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2014 Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects


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Flush with cash in their first full season under Guggenheim Baseball Management ownership, the Dodgers arrived at spring training after having made blockbuster trades, signed expensive major league free agents and paid premium prices for international free agents.

TOP 10 PROSPECTS
1. Joc Pederson, of
2. Corey Seager, ss
3. Julio Urias, lhp
4. Zach Lee, rhp
5. Chris Anderson, rhp
6. Chris Withrow, rhp
7. Alexander Guerrero, 2b
8. Chris Reed, lhp
9. Onelki Garcia, lhp
10. Ross Stripling, rhp
BEST TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Corey Seager
Best Power Hitter Joc Pederson
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Joc Pederson
Fastest Baserunner James Baldwin III
Best Athlete James Baldwin III
Best Fastball Jose Dominguez
Best Curveball Onelki Garcia
Best Slider Tom Windle
Best Changeup Zach Lee, rhp
Best Control Julio Urias
Best Defensive Catcher Spencer Navin
Best Defensive Infielder Cody Bellinger
Best Infield Arm Corey Seager
Best Defensive Outfielder Joc Pederson
Best Outfield Arm Noel Cuevas
TOP 15 PLAYERS 25 AND UNDER
No Player, Pos (Age) Peak Level
1. Yasiel Puig, of (23) Majors
2. Joc Pederson, of (21) Double-A
3. Corey Seager, ss (19) High Class A
4. Julio Urias, lhp (17) Low Class A
5. Zach Lee, rhp (22) Double-A
6. Paco Rodriguez, lhp (22) Majors
7. Chris Anderson, rhp (21) Low Class A
8. Chris Withrow, rhp (25) Majors
9. Chris Reed, lhp (23) Double-A
10. Onelki Garcia, lhp (24) Majors
11. Ross Stripling, rhp (24) Double-A
12. Jose Dominguez, rhp (23) Majors
13. Tom Windle, lhp (22) Low Class A
14. Yimi Garcia, rhp (23) Double-A
15. Dee Gordon, ss (25) Majors
TOP PROSPECTS OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos. 2013 Org.
2004 Edwin Jackson, rhp Cubs
2005 Joel Guzman, ss/of Saltillo (Mexican)
2006 Chad Billingsley, rhp Dodgers
2007 Andy LaRoche, 3b Blue Jays
2008 Clayton Kershaw, lhp Dodgers
2009 Andrew Lambo, of Pirates
2010 Dee Gordon, ss Dodgers
2011 Dee Gordon, ss Dodgers
2012 Zach Lee, rhp Dodgers
2013 Hyun-Jin Ryu, lhp Dodgers
TOP DRAFT PICKS OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos. 2013 Org.
2004 Scott Elbert, lhp Dodgers
2005 *Luke Hochevar, rhp (1st round supp.) Royals
2006 Clayton Kershaw, lhp Dodgers
2007 Chris Withrow, rhp Dodgers
2008 Ethan Martin, rhp Phillies
2009 Aaron Miller, lhp (1st round supp.) Dodgers
2010 Zach Lee, rhp Dodgers
2011 Chris Reed, lhp Dodgers
2012 Corey Seager, ss Dodgers
2013 Chris Anderson, rhp Dodgers
*Did not sign
LARGEST BONUSES IN CLUB HISTORY
Yasiel Puig, 2012 $12,000,000
Alexander Guerrero, 2013 $10,000,000
Hiroki Kuroda, 2007 $7,300,000
Zach Lee, 2010 $5,250,000
Hyun-Jin Ryu, 2012 $5,000,000
Dodgers Team Page
Last Year’s Dodgers Top 10 Prospects
2013 Draft: Dodgers
2013 Draft Report Cards: Los Angeles DodgersPremium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects

So when they got off to a 30-42 start that put them 9 1/2 games back in the National League West, manager Don Mattingly’s job appeared to be on the line. But the Dodgers’ investments started to pay off, as they went 45-23 in the second half to finish at 92-70 and win the division.
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Los Angeles defeated the Braves in the Division Series before losing the NL Championship Series to the Cardinals, who beat Clayton Kershaw twice. It was the only negative on the season for Kershaw, the team’s first-round pick out of high school in 2006, who cemented his status as baseball’s best pitcher by leading the majors in ERA for the third straight year.

While the Dodgers received attention for their spending, much of their success was a result getting their evaluations right. One need only look to the neighboring Angels to see how spending sprees work when the evaluations misfire.

The Dodgers acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins in July 2012 in the midst of his second straight underachieving season. Once healthy, Ramirez played like an MVP for the Dodgers. They signed Zack Greinke to a six-year, $147 million contract after the 2012 season, and Greinke’s 2.63 ERA ranked fourth in the NL.

The Dodgers’ most controversial signing came in June 2012, when they signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42 million deal. Puig was a talented player on the rