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Dodgers Prospect Countdown: 40 - 31

I'm running out of things to say in my intros, so without further ado here is the next group of prospects.

40.  Alfredo Silverio, LF (4 games in AA, 95 games in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 11/13/03

6’0”, 205 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.283 average, .783 OPS, 12 HR’s, 43 RBI’s, 17 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 38;     Pre 2009 Rank: 28


Signed way back in 2003, Alfredo Silverio has been in the Dodgers organization for 7 seasons.  After spending his first three professional seasons in the DSL, Silverio was sent to the Gulf Coast League in 2007 and put his name on Dodger prospect radar by hitting .373 in 51 games.  That earned him a promotion to Lo-A in 2008, and he returned to the Midwest League in 2009.  In 2010 Silverio moved up to HiA and overall had a pretty decent season; but you would have never guessed that if you had looked at his stats in April, May, June, or even July.  Silverio was hitting just .245 with a .698 OPS through July, but ended the year on fire to finish with a .292 average and an .809 OPS for the 66ers.  Silverio also stole 17 bases and only struck out in only 15.1% of his plate appearances before getting promoted to AA for the final week of the season.  However, Alfredo continued to demonstrate poor patience at the plate, which has been a problem throughout his career (since 2006, he only has 80 walks in 1,813 plate appearances).  During the off-season Silverio participated in the Arizona instructional league and then spent time in the Dominican Winter League where he hit .355 in 15 games.  In terms of his defense, Alfredo has played all three outfield positions throughout his career and has a strong arm, but his below average range will probably limit him to left field as he moves up.  Silverio will almost certainly play in AA in 2011, and he remains a notch below the top prospects for me because I don’t see him having any of the plus skills to get him to the big leagues, especially if he is limited to left field.


Why #40: Silverio saved his season with a strong second half, but I still don’t think he has a lot of potential.  The 23 year old doesn’t seem to have any skill that stands out, which leads me to believe that his ceiling is that of a bench player at the big league level.

39.  Geison Aguasviva, LHP (72 IP in HiA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 12/15/05

6’2”, 166 lbs, 23.5 years old

4-4, 3.75 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.48 FIP, 7.13 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 33;     Pre 2009 Rank: 40


Signed prior to the 2006 season, Geison Aguasviva spent two seasons in the Dominican Summer League.  During his 2nd season in the DSL, the then 19 year old Aguasviva dominated his competition with an ERA of 1.50 and a WHIP of just 0.84 through 66 innings.  Promoted all the way up to the Midwest League to start the 2008 season, Geison had trouble adjusting to life in the USA and struggled through 19 innings.  However, after he was sent down to the Pioneer League he rebounded nicely with a 2.90 ERA in 71 innings.  In 2009 Aguaviva found himself back in LoA and that is where he really had his breakout season.  Used mostly in relief, Geison led the Dodger minor league system with a 1.58 ERA (minimum 50 IP) and had a .236 batting average against.  That brings us to 2010 which Aguasviva spent in HiA.  He was actually used as a starter to begin the season, but a 6.30 ERA through 5 starts prompted the Dodgers to move him back to relief.  In the bullpen, Aguasviva found his groove and posted a 2.77 ERA for the remainder of the season.  The southpaw was especially effective against left handed batters as he held them to a .157 average for the season.  As a tall, skinny player, Aguasviva still has plenty of projection left in his frame.  He currently pitches in the low 90’s, but the Dodgers expect that to jump even higher once he adds muscle.  His best pitch, however, is his changeup which projects as a plus offering.  While Aguasviva’s career strikeout rate is just 7.8 K’s per 9 innings, he makes up for that by allowing very few homers.  Looking to his future, Aguasviva should be used exclusively in relief for the rest of his career and a move to AA in 2011 is likely.  If he continues to have success, he should eventually get a look as a left handed specialist at the big league level.


Why #39: Aguasviva is definitely a reliever, and has the ceiling of a left handed bullpen arm at the big league level.  Really his drop in ranking is only due to the emergence of other prospects.


38.  Steven Ames, RHP (28.1 IP in LoA, 3 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 17th round

6’1”, 205 lbs, 23 years old

0-2, 2.30 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 0.42 FIP, 13.79 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 53;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A


