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2019 top Dodgers prospects: No. 26-30

The start of our review of the top 30 Dodgers prospects in 2019, beginning with No. 26-30.

Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers
Omar Estevez
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Outfield speed and athleticism and hard throwing relievers highlight this installment of the 2019 top prospects list.

As a reminder, the individual rankings 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).

30. Omar Estevez

Estevez has kicked around the in the 45 grade tier for a few years, finally cracking the 50 grade tier in 2019. While he’s been pretty popular in other lists for a while, his tangible improvements at the plate in 2018 can now pair with his youthfulness to make a worthwhile prospect.

Always a solid contact hitter, Estevez began to add pop to his game by pulling and elevating the ball more in 2018. Estevez has good bat speed and plane and average power potential in his compact frame. He’s filled out some since entering the organization but shouldn’t be seen as a big physical growth potential type.

The Dodgers have shifted Estevez to shortstop more these past two seasons, which elevates his profile. He’s a good but not great athlete, and his best fit will likely be as a utility fielder with average up the middle pop.

Estevez will just be 21 in April and after two seasons in the California League, could be challenged by a bump to Tulsa. Given his incremental but not drastic growth over the last two seasons, I’m still tepid on Estevez’s ceiling and closeness to the major leagues. Additionally, he will face challenges for playing time up the middle as the system has gotten more crowded there over the past year.

You can never count out a player so young making a dramatic improvement in terms of skills and tools, but Estevez doesn’t fit the typical profile of a raw toolsy athlete. He’s solid across the board and did show enough improvement to think he could reach a ceiling of multiposition reserve or even second division starter with more game pop.

29. Donovan Casey

A mid-season injury prevented Casey from generating much positive momentum into 2019, but he remains one of the toolsier athletes in the organization. Seen as a solid draft prospect as both a pitcher and outfielder, Casey’s twitchy athleticism allowed him to make the jump to High A in his first full pro season.

Casey’s strong arm on the mound also plays well in the outfield, where he could be an above average to plus defender in a corner. He has above average speed that hasn’t shown up much yet on the basepaths but could help him handle all three outfield positions.

Casey could use a little more fluidity at the plate, with a stiff upper body and fairly level, inflexible swing path. He is currently an all fields hitter but puts the ball on the ground far too often to uplift his average and power numbers. He has room for added strength on his slender frame and still upside as a hitter given his recent conversion to full time hitter and no longer splitting development time on the mound.

Because he jumped so early to High A, Casey can afford to repeat the level early on in 2019. He has the upside of a starting caliber center fielder with decent on base skills and fringe average pop, but could also settle in as a fourth outfielder with solid defensive tools across the board. The Dodgers and Casey will also hope for a healthier 2019, preventing Casey from losing any more development time.

28. Brayan Morales

Like Casey, a mid-season injury knocked back Morales’ forward momentum and came at a time when he might have been ready for a move to High A. Morales sets himself apart from other outfield prospects in the system with his game changing speed and willingness to use it in games, swiping 46 bags in 86 games in 2018.

Morales’ speed first approach and lithe build might suggest a slap hitting profile, but he prefers pulling the ball to the right side and knows how to elevate. He lacks strength though for significant pop and has just three home runs in his pro career. Morales’ biggest issue at the plate is strikeouts, with rates in the upper 20’s preventing him from taking advantage of his speed influencing his hit outcome on balls in play. Morales isn’t without discipline, but has a few timing issues in his swing, most notably a fairly long load that could prevent him from catching up with firm fastballs.

Morales plus plus speed should allow him to play a quality center field, and he has a knack for the highlight reel play. A combination of speed and range is a good carrying tool to move him up the ladder, and if he can’t consistently make contact, could still find a big league role as a speed and defense bench bat.

Morales is a little old for a prospect that will be moving up to High A for the first time, and he isn’t as projectable as his peers. He makes the 50 grade tier on one elite tool, but I do believe a couple of swing adjustments could make him a solid leadoff prospect at the upper levels with second division starter qualities.

27. Yadier Alvarez

While he’s had a fall from grace on prospect lists, Alvarez will still linger around the 50 grade tier because his arm strength and slider still have elite qualities. However, his mechanics and command completely abandoned him during the 2018 season and have made him a reclamation project for 2019.

When right, Alvarez has arguably the system’s best slider. It’s a power breaker that flirts with 90 mph that he actually commanded well in 2017. He can reach the upper 90’s with his fastball but given the track of the pitch (slight cut) it lacks deception and good hitters could catch up to it.

The problem for Alvarez is that it rarely went right for him last season. Alvarez completely lost command of his fastball and needed a bump back to short season to clean up his delivery. His return to the Tulsa pen produced uneven results, and lingering questions about immaturity grew louder.

