Think Blue

Obsessing over the Dodgers' minor league system so you don't have to.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Personal Business

Apparently, I was flamed on the board for outlining a few reasons why Dodger fans shouldnt be too worried with Kent's contract extension. Since the author of the post doesnt read my blog, I'll let others read about my thoughts on this attack on my very prestigious webpage(And the 2 or 3 people who read it).

I'm an optimist. I prefer to hope that things will work out for the best. And as someone whose dreams of being a major league pitcher were crushed at the age of 10 when I blew out my shoulder, I can deal with disappointment. As I've grown up, I've found more and more people are getting angrier and more cynnical. It's not cool to just root for your team. You have to constantly bash management, players and other fans for their optimism. I find it sad and strange that people call themselves "fans" while bashing everything that happens in regards to the team they supposedly root for. Not only does it seem like a contradiction in terms, it also irritates other fans who actually enjoy the game and their favorite team. I also find it hypocritical that optimists are called out by pessimists (Pot Kettle Black, anyone?). I pity those who cant help but angrily stomp their feet when things dont go their way. Maybe it's time to grow up and accept that losing is part of the game. Bad decisions are made (As I've outlined in my evaluation of Colletti, so I actually dont support everyting he does), players get hurt, get traded, get signed by other teams. And for the love of Gagne, I KNOW that prospects fail. But I can accept it. I deal with it. I move on and I keep rooting for the boys in blue. The Dodgers will always be my team. If you can't accept that, then work on removing the beam from your own eye rather than pointing out the mote in mine.

Back to Baseball. Minor league rosters havent been posted yet. but once they are I'll post them here. Come on guys, time to get pumped. Opening Day is in 5 days!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Minor League Season in Preview

Opening Day is less than two weeks away and the minor league season will begin shortly after. As some prospects have shined in camp (Loney, Martin, Guzman) and other have failed (Kemp, LaRoche, Billingsley) the next year will be an integral part in determining the futures of these young prospects. So, with that in mind, I'll list the noteworthy prospects by where they're expected to start.

Las Vegas (Triple A)

Chad Billingsley, RHP - While he leaves a pitcher's paradise for a pitcher's worst nightmare, hopes of his making the club this year shouldn't be lost. A strong showing in Triple A could prompt management to move C Bill into LA's rotation before the year is through.

Joel Guzman, OF - Even with a strong spring, I believe Joel will be given time in the minors to further familiarize himself with his new position in the outfield. Cashman will aid his offense and Joel could make his major league debut if injuries strike the Dodgers' fragile outfield.

Andy LaRoche, 3B - LaRoche's chances of making the show out of spring training dwindled with Bill Mueller's stellar debut. Still, barring injury, Andy should spend AT MOST another year in the minors before moving to So Cal.

James Loney, 1B - A huge spring has sparked interest in J Lo from management and who could blame them? With Nomar Garciaparra signed for just one year, Loney could reach the club by midseason and be starting by '07.

Jacksonville (Double A)

Matt Kemp, OF - Not only did Kemp wow scouts with his power/speed combo in the FSL, he also played an important role on his AFL team, leading the Desert Dogs to a championship; he hit 2 HR in the title game. While he faces quite a challenge in Double A, he has a chance to establish himself as one of the best offensive prospects in the game this season.

Greg Miller, LHP - Though health problems have stunted his development, his power stuff and uncanny pitchability remain as he returns to Double A for the third time in four years. If he can notch a full season in his belt, Miller could return to his uber prospect status of 2003.

Chin Lung Hu, SS - After playing for Chinese-Tapei (Taiwan) in the World Baseball Classic, Hu was named as the 4th most intriguing prospect in the event by scouts according to While he holds his own with the bat, Hu is a potential gold glover at short.

Tony Abreu, 2B - The other half of one of the best double play duos in the league, Abreu's ability to make consistent contact intrigues scouts as much as his D. Pairing Tony with Hu should provide Suns fans with a dynamic pair of defenders up the middle.

Vero Beach (High A)

Scott Elbert, LHP - A year after being named the best prospect in the South Atlantic League, the Dodgers' first pick of 2004 moves to Vero Beach to futher establish himself as a top pitching prospect.

Blake DeWitt, 2B - A move to second base was initiated after Andy LaRoche's strong 2005 campaign. DeWitt's athleticism should allow the transition to be smooth, and his bat becomes more valuable in the middle of the infield.

Blake Johnson, RHP - After being drafted in the second round of 2004's draft, Logan White said that Johnson's delivery was "perfect." And with a strong 2005 under his belt, Johnson is my pick to truly break out in 2006.

Travis Denker, 3B - Swapping positions with Blake DeWitt, Denker's offense profiles better at third base where he'll hopefully be able to stick defensively. Though he didnt produce after a late season call up in 2005, he should get back to raking in no time.

The lower minors should boast plenty of talent, but more info on those prospects will be provided as the season wears on. AND REMEBER, I will be updating the blog with daily stats from Dodger minor league games once the season starts.