Since getting selected in the 17th round of the 2009 draft out of Gonzaga, Steven Ames has been nothing short of incredible.  In his debut season in 2009, Ames had a 14.10 K/9 and he only walked 6 batters through 30 innings with the Raptors.  In addition, opposing players hit just .192 against him, and his FIP was an incredible 1.53.  His 2010 season got off to a late start because he partially tore his hamstring in spring training, but when joined the Loons at the end of June he stole the closer role from Vasquez and again had an unbelievable season.  In 28.1 innings Ames struck out 44 batters (13.98 K/9), walked only 3, picked up 16 saves, and had a WHIP of 0.85.  In addition, his FIP of 0.41 was one of the lowest I’ve seen for somebody with at least 25 innings.  After the season, Ames was sent to the Arizona Fall League but got roughed up in two outings and was sent home early with a minor injury.  DeJon Watson had this to say about his AFL appearance, “His numbers weren't good, but he threw the ball good. He had a couple bad breaks or he could have been out of innings.”  Steven was also invited to participate in the Dodgers Winter Development Minicamp this past January.  I’m not 100% sure what his arsenal consists of, but I’ve heard he hits at least 94 mph with this fastball and has three solid pitches with a good overall feel for pitching. Ames will have just turned 23 years old when the 2011 season starts, and I really hope that he finds his way up to AA next year given his dominant pitching performances over the past two seasons.


Why #38: Ames obviously has good stuff because he has posted ridiculous numbers over the past two years.  He needs to continue to have success against more advanced competition, but if he can keep it up, I believe he has the potential to one day be a set-up man in the big leagues.


37.  Tony Delmonico, C (60 games in HiA, 7 games in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 6th round

6’0”, 194 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed

.280 average, .763 OPS, 3 HR’s, 18 RBI’s, 6 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 17;     Pre 2009 Rank: 13


After signing with the Dodgers as a 6th round pick in 2008, Tony Delmonico had an outstanding professional debut in the Pioneer League as a 2nd baseman.  He was then converted to catcher in 2009, and despite the tough transition he continued to hit with the Loons and was widely considered to be the best all around catcher in the Midwest League.  Moving ahead to 2010, Tony was supposed to be the everyday catcher for the 66ers, but unfortunately injuries cost him about half of his season.  When he was healthy for Inland Empire, Delmonico didn’t show much power, but he did demonstrate extreme patience at the plate.  He walked more than he struck out, and had an on base percentage of .418 for the season.  He also threw out 31% of potential base stealers and continued to improve defensively.   Still just 23 years old, and only two years into his catching career, I think that Delmonico remains the Dodgers top catching prospect heading into 2011 because he has the most upside.  If he can stay healthy, my guess is that he’ll spend 2011 in AA as the team’s main catcher.  At the very least, I believe that Delmonico will one day make it to the big leagues as a backup catcher.


Why #37: If Delmonico can stay healthy, I believe he has the potential to be a starting catcher at the big league level.  Injuries have definitely slowed him down, however, and his lost year caused him to drop in my rankings.  He’s going to have to stay on the field in 2011 to prove his worth since he’s not getting any younger.


36.  Derek Cone, RHP (4.1 IP in Pioneer League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2010, 31st round

6’5”, 210 lbs, 20.75 years old

0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 3.43 FIP, 2.08 K/9

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


The Dodgers selected Derek Cone in the 31st round of the 2010 draft after he had a great year for Mesa Community College in Arizona.  Cone was the team’s ace all year and had a 1.93 ERA in 84 innings to go along with 105 strikeouts.  His most impressive performance in college came when he threw 11.1 innings in a playoff game, no hitting the other team for 9.2 of those innings.  After much deliberation, Derek gave up his BYU commitment and signed with the Dodgers at the deadline for $150K.  He explained “I was all moved in and signed a 12 month lease for an apartment in Provo when a couple days before the signing deadline I received a call saying the Dodgers would come up to my asking price.”  Because Cone signed late he only pitched 4.1 innings in his professional debut with the Ogden Raptors.  At 6’5”, Cone is an intimidating presence on the mound and has a great pitching frame.  He currently throws in the low 90’s, although the Dodgers believe he’ll gain velocity as he adds muscle.  He also has a solid curveball, which is currently his best pitch, and like many other young pitchers he is developing his changeup.  He’ll still be just 20 years old when the 2011 season begins, so I’m not sure if the Dodgers will send the young right hander to a full season league.  No matter where he plays he’ll definitely be used as a starter because there is no point stunting his growth by putting him in the bullpen this early in his career.


Why #36: Cone is a bit of a sleeper since he was a 31st round pick and didn’t get much attention when he signed, but he has the potential to be a middle of the rotation starter in the big leagues.  Of course he is a long ways off from that potential, but he is still young and has a great pitching frame. 


