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Dodgers 2013 Minor League Countdown: 160 - 141

The sons of a couple of famous big leaguers are included in this next group

Will Orel's son ever make it to the big leagues?
Will Orel's son ever make it to the big leagues?

Here is the next installment in my 2013 Dodger minor league ranking, and with this post we move into the "top" 150 players. While we are still a long way off from the top prospects, this group does include some intriguing players. Not only are there a couple of guys with famous fathers, but there are also some players here who used to be ranked inside the top 100 but have fallen due to recent performance. In addition, there are some question marks who are tough to rank because they didn't take the field in 2012 either due to injury or because they just recently signed as an international free agent. As a reminder, you can find all the posts from this series here.

160. Zachary Babitt, 2B (16 games in Arz Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 10th round
5’7", 160 lbs, 23.5 years old, bats left handed
.254 average, .660 OPS, 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s, 4 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

Zachary Babitt was the Dodgers "cheap" pick of the 2012 draft. With the new spending restrictions associated with the new CBA, several teams went cheap with some of their top 10 picks and the Dodgers were no exception as they signed Babitt for just $2,500. The 2nd baseman for Academy of the Arts, it was difficult to even find college stats for Zachary given how irrelevant his team was. At the end of the day I was able to discover that Babitt led the Urban Knights in 2012 with a .313 average and 18 stolen bases. Zachary joined the Arizona Dodger shortly after signing, but after just 16 games his season was over due to an undisclosed injury. In his limited playing time he managed just 1 extra base hit in 59 at bats, but he did show a great eye at the plate as he walked more than twice as much as he struck out. In 2013 he’ll almost certainly return to Arizona despite his advanced age, and at the very best he’ll turn into a solid organizational player.

159. Wilmin Rodriguez, LHP (62.1 IP in AAA in 2012 – all with Giants)
Signed as minor league free agent in 2012
6’2", 215 lbs, 27.75 years old
5-5, 5.92 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, 5.16 FIP, 4.91 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

Wilmin Rodriguez was originally signed by the Giants way back in 2004, but after 9 years with organization he finally became a free agent and inked a minor league deal with the Dodgers this off-season. He wasn’t invited to big league spring training, however, so he’ll be working on the minor league side of things. During his time with the Giants he slowly worked his way through their minor league system, but he never really had any standout stats. His best year came in 2009 when he posted 2.72 ERA in the California League, but this past season he really struggled in AAA. He’s never had strong strikeout numbers and his career WHIP is 1.60. At the end of the day Wilmin will probably end up with Albuquerque in 2013 as one of their left handed relievers.

158. Arce Rodriguez, OF/1B (15 games in DSL in 2012)

Signed by Dodgers 1/25/10
6’0", 191 lbs, 20.25 years old, bats right handed
.352 average, .863 OPS, 0 HR’s, 6 RBI’s, 3 SB's
Pre 2012 Rank: 109; Pre 2011 Rank: 130; Pre 2010 Rank: N/A

After putting together a very solid campaign as an 18 year old in 2011, Arce Rodriguez picked up right where he left off when he returned to the DSL in 2012. Unfortunately his success would only last through the first month of the season as he was shut down after just 15 games for an unknown reason. It’s difficult to analyze someone off of 54 at bats, but the good news is that in addition to his great batting average, he continued to show a good eye at the plate as he and posted a solid walk to strikeout ratio. The one negative about Arce (outside his lack of playing time in 2012) is that he doesn’t really provide much defensive value as he was limited to the DH role in 2012, and was a 1st baseman/left fielder in his previous seasons. Unless the organization really sees something in Rodriguez my bet is that he returns to the DSL for a 4th season in 2013.