Even if Los Angeles can restore him to just average fastball command with his hittable, cut action, he could still make a career in the pen with an easy plus swing and miss slider. The days of hoping for a hard throwing number two are over, as is the chance the Dodgers recoup equal value return on the investment they made on Alvarez out of Cuba. Still, he has a chance to reach the major leagues in middle relief, and if he survives his first go-round in the league, could craft himself into a solid seventh inning set-up arm.

26. Stetson Allie

Despite being the oldest prospect in the Top 30, Allie only recently climbed this high on the list and has made himself a darkhorse candidate for a meaningful bullpen role in 2019. Allie has one of the strongest arms in the organization, and just enough command to post gaudy strikeout numbers despite higher-than-you’d-like walk totals. Though not yet on the 40 man roster, Allie could force his way into the equation with a strong spring, and better results from his breaking ball and command could see him as a permanent fixture at the back of the pen.

Allie may be DJ Peters only rival in physically imposing appearance in the system. He’s powerfully built and puts that strength to use with a fastball at the top velocity band. Allie’s arm is quick and generates some riding life on his fastball. His command of the pitch is just average but explodes on right handers and can be tough to pick up.

Allie’s slider is thrown quite hard and at times looks more like a cutter in appearance. He could use more depth to break to separate it from his fastball, but can still generate swings and misses with the pitch. He will on occasion tip the pitch by dropping his release slightly from his normal high ¾ slot.

Stetson has bounced between pitching and hitting for much of his professional career, but has only begun making inroads in pitching over the last two season, so some upside still exists. With Joe Kelly signed, Pedro Baez back, and more high quality starting pitchers than rotation slots available, the Dodgers aren’t pressing to break someone into the back of the bullpen, but Allie could force his way in at some point in 2019. Few arms on the big league roster have his physical gifts, it just comes down to consistency and opportunity.

*author’s note* Leaving the prospect list this week is Chase Anderson, who announced his retirement this off-season. The list, however, remains at 104 because the previous list had erroneously omitted Adam McCreedy, who can be found at #36.

2019 Top Prospect List 26-104

26 Stetson Allie RHRP 28.01 AAA 50 40 50 power arm, chance for ++ FB, tight SL age, still raw on mound, inconsistent command
27 Yadier Alvarez RHRP 23.01 AA 50 35 55 swing and miss SL, consistently + velo, loose arm poor command, FB doesn't miss bats, maturity
28 Brayan Morales CF 23.04 LoA 50 40 50 good athlete, + to ++ speed, chance for + D inconsistent hit tool, thin build, swing and miss
29 Donovan Casey LF/RF/CF 23.01 HiA 50 40 50 twitchy athlete, bat speed, still upside batted ball profile, still raw at plate, power pot
30 Omar Estevez SS/2B 21.01 HiA 50 40 50 improved bip profile, good pop for 2B, swing plane some swing and miss concern, low dev. path
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 Adam McCreery LHRP 26.03 MLB 45 45 50 heavy SNK from high slot, tough 1-7 CV, K potential age, command issues, likely middle relief
37 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
38 Deacon Liput SS/2B 22.09 LoA 45 45 50 good defensive actions, athleticism, some pop, hit likely utility ceiling, uneven college production
39 Darien Nunez LHRP 26.00 LoA 45 45 50 good K production, lively FB and downer BB older signee, likely middle relief prospect
40 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
41 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
42 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
43 Starling Heredia LF/RF 20.02 LoA 45 35 55 strong build, big raw power, decent upside serious swing and miss, bat speed concerns
44 Melvin Jimenez RHRP 19.08 LoA 45 35 55 good arm strength, projectable, chance for + SNK long arm action, command ?, likely reliever
45 Errol Robinson SS 24.06 AA 45 45 45 smooth infield actions, throwing arm, solid athlete ? on overall offensive ceiling, limited power
46 Zach Willeman RHRP 23.00 LoA 45 40 50 good arm strength, repeatable delivery, K potential likely reliever only, longer injury history
47 Zach Reks LF/RF 25.05 AA 45 45 45 good feel for hit, production, high floor age for level, more 4th OF profile
48 Jake Peter 2B/SS 25.11 AAA 45 45 45 fluid LH swing, arm strength, versatile utility/bench upside, ? on overall pop
49 Edwin Uceta RHSP 21.03 HiA 45 40 50 loose and fluid athlete, good pitchability for age smallish build, avg career production, ceiling
50 Wills Montgomerie RHSP/RP 23.10 HiA 45 40 50 spin rate, durable build, flashes + velo and CV still struggling w/ command, likely 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
2019 Top Dodger Prospects