35.  Austin Gallagher, 1B (111 games in HiA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2007, 3rd round

6’5”, 210 lbs, 22.25 years old, bats left handed

.291 average, .755 OPS, 6 HR’s, 64 RBI’s, 0 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 19;     Pre 2009 Rank: 7


If you didn’t know anything about Austin Gallagher, when you looked at stats for 2010 you’d say he had a pretty good year.  I mean he spent the season as a 21 year old in HiA and posted a solid average with a little bit of power, so what isn’t there to like?  Well the problem is that Gallagher put up almost identical stats in the same league two year ago as a 19 year old, so he has actually regressed since getting drafted in 2007.  In addition, while Gallagher used to spend most of his time at the hot corner, he is now strictly a first baseman.  Despite the fact that Gallagher’s prospect shine has lost quite a bit of luster over the past two years, he isn’t a lost cause yet.  Still just 22 years old, he is a 6’5” giant who already has 4 years of professional experience.  The power still isn’t there, as demonstrated by his 6 homers and .755 OPS, but he did hit .291 and led the 66ers with 64 RBI’s.  He also makes good contact and had a solid 16.7% strikeout rate in 2010.  In addition, he was invited to participate in the Arizona Instructional League after the season, so he is definitely still on the Dodgers radar.  Given that he has already spent two year in Class A, I’m guessing that Gallagher will move up to AA in 2011.  If he does make it to the Southern League he will be one of the younger players in the league, so if he continues to hit for a decent average and is able to show even a little bit of power, Gallagher will continue to be considered a legitimate prospect in my book. 

Why #35: Gallagher dropped in my ranking because he is now limited to 1st base and still hasn’t tapped into his power potential.  However he is still just 22 years old and has the size to one day be a legitimate power threat at the plate.  I still see his ceiling as a big league 1st baseman if he can show some more power, although a more realistic goal for him would be to make it to the show as a bench player.


34.  Russell Mitchell, 1B/3B (127 games in AAA)

Drafted by Dodgers 2003, 15th round

5’11”, 205 lbs, 26 years old, bats right handed

.315 average, .898 OPS, 23 HR’s, 87 RBI’s, 1 SB

Pre 2010 Rank: 52;     Pre 2009 Rank: 32


Russell Mitchell has been with the Dodgers since 2003, and played with 12 different minor league teams before finally realizing his goal of making it to the big leagues this past season.  He had some good seasons in the past, but it wasn’t until he reached the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League that he really had a breakout year.  Mitchell ranked among to the top 10 in many of the league’s offensive category, and led the Isotopes with 97 runs scored.  He also held his own at 3rd base, and showed versatility by playing four other positions, which really boosted his value as a prospect.  Upon getting called up to the Dodgers in September, Mitchell continued to show off his power with two homers in 15 games.  The only worrisome thing about his season was that Russ did much of his offensive damage at home in the friendly confines of “The Lab”, while posting an OPS of just .770 on the road.  In addition, Mitchell has a pretty low ceiling as a big league player and is already 26 years old, so that is why he didn’t place higher in my rankings.  Known as a grinder in the mold of Kevin Millar, Mitchell is now on the 40 man roster at the very least will return to Los Angeles when rosters expand next September.  For most of the 2011 season, however, I’m sure he’ll continue to wreak havoc against AAA pitching.


Why #34: Mitchell has the ability to play 3rd base and has already made his major league debut, which are two reasons why he moved up in my rankings.  The reason he isn’t in my top 30, however, is because he is 26 years old and I don’t see much upside as his ceiling is a utility player at the big league level.


33.  Travis Schlichting, RHP (47.1 IP in AAA in 2010)

Signed by Dodgers 10/6/07

6’4”, 190 lbs, 26.25 years old

3-0, 4.75 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 4.36 FIP, 5.51 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 26;     Pre 2009 Rank: 38


Travis Schlichting was originally selected as a 3rd baseman in the 4th round of the 2003 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, but he never really succeeded with his bat.  He was traded to the Angels after the 2005 season, and during 2006 he played both in the field and on the mound.  Released by the Angles, Schlichting wound up playing with an independent league for all of 2007.  The Dodgers decided to take a chance on him in October of 2007, and after an extended stay in Spring Training at the beginning of 2008, he debuted at AA for the Dodgers and pitched very well throughout the entire season.  That winter he was added to the 40 man roster, and in 2009 he battled injuries but put up great stats when healthy.  He actually made his major league debut on 6/7/09 in Texas and allowed one run in 1.2 innings.  He pitched in just one more MLB game before getting sent down to Albuquerque in mid June, and was eventually placed on the 60 day DL to end his season.  That brings us to Schlichting’s unique 2010 season in which he performed better in the big leagues than he did in the minors.  In 47.1 AAA innings, Schlichting had a 4.75 ERA and a .294 batting average against, but in his 22.2 innings with the Dodgers he recorded a 3.57 ERA and a .233 batting average against.  I guess some of the discrepancy can be linked to the PCL being such a hitter friendly league, but even still it is pretty rare for a player to do better in the majors than in the minors.  Schlichting’s fastball generally sits in the low 90’s, although he gets up to 94 mph on occasion, and he has several other pitches he can throw for strikes.  While Schlichting has never had a high strikeout rate and lacks a true strikeout pitch, his composure in the Dodgers bullpen over the past two seasons demonstrates to me that he can be a valuable option out of the Dodgers bullpen.  He won’t make the Dodgers out of spring training this year due to their crowded bullpen, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be in Los Angeles at some point in 2011.