157. Garrett Bolt, RHP (Injured in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 23rd round
6’4", 215 lbs, 23.5 years old
No stats in 2012
Pre 2012 Rank: 130; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A

Garrett Bolt grew up just a half hour away from where the Great Lakes Loons play. He watched Clayton Kershaw pitch for the Loons in 2007, and shortly after he set his high school’s record with 122 strikeouts in a single season. After graduating Bolt attended Muskegon CC where he had an outstanding season in 2010 (1.19 ERA, 35 K's in 29.1 innings). Upon transferring to Western Illinois, however, things didn’t go so well for Garrett as he threw 17 innings and had an 11.65 ERA with just 10 K's. The Dodgers didn’t mind his ugly stats because they knew he had a 95 mph fastball and a good slider, so they decided to select Bolt in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft. Bolt signed quickly and threw 9 games out of the Arizona Dodgers bullpen before getting shut down for the season in mid July. At the time I didn’t know what his injury was, but given that he also missed all of 2012 I’m pretty sure that he ended up having Tommy John surgery. If that is the case then Garrett should be ready for 2013 after taking a year and a half off. I love Bolt’s size, so let’s just hope that his mid 90’s fastball returns post surgery. The club will probably take it slow with Garrett and start him off in extended spring training, then he’ll probably join his hometown Loons at some point later in the season.

156. Wander Beras, LHP (77.2 IP in DSL in 2012)

Signed by Dodgers 10/22/07
6’0", 155 lbs, 24.75 years old
5-4, 3.59 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.58 FIP, 11.01 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 119; Pre 2011 Rank: 71; Pre 2010 Rank: 96; Pre 2009 Rank: 34

Wander Beras has had a crazy minor league career so far, with the biggest surprise coming last year when the player formerly known as Leonel gained a new first name and 3 years in age after a birth certificate controversy. This scandal caused Beras to miss the entire 2011, which was unfortunate for the left hander who was coming off an outstanding year in 2010. The time off didn’t hurt his performance, however, because in his return to action in 2012 Wander had another great season. The problem is that he is now 24 years old instead of the supposed 19 years old he was in 2010. As one of the oldest players in the league he should be expected to dominate, and he did just as he led the Dominican Summer League in strikeouts. Despite his age I’m guessing the Dodgers kept Beras around for a reason despite all the controversy, so my bet is that he get promoted to a US based league in 2013.

155. Casio Grider, SS/OF (51 games in HiA in 2012)

Drafted by Dodgers 2009, 14th round
6’1", 165 lbs, 25.5 years old, switch hitter
.217 average, .615 OPS, 2 HR’s, 11 RBI’s, 7 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 120; Pre 2011 Rank: 114; Pre 2010 Rank: 118; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Drafted out of Newberry College in the 14th round, Logan White called Grider a tools guy who is a bit raw and very athletic. Unfortunately, since turning pro Casio has been quite a disappointment. After a couple of mediocre seasons in the rookie leagues, Grider played a full season for the Loons in 2011 but hit just .230. His 31 stolen bases that year were a plus, but not much else. Nevertheless the Dodgers promoted Grider to the California League in 2012 where he saw limited time on the field and watched his stats deteriorate even further. The switch hitter couldn’t hit a lick against right handers, and even his speed couldn’t be utilized properly as he played in just 51 games. Now 25, Casio will likely return the Quakes for another season where he’ll continue his utility role at both shortstop and in the outfield.

154. Miguel Rojas, SS (44 games in AAA, 58 games in AA in 2012 – all with Reds)
Signed as minor league free agent in 2012
5’11", 185 lbs, 24 years old, bats right handed
.199 average, .487 OPS, 1 HR, 17 RBI’s, 2 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

Signed to a minor league deal this past off-season, Miguel Rojas had a forgettable season in 2012 so it’s no surprise that his former team, the Reds, let him walk. Rojas did make it to AAA for the first time in his career which is quite an accomplishment for a 23 year old, but he hit just .186 in Louisville and showed no power or speed. The good news is that he is strong defensively and can play all over the infield, but that will only get him so far. I expect him to be a utility player in either AA or AAA in 2013.

153. Deivy Castillo, OF (Did not play in 2012)
Unknown height, unknown weight, 17 years old, bats left handed
No stats in 2012
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

I really don’t know much about Deivy Castillo, but he was one of the international signees inked by the Dodgers this past offseason. At the very least I learned in an interview with Dodger scout Bob Engle that Castillo "is a very good, mature left-handed hitter with a great approach. He has a real good concept for a young kid. We like his bat and everything else is playable. We think he has a chance". As a 17 year old outfielder it would make sense that Deivy will start his professional career in the Dominican Summer League in 2013, and at that point we’ll get a better sense of his prospects status.

