Think Blue

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

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dodgers' Top 50 Prospects - 20-11

20. Xavier Paul, OF HT: 6'0 WT: 200 B: L T: R DOB: 2/25/1985
Acquired: Selected in 4th round of 2003 Draft
2007 Statistics: .291/.366/.429 in 118 Games

The Good: Paul is coming off his second consecutive successful season after a couple of poor ones. Hits the ball to all fields. Has enough speed to play CF. Owns the best OF arm in the organization.

The Bad: Despite his strong, compact build, Paul has not slugged over .430 since rookie ball. Also needs to work on his routes/jumps in the OF and success rate when stealing bases. His BABIP in 2007 was .375, which will likely regress next season.

The Future: Paul's prospectual status depends mainly on his power. If it develops, he could be an above average starter in RF. If not, he could be a decent starter in CF. Either way, he'll start next season as a 22 year old in Triple A, so time is on his side.

19. Austin Gallagher, 3B HT: 6'4 WT: 217 B: L T: R DOB: 11/16/1988
Acquired: Selected in 3rd round of 2007 Draft
2007 Statistics: .284/.346/.401 in 55 Games

The Good: Another surprise from Logan White this June, Gallagher was drafted mainly for his massive raw power. In his debut, Gallagher showed a mature approach and a decent walk rate, while keeping his strikeouts down. He uses the opposite field well.

The Bad: Gallagher's raw power doesn't translate from batting practice into games, as he collected just 4 Homeruns in 197 at bats. His hands are alright at 3B, but he doesn't move well and may have to move to 1B.

The Future: As Gallagher continues to mature, his power should develop and become a usable tools come gametime. His ultimate defensive home will greatly affect his value Gallagher will likely take his watermelons to Great Lakes and be the Loons' starting 3B next season.

18. Jamie Hoffman, OF HT: 6'3 WT: 210 B: R T: R DOB: 8/20/1984
Acquired: Signed as an undrafted free agent August 20, 2003
2007 Statistics: .309/.378/.455 in 116 Games

The Good: Rebounded from a poor 2006 season by setting career highs in Doubles (22) and HR (9). Displayed a good eye and contact ability. Named the best defensive OF in the system last year and tallied 17 OF assists this year.

The Bad: One of those players who does everything well but nothing great. Despite his size, he's not really a power threat. Could steal bases more effectively and walk more if he's going to make it as a leadoff type.

The Future: Ready to take the leap to Double A and prove he's worthy of this ranking. A former hockey player who entered pro ball as a 3B, Hoffman's already shown great ability in the field and promise at the plate. His offensive ceiling is the biggest question.

17. Michael Watt, LHP HT: 6'1 WT: 185 B: L T: L DOB: 2/24/1989
Acquired: Selected in 2nd round of 2007 Draft
2007 Statistics: 21 IP, 18 H, 0 HR, 6 BB, 18 K 3.00 ERA

The Good: Yet another surprise pick, Watt is a semi-local product from Mission Viejo. Lauded for his arm action, he's also extremely athletic and played CF in High School. His fastball already touches 91mph and has shown a good curve. Has some deception in his delivery.

The Bad: His ranking is based mostly on projection, as his current stuff isn't much to brag about. Doesn't have great size. There's some recoil in his delivery that throws his command off from time to time.

The Future: I view Watt as "Elbert-lite" and he could develop into a similar type of pitcher with some added velocity. He's a rare prospect given the fact that he's not that big but still offers some projection. He should start next season in the Great Lakes rotation.

16. Anthony Raglani, OF HT: 6'2 WT: 215 B: L T: L DOB: 4/6/1983
Acquired: Selected in 5th round of 2004 Draft
2007 Statistics: .248/.369/.461 in 136 Games

The Good: Led all Dodger minor leaguers with 85 walks. Has legit power, mostly to the pull side. Also has decent speed.

The Bad: Also led all Dodger minor leaguers with 139 strikeouts. His contact ability and flyball tendencies don't bode well for his BABIP. Relegated to LF due to a poor throwing arm. Doesn't use speed effectively on basepaths.

The Future: Will turn 25 on or about opening day next year, so he's ready to be tested in the majors. His OBP/SLG combo will likely go overlooked by the current Dodgers' administration and he could be valued by a more sabermetrically inclined organization.

