It’s taken much longer than I expected, but I’m finally ready to unveil my 2019 Dodgers prospect rankings. This year’s addition is the longest one yet, jumping to 104 names from last off-season’s opening of 87 in November of 2017. The off-season has not been terribly harsh on the prospect list, with the biggest hits coming from middle of the pack, and two players entering the top 20 via the Yasiel Puig-Matt Kemp trade.
Still the system’s strength lies in the quantity of solid prospects rather than the quality at the very top. For the first time, the off-season list will not have a player in at least the 70 grade tier since I started producing this ranking.
My ranking system remains largely unchanged, although I’ve fine tuned the individual rankings to have the list better reflect my preference of one similarly graded player over another. Grades are done via the 20-80 scouting scale, where 45 represents average for me.
Players are grouped in tiers by their overall grade, meaning that I see the players with this grade to hold roughly the same value as prospects. The overall grade is my grade as a prospect, not necessarily the future grade I give the player in the major leagues. That number can be found in the ceiling column, where I give a realistic best case estimate to where I see a player’s talent might take him. The risk score defines the likelihood of a player gaining a meaningful footing in the major leagues (or beyond a cup of coffee-esque trip).
With each player I provide a quick pro and con blurb in relation to their tools, skills, or other relevant information. You will also find their projected defensive home or pitching role, opening day age, and previous minor league level. Lastly, each player’s name on the list will ink out to a YouTube video that you can view to analyze the player yourself. Until the prospect countdown reaches one, this is a living list, so any players moved or acquired during the off-season will be accounted for in the rankings.
Like previous years, I only rank players that I have been able to watch in person or have a comfortable enough impression of the player’s tools from watching film. The often leaves players off my list that would otherwise make other media lists built from speaking with scouts. The biggest likely omission from this year’s list will be Miguel Vargas, whose quick rise through short season ball to Great Lakes has left hardly a trail of video or scouting information.
As it worked out this season, the top 30 is cleanly divided by players receiving a grade of 50 or higher, and players at 45 or lower. Marshall Kasowski is the closest just missed to the 50 grade. Kasowski’s strikeout rate and pure arm strength make him an appealing relief prospect, but his ceiling in relief might be closer to the seventh inning as somewhat of a one trick pony with a well disguised fastball.
Another relief prospect, Jordan Sheffield, will attempt to stunt his slide down the list by likely moving to full time relief. If he can regain the upper reaches of his velocity and hammer curveball he showed in college, he might realize his late relief potential.
A pair of infielders coming off strong seasons will look to crack the top 30 in 2019. Jacob Amaya improved his batted ball profile by leaps and bounds while showing a mature approach at the plate. Deacon Liput proved to be more than a light hitting college middle infielder, displaying surprising pop in the Midwest League.
Braydon Fisher saw light action in his pro debut, but his frame is teeming with potential and though he is quite far from the majors, his star could rise the highest from this grouping of players. Likewise, a handful of international arms, the hardest for me to evaluate before full season ball, appear primed to breakthrough in 2019. Edwin Uceta, Guillermo Zuniga, and Jose Martinez each pique interest, with Uceta and Martinez showing more polish over stuff at the moment.
Two new off-season arrivals in minor trades also bring unique profiles that fit the modern game. Coming from the Yankees, Drew Finley was a personal favorite of mine in the 2018 draft with a high spin fastball and big breaking curve. He has yet to break through at the A level, though.
In a smaller trade sending Manny Banuelos to the White Sox, the Dodgers received 1B Justin Yurchak whose plate discipline and propensity for being a tough out at the plate runs counter to the more common big power-high strikeout style of current big leaguers. Still, Yurchak did not light up A ball and will need to produce more power to move up the ladder.
