games in LoA, 31 games in Pioneer League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/10/06

6’3”, 181 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats right handed

.217 average, .614 OPS, 3 HR’s, 25 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 92; Pre 2009 Rank: 67

Pedro Guerrero was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2006 and played two seasons in the Dominican Summer League before making his U.S. debut in 2008. He produced average numbers in the Gulf Coast League in 2008, and had similar stats in Pioneer League in 2009. Guerrero was promoted to LoA for the start of the 2010 season, but struggled so badly with the Loons that he was sent back to extended spring training in May. He reemerged with the Raptors in June and served as the team’s backup second baseman where he hit .230 with 3 homers through 113 at bats. He continued to struggle with his walk to strikeout ratio, as he struck out 5 times as much as he walked in 2010. The one interesting thing about Pedro’s 2010 season was that he was actually promoted to AAA for three days in August where he picked up 1 hit in 2 at bats as an emergency infield fill-in. At the end of the season, even with his terrible offensive display in 2010, he remained on the Dodgers’ radar as he was invited to participate in the Arizona instructional league. Despite his lackluster career stats (.243 career batting average), I’ve always been a fan of Guerrero due to his youth, experience, and wiry frame. He’ll be entering his 6th professional season in 2011, and I’m hoping that the 22 year old will have a better showing in one of the full season leagues.

98. Red Patterson, RHP (67.2 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 29th round

6’3”, 210 lbs, 23.75 years old

6-1, 3.33 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 3.42 FIP, 8.78 K/9

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

The Dodgers took John “Red” Patterson in the 29th round of the 2010 draft despite the fact that he had a 6.84 ERA during his senior season at Southwestern Oklahoma State. The Dodgers must have looked past his subpar ERA because he had an impressive strikeout rate, with 103 K’s in 72.1 innings. In addition, prior to joining the SWOSU Bulldogs, Patterson was a two-year starter at Grayson Junior College where he had an outstanding year in 2007 with a 10-0 record and 1.41 ERA. Moving to his professional career, Patterson signed quickly and joined the Ogden Raptors without much fanfare. However, Red quickly put his name on the Dodger prospect radar with a solid season in the Pioneer League. He ranked 2nd in the league with his 3.33 ERA, and placed 6th with his 1.29 WHIP; stats which earned him a selection to the post season All Star team. It should be also be noted that Patterson was much better against right handed batters (1.86 ERA vs. a 5.28 ERA against lefties), and also threw better on the road (1.97 ERA vs. a 4.54 ERA at home). I had a chance to watch Patterson pitch one game online this season, and out of the windup he has a very high leg kick and takes a long stride. From the stretch he obviously lowers the leg kick and shortens the stride. Overall, Patterson’s strong season should be enough to give him a look in a full season league in 2011. While time is against him due to his age, he’ll try to defy the odds and continue to make a name for himself next season.

97. Matthew Sartor, RHP (18 IP in AA, 40.2 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 7/24/07

6’6”, 250 lbs, 26.5 years old

4-9, 4.30 ERA, 1.57 WHP, 2.59 FIP, 10.89 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 51; Pre 2009 Rank: 33

Matt Sartor was selected by the Giants in the minor league portion of the 2010 Rule 5 draft, so he is no longer in the Dodgers organization. Had he remained with the Dodgers, this is where he would have ranked. The reason he is included in my rankings because I compiled my list prior to the Rule 5 this year. Originally signed as a non drafted free agent, Sartor is a big pitcher that has shown some promise as a reliever over the past few years. When you look at his FIP in 2010, you’ll see why I think he has some potential. I’m not saying he’ll ever make it to the big leagues with the Giants, but his size and ability to strike guys out do cause him to stand out. At 26 years old, however, Matt would have to move quickly. He could be the one player we regret losing in the 2010 Rule 5 draft.

