Last week we reviewed the Dodgers minor league infielders, and this week the "State of the Minor League System" will look at the outfield and pitchers. Today we'll examine left field, and remember that I am providing the preseason rank that I gave to each player within the position (Pre Pos.), their pre-season overall rank (Pre Overall), and their current ranking within the position. An N/A next to their preseason rank means that a player is new to the Dodgers or new to the position since my preseason ranking, and I will only include guys who are under 28 years of age. Players who have been released or are no longer in the organization are also included at the bottom of the chart, and finally I have ranked each player at is the position that I believe is best long term position for the player. It may not be the players' current primary position, but it is where I believe each player will ultimately end up should they make the major leagues.
|Pre Overall||Pre Pos.||Current||Name||How Acquired||Age||Ht||Wt||Bats||Level|
|2||1||1||Jerry Sands||2008, 25th||23.82||6' 4"||225||R||AAA|
|8||N/A - CF||2||Trayvon Robinson||2005, 10th||23.90||5' 11"||195||S||AAA|
|31||3||3||Angelo Songco||2009, 4th||22.87||6' 0"||190||L||HiA|
|40||4||4||Alfredo Silverio||Signed 11/13/03||24.22||6' 0"||205||R||AA|
|26||2||5||Brian Cavazos-Galvez||2009, 12th||24.19||6' 0"||215||R||AA|
|41||5||6||Nick Akins||2009, 19th||23.58||6' 1"||220||R||LoA|
|52||6||7||Noel Cuevas||2010, 21st||19.81||6' 2"||187||R||Pio Rook|
|64||7||8||Robert Coyle||2010, 10th||22.38||6' 1"||215||L||LoA|
|130||9||9||Arce Rodriguez||Signed 2010||18.62||6' 0"||191||R||DSL|
|N/A||N/A||10||Preston Mattingly||Re-signed 2011||23.91||6' 3"||205||R||HiA|
|N/A||N/A||11||Joseph Winker||2011, 28th||21.91||6' 1"||190||L||Arz Rook|
|161||14||12||Roman Pena||Trade w/Indians||24.89||6' 0"||190||L||On Loan|
|128||8||N/A||Abdul Nieto||Signed in 2008||19.62||6' 3"||180||R||Released|
|168||15||N/A||Jose Ramirez||Signed in 2009||22.83||6' 2"||200||R||Released|
|182||16||N/A||Andres Perez||Signed 8/9/09||27.17||6' 0"||200||R||Released|
|133||11||N/A||Clay Calfee||2008, 14th||25.14||6' 6"||220||L||Released|
|N/A||N/A||N/A||Jeffrey Schaus||2011, 16th||22.30||6' 2"||205||L||Retired|
The Dodgers minor league system boasts a good amount of talent at left field, which should give fans hope for the position that has been a bit of black hole at the big league level since Manny left. We'll start with Jerry Sands, who has already spent 35 games in left field for the Dodgers and barely qualifies for this list with his 125 major league at bats (130 is my cutoff). There is no doubt that he'll return to the show at some point in the near future, although the question will be if he'll spend more time at 1st base or in the outfield. I think he provides the best value as an outfield, but out of necessity he may be the team's 1st baseman as soon as 2012. Another reason he may end up playing 1st is because of the next guy on this list, Trayvon Robinson. I had always tabbed Robinson as a center fielder, which is where he spent the majority of his career. However a few months ago management moved him to left field on a full time basis, and in 2011 he's definitely been playing more like a left fielder because his power numbers are up and his stolen base numbers are down. He's also always had a weak outfield arm, so the move to left also makes sense from that perspective. That being said, it's difficult to project what Robinson will do once he leaves the confines of the Pacific Coast League and eventually gets promoted to LA. Despite what he's done this season, I still don't see him as a big time home run threat at the big league level as I project that he won't top 15 HR's annually. I could be wrong, but it sounds more reasonable than expecting him to come up and hit 30 bombs. Where does that leave him as a big league player? I'm not sure, but I'm sticking closely to my pre-season predictions of having him as a guy who hits around .270 with 15 homers and 20 steals annually. So that would make him a decent player, but not a star or savior by any means.
The next tier of left field prospects really shows the depth of the position as the numbers of guys who have at least an outside shot of making it to the big leagues runs about 8 or 9 deep. In terms of who I ranked #3, I had a little bit of trouble choosing between Angelo Songco, Alfredo Silverio, and Brian Cavazos-Galvez. I eventually went with Songco because he has the best numbers of the group, and is a year and a half younger than the other two. I know that Songco is playing in the California League which is much more hitter friendly than the Southern League, but the one thing that put him over the top besides his age is his ability to take a walk, which makes his OB% more impressive than Silverio and BCG. Songco also has the most raw power of the bunch. I put Silverio next because he's having a breakout year and a much better season than BCG who seems to have hit a slump in AA. Silverio's success has been a long time coming since he was signed way back in 2003, while BCG has only been around since 2009. Silverio also seems to be the more versatile player, with the ability to play multiple outfield positions while showing good speed. BCG is a streaky player who walks even less than Silverio and has seen both his power and speed numbers drop in 2011. He's also playing a lot of first base now, and has never been a good outfield defender. How he does over the next 12 months will probably really determine if he has what it takes to play in the big leagues.
Next on the list of Nick Akins, who is having an overall down season but has recently returned from a wrist injury and is showing signs of life. He's definitely a big power guy, but doesn't really have many other tools so his home run swing is what is going to move him up the ladder. He's a fun player to watch because he's very flashy, but that arrogance also gets him in trouble sometimes with umpires. Noel Cuevas is another player with a lot of raw power and is a bit of a wildcard because he's still so young. He was jumped all the way to the California League earlier this season, but struggled pretty badly and is now back in the Pioneer League which is where he belongs at this point in his career. He's been playing center field recently and has shown good speed, but a below average arm mean that scouts have pegged him as a future left fielder.
Bobby Coyle has shown the ability to hit some long home runs, but he struggles to get on base and has a career OPS of just .754. He's only in his 2nd professional season, however, so at 22 years old this local kid still has a little bit of time to breakout before he's buried as an organizational player. Arce Rodriguez is the youngest player on this list and is still light years away from being considered a legitimate prospect, but he's having a decent season in the DSL by most standards and hopefully will do enough to get a shot in the Arizona Rookie League in 2012. Finally, to again show the depth of left field we have a former first pick in Preston Mattingly ranked at #10 and a guy who is tearing up the Arizona Rookie League in Joseph Winker at #11.