With the S2S 2012 Top 100 Prospects List now in the books, it’s time to take a closer look at the future of each team. And that means team prospect lists!
Most minor league sites will do top-10s, top-15s, top-20s, or some other ranking. Last year, to be a bit different, the FanSided team prospect lists (which were done at Call to the Pen, since S2S didn’t exist), instead listed a team’s top prospect at each position (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OFs, 5 SPs, and 2 RPs). This year, we’re keeping that format, but also adding a “Best of the Rest” section that lists the top ten players beyond the positional rankings. That’s 25 players per system, if you’re counting.
The Dodgers are the only team in baseball that does not currently have any players on the S2S 2012 Top 100 Prospects. However, this is also the first system I’ve gone over this year that I’ve really had trouble cutting guys from the Best of the Rest section. Therefore, it’s sort of like what the Red Sox system would be if they didn’t have Xander Bogaerts and Ryan Lavarnway–a huge pile of B, B-, and C+-grade guys.
The Dodgers have nice pitching depth in both the rotation and the bullpen, and they have a pile of interesting outfielders as well. The infield, however, is thin, especially if you remove experimental convert Alex Castellanos.
Position Player Upside: C
Position Player Depth: B-
Pitching Upside: B-
Pitching Depth: A-
System Grade: B-
Catcher: Gorman Erickson. Erickson is an impoverished man’s Matt Wieters. A 6’4″ switch-hitter, he has a solid all-around game, with some contact ability, plate discipline, doubles power, and decent defense. He’s moved slowly through the minors, including taking three years to get out of Rookie ball, so he’ll open the year as a 24-year-old with just 41 games of upper-minors experience. He’s not going to be a star, but he could be a second-division starter or excellent backup catcher. Grade: C+
First base: Scott Van Slyke. Van Slyke crushed Double-A pitching for a .348/.427/.595 line in 2011, but he turned 25 midseason and moved to first base from left field, putting a ton of pressure on his bat. He’s basically Russ Canzler 2.0; at some point, he’s probably going to deserve a shot, but he may need to land on a rebuilding team to get that shot–then again, he just might be able to dislodge James Loney. Grade: C+
Second base: Alex Castellanos. Castellanos is similar to Van Slyke, in that he crushed Double-A (.320/.386/.573) but turned 25 before season’s end. A utility infielder-turned-outfielder, he was moved back to second in fall ball, making him easily the best prospect at the position in the system. He could be the new Ryan Roberts, and could help in 2012. Grade: B
Third base: Alex Santana. The team’s second-round pick in 2011, Santana hit just .238/.298/.339 in the Pioneer League, but he was only 17. He’s very raw, with a 64/10 K/BB in 50 games and a putrid .832 fielding percentage at third. He’s a projectable power bat who should improve as he gains experience, but he’s extraordinarily far away from contributing. Grade: C
Shortstop: Jake Lemmerman. A fifth-round pick in 2010 who immediately hit .363/.434/.610 that season, Lemmerman reached the upper minors in his first full campaign, but he didn’t overwhelm. He spent most of the year in the high-offense California League and hit .293/.379/.420, which is nice, although it was alarming to see his Isolated Power cut in half, especially in that environment. He hit just .234/.318/.390 in a late-season look in Double-A. He’s not considered much of a defender at shortstop, so he could end up as an offense-first utility infielder. Grade: C+
Outfielder #1: Joc Pederson. As you’re about to see, almost all of the Dodgers’ outfield prospect are tools guys with terrible approaches. Pederson is the one rarity, showcasing advanced pitch recognition skills at age 19. He hit .353/.429/.568 in the Pioneer League, also swiping 26 bases. His outfield defense needs work, but he should become solid in left. He could become Michael Brantley with more power, which is a really nice player. Grade: B
Outfielder #2: Alfredo Silverio. In approaching position player prospects, the first things I look at are position, age relative to level, and strike zone control. Silverio is a 24-year-old left fielder in Double-A who had a K/BB ratio worse than 3/1, so he scores awfully on that. He also doesn’t have tremendous over-the-fence power, hitting just 16 homers. However, Silverio ripped 42 doubles and 18 triples, posting a .306/.340/.542 line. A Delmon Young-esque player. Grade: C+
Outfielder #3: Kyle Russell. Russell has 75-80-grade power, but his hit tool is probably a 30 or 35. He has an abysmal 31.8% strikeout rate in his career, although it hasn’t gotten any worse over time, at 31.2% this year. He does walk an above-average amount and he plays a great right field, so if he can manage to hit .240 in the majors, he’ll have a nice career. Now 25 and entering Triple-A for the first extended time (he played a bit there last August), he should crush the easy environment of Albuquerque, and it will be fascinating to see what he does if he gets some MLB playing time. Grade: C+
Starting Pitcher #1: Zach Lee. There are some similarities between Lee and A.J. Cole–they’re both big, projectable righties with somewhat advanced arsenals who pitched well in Low-A last year. Cole is a few months younger and his approach is further along, but it really goes to show how little the difference between the #30 prospect (Cole) and a guy who just missed the list (Lee) is. If he’s going to join the elite pitching prospects, Lee has to find a way to miss more bats, but he has the look of a very effective mid-rotation starter. Grade: B
Starting Pitcher #2: Garrett Gould. Gould is right there with Lee in my book. Imagine a righthanded Chris Narveson with better command, and you’re not far off from Gould, who has a similarly herky-jerky delivery and spectacular curveball. Reports indicated that his velocity spiked in the second half of the season, giving him a nice fastball to set up the curve. Just 20, he needs to polish up his changeup, and like Lee, he can’t afford to lose a lot of strikeouts as he moves up, but he’s a really nice potential #3 starter. Grade: B
Starting Pitcher #3: Allen Webster. Webster lacks huge upside, but he reached Double-A at age 21 and had a decent run there, with a 3.98 FIP. He’s sort of the quintessential average prospect, as a medium-sized righthander with three solid pitches, a clean delivery, and good-not-great stats. Probably a future fourth starter. Grade: B
Starting Pitcher #4: Nate Eovaldi. It’s tough to knock a guy who posted a 3.63 ERA and 4.35 FIP in the majors at age 21, especially one who throws 92-96 mph. But Eovaldi doesn’t throw enough strikes (5.19 BB/9 in the majors, 4.02 in AA), has never posted big strikeout numbers, his slider is merely decent, and he doesn’t have much of a third pitch. He’s probably a back-of-the-bullpen guy long-term. Grade: B
Starting Pitcher #5: Chris Reed. The 16th overall pick in 2011, Reed was mostly a reliever in college, but the Dodgers plan on moving him to a starting role. He has a solid three-pitch arsenal and could evolve into a mid-rotation workhorse. Obviously, he’s unproven in pro ball, and we’ll need to see how he takes to starting, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he ended up having a better career than the four guys ahead of him–all five of these pitchers are 100-200 overall prospects, so little separates them. Grade: B
Relief Pitcher #1: Josh Lindblom. Lindblom was dominant in Triple-A and pitched solidly in the majors. There’s not much to separate him from any number of big fastball/slider relievers with nice control, but he’s already a solid MLB player, and that counts for a lot. Grade: B-
Relief Pitcher #2: Shawn Tolleson. Tolleson struck out 105 and walked just 18 in 69 innings across three levels. He’s not as great as those numbers suggest, as he was 23 years old and his numbers went from insane to merely excellent as he moved from Low-A to Double-A. He mostly pitches off his fastball, and his delivery is all sorts of cringeworthy, but if he can keep his right arm attached, he should be a nice high-leverage middle reliever. Grade: B-
Best of the Rest
