Dodgers teenager Julio Urias was named the organization's top prospect heading into 2014 by Baseball Prospectus, heading the list of top 10 prospects written by Jason Parks and released on Wednesday.
Parks is particularly high on the left-handed Julio Urias, who turned 17 in August. Urias more than held his own at age 16 in the Class-A Midwest League, striking out 31.8% of his batters faced while walking just 7.6% with a 2.48 ERA in 18 starts. Parks estimated Urias would be in the big leagues by 2015, when the left-hander will be just 18 (or 19).
Eight of the top 10 prospectus are pitchers, though position players Corey Seager and Joc Pederson figure to be impact players, and are both in the top three.
Seager hit .309/.389/.529 with 18 doubles and 12 home runs in 74 games with Class-A Great Lakes, earning him a promotion to advanced Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. At 19 Seager, the Dodgers' first round pick in 2012, was the youngest player in the Cal League, and struggled for the first time as a professional, hitting .160/.246/.320 (16-for-100) with four home runs in 27 games.
Pederson hit .278/.381/.497 with 22 home runs and 24 doubles in 123 games with Double-A Chattanooga in 2013, and stole 31 bases in 39 attempts. He turns 22 in April.
Also on the list are Chris Anderson and Tom Windle, the Dodgers' first two picks in the 2013 draft. Another teenager out of Mexico on the list is right-hander Victor Arano, signed by the Dodgers in April. Arano put up a 4.20 ERA in the Arizona Rookie League at age 18, and struck out 49 in 49⅓ innings.
Four of the Baseball Prospectus top 10 were invited to big league camp by the Dodgers as non-roster invitees: Lee, Pederson, Reed and Stripling. A fifth, Onelki Garcia, is on the 40-man roster.
In December, Baseball America named Pederson as the Dodgers' top prospect, with Urias at No. 3. The rest of the top 10, in order: Seager, Lee, Anderson, Chris Withrow, Alexander Guerrero, Reed, Garcia, Stripling. Parks has long said he doesn't consider professional players - like Guerrero, the 27-year-old who signed a four-year, $28 million deal out of Cuba - prospects, even if they have yet to play in a major league game.
We'll have a more comprehensive look at this list later in the week.