Think Blue

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

Monday, April 06, 2009

Great Lakes Loons roster is out

Starting with the pitching, 2008 first rounder RHP Ethan Martin will make his pro debut with the Loons. He'll be joined by RHP's Nathan Eovaldi and Robert Boothe, who both showed promise in the rookie leagues last season. The surprises, however, are the return of RHP Justin Miller and demotion of RHP Javy Guerra. Miller's outstading sinker netted him a 2.7:1 ground/fly ratio last season and he posted an ERA of 3.99 in 140 innings. However, his control eluded him leading to a league high 74 walks. Although Miller is 21 years old, he's still very new to pitching and should be given more time to develop. Guerra, on the other hand, spent his second consecutive season in High A ball in 2008, moving to the bullpen and having some success there. However, like Miller, control has been a major problem for Guerra. Hopefully both of them will improve in this area.

Another demotee is RHP Jordan Pratt, who is yet another promising arm with strike-zone allergies. He'll likely begin the season as the closer.RHP Bobby Blevins and RHP JonMichael Redding also appear on the roster, though their roles are uncertain. Great Lakes lacks a single southpaw in its staff. Overall, the rotation is very talented with good depth, though the relief corps leaves something to be desired.

The starting catcher will be Tony Delmonico, who converted from the infield over the winter. Tony hit .340 with 11 HR in his pro debut, though the Midwest League won't treat him so kindly. Around the infield, there's Austin Gallagher, who spent 78 games in the Inland Empire last season and hit .293 with 5 HR. It's a bit of a head-scratcher as to why a kid who held his own in High A would be sent down to Low A; perhaps the Dodgers would like him to work on his defense. At second base, there's another familiar face in Jaime Pedroza, who also spent last year with the 66ers. Shortstop will be occupied by Devaris Gordon, who wowed scouts with his athleticism in his debut. I'm honestly not sure if Gallagher will play third or move over to first, but the other corner infield spot will be occupied by a non-prospect.

The outfield has some familiar faces as well. Speedster Erik Kanaby returns to play CF, flanked by fellow two time Loon Alfredo Silverio and 2008 draft pick Kyle Russell. Both Silverio and Russell are capable of playing RF, so a coin toss will decide who plays left (or not).

Overall the team has some talent (3 top 10 prospects), with a strong rotation and some good-looking bats. It's not the best collection the Dodgers have produced, but it should be fun to watch.


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