#1.) Matt Magill, RHP. A clear step down from the top five pitchers in the system, Magill heads the next group of prospects. He’s somewhat similar to Webster, as an average-across-the-board stuff guy who threw well in High-A at age 21, but he lacks Webster’s command and is behind developmentally, as he has yet to see Double-A. Magill is a potential fourth or fifth starter or workhorse middle reliever. Grade: C+
#2.) Chris Withrow, RHP. Withrow reached Double-A in mid-2009, and he has yet to advance past the level, which says something. Yes, he just turns 23 on April 1, but this is a guy with years of experience who just doesn’t seem to be improving. His walk rates have actually increased each year in Double-A, and while he strikes out a good number of batters, he’s never walked under four batters per nine in his career. Withrow has a similar profile to Chris Archer of the Rays, and he’ll probably end up in relief. Grade: C+
#3.) Jonathan Garcia, OF. In 2010, Garcia hit .305/.365/.527 in the Pioneer League, and while he hit 19 homers in his Low-A followup, he disappointed otherwise, with a .228 average and a 133/34 K/BB ratio. He’s going to have to hit to make it to the majors, but he just turned 20 in November and has an intriguing power bat–his improvement will depend heavily on his ability to improve in the K/BB department. Grade: C+
#4.) Andres Santiago, RHP. Here’s a guy nobody talks about. Santiago pitched to a 3.79 FIP in High-A as a 21-year-old after skipping both the PL and Low-A, coming straight up from the GCL. He has solid stuff as well, with a good changeup and decent fastball. Very similar to Magill, but without as long of a track record. Grade: C+
#5.) Red Patterson, RHP. Patterson threw 173 1/3 innings last year, an extraordinary total for an A-ball pitcher. He put up a 172/45 K/BB between the A-ball levels. Another potential back-of-the-rotation starter, he’ll be 25 in May, so he needs to move quickly, but he’s already provided good value for a 29th-round pick. Grade: C+
#6.) Angel Sanchez, RHP. Often brought up as a sleeper in the system, Sanchez had a 2.82 ERA and 3.43 FIP in Low-A as a 21-year-old. He’s got a nice three-pitch mix, but he needs to refine his location and sequencing. He still has some projectability left, so he may improve his stock as time goes on. Grade: C+
#7.) Angelo Songco, 1B/OF. Songco hit .313/.367/.581, but that’s pretty much what a 22-year-old 1B/LF has to do in the Cal League to stay on the prospect map. Like Silverio and Garcia, he has a K/BB ratio around 3/1, which needs to improve. Double-A will be a big test in 2012. Grade: C+
#8.) Tim Federowicz, C. Yes, yes, I know he hit .325/.421/.637 in 25 Triple-A games after being traded, but let’s calm down–Albuquerque is a launching pad, and his track record at the plate is just okay. That said, Federowicz is a strong defender who isn’t completely punchless. He and Erickson would make for a really snazzy platoon someday if they develop as expected. Grade: C+
#9.) Jon Michael Redding, RHP. Yet another member of the High-A rotation that could be a back-of-the-rotation guy, Redding had a strong 2011 after back-to-back down years. Like Patterson, he needs to move quickly, as he’s already 24. Grade: C+
#10.) Gustavo Gomez, RHP. 12.1 K/9 has to count for something, even if it was just in the low minors. Gomez struck out 97 in 72 innings, but also walked 45. Not a physically imposing pitcher, he will likely move to the bullpen, but could become a fast riser in that role. It is worth noting he showed better control before 2011, so if he can combine his high strikeouts from 2011 with his lower walk rates from earlier, he could really be something. Grade: C+
The complete list of S2S 2012 Team Prospect Rankings can be found here.
For more on the Dodgers, check out Lasorda’s Lair.
Topics: Alex Castellanos, Alex Santana, Alfredo Silverio, Allen Webster, Andres Santiago, Angel Sanchez, Angelo Songco, Chris Reed, Chris Withrow, Garrett Gould, Gorman Erickson, Gustavo Gomez, Jake Lemmerman, Joc Pederson, Jon Michael Redding, Jonathan Garcia, Josh Lindblom, Kyle Russell, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Magill, Nate Eovaldi, Red Patterson, Scott Van Slyke, Shawn Tolleson, Tim Federowicz, Zach Lee