I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Jason Parks, author at Baseball Prospectus, about some of the top prospects for the Dodgers. Parks had a passion for baseball and writing and while he didn't have any goals to be a national prospect writer, he happened to be friends with certain people and it just kind of happened. Parks' predecessor was Kevin Goldstein, who is now overseeing the Houston Astros pro scouting department.
We talked about a few of the prospects Parks profiled here, but since his analysis was for subscribers only, here are some of Jason's thoughts about those players.
Yasiel Puig was the number one prospect and Parks said one of the issues with Puig was that not many people had seen him in game action. Puig physically looks better than initially advertised, perhaps people saw him a few years when he looked different but now his physical appearance is beginning to turn heads.
"First of all, he's not 6'3", he looks 6'. He's built like Ray Lewis, he's a middle linebacker in a 4-3 system," Parks said. "He's got broad shoulders, and a big broad chest. But he's an athlete, he can run, he can throw, he's got power, he's a five-tool guy."
On what minor league level Puig should play this year, Parks said "for hitters, Double-A is the test, if you put Puig in High A, he's gonna rake; it is not going to tell you much. He's a grown man, if you put him with boys, he's going to treat them like boys.
"Put him in Double-A, that's the test, that is where pitchers can command their stuff better, you see a lot more breaking ball, change ups can be thrown for strikes, pitch sequence becomes a bigger part of the equation." It will be a test for Puig because "you just see a lot more serious pitchers."
"I'm a very much interested in seeing Puig in Double-A," Parks said.
Zach Lee was the number two prospect, and Parks said "I think he is really good prospect, what I don't think he is a really great prospect and I think that is a really important distinction.
"We as fans of prospects, when your team sets out and says this guy is going to be D-1 quarterback and were going to give him five million dollars, and five million dollars buys a lot of perception." he said. That buys this whole top of rotation [idea], "that always exist when a kid is 18 and never exists when he is 21 or 22."
Parks said Lee isn't going to be an ace but "what he can be is a solid major league starter someday." "And that has a ton of value."
"He's got very good delivery, he's athletic kid obviously, he's got size, he's got strength, his fastball is solid average, he can bump it to plus velocity," Parks said. "He has multiple breaking ball looks, I personally like the slider. He can turnover the change up, he can pitch in sequence."
For Lee, Double-A is also the test level, are you for real, "are you a major leaguer or a minor leaguer?"
"Lee is going to struggle a bit but I think he going to become a solid number three or number four type of starter and if he does develop to that, that's a win, he's worth every single dime they gave him to forego his scholarship to LSU. I'm a fan of him, I like him."