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How many top-ranked prospects on the Dodger 40-man roster

Examining the roster through the lens of Baseball America’s Annual Prospect Guide

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Two of the No. 1 Dodger prospects per Baseball America
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

For over a decade, my baseball annual tradition was for me to buy the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. My earliest copy is the 2005 book and I currently have every volume since 2010.

These permanent snapshots of 900 prospects are something that I go back to when I want to see what the industry thought about these players at those times.

A few weeks ago, I was looking at the 2014 handbook and I noticed the Dodgers Top 30 list included Joc Pederson at No. 1, Corey Seager and Julio Urías followed at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

After those top three, current Dodgers on the 40-man roster on that list include Ross Stripling (10th), Cody Bellinger (14th), Pedro Baez (19th) and Victor Gonzalez (20th).

But those were not the only Dodgers in that book. Max Muncy was No. 7 on Athletics Top 30 and Chris Taylor was No. 9 on the Mariners list.

After seeing that, I wondered how many Dodgers on the 40-man roster had been ranked on their team’s Top 30 list at any point in their prospect career.

By using Baseball America’s website’s search function (subscription needed to see rankings) as well as the 14 prospect handbooks I have in my collection, I was able to figure that out.

On the table below, I listed each player’s best ranking on the their team’s Top 30 and their best ranking (if applicable) on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect List.

Some highlights on the Dodgers rankings

37 of the 40 players had been ranked at some point during their careers. How does this compare to other teams. Well the current Yankee 40-man roster has four players who were not ranked on either their team or Top 100 rankings. And the Astros have seven players on their roster who were never ranked.

Also, the Dodgers have seven of their No. 1 prospects on their 40-man roster plus David Price and Jimmy Nelson who were No. 1 prospects on the Rays and Brewers lists respectively. Meanwhile the Astros have one homegrown No. 1 prospect, Carlos Correa, on their 40-man roster. He, along with Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, are the three No. 1 prospects on the Astros current team.

So have you figured out yet who the three players are who were never ranked on the Dodgers 40-man roster? They are left-handed pitchers Adam Kolarek and Scott Alexander and free-agent-to-be Kiké Hernández.

Both Kolarek and Alexander were pretty much relievers early on in their professional careers and without big strikeout numbers, they would not get much notice on the prospect front. And Hernández really blossomed as a major league player without really having big years in his early professional career.

You don’t have to be a highly ranked prospect to be successful

While the Dodgers have had their share of high prospect rankings, some of their most successful players never were big-time prospects.

Some like Justin Turner, would not advance out of the lowest part of the lists before completely falling off.

Turner was ranked 29th on the Reds Top 30 Prospect List after his second professional season in 2007. Turner would follow that year finishing 28th on the Orioles list. However after the 2008 season, Turner would never again be ranked on a Top 30 prospect list.

Mookie Betts was ranked 31st on the Red Sox prospect list after his 2012 season. He had zero home runs in 255 professional at bats. Betts would have a banner 2013 season, in 460+ plate appearances over two levels, he hit .314/.417/.506, had 55 extra-base hits and stole 38 bases in 42 attempts.

For all of that, Betts would move to No. 7 on the Red Sox list entering the 2014 season. That would be the last time Betts would be ranked because as he continued to put up big numbers, .346/.431/.529 in 464 plate appearances between AA and AAA in 2014, he also debuted in Boston in June 2014 and he would gather enough MLB at-bats to no longer be a prospect.

Baseball America Rankings - Dodger 40-man roster

Name Position B T Date of Birth Pro Debut Highest Team Rank Highest Top 100 Rank
Name Position B T Date of Birth Pro Debut Highest Team Rank Highest Top 100 Rank
Corey Seager IF L R 4/27/1994 2012 1 1
David Price Pitcher L L 8/26/1985 2008 1 2
Gavin Lux IF L R 11/23/1997 2016 1 4
Cody Bellinger OF/IF L L 7/13/1995 2013 1 7
Clayton Kershaw Pitcher L L 3/19/1988 2006 1 7
Joc Pederson OF L L 4/21/1992 2010 1 8
Walker Buehler Pitcher R R 7/28/1994 2013 1 13
Keibert Ruiz C S R 7/20/1998 2015 1 20
Jimmy Nelson Pitcher R R 6/5/1989 2010 1 96
Julio Urías Pitcher L L 8/12/1996 2013 2 4
Dustin May Pitcher R R 9/6/1997 2016 2 20
Brusdar Graterol Pitcher R R 8/26/1998 2015 3 55
A.J. Pollock OF R R 12/5/1987 2009 3 N/A
Mitch White Pitcher R R 12/28/1994 2015 4 69
Tony Gonsolin Pitcher R R 5/14/1994 2013 5 82
Will Smith C R R 3/28/1995 2014 5 95
Caleb Ferguson Pitcher R L 7/2/1996 2015 6 N/A
Mookie Betts OF R R 10/7/1992 2011 7 75
Max Muncy IF L R 8/25/1990 2012 7 N/A
Dennis Santana Pitcher R R 4/12/1996 2013 7 N/A
Alex Wood Pitcher R L 1/12/1991 2012 7 N/A
Austin Barnes C R R 12/28/1989 2011 8 N/A
DJ Peters OF R R 12/12/1995 2016 8 N/A
Kenley Jansen Pitcher S R 9/30/1987 2005 8 N/A
Chris Taylor OF/IF R R 8/29/1990 2012 9 N/A
Pedro Baez Pitcher R R 3/11/1988 2007 10 N/A
Joe Kelly Pitcher R R 6/9/1988 2009 10 N/A
Ross Stripling Pitcher R R 11/23/1989 2012 10 N/A
Edwin Rios IF L R 4/21/1994 2013 12 N/A
Josh Sborz Pitcher R R 12/17/1993 2013 17 N/A
Blake Treinen Pitcher R R 6/30/1988 2011 19 N/A
Zach McKinstry IF L R 4/29/1995 2015 20 N/A
Victor Gonzalez Pitcher L L 11/16/1995 2013 20 N/A
Matt Beaty IF/OF L R 4/28/1993 2013 21 N/A
Luke Raley OF L R 9/19/1994 2014 24 N/A
Dylan Floro Pitcher L R 12/27/1990 2012 26 N/A
Justin Turner IF R R 11/23/1984 2006 27 N/A
Kiké Hernández IF/OF R R 8/24/1991 2009 N/A N/A
Scott Alexander Pitcher L L 7/10/1989 2010 N/A N/A
Adam Kolarek Pitcher L L 1/14/1989 2010 N/A N/A