96. Andrew Pevsner, LHP (28.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 16th round

6’3”, 205 lbs, 22.5 years old

3-0, 1.91 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4.26 FIP, 9.54 K/9

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

Andrew Pevsner is a southern California native who was born on the day that Kirk Gibson hit his famous World Series home run, and Eric posted a story about it shortly after he was drafted. Coming out of high school Pevsner didn’t get a lot of attention from Division I colleges, so he decided to go to the Division III Johns Hopkins University because it has strong academics and a respectable baseball program. As a freshman, he only threw about 80 mph, but a workout regiment increased his velocity to the upper 80’s by the time he graduated. As a senior in 2010 Andrew had a 4.17 ERA, but struck out over a batter per inning and only allowed a .209 batting average against. He wasn’t really sure he’d get drafted, but when he finally heard the Dodgers picked him he was shocked and said “It was literally a dream come true. I think it took me about 48 hours for my heart to slow down and to stop shaking.” After signing, Pevsner was sent to the Pioneer League where he had a very good season in terms of ERA. His 1.91 earned run average ranked 5th in the organization (minimum 25 IP), and he continued to post a strong strikeout rate. However he struggled a little with control and allowed a few homers during the season, which is why his FIP was much higher than his ERA. I watched him pitch online this past season, and he has a low leg kick, but straightens his leg before delivering the ball to the point where it slightly resembles Tim Lincecum. He has pretty good break on his curveball, and also throws a changeup on occasion. After the season Pevsner said his goal was to make a full season league out of spring training, and I think that is a realistic possibility as I project he’ll be with the Loons in 2011. Even though I wish he threw a little harder, I do like Pevsner as a potential prospect because of his frame and because he throws left handed. He seems to fit the mold of a left handed specialist, but only time will tell if he has what it takes to make it to the big leagues.

95. Edwin Contreras, RHP (6.1 IP in HiA, 50.1 IP in LoA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 11/28/06

6’2”, 165 lbs, 22.5 years old

3-3, 5.56 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 4.91 FIP, 5.56 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 83; Pre 2009 Rank: 53

Signed out of Mexico in late 2006, Edwin Contreras made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League in 2007 and had a solid season with a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings. He returned to the GCL in 2008 and was even better as he posted a 2.30 ERA and a .219 batting average against through 54.2 innings. That earned him a promotion to the Pioneer League in 2009 where Contreras was a mainstay in the Raptors rotation, making 15 starts and recording a respectable 4.06 ERA and 4.19 FIP. Moving ahead to 2010, Edwin made his first appearance in a full season league as he started the year with Inland Empire in HiA. Unfortunately, he was terrible in his first 4 appearances and was sent back to extended spring training in early May. Then in early June, Contreras was assigned to the Great Lake Loons where he finished out the 2010 season, spending time both as a starter and reliever and posting a 4.83 ERA in about 50 innings. Called the “The Magician” by his Loons teammates (probably because he did a good job of getting out of jams), Contreras was better out of the bullpen than has a starter while in LoA (3.95 ERA vs. 5.87 ERA). The one thing that has always concerned me about Contreras is his low K/9 rate, which was just 5.4 while in the Midwest League and is only slightly better at 6.0 for his career. Despite his disappointing 2010 season, Edwin is still just 22 years old and has a decent pitchers frame, so he has plenty of time to improve his game. He’ll most likely return to HiA in 2011 and will hope for better results this time around in the California League.

94. Carlos De Aza, RHP (24 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/24/07

6’3”, 178 lbs, 20.75 years old

3-4, 7.13 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 4.49 FIP, 6.38 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 67; Pre 2009 Rank: 127

Since signing with the Dodgers at the end of 2007, Carlos De Aza has had two terrible seasons and one outstanding season. In his professional debut in 2008, De Aza was awful in the DSL, posting a 6.53 ERA and 2.08 WHIP. Then in 2009, Carlos completely turned things around as he recorded a 1.30 ERA through 27.2 innings and allowed batters to hit just .149 against him. His stellar 2009 season earned De Aza a promotion to the Arizona League in 2010, but he had a rude awaking as he got dominated by the more advanced competition. He allowed 22 runs (19 earned) through 24 innings and had a .337 batting average against. Despite his poor season, De Aza has a few things going for him as he looks to 2011. First, he is still just 20 year so he has time to improve and mature. Second, De Aza has a great pitching frame at 6’3”, so because he is young he still has projectability. Finally, Carlos got better as the season progressed, improving his ERA as the months passed (12.00 ERA in June, 6.00 ERA in July, 4.50 ERA in August). In 2011, I’m sure De Aza will either return to Arizona or play with the Ogden Raptors because he is not quite ready for a full season league.

