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State of the Dodgers Minor League System - Starting Pitching

A shot of Chris Withrow back in 2009
A shot of Chris Withrow back in 2009

The final chapter of my "State of the Dodgers Minor League System" reviews the organization's starting pitching talent.  This last post of my series comes just in time for the trade deadline, and I'm guessing next week I'll have a few new players to add to my minor league lists.  To avoid any confusion, I am ranking all players who have thrown 50 big league innings or less, regardless of service time in the majors.  My cutoff for hitters was 130 at bats or less.  To remind everybody one last time, 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.  Finally, click on any other following to see my posts on the Dodgers other minor league positions: catcher, 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, shortstop, left field, center field, right field, and relief pitching.

Pre Overall Pre Pos. Current Name How Acquired Age Ht Wt Bats Level
1 1 1 Zach Lee 2010, 1st  19.87 6' 4" 210 R LoA
15 8 2 Nathan Eovaldi 2008, 11th  21.45 6' 3" 195 R AA
10 6 3 Garrett Gould 2009, 2nd  20.03 6' 4" 190 R LoA
9 5 4 Allen Webster 2008, 18th  21.46 6' 3" 185 R AA
4 2 5 Chris Withrow 2007, 1st  22.32 6' 3" 195 R AA
14 7 6 Aaron Miller 2009, 1st  23.86 6' 3" 200 L HiA DL
16 9 7 Ralston Cash 2010, 2nd  19.94 6' 1" 197 R Injured
N/A N/A 8 Angel Sanchez Signed 7/12/10  21.66 6' 3" 177 R LoA
24 10 9 Matthew Magill 2008, 31st  21.71 6' 3" 190 R HiA
32 11 10 Brandon Martinez 2009, 7th  20.67 6' 4" 150 R Pio Rook
72 21 11 Jon Michael Redding 2008, 5th  23.70 6' 1" 195 R HiA
36 12 12 Derek Cone 2010, 31st  21.11 6' 5" 210 R Pio Rook
N/A N/A 13 Rick Anton 2011, 8th  22.15 6' 0" 190 L LoA
60 16 14 Gustavo Gomez Signed 2008  20.18 6' 1" 150 R Pio Rook
N/A N/A 15 Michael Antonini Trade w/Mets  25.98 6' 2" 200 L AA
51 14 16 Ryan Christenson 2010, 7th  22.54 6' 1" 185 L LoA
N/A N/A 17 Raydel Sanchez Signed 2011  21.38 6' 0" 205 R Pio Rook
79 23 18 Yimi Garcia Signed 2009  20.94 6' 1" 175 R Pio Rook
98 25 19 Red Patterson 2010, 29th  24.22 6' 3" 210 R HiA
44 13 20 Greg Wilborn 2009, 18th  24.15 6' 2" 175 L LoA
N/A N/A 21 Jonathan Martinez Dom Lg in 2011  17.09 6' 1" 170 R DSL
70 19 22 Arismendy Ozoria Signed 2009  20.97 6' 0" 195 R HiA
53 15 23 Timothy Sexton 2007, 25th  24.13 6' 6" 185 R AAA
107 N/A - RP 24 Andres, Santiago 2007, 16th  21.75 6' 2" 200 R HiA
134 32 25 Luis Mesa Signed 2009  21.04 6' 4" 170 R Arz Rook
N/A N/A 26 Freddie Cabrera 2011, 26th  21.51 6' 5" 210 R HiA
N/A N/A 27 Matthew Shelton 2011, 24th  22.66 6' 4" 205 R Pio Rook
76 22 28 Kazuya Takano Signed 11/11/10  18.71 6' 1" 170 R Arz Rook
113 29 29 Jose Dominguez Signed 7/2/07  20.97 6' 0" 180 R Pio Rook
71 20 30 Leonel Beras Signed 10/22/07  20.23 5' 11" 143 L Inactive
104 27 31 Moises Tamarez Signed 2009  19.39 6' 3" 195 R DSL
119 31 32 William Savage Signed 2/2/10  26.92 6' 4" 210 R AA
93 24 33 Daniel Tamares Signed 9/26/06  21.60 6' 3" 170 R Arz Rook
N/A N/A 34 Edinson Bock Dom Lg in 2011  17.29 6' 2" 190 R DSL
102 26 35 Alberto Bastardo Signed 1/13/06  27.31 6' 0" 160 L AAA DL
N/A N/A 36 Samuel Taveras Signed 2/17/11  21.85 6' 5" 175 R DSL
N/A N/A 37 Miguel Sulbaran Signed in 2011  17.36 5' 10" 165 L DSL
110 28 38 Giordanny Chavez Signed 2009  20.28 6' 3" 185 R DSL
178 39 39 Florencio Bustillos Signed 2009  22.28 6' 0" 209 R On loan
5 3 N/A Rubby De La Rosa Signed 7/2/07  22.40 6' 1" 170 R MLB
63 18 N/A Beyker Fructuoso Signed 7/9/07  21.31 6' 3" 195 R Released
117 30 N/A Jesus Castillo 2003, 27th  27.16 6' 0" 195 R Released
152 34 N/A Irvit Mendez Signed 2008  21.30 6' 6" 225 R Released
160 35 N/A Eric Thompson 2006, 23rd  23.32 6' 6" 210 R Released
162 36 N/A Gari Tavarez Signed 2006  23.76 6' 0" 170 R Released
172 37 N/A Ivan Eugenia Signed 2009  19.86 6' 1" 185 R Released

