Think Blue

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

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Baseball America's Top 10 Dodger Prospects

The time has finally come. posted their Top 10 Prospect list for the Dodgers and there were some surprises. One of them, however, was not who was at #1.

1. Clayton Kershaw, LHP (My pick - Clayton Kershaw)

No explanation needed.

2. Andy LaRoche, 3B (My pick - Andy LaRoche)

Again, not a surprise. With the Marlins' dealing Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers, LaRoche looks just a bit more secure in contending for a starting job next spring. However, a Scott Rolen trade rumor has surfaced (via Ken Rosenthal) and could complicate things.

3. Chin Lung Hu, SS (My pick - James McDonald)

And here's where our lists diverge. It's nice to see Hu getting props, since he was snubbed by's projection-heavy list. The scouting report mentions that Hu came to camp last season weighing 10 lbs heavier than the previous year, and he hit a career best 16 HR in 2007. Can't blame Mark Sweeney for that.

4. Scott Elbert, LHP (My pick - Chin Lung Hu)

Not a huge difference in position here. Elbert was reportedly throwing at 75 percent from 70 feet on flat ground last month. So it seems that he's progressing well in his rehab and should be ready for game action in March.

5. Blake DeWitt, 3B (My pick - Scott Elbert)

Whoomp, there it is. BA's love affair with Blake DeWitt strikes again. DeWitt ranked 15th on my list, mainly due to the fact that he really doesn't have great tools. His "pretty swing" has generated a career minor league line of .279/.332/.443, which won't get it done at the hot corner (where he's fringy with the glove). And his supporters have the gall to compare his development to that of James Loney, who also didn't consistently hit for power in the minors. James Loney is about 4 inches taller and 20 lbs heavier than DeWitt, by the way. So I guess the scouts are going to keep drooling over his swing while ignoring the fact that he's not doing much with it.

6. Chris Withrow, RHP (My pick - Josh Bell)

I'm not sure what surprised me more: Withrow's high ranking or Bell's exclusion. often favors pedigree over production and Withrow has the 20th overall pick tag on his back. He did manage to touch 98mph in a playoff start for the GCL, which was exciting, but getting more consistently into the mid 90s would be better. As for Bell, I'd rather have him 5th than DeWitt.

7. James McDonald, RHP (My pick - Andrew Lambo)

McDonald ranking below Withrow is pretty shocking. Again, pedigree comes into play, but J Mac dominated Double A batters for the better part of two months and Withrow has pitched about 10 innings of pro ball. Also, Lambo was left ouf ot the Top 10. Alan Mathews mentioned that Lambo was one of the best hitters in Instructional League and he'll get a huge test with an assignment to Low A Great Lakes next spring.

8. Jon Meloan, RHP (My pick - Ivan De Jesus Jr)

Another close one, as I had Meloan at the bottom of my Top 10. I generally don't like ranking relievers this high and BA's methodology in doing so can sometimes seem a little arbitrary, but the slot is warranted. Again, De Jesus missed the Top 10, though he was awarded as having the Best Strike Zone Judgement in the Dodgers' system. That award probably should have gone to LaRoche, but Ivan certainly does know how to draw a walk.

9. Delwyn Young, OF (My pick - Delwyn Young)

On the nosie! I liked what I saw from DY in his brief stint with the Dodgers in September and think he could outproduce Andre Ethier offensively next season. However, barring an injury, he's likely going to see limited action and is probably going to be traded.

10. Pedro Baez, 3B (My pick - Jon Meloan)

Baez was a guy who barely missed my Top 10 (he was #11) and he's a kid I'm really excited about. Given the appropriate instruction and some luck, he could be what Adrian Beltre should have been: a consistent middle of the order bat with a golden glove. However, he has a long way to go and could start next season in extended spring training with Austin Gallagher occupying third base in Great Lakes.

Well, that about does it. It will be interesting to see what names surface in the Top 30 next February. Be sure to check back if/when the Dodgers make a move, as I'll be sure to give my input on any transactions.


  • At 11:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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