2019 Top Prospect List 31-104
|31||Marshall Kasowski||RHRP||24.01||AA||45||45||50||big K production, chance for + FB and CV||relief prospect, atypical delivery, age for level|
|32||Jared Walker||3B/1B||23.02||HiA||45||40||55||+ game power, good athlete for size, '18 production||still swing and miss ?, defensive home|
|33||Carlos Rincon||RF||21.06||HiA||45||35||60||big raw power, physical upside, bat speed||pretty raw offensively, serious swing and miss|
|34||Jacob Amaya||SS/2B||20.07||SS||45||40||55||excellent plate approach, developing feel for hit||? on overall power potential, distance from majors|
|35||Kyle Garlick||LF/RF||27.02||AAA||45||45||50||productive, developing above avg game pop||4th outfielder profile, age, fringe speed|
|36||Jordan Sheffield||RHRP||23.10||HiA||45||40||55||flashes + FB and sharp downer BB in short stints||pro production, likely relief only at this point|
|37||Deacon Liput||SS/2B||22.09||LoA||45||45||50||good defensive actions, athleticism, some pop, hit||likely utility ceiling, uneven college production|
|38||Darien Nunez||LHRP||26.00||LoA||45||45||50||good K production, lively FB and downer BB||older signee, likely middle relief prospect|
|39||Guillermo Zuniga||RHSP/RP||20.05||ROK||45||40||55||quick arm, good present velo, chance for + CH, SNK||SL flashes fringe, profile poss. relief|
|40||Logan Salow||LHRP||24.06||HiA||45||45||50||good pitchability, K potential, tight SL||FB velo can be fringe for relief, age for level|
|41||Braydon Fisher||RHSP||18.08||ROK||45||35||55||athletic and projectable, good run and sink on FB, CH||inconsistent mechanics, some effort, still raw|
|42||Starling Heredia||LF/RF||20.02||LoA||45||35||55||strong build, big raw power, decent upside||serious swing and miss, bat speed concerns|
|43||Melvin Jimenez||RHRP||19.08||LoA||45||35||55||good arm strength, projectable, chance for + SNK||long arm action, command ?, likely reliever|
|44||Errol Robinson||SS||24.06||AA||45||45||45||smooth infield actions, throwing arm, solid athlete||? on overall offensive ceiling, limited power|
|45||Zach Willeman||RHRP||23.00||LoA||45||40||50||good arm strength, repeatable delivery, K potential||likely reliever only, longer injury history|
|46||Zach Reks||LF/RF||25.05||AA||45||45||45||good feel for hit, production, high floor||age for level, more 4th OF profile|
|47||Jake Peter||2B/SS||25.11||AAA||45||45||45||fluid LH swing, arm strength, versatile||utility/bench upside, ? on overall pop|
|48||Edwin Uceta||RHSP||21.03||HiA||45||40||50||loose and fluid athlete, good pitchability for age||smallish build, avg career production, ceiling|
|49||Wills Montgomerie||RHSP/RP||23.10||HiA||45||40||50||spin rate, durable build, flashes + velo and CV||still struggling w/ command, likely reliever|
|50||Isaac Anderson||RHSP/RP||25.07||HiA||45||40||50||flashing better SL and CV, good sink on FB||age for level, might work best as shorter reliever|
|51||Daniel Corcino||RHRP||28.07||AAA||45||45||45||above avg FB and SL combo, solid command||middle relief upside, age, no + offering|
|52||Yaisel Sierra||RHRP||27.10||AAA||45||40||50||good velo, SL will flash +, quick arm||command, incon. release, FB can be straight|
|53||Jesen Therrien||RHRP||26.00||AAA||45||45||45||SL flashes +, good command and K production||TJ wiped out '18. middle relief/ROOGY upside|
|54||Michael Boyle||LHRP||24.11||AA||45||45||45||solid pitchability, velo ticking up, developing SL||avg production, stuff profiles better in short relief|
|55||Bryan Warzek||LHSP/RP||22.02||LoA||45||40||50||huge K production, good action on the FB, compete||not projectable, might fit best in relief role|