93. Daniel Tamares, RHP (57.1 IP in DSL in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 9/26/06

6’3”, 170 lbs, 21.25 years old

5-3, 1.41 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 2.64 FIP, 7.22 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 119; Pre 2009 Rank: 74

2010 was Daniel Tamares’ 4th season in the Dominican Summer League, and his experience showed because he absolutely dominated the league. Even though he fell just short of qualifying for the league leaders in ERA and WHIP because he was shut down in early August for an unknown reason, his season was still incredible. In addition to his 1.41 ERA and his 0.77 WHIP through 57.1 innings, batters hit just .141 against him and he ranked 2nd on the DSL Dodgers with 5 wins. Another remarkable thing about his season is that over his final 4 starts, which spanned 25 innings, Tamares allowed just 6 hits. It should also be noted that this wasn’t the first time that Daniel tore up the DSL. In 2008, Tamares had a 2.37 ERA through 49.1 innings as an 18 year old. If it wasn’t for the hiccup he had in 2009, when he had a 7.11 ERA though 38 innings, his career ERA would be remarkable. Looking ahead to 2011, I’m sure the Dodgers will promote Tamares to the Arizona League give his age and experience. Because he has a great size for a pitcher at 6’3” and has proven he can have success on the mound, a good season next year could really move him up the Dodger prospect rankings.

92. J.B. Paxson, RHP (53.2 IP in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 13th round

6’3”, 240 lbs, 24.5 years old

5-2, 3.02 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.14 FIP, 9.06 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 98; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

After being drafted in the 33rd round by the Dbacks in 2005 and the 18th round by the Braves in 2006, J.B. Paxson finally signed with the Dodgers in 2009 as a 13th round pick. In looking at Paxson’s past, it also makes sense why Joseph was drafted so many times. He hit a school record 29 home runs during his high school career, and then hit .455 with 13 HR’s in his only season at Walters State Community College. Up until this point, you’ll notice that Paxson was actually known for his offense, as he was a full time catcher. In 2007, however, Paxson joined Western Kentucky and proceeded to have three solid seasons as a two way player. In his senior season with the Hilltoppers, Paxson hit .345 with a great 1.076 OPS, but had a 6.82 ERA through 31 innings. Nevertheless, the Dodgers wanted him for his pitching arm because the Dodgers really liked his fastball. According to reports, his fastball can get up to the mid 90’s, which makes sense given his massive frame. Upon signing with the Dodgers, J.B. was sent to the Pioneer League where he compiled a 5.52 ERA in 29 innings, although his FIP was much better 2.89. In 2010, Paxson was promoted to the Great Lakes Loons where he put together a very solid season. His FIP and ERA were great, he struck out more than a batter per innings, he didn’t allow a homer all season, and opposing batters hit just .232 against him. His only issue was his control, which is what cause his WHIP to be higher than expected. At 24 years old, Paxson might get a chance to prove himself against older competition next year as he is a prime candidate to play in AA in 2011. Hopefully that is the case because Paxson will have to move quickly if he ever wants to make it to the show.

91. Enlly Morales, 2B (35 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/12/07

5’11”, 168 lbs, 21.5 years old, bats right handed

.273 average, .623 OPS, 0 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, 2 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 73; Pre 2009 Rank: 91

Signed after the 2007 season as an international free agent, Enlly Morales had a strong professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2008 and then was even better in the DSL in 2009. That earned Morales a promotion to the Arizona Rookie League in 2010, but he had a disappointing season. As the team’s primary 2nd baseman, he only had 6 extra base hits all season (all doubles), and the result was an ugly .623 OPS for the 21 year old. The only good news for him is that he finished the year with a .371 average over his last 10 games to boost his season average to a respectable .273. While I might have overrated Morales a bit last year, I don’t think he should be written off just yet. I realize he doesn’t have much power or speed, but he has proven he can hit for average in the past and plays a middle infield position. In addition, I’m sure that moving to a new country was a big transition which could have lead to his slump at the beginning of the year, so it’s encouraging that he improved as the season progressed. That being said, Morales is going to have to show improvement next year if he wants stay on the Dodgers radar. I don’t see him making a full season league next year, so he’ll probably spend 2011 in the Pioneer League.