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Dodgers 2012 Minor League Countdown: 180 - 171

Here is the next part of my Dodger prospect countdown. For my original post of this series, which contains who is eligible for the list, click here. This current group doesn't really feature anyone too exciting, although there are a few wildcards from the DSL who could turn into something down the road.

180. Samuel Taveras, RHP (49 IP in DSL in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 2/17/11
6’5", 175 lbs, 22.5 years old
5-1, 2.02 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 3.51 FIP, 5.33 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Samuel Taveras is another Dominican player to sign later in life, and he made his professional debut with the Dominican Dodgers in 2011. While he had unbelievable stats in 2011 and has a great pitching frame at 6'5", he was mostly ignored because of his age. His 2.02 ERA and 0.88 WHIP were great, as was his .175 batting average against, but his K rate was surprisingly low (5.33 K/9) which makes he think he’d get exposed if he played against more advanced competition. The Dodgers have a decision to make on Taveras heading into 2012 as he is too old for another season in the DSL, so they have to determine if he is worth sending to the Arizona Rookie League.

179. Brant Stickel, LHP (6.2 IP in LoA, 5.1 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg, 17.1 IP in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)

Signed by Dodgers 10/6/10
6’4", 210 lbs, 25 years old
0-4, 5.22 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.39 FIP, 7.36 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Brant Stickel is a Canada native who played his college ball at the University of Calgary. After college, the lefty was signed by the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League where he finished the 2010 season. His contract was then sold to the Dodgers in October of 2010 after he hit 92 mph during a tryout in Arizona. In 2011, Brant had a unique season in that he started off the year in Great Lakes, then was demoted twice and finished out the year in the Arizona Rookie League. Stickel was terrible in the short time he played with the Loons and the Raptors, but was dominate with the Arizona Dodgers as he allowed just 7 hits in 17.1 innings against the younger competition. Overall, Stickel has good size and the fastball to succeed, but given his age he is going to have to make a great impression this spring and then perform well in a full season league to have any kind of a future with the organization.

Follow the jump for #'s 178 - 171

178. Gianison Rosa, C/OF (31 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers in March 2011 as a minor league free agent
6’0", 205 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats left handed
.221 average, .771 OPS, 1 HR, 11 RBI’s, 1 SB
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Gianison Rosa was originally drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 26th round of the 2009 draft, but he only played two games for the organization before getting released. From there he went on to play some independent ball, and then was signed by the Dodgers as a minor league free agent in March of 2011. Rosa spent the 2011 season in the Arizona Rookie League, and even though he is listed as a catcher he spent all his time as an outfielder with the Dodgers. From an offensive standpoint he had a disappointing year for a 21 year old, hitting just .221 while getting limited playing time. The only positive thing about his season was the he walked in an incredible 21.2% of his plate appearances, although that was tarnished by the fact that he also struck out in 29.3% of the time. Overall I think Rosa may stick around for another year, but he’ll probably just play with the Raptors as a bench player and provide some organizational depth.

177. Melvin Santana, SS/2B (56 games in DSL in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 5/7/10
5’10", 160 lbs, 20.5 years old, bats right handed
.245 average, .688 OPS, 0 HR’s, 17 RBI’s, 10 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Santana signed out of the Dominican in 2010, but didn’t make his professional debut until 2011 in the DSL. Listed as a shortstop, Melvin played the majority of the season at 2nd base and also frequented the DH position in the lineup. His defense wasn’t very good, as he posted a .910 fielding %, but he seems to have good speed (successful in 10 of 13 SB attempts) so I’m guessing his range is pretty good. At the plate, Santana didn’t homer all year, but he showed gap power by leading the club with 17 doubles and posting a respectable OB% of .344. He also demonstrated a good eye by walking almost as much as he struck out. I do expect Santana to play another year in the DSL, and if he shows continued growth I could see him making his US debut in 2013.

176. Kevin Thompson, 2B/SS (4 games in HiA, 11 games in Pioneer Rk Lg, 6 games in Arz RkLg in 2011)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 48th round
6’3", 185 lbs, 23.5 years old, bats right handed
.263 average, .598 OPS, 0 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, 2 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Thompson is originally from La Canada, but he played his college ball in New Mexico and was mediocre at best. With the Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds, Thompson had 2 career homers, 4 career SB's, and a career batting fielding percentage of just .901. The good news is that he had a college career batting average above .300, and can play all over the infield. After signing with the Dodgers Thompson was initially dispatched to the Arizona Rookie League, but ended up playing at 3 levels in 2011. Given his age and versatility, Kevin should be a good organizational player but I don’t think he’ll ever be more than that.