|56||Leo Crawford||LHSP||22.02||HiA||45||40||50||solid production, command of 3 pitch mix||fringe velo, not as projectable, likely back end|
|57||Romer Cuadrado||RF/CF||21.07||LoA||45||35||55||good athlete for his size, chance for plus power||huge swing and miss concerns, too raw|
|58||Drew Finley||RHSP/RP||22.09||SS||45||40||50||good spin rate, chance for + CU, still upside||poor production as pro, fringe velo, command|
|59||John Rooney||LHSP/RP||22.02||LoA||45||45||45||excellent college production, size, 3 pitch mix||no outright + pitch, late rotation or mid relief upside|
|60||Justin Yurchak||1B||22.06||LoA||45||40||50||excellent plate approach, smooth LH swing||defensive home, ? on power ceiling, upside|
|61||Ryan Moseley||RHRP||24.06||HiA||45||40||50||chance for ++ snk, big groundball potential||command and walk rate, middle relief ceiling|
|62||Jesus Vargas||RHSP/RP||20.07||SS||45||40||50||chance for + FB, tight SL, solid command, upside||3rd pitch underdeveloped, still raw, injury in '18|
|63||Max Gamboa||RHSP||23.04||HiA||45||40||50||excellent arm strength, + to ++ velo, good frame||production does not match stuff, incon. SL|
|64||Shea Spitzbarth||RHRP||24.06||AA||45||45||45||agressive mound demeanor, arm strength, CV||middle relief upside, maxed out frame, size|
|65||Andre Scrubb||RHRP||24.03||AA||45||40||50||deceptive, solid K production, CV flashes above avg||likely middle relief upside, command wavers|
|66||Layne Somsen||RHRP||29.10||AA||45||45||45||tough overhead BB, production, athletic||limited mid relief ceiling, age, avg FB velo|
|67||James Outman||CF/RF||21.11||SS||45||40||50||good size, athletic and defensive rep, chance for + pop||raw for a collegian, swing and miss concerns|
|68||Nolan Long||RHRP||25.02||AA||45||45||45||improving K production, flashes + SL, big frame||middle relief upside, velocity generally avg|
|69||Alfredo Tavarez||RHRP||21.04||LoA||45||35||50||king sized frame, arm strength, K potential||still raw mechanically, repeating arm slot, command|
|70||Andre Jackson||RHSP/RP||22.11||LoA||45||35||50||solid athlete, flashes + FB and CH, upside||poor command, SL can flatten, poss. reliever|
|71||Marcus Chiu||2B/3B||22.03||SS||45||35||50||good athlete, still projectable, above avg pop||power over hit profile, ultimate defensive home|
|72||Jefrey Souffront||2B/3B||21.10||SS||45||40||45||some feel for hit, quick bat, mature plate approach||distance from the majors, build not projectable|
|73||Jose Chacin||RHSP||22.00||LoA||45||35||50||projectable frame, tight SL, mid rotation upside||present FB avg to fringe, K potential|
|74||Riley Ottesen||RHSP/RP||24.05||ROK||45||35||50||good velo, will flash + SL, arm speed||poor production, serious command issues|
|75||Hunter Feduccia||C||21.10||LoA||45||40||45||good feel for hit and plate approach, bat plane||little on field action due to injury, upside|
|76||Zach McKinstry||3B/2B/SS||23.11||AA||45||40||45||pretty swing, good defensive versatility, some pop||fringe/utility ceiling, age for level, not projectable|
|77||Jose Martinez||RHSP||19.11||ROK||45||35||50||smooth delivery, advanced feel for age, command||not as projectable as peers, distance from majors|
|78||Leonel Valera||3B/SS||19.09||SS||45||35||50||solid bat speed, decent loft in swing, loose athlete||lithe build, distance from majors, power ceiling|
|79||Niko Hulsizer||LF/RF||22.02||SS||45||35||50||big raw power, production, good size||? on overall hit tool, some swing and miss concern|
