Think Blue

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

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Weekly Review

Triple A - Las Vegas

Who's Hot - SS Chin Lung Hu was 10 for 31 (.323) with his 14th HR of the season. He also hit his 40th double and stole his 15th base. RHP Jon Meloan worked 3 hitless innings this week and it's really a mystery as to why he's not on the Dodgers by now. Hopefully Colletti will come to his senses and promote the kid once rosters expand.

Who's Not - OF Delwyn Young went just 6 for 28 (.214), though he collected 3 doubles and a HR. Still, he leads the organization and the PCL with 48 doubles.

Who to Watch - With just one more week left in the minor league season, 3B Andy LaRoche and IF Tony Abreu are prime candidates for a September callup -- or at least they would be if they were completely healthy. LaRoche finally returned to the lineup yesterday, but did not start today. Abreu is continuing to experience problems with a soft tissue injury on his midsection. With Shea Hillenbrand struggling and Jeff Kent possibly missing some time after being beaned, the Dodgers could use both of them.

Double A - Jacksonville

Who's Hot - LHP Clayton Kershaw finally found control of his curveball and thoroughly dominated this week, giving up just 1 earned run on 4 hits in 13 innings. He also struck out 18 batters. RHP James McDonald allowed 3 earned in his 11 innings this week, striking out 11 and walking just 3. RHP Justin Orenduff had one of his best outings of the year on Wednesday, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 12. 3B Blake DeWitt went 10 for 27 (.370) with 2 homers and his 40th double of the year.

Who's Not - 1B/DH Cory Dunlap had a single in 12 (.083) at bats this week and it's been all but a lost year for him. Outside of a good month of May, C Diddy has done nothing to prove himself as a prospect. OF Xavier Paul did go 3 for 10 with a double, but cant manage to keep himself in the lineup. He's put up good numbers as a 22 year old in a pitcher's league, but he'll need to stay healthy to establish himself as the Dodgers' best OF prospect.

Who to Watch - RHP Zach Hammes spent most of the year in the rotation, but has made his last 3 appearances as a reliever. He bursted back on to the prospect scene while playing winter ball in Hawaii (Lucky bastard) and bumping 97mph when coming out of the pen. I thought it was odd that he spent so much time starting this season, but it appears as though the Dodgers are preparing him for a callup to their pen.

High A - Inland Empire

Who's Hot - OF Jamie Hoffman was 9 for 23 (.391) with a double and a pair of HR. Hoffman's quietly put up a very consistent season, hitting .300 every month except July when he hit .295. The former hockey player and non-drafted free agent turned 23 on Monday and profiles as a 4th outfielder at the next level. SS Ivan De Jesus Jr was 9 for 18 (.500), including a 5 hit game on Wednesday and upped his doubles total to 22. He also committed his 30th error. So while De Jesus Jr is lauded for his natural shortstop actions, he will have to clean up his overall defensive play going forward. C Lucas May went 6 for 19 (.316) and hit his league/organization best 25th HR.

Who's Not - RHP Javy Guerra had his worst outing of the year, allowing 8 earned runs in just 2.2 innings. Guerra's had problems with his control all year and leads the California league in walks with 75. One bright spot is that he ranks 8th with 119 strikeouts. 3B Josh Bell was 3 for 18 (.167) with a double and a HR. He's really struggled since his promotion, with just 4 extra base hits in 16 games.. 2B Travis Denker went 3 for 15 (.200) with a double and a HR, but even worse, he was traded to the Giants to complete the Mark Sweeney deal. Good luck in San Fran, Travis.

Who to Watch - RHP Mario Alvarez, who I believe has a fastball that touches the mid 90s, had a great start on Wednesday. He went 6 innings, allowing just 2 earned runs on 1 hit and a pair of walks while striking out 10. He's been wildly inconsistent this year, but arms like his are always a valuable commodity.

Low A - Great Lakes

Who's Hot - 3B Brian Mathews has sizzled since his promotion, going 10 for 30 (.333) with a couple doubles and 6 walks this week. And he turned 20 today! Happy Birthday Brian! OF Trayvon Robinson was 8 for 21 (.381) with a double, a triple and his 2nd HR of the season. However, the speed demon has swiped just 1 bag in his last 10 games.

Who's Not - RHP Josh Wall had 2 short outings this week, lasting just 5 innings and allowing 3 ER. One positive note is his post All Star break ERA: 3.39. 2B Preston Mattingly collected 4 hits in 25 at bats (.160) this week. That included a 3 hit game tonight and he had been 1 for his last 24. It appears that Preston should have spent this season in Ogden.

Who to Watch - 2B/SS Juan Rivera, the Dodgers' top international prospect a few years ago, has had an up and down season. The switch-hitting 20 year old his .333/.412./.533 before the All Star break, though has since hit just .234/.274/.355. His age and position flexibility still gives him some value, but like most young players, he needs to be consistent.

Rookie Ball - Ogden

Who's Hot - SS Jaime Pedroza was 9 for 23 (.391) with a double and 3 HR. The younger brother of former Dodger prospect Sergio, Jaime has always been able to hit. The question is how much of an effect has the Pioneer League had on his numbers? LHP Wilfredo Diaz went 5 innings and allowed only 1 earned run in his outing on Wednesday. Diaz has posted decent peripherals (44 K's, 16 Walks and 3 HR in 45 innings) to go along with his mediocre 4.80 ERA. The 20 year old is one of a few bright spots in the Raptors' pitching staff. 3B Austin Gallagher managed a 6 for 21 (.286) week, hitting his 9th double.

Who's Not - 1B Jaime Ortiz has been ice cold this month, and was just 2 for 19 (.105) this week. Still, he's hitting a respectable .273 with a .492 SLG. OF Jovanny Rosario is riding a 9 game hitting streak, though he's had single hits in each of his 6 games this week (.250).

Who to Watch - C Alex Garabedian had a down week but has been hitting cleanup and batting .304 in August. After being drafted in the 8th round, Garabedian could be the best catching prospect in the Dodgers' system. I expect him to be fast-tracked and start next year in High A.

Rookie Ball - GCL Dodgers

Who's Hot - OF Alfredo Silverio was 11 for 21 (.524), raising his league best average to .378. My main concern with Silverio, aside from a low walk rate (11 in 50 games), is his age. He's already 20, so what's he doing in the Gulf Coast League? I hope he can fly through the system and start next season at High A. 1B/OF Andrew Lambo went 6 for 16 (.375) with a double and 3 walks this week. He reminds me of Andre Ethier.

Who's Not - 1B Kyle Orr was 2 for 19 (.105), though one of the two was his 3rd HR of the year.

Who to Watch - RHP Chris Withrow has pitched just 1 inning since August 1st. His last outing was a perfect frame on Tuesday. I have no information on a possible injury, so hopefully the Dodgers are just being conservative with his workload.


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