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Yadier Alvarez, Cody Bellinger lead FanGraphs top Dodgers prospects list

Yadier Alvarez was the top-ranked Dodgers prospect by FanGraphs.
Photo credit: Tomo San | LA Dodgers

With the offseason comes prospect lists, and FanGraphs is the latest, with Eric Longenhagen revealing their top 21 Dodgers prospects on Wednesday. The list was topped by pitcher Yadier Alvarez, who figures to be the big climber on various national prospect lists this winter.

The 20-year-old Cuban right-hander, signed by the Dodgers for $15.5 million in July 2015, made his professional debut in 2016, with five starts in the Arizona rookie league and nine more for Class-A Great Lakes. Alvarez put up a 2.12 ERA with a whopping 81 strikeouts and 21 walks in 59⅓ innings.

“The ease with which Yadier Alvarez delivers 100 mph fastballs is as unsettling as it is beautiful,” Longenhagen wrote. “Triple-digit fastballs are becoming more common but they usually involve significant visible effort. Alvarez throws 95-plus and looks like he’s settling down to take a nap.”

Alvarez earned a future overall grade of 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale from Longenhagen, who called Alvarez “one of the highest upside arms in the National League.”

The other Dodgers prospect to receive a 60 future grade was first baseman and outfielder Cody Bellinger, ranked second in the organization by FanGraphs.

Bellinger, now 21, hit .271/.365/.507 with 26 home runs in 117 games in 2016, all but three with Double-A Tulsa as one of the youngest players in the Texas League. He ended his season 6-for-11 with three home runs for Triple-A Oklahoma City, then was 9-for-36 (.250) with a home run, a double and seven walks (.372 OBP) in the PCL playoffs.

“I think there’s star-level potential here with a chance for 30-plus homers at maturity to go with sensational defense at first base and a side of defensive flexibility,” Longenhagen wrote.

Outfielder Alex Verdugo and pitcher Jose De Leon ranked third and fourth in the Dodgers’ system, respectively, each receiving a 55 overall future grade on the scouting scale.

FanGraphs Dodgers top prospects

  1. Yadier Alvarez RHP
  2. Cody Bellinger 1B/OF
  3. Alex Verdugo OF
  4. Jose De Leon RHP
  5. Walker Buehler RHP
  6. Willie Calhoun 2B
  7. Brock Stewart RHP
  8. Andrew Toles OF
  9. Yusniel Diaz OF
  10. Jordan Sheffield RHP

For the rest of the list, go to FanGraphs.