152. Pedro Guerrero, 2B/3B/SS (7 games in HiA, 90 games in LoA in 2012)

Signed by Dodgers 7/10/06
6’3", 185 lbs, 24.25 years old, bats right handed
.220 average, .652 OPS, 10 HR’s, 42 RBI’s, 7 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 135; Pre 2011 Rank: 99; Pre 2010 Rank: 92; Pre 2009 Rank: 67

Pedro Guerrero was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2006 and played two seasons in the Dominican Summer League before making his U.S. debut in 2008. Over the past 5 years Guerrero has bounced around between the rookie leagues and class A but hasn’t amounted to much of anything. His biggest splash probably came this past year when he smacked a career high 10 homers for the Loons, but he still hit.220 for the year and has a career average of just .240. His defensive versatility is what keeps him around as he can play all over the infield, but without stronger offensive abilities he will probably go no higher than HiA. While I used to think Pedro had a bright future, I’m much less optimistic about him now and currently see him as a minor league utility infielder. He’ll probably rejoin the Quakes in 2013 for a 3rd season.

151. Jake Hermsen, LHP (51 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 28th round
6’0", 205 lbs, 23.25 years old
1-6, 4.24 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 3.12 FIP, 6.53 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

Jake Hermsen was a 4 year player at Northern Illinois where he was both an outfielder and a pitcher. The Dodgers signed him as a pitcher despite less than impressive college stats, and he immediately joined the Raptors rotation upon signing. As the club’s #4 starter Hermsen held his own with his most impressive stat being his 3.12 FIP, however he was a little older than most players in the league and probably used that to his advantage. I don’t have a detailed scouting report on Jake so I’m not exactly what he throws, but as a 28th round pick I’m guessing he doesn’t really have anything special. He’ll probably be a solid organizational player, but I don’t think he’ll really amount to much as a prospect. He’ll most likely be in the back end of the Loons’ rotation in 2013.

150. Thomas Melgarejo, LHP (17.1 IP in HiA in 2012 – all with Royals)
Signed as minor league free agent in 2012
6’1", 220 lbs, 26 years old
0-0, 3.12 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 4.53 FIP, 6.23 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

Thomas Melgarejo has somewhat of an interesting story because he was signed by the Dodgers way back in 2005 out of Mexico, then eventually left the organization as a minor league Rule 5 pick. Throughout his career, both with the Dodgers and the Royals, he has been on loan to teams in the Mexican League, and therefore has yet to play about HiA in the states. His combined numbers over the past few years have been pretty solid, however, so the Dodgers decided to bring him back on a minor league deal, although he did not receive an invitation to spring training. While he’s never had good strikeout numbers, the lefty will likely get a chance to play in AA or AAA in 2013.

149. Devin Shines, OF (30 games in LoA, 35 games in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2011, 38th round
5’9", 185 lbs, 23.75 years old, bats right handed
.267 average, .798 OPS, 11 HR’s, 46 RBI’s, 10 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 141; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A

Devin Shines, who is the son of former Expos first baseman Razor Shines, didn’t have a great college career which allowed the Dodgers to pick him late in the 2011 draft. After a solid debut with the Arizona Dodgers as one of the older players in the league, Shines joined his dad in Great Lakes (who was the Loons’ hitting coach) to start the 2012 season. Unfortunately Devin was over-matched in LoA and was removed from the roster after about a month of hitting .219. Shines re-emerged with the Raptors at the start of the Pioneer League season and found the hitting environment much more favorable as he batted .304 for Ogden and crushed 8 homers in 35 games. He missed a chunk of the season due to injury but still overall had a successful year. I still wished he showed a little more speed and the fact that he played left field all year doesn’t help his defensive value, but at the very least he’s a solid organizational guy to have around. In 2013 Shines’ father was promoted to head coach of the Loons so I’m almost positive Devin will again start the year in Midland.