|80||Sauryn Lao||3B/1B||19.08||ROK||45||35||50||good bat speed, solid frame, power potential||slower to develop, ? on defensive home|
|81||Devin Mann||2B/3B/SS||22.02||LoA||40||40||50||solid athlete, good plate approach, chance for avg pop||defensive home, bat speed ?, poss. utility upside|
|82||Josh McLain||CF||22.06||LoA||40||45||45||excelent bat to ball skills, solid defensive rep||little power production, 4th OF upside|
|83||Gregorio Sequera||RHRP||21.04||SS||40||40||50||arm strength, some feel for spin, 3 pitches||age for level, likely reliever, command|
|84||Chris Mathewson||RHSP/RP||23.10||HiA||40||40||45||SNK/SL mix, developing K production, command||back of rotation, middle relief upside, fringe velo|
|85||Joe Broussard||RHRP||29.05||AAA||40||40||45||solid production, flashes tight SL, durable frame||limited upside, velo fringe to avg|
|86||Stephen Kolek||RHRP||21.11||LoA||40||40||45||durable build, four pitch mix, some arm strength||long relief or swingman profile, avg college prod.|
|87||Parker Curry||RHSP||25.04||HiA||40||40||45||solid career production, good command, competitive||no true plus offering, low rotation ceiling|
|88||Nathan Witt||RHRP||22.11||ROK||40||35||50||good build, projectable, arm strength||project arm, distance from majors, relief upside|
|89||Luke Heyer||2B/3B||22.06||LoA||40||40||45||college production, chance for above avg pop, strong||avg athlete, ? on defensive home, bat speed|
|90||Mike Ahmed||3B/SS/1B||27.02||AA||40||40||45||productive in '16, swing plane, avg pop||bat speed, age, limited upside|
|91||Rolando Lebron||CF/RF||20.11||ROK||40||40||45||twitchy, good feel for hit, bat speed||undersized, old for level, lower upside than peers|
|92||Brandon Montgomery||SS/2B/CF||23.02||HiA||40||40||45||solid bat to ball skills, High A production, utility||limited ceiling, poss. 4A player, age for level|
|93||Dillon Paulson||1B||21.10||SS||40||40||45||chance for above avg pop, strong build||bat speed ?, overall hit tool and ceiling|
|94||Albert Suarez||SS/2B||19.04||ROK||40||35||50||fluid athlete, some projectability, rep for D||modest production, distance from bigs, ceiling ?|
|95||Jair Camargo||C||19.09||ROK||40||40||45||some defensive potential, has flashing hitting acumen||not as projectable, did not take step forward in '18|
|96||Jeremy Arocho||2B||20.06||SS||40||40||45||good feel for hit, barrel control, decent athlete||limited ceiling, ? on power potential|
|97||Logan Landon||CF/LF/RF||26.01||AA||40||40||45||good athlete, playing speed, some feel for hit||not projectable, age, low ceiling, 4th OF type|
|98||Jacob Gilliland||RHSP/RP||19.02||ROK||40||35||50||quick arm, chance for above avg FB and CH||poor command, CV can be fringy, raw|
|99||Daniel Robinson||LF||22.05||SS||40||40||45||solid feel for hit, all fields approach, productive||limited ceiling, 4th OF profile, power ceiling ?|
|100||Moises Perez||2B||21.08||LoA||40||40||45||loose athlete, some feel for hit||offensive ceiling, lower on defensive spectrum|
|101||Yeison Cespedes||RHRP||21.01||SS||40||35||50||quick arm, good sink on FB, tight SL||a little behind on age curve, likely relief only|
|102||Juan Morillo||RHSP/RP||20.00||ROK||40||35||50||projectable build, loose arm, solid K production||distance from majors, command, still raw|
|103||Jerming Rosario||RHSP||16.11||NA||40||30||50||projectable, athletic, arm speed, dev. 3 pitch mix||very raw, effort in delivery, inconsistent release|
|104||Ismael Alcantara||RF||20.06||ROK||40||30||50||good build, athletic, leverage in swing, power potential||old for level, ? on overall hit tool, distance from bigs|