15. Blake DeWitt, 3B HT: 5'11 WT: 175 B: L T: R DOB: 8/20/1985
Acquired: Selected in 1st round of 2004 Draft
2007 Statistics: .292/.327/.466 in 128 Games

The Good: DeWitt has a great stroke at the plate, spraying line drives to all fields. While he struggled to make contact in 2006, he posted a career high in BA and Doubles (42).

The Bad: Had a great month of June and did great after his July callup, but didn't do much else. While his strikeout rate dropped, so did his walk rate. His defense is a question mark at 3B and he's shown that he can't handle 2B. Has below average speed.

The Future: DeWitt is a prospect that continues to hang around rather than repeatedly prove himself. He gets respect mostly for his swing and first round pedigree, but he'll need to consistently smoak the ball in Triple A next season to get consideration for a look in the bigs.

14. Bryan Morris, RHP HT: 6'3 WT: 200 B: L T: R DOB: 3/28/.1987
Acquired: Selected in 1st round of 2006 Draft
2007 Statistics: N/A

The Good: Prior to his Tommy John surgery, Morris showed a fastball that sat in the low to mid 90s and a nasty curveball. His father is a coach at the JC he attended, so the kid knows how to pitch. Lean, athletic build and clean arm action.

The Bad: Anytime a prospect requires a major surgery, it's a negative. Many pitchers come back from TJ surgery and flourish, but Morris will have to make some adjustments in order to avoid another injury. He throws across his body, which could have contributed to his UCL tear.

The Future: I haven't heard any news regarding his recovery, but I have high hopes for Morris. Health permitting, the sky's the limit and he could end up being a front of the rotation starter.

13. Greg Miller, LHP HT: 6'5 WT: 220 B: L T: L DOB: 11/3/1984
Acquired: Selected in Supplemental 1st round of 2002 Draft
2007 Statistics: 76.2 IP, 65 H, 3 HR, 89 BB, 97 K 5.87

The Good: Still has the stuff that made him the best lefty in the minors back in 2003. Fastball can sit in the mid 90s and his breaking ball is a plus pitch. Has stayed healthy since returning to action in 2005.

The Bad: Can't find the strike zone with a Thomas Guide and a second set of hands. Led the minors in walks. Showed some improvement after a demotion to Jacksonville but still ended up walking 43 in 48 innings there.

The Future: He'll pitch as a 23 year old next year, meaning he still has a year or two to find his control. If he does and stays healthy, he'll return to 2003 form. If not, it'll be a huge disappointment for that much potential to go down the drain. He could break into the majors next season if he can consistently throw strikes.

12. Chris Withrow, RHP HT: 6'3 WT: 195 B: R T: R DOB: 4/1/1989
Acquired: Selected in 1st round of 2007 Draft
2007 Statistics: 9 IP, 5 H, 0 HR, 4 BB, 13 K 5.00 ERA

The Good: Logan White's dream, Withrow has a great pitcher's build, a clean delivery and plenty of projection. Started sitting in the low 90s late in the spring, leading to his 1st round selection and was touching 98 in a GCL playoff appearance. Has the makings of a plus curveball.

The Bad: Needs to show more consistent velocity. Could fine-tune his command and control, as well as improving the consistency of his curve and improving his changeup to a third reliable pitch.

The Future: Should be skipped past Ogden and enter next year as Great Lakes' ace. If his velocity in the playoff start was what we can expect going forward, Withrow's ceiling is considerably higher than what it was when he was drafted.

11. Pedro Baez, 3B HT: 6'2 WT: 200 B: R T: R DOB: 3/11/1988
Acquired: Signed out of Dominican Republic in March of 2007
2007 Statistics: .274/.341/.408 in 53 Games

The Good: In his pro debut, Baez took a rehabbing Pedro Martinez deep and made a name for himself in the GCL. Ranked as the #6 prospect in the GCL by Baseball America. Has excellent raw power and Gold Glove caliber defense. Has one of the strongest arms in the Dodgers' system.

The Bad: Didn't show too much power or hit many line drives in 2007. Needs to improve his strike zone judgement. Struggles a lot with breaking balls away. Speed isn't part of his game.

The Future: With proper development, he could be the player Adrian Beltre was supposed to be: a middle of the order masher who can really pick it at the hot corner. The Dodgers were aggressive with Pedro, so I expect him to make his full season debut in 2008.


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