148. Jose Capellan, C (34 games in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 5/30/09
6’0", 190 lbs, 22.5 years old, bats right handed
.338 average, .871 OPS, 1 HR, 20 RBI’s, 1 SB
Pre 2012 Rank: 146; Pre 2011 Rank: 157; Pre 2010 Rank: 135; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

After spending two seasons in the DSL, Capellan got to the call to join the Arizona Dodgers in 2011 and did a decent job in limited playing time. That earned him a promotion to Ogden in 2012 and while he was limited to a backup role for the Raptors, Capellan did his best to turn some heads. His .338 average ranked second on the team for players with over 100 at bats, and his 15 doubles were particularly surprising given his limited playing time. Overall he finished the year with an impressive OPS of .871, including a 1.245 OPS against left handers (over 33 at bats). Defensively Capellan also had a solid year as he threw out a career high 41% and had a career best .987 fielding percentage. At the end of the day Jose will probably remain a part time player in 2013, but with a solid track record he’ll demand at least some respect from his teammates. He’ll probably make the logical jump to LoA in 2013 where he’ll split time with a few other backstops, but if he continues to hit he could parlay his success into a full time role at some point in the near future.

147. Tae-Hyeok Nam, 1B (38 games in Pioneer Rookie Lg in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 6/16/09
6’0", 209 lbs, 22 years old, bats right handed
.252 average, .733 OPS, 4 HR’s, 16 RBI, 0 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 104; Pre 2011 Rank: 66; Pre 2010 Rank: 50; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

When the Dodgers signed Nam in June of 2009, he became the first Korean high school player they had ever signed. He was scouted throughout his high school career by the Dodgers, where he hit 22 home runs and had 43 RBIs in 65 games to go along with a .314 average. Unfortunately his track record as a professional baseball player in the US has been less than impressive as his career batting average heading into his 5th pro season is just .241, and he has just 9 career homers to his credit. After 3 seasons in the Arizona League Nam finally made the jump to Ogden in 2012, but as the team’s part time 1st baseman he never really found his groove as he played in just 38 games and hit just .252 in the hitter friendly Pioneer League. While his batting average was a career high, the fact that he struggled in such a welcoming hitting environment is troubling for a minor league veteran. In addition, the fact that he struck out in 32.9% of his plate appearances is bad news so I’m not sure what to expect from him in the future. I don’t think he’s ready for a full season promotion so Nam will most likely return to the Pioneer League in 2013.

146. Jose Agusto Diaz, RHP (72.2 IP in DSL in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 2/8/11
5’11", 185 lbs, 22 years old
4-1, 1.49 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 2.44 FIP, 9.83 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 173; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A

After posting a 0.67 ERA in his professional debut, Jose Agusto Diaz proved that he wasn’t a fluke by recording remarkable stats during his sophomore season. The Dominican native ranked 9th in the DSL with his 1.49 ERA, and his WHIP of 0.83 was 3rd best in the circuit. His K/9 wasn't overwhelming at 7.35, but his strikeout to walk ratio of 9.83 was outstanding as he issued just 6 free passes all year. He pitched two complete games, and even collected a pair of saves. Like most Dominican pitchers I don’t know how hard he throws or what his secondary pitches are, but given his dominate stats I’m not afraid to predict that he’ll be in the US in 2013. While his short stature gives me some concern, I think he can overcome that when he makes his American debut.

145. Johnathan Linares, C/1B (49 games in DSL in 2012)

Signed by Dodgers before 2011 season
6’0", 160 lbs, 19.75 years old, bats right handed
.301 average, .817 OPS, 1 HR’s, 27 RBI’s, 3 SB’s
Pre 2012 Rank: 163; Pre 2011 Rank: N/A

A Venezuela native, Johnathan Linares was signed by the Dodgers before the 2011 season and made a brief professional debut in the DSL as an 18 year old. In 2012 he played a much bigger role for the Dominican Dodgers and actually became known as the"other" intriguing catcher for the club (in addition to Josmar Cordero, who is actually a year and a half older than Linares). The youngster hit over .300 and also walked almost as much as he struck out, which was about 10% of the time. In addition, Linares made just one error all season long as he split time between 1st and catcher, and threw out 58% of would be base stealers from behind the plate. I said last year that a strong campaign in 2012 could make him a candidate to move to a US based league in 2013, and I think his performance last season qualifies so he might find himself in Arizona this spring.