Starting pitching is one of the Dodgers minor league strengths, and if you look at this list it is very top heavy.  While it doesn't appear that anyone on this list is ready to immediately contribute at the big league level, there are quite a few guys who could be fighting for a spot in the Dodgers rotation for years to come.  The top four players on this list are all having big years, as are quite a few other guys lower on the list.  We'll start with my #1 prospect Zach Lee, and as everyone knows I still consider him our top overall prospect.  While he hasn't yet posted gaudy stats, he has done nothing to disappoint me so far as a professional and I think he'll continue to improve as the season progresses.  As I've written before he has the potential for 3 plus pitches, and is very polished for a 19 year old.  It will be interesting to see where Lee ends up in 2012 as he could be a guy that jumps right into AA. 

I've ranked Nathan Eovaldi 2nd, and even though I had dropped him to #15 overall in my 2011 preseason ranking due to a subpar season in 2010, he's always been a prospect I've really liked.  I had him #7 overall in my 2010 preseason rankings, and fell in love with his fastball velocity right when we drafted him in 2008.  He hasn't been as sharp as of late with the Lookouts and recently had consecutive outings in which he walked 6 batters, but overall he's been very impressive this season.  He's been throwing into the upper 90's late into games and has improved his secondary offerings.  I always worried that he'd end up in the pen, but this season he is doing his best to prove he can handle the starting rotation.  Garret Gould is next on the list, and he is finally turning into the pitcher I dreamed he could be.  Most people were unimpressed with his 2010 season, but I stuck with him and have been rewarded with a guy who ranks 5th in the Midwest League with a 2.48 ERA.  He just turned 20 years old and is armed with a solid fastball and a plus curve, which I believe will translate into an effective big league starter one day.

Allen Webster is coming off of a complete game shutout and is another guy who has been extremely impressive in 2011.  He dominated in the California League, which is no easy task, and has continued to throw well in AA.  Some people would probably rank him #2 or #3 on this list, but to be honest I just don't see him having as much upside as the guys ahead of him.  I think he could be a solid middle of the rotation starter one day, but not a #1 or #2.  Chris Withrow, on the other hand, probably could be a top flight starter if he ever learned to control his fastball.  He's got electric stuff, but is so inconsistent and has been pretty bad as of late.  That being said, he's still striking out more than a batter per inning for the Lookouts and at just 22 years old is still ahead of the curve.  I'd love for him to get in a groove and remain a starter because I want to see him in the Dodgers starting rotation one day. 

Aaron Miller has thrown just 21 innings this year due to a recurring groin injury, but he made a rehab appearance just the other day and is hopefully on track to rejoin the Quakes soon.  It's already mostly a lost season for Miller, but he still remains one of the Dodgers best pitching prospects because he has a live arm.  I'd love to see him in AA next season, especially since he'll already be 24 years old.  Speaking of injuries, Ralston Cash is going to miss all of 2011 due to a hip injury, but in no way should he be written off.  I expect him to come back strong in 2012, and will probably even draw an assignment with the Loons coming out of Spring Training next year.  That brings us to Angel Sanchez, who some people have already dubbed the next Rubby De La Rosa.  I haven't bought into the hype yet even though the young Dominican pitcher has been impressive in his first professional season.  He has an interesting back story, but again I'm going to refrain from ranking him among the Dodgers overall top 10 prospects until I see a little more. 

Matt Magill has shown flashes of brilliance this season, including a recent 10 strikeout performance, but overall his stats have regressed from 2010.  Last year he struck out over a hitter per inning and had a batting average against of just .194, and this year his K/9 is 6.8 and batters are hitting .274 against him.  He is just 21, however, and the California League is much tougher than the Midwest League, so that is why he remains a top 10 starting pitching prospect for us.  Rounding out the top 10 is one of my favorite prospects Brandon Martinez.  He's finally gotten consistent playing time as he is in the Raptors starting rotation, and as a whole he's performed pretty well.  His most recent outing was a little ugly, but before that the most earned runs he'd allowed in a game was two.  He's still just 20 and I'm holding out hope that he'll make it to the show one day.

Now that we are out of the top 10, I'm just going to mention a few more names that interest me lower on the list.  Jon Michael Redding has had some big games this season and has really rebounded from an ugly 2010.  Gustavo Gomez had a rough run in LoA earlier this year, but he's been dominating the Pioneer League ever since and is just 20 years old.  Yimi Garcia also has some good numbers for the Raptors and is another guy who is not even able to drink legally.  I know nothing about Jonathan Martinez, but he's the youngest guy in our organization and is throwing very well in the DSL.  Reports are that Freddie Cabrera can get his fastball up to 95 mph, and he has already been promoted to HiA despite getting drafted just this year.  2011 24th round pick Matt Shelton is also having an impressive debut and has a solid frame, so we may hear more about him as time goes on.  Finally, it appears that 2010 DSL standout Leonel Beras is still in the organization, but for some reason he is on the inactive list. 

Like I said yesterday I could go on and on, but instead I'll stop here and field any questions you might have in the comments.