175. Ronny Lugo, RF (26 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 1/30/09
6’2", 170 lbs, 22 years old, bats right handed
.230 average, .586 OPS, 0 HR’s, 11 RBI’s, 6 SB’s
Pre 2011 Rank: 190, Pre 2010 Rank: 157; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Ronny Lugo was signed out of Venezuela prior to the 2009 season, and hit a combined .240 over two seasons in the DSL. In last year’s rankings, I predicted that his baseball career was probably done, but instead the Dodgers decided to bring Lugo to the US as he spent 2011 with the Arizona Dodgers. The move was extremely surprising, and Ronny did nothing to justify the promotion as he hit just .230 with the Dodgers and posted a dismal .586 OPS. Even still the Dodgers stuck with him as their starting right fielder for the majority of the season, and I’ll bet that he returns to the Arizona Rookie League again in 2012.

174. Adam Dedeaux, LHP (15.1 IP AAA, 12 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg, 0.1 IP in Arz Rookie Lg in 2011)
Signed 7/1/10 as Non Drafted Free Agent
6’0", 200 lbs, 25.75 years old
0-0, 11.06 ERA, 2.49 WHIP, 8.22 FIP, 6.18 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: 177, Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The Dodgers signed Adam Dedeaux as a non drafted free agent out of the University of Southern California. Given that Dedeaux was used sparingly at USC and had a college career ERA above 6, it is possible that Dodgers signed Adam as a favor to his grandfather. You see, Dedeaux's grandfather and long-time USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux was great friends with Tommy Lasorda before Rod passed away in 2006, so you can see the connection. Whether or not he was signed as a favor doesn’t change the fact that Adam was quite old to be starting his professional career. After throwing 10.2 innings in the Arizona Rookie League in his 2010 professional debut, Dedeaux played an interesting role for the Dodgers in 2011. After a stint in extended spring training, Adam made the biggest jump possible by starting his 2011 season all the way up in AAA. As you may have guessed, Dedeaux got crushed during his time with the Isotopes, then performed even worse when he was sent back down to the Pioneer League later in the season. I’m not sure if the Dodgers will keep him around in 2012, but if they do he’ll probably just continue to be the organization’s sacrificial lamb when a team needs a spot starter.

173. Jose Agusto Diaz, RHP (27 IP in DSL in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 2/8/11
5’11", 185 lbs, 21 years old
2-0, 0.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.05 FIP, 7.67 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Jose Agusto Diaz quietly had a very good professional debut in 2011, allowing just 2 earned runs in 27 DSL innings which resulted in a microscopic ERA. He served as the team’s part time closer, saving 2 games and finishing 8 more. He’s not a big guy and his strikeout numbers weren’t very impressive, but anytime a player has an ERA under 1 then he’s doing something right. Since Diaz will be 21 years old when the 2012 season starts, the Dodgers may want to challenge him with a promotion to a US based rookie league even though he has just 27 professional innings under his belt. Then again, he could just as easily spend another year in the DSL.

172. Victor Araujo, RHP (60 IP DSL in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 11/26/09
5’11", 171 lbs, 22.25 years old
3-4, 1.80 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 2.87 FIP, 9.15 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: 188, Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Victor Araujo signed later than most Dominican players, inking his deal with the Dodgers just after his 20th birthday, and then only pitched 14 innings in relief during his 2010 professional debut. In 2011 the Dodgers transitioned Araujo to the rotation, and he responded with an outstanding season in the DSL. He posted a 1.80 ERA, ranked among the top 10 in the league with a 0.93 WHIP, led the Dominican Dodgers with a 2.87 FIP, and was one of the few players on the roster to strike out more than a batter per inning (9.15 K/9). He also won a Dodgers Pride Award in the month of August. Even still, questions remain about Victor as his size are less than ideal for a pitcher, and he was one of the players in the DSL last season. The Dodgers must move him to the Arizona Rookie League in 2012 if they want him to have a chance at having an impact with the organization.

171. Luis Silverio, LHP (23 IP in DSL in 2011)
Signed by Dodgers 6/9/10
6’3", 190 lbs, 20.75 years old
1-2, 7.04 ERA, 2.30 WHIP, 4.68 FIP, 9.39 K/9
Pre 2011 Rank: N/A; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

The left handed Silverio made his professional debut in 2011, and although his stats were less than impressive I think he could have a future as a Dodger prospect. Silverio struck out more than a batter per inning, and while his ERA was 7.04 he had a much more respectable FIP of 4.68. In addition, Silverio has a solid 6’3" frame and only allowed just 1 home run all year. The Dodgers will definitely leave Silverio in the DSL for another season, but a strong sophomore year could lead to a promotion to the Arizona Rookie League in 2013.