It's that time again for the annual True Blue LA Prospect Voting. This is the community's opportunity to decide on the Dodgers top prospects heading into the 2012 season. Just like last year we'll go 20 prospects deep in our voting, and have the discussion on the main page while holding the voting in a fanpost. 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. To qualify as a prospect, a player must have less than 50 IP in the big leagues or less 130 at bats, regardless of service time.
Remember, this vote reflects the views of this community, and not my own. The summary I 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 DSL), and my 2011 Dodger Draft in Review.
The players I have selected to include in this first vote is based on common sense as there are only a handful of players who are logical choices to be the Dodgers #1 prospect. That being said, it is possible that the player that you feel is the best Dodgers prospect might not be listed. 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.
Without futher ado, here are your options for the the TBLA's #1 Dodger prospect for the upcoming season:
Zach Lee - RHP (20 years old) - The 1st round pick from the 2010 draft who signed for $5.25M, Lee had a solid professional debut with a 3.47 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, and a 7.5 K/9. Scouts continue to praise his polish, and he has a 4 pitch mix that includes a good sinking fastball, an advanced changeup, a good cutter, and a solid breaking ball
Allen Webster - RHP (21.75 years old) - Webster was dominate in the California League with a 2.33 ERA and 10.3 K/9 through 54 innings, then continued his success in AA before tiring down the stretch. The right hander throws a heavy sinking fastball that can reach 95, and his changeup is described as a potential plus-plus pitch. He also throws an average curveball.
Chris Reed - LHP (21.5 years old) - This year's 1st round pick only threw 7 innings in his professional debut, but as the 2011 Stanford closer Reed had a 2.56 ERA and struck out a batter per inning. The Dodgers plan to use him as a starter, and he figures to move quickly through the system. The lefty can touch 96 mph and has 3 quality pitches (fastball, power slider, and an above-average changeup)
Garrett Gould - RHP (20.25 years old) - Gould had a breakthrough season in 2011 as he ranked 2nd in the Midwest League with his 2.40 ERA. His FIP was also solid at 3.31, and he had a 7.6 K/9. The big righty possesses a low 90's fastball with good sink and an average changeup, but he's best known for his big 12-to-6 curveball that ranked as one of the best of the 2009 draft.
Nate Eovaldi - RHP (21.75 years old) - We got a good look at Eovaldi in a Dodgers uniform this past season, and he performed well in his big league debut with a 3.63 ERA in 34.2 innings. Back in AA, Nate posted a 2.62 ERA, a 3.05 FIP, and a 8.65 K/9. In terms of his stuff, we all saw that Eovaldi's best pitch is his upper 90's fastball, and he also throws a slider and a changeup.
Joc Pederson - OF (19.5 years old) - Pederson's name was scattered all over the Pioneer League Leaderboard after a big offensive season that saw him hit .353 with 11 homers, 24 SB's, and a .997 OPS. As I mentioned last year he has 5-tool potential, although none of his 5 tools seem to have a particularly high ceiling. Scouts don't think he'll be able to handle center field in the big leagues, but believe he can play either corner outfield spot.
Please use this post as the discussion thread, and cast your actual vote in this Fanpost. For those of you who don't remember from last year, having the voting in a separate post makes it easier for me to count up the results.