144. Jordan Hershiser, RHP (5 IP in LoA, 17.2 IP in Arz Rookie Lg in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2012, 34th round
6’8", 245 lbs, 24.5 years old
2-1, 2.78 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 3.16 FIP, 8.74 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

33 years after drafting his father Orel, the Dodgers selected Jordan Hershiser in the 34th round of the 2012 draft. The road to professional ball was a long one for the younger Hershiser as he spent 5 long years at USC. During that time he actually missed all of 2009 thanks to Tommy John, and additional shoulder trouble meant that he threw just 25.2 total innings for the Trojans. Still the Dodgers took a late flyer on him and the early results were quite encouraging now that he finally appears to be healthy. While he was one of the oldest players in the Arizona Rookie League thanks to his 5 years in college, he did pitch quite well for the Dodgers which earned him a late season promotion to LoA. I have yet to see a detailed scouting report on Jordan, but there’s a lot to like about his 6’8" frame even if he doesn’t throw in the upper 90’s. Tall pitchers are historically late bloomers anyways, so hopefully Hershiser will continue to thrive now that he’s in his mid 20’s. My guess is he returns to the Loons in 2013 as one of their relievers.

143. Mario Querales, RHP (29.2 IP in DSL in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers in 2012
6’1", 175 lbs, 18.25 years old
1-4, 5.16 ERA, 1.89 WHIP, 5.05 FIP, 3.03 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: N/A

Mario Querales is one of the youngest players in the Dodgers organization, and while the Venezuela native wasn’t very impressive in his professional debut it’s difficult to pass judgment on a 17 year old. I know his stats were ugly including a K/9 of around 3, but he still has a lot to learn and here’s hoping that he improves as he gets older. He’ll definitely return to the DSL in 2013 where he’ll hopefully improve because I think he has a great name.

142. Luis Meza, RHP (22 IP in Pioneer Rookie Lg; 6 IP in Arz Rookie Lg in 2012)
Signed by Dodgers 5/6/09
6’4", 170 lbs, 22.75 years old
1-3, 7.39 ERA, 2.00 WHIP, 4.84 FIP, 4.50 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 112; Pre 2011 Rank: 134; Pre 2010 Rank: 173; Pre 2009 Rank: N/A

Luis Meza is a young player from Venezuela who made his professional debut in 2009. After a couple of seasons in the DSL he earned a promotion to the Arizona Rookie League in 2011 where he was a surprise member of the team’s rotation. While he didn’t overwhelm in his US debut, he held his own with a 4.59 ERA. In 2012, however, nothing seemed to go right for Meza. First his season got off to a late start probably due to an injury, and then he struggled through 3 starts with the Arizona Dodgers. Despite his lackluster performance he moved up to Pioneer League in August where he continued to get lit up, and he ended the year with very ugly stats. Despite Luis’ forgettable year in 2012, he is still just 22 and has a solid pitching frame so I still have some hope for him. He’ll most likely return to Ogden in 2013 although with a good spring he has an outside shot of making onto a full season club.

141. Jordan Roberts, LHP (88.1 IP in HiA in 2012)
Drafted by Dodgers 2008, 28th round
6’2", 200 lbs, 27.25 years old
8-0, 3.67 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 3.72 FIP, 6.72 K/9
Pre 2012 Rank: 129; Pre 2011 Rank: 129; Pre 2010 Rank: 152; Pre 2009 Rank: 150

Jordan Roberts was a first team All-American out of the NAIA college Embry-Riddle in Florida and was selected by the Dodgers in the 28th round of the 2008 draft. After a couple of seasons in Ogden and another with the Loons, Roberts has spent the last two years in Rancho Cucamonga and has done quite well for himself. While opposing batters hit .280 against him during that time frame and he posted a relatively low strikeout rate, Jordan kept his ERA at a very respectable level and accumulated a 15 – 4 record. In fact, Roberts’ career ERA is 3.37 while spending 4 out of his 5 seasons in hitter friendly environments. At the end of the day I’m not sure how hard Roberts throws or what types of pitches he has, but he’s been solid so far in his professional career and he’s poised to make a move to AA. The 27 year old lefty may never make it up to the big leagues, but he should be a solid organizational talent over the next few years.