Why #33: Schlichting has already proven that he can have success at the big league level, but his ceiling seems to be that of a middle reliever.  Now 26 years old, he’s basically an insurance policy for the Dodgers.  


32.  Brandon Martinez, RHP (36 IP in Arizona League in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 7th round

6’4”, 160 lbs, 20.25 years old

3-2, 5.25 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 2.89 FIP, 8.00 K/9

Pre 2010 Rank: 27;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A


Brandon Martinez was drafted in 2009, and when I saw that he had signed with the Dodgers I was very excited.  Drafted out of Fowler High School (near Fresno), Martinez had dominate stats during his senior season as he struck out 85 batters in 45 innings and allowed a .124 batting average against.  At 6’4” he also had a great pitching frame, so I really like his ceiling.  After the draft, Logan White said “This kid is skinny as rail but I'll tell you he has an outstanding delivery, throws hard and has a fine breaking ball. We'll have to put a little weight on him. He could turn into a really fine pitcher over time.”  Upon signing with the Dodgers, Martinez was sent to the Arizona Rookie League and struggled mightily.  I didn’t read too much into those stats, however, because he was simply adjusting to professional hitters and more importantly did show flashes of dominance with this strikeout rate.  In 2010 he returned to the Arizona League and had an up and down season.  When he started games (5 starts and 24.1 innings), he had a 2.22 ERA with a .266 batting average against.  When he pitched in relief (7 games and 11.2 innings), he had an 11.57 ERA and a .383 batting average against.  In addition, while his overall season ERA was 5.25, his FIP was a much more impressive 2.89.  Given these stats and the upside he brings, it appears that the Dodgers should strictly use him as a starter going forward.  After the season, I talked to DeJon Watson about Martinez and he said that he has gained about 10 pounds since last year, but he still needs some more added strength.  Watson also stated that while he can still touch 93 and 94 mph on a good night, he sits comfortably with a slightly above average fastball at about 90 to 92 mph.  Finally, DeJon said his breaking ball is solid average, and his changeup is developing.  In 2011, Brandon, who struggles with Tourette Syndrome, will probably only move up to the Pioneer League since I don’t believe he is ready for a full season league.  He is definitely someone to watch, however, because I believe he has the tools to become a top 20 prospect by next year.


Why #32: Brandon Martinez is still very young, and is my opinion has the upside of a #3 starter at the big league level.  It’s always tough to judge high school talent, but I love players with potential and I think that Martinez has tons of it. 


31.  Angelo Songco, LF (135 games in LoA in 2010)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 4th round

6’0”, 190 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats right handed

.274 average, .790 OPS, 15 HR’s, 71 RBI’s, 6 SB’s

Pre 2010 Rank: 39;     Pre 2009 Rank: N/A


Angelo Songco was born in Granda Hills and played his college ball locally at Loyola Marymount.  During his junior season he led the Lions with a .360 average, 15 home runs, and 63 RBI’s in just 59 games to go along with a sizzling OPS of 1.159.  Selected by the Dodgers in the 4th round of the 2009 draft, Songco signed quickly for $225,000 and continued his torrid hitting in the Pioneer League, whacking 7 home runs in his first 19 games.  In spring training 2010, Songco got to play in a few games with the big league club and even hit a no doubt about it homer against the Angels on 3/15/10.  For the 2010 season Songco was promoted to LoA, and was the Loons everyday left fielder.  Despite being one of the younger offensive players on the club, Songco hit 15 homers in a team high 507 at bats.  In addition, if it wasn’t for a terrible slump to end the season, Angelo’s OPS would have been well over .800 for the year.  Songco also made good contact, striking out in just 16% of his plate appearances, and held his own against left handed pitchers with a .250 average.  Stats aside, the one thing that stands out for Songco is his huge power.  While he is not a big or imposing player by any stretch of the imagination, he can knock the cover off the ball with his extremely quick swing.  In fact, one of Songco’s homers last season reportedly traveled an estimated 508 feet at Dow Diamond.  While he gets pull happy at times, he does have power to all fields.  The only drawback to Songco is that he is limited to playing left field, but he hasn’t made many errors at all since turning pro and has an adequate arm.  If he can adjust to the more advanced competition and continue to hit homers, Songco will shoot up the prospect charts.  He’ll probably play in the California League next season and will hopefully have a field day in the hitter friendly environment.


Why #31: Songco has a ton of raw power, which is something that you simply can’t teach.  That being said, his defense limits him to left field which generally requires a ton of offensive output.  Therefore, while his ceiling is that of a left fielder at the big league level, he’s going to have to continue to put up big numbers if he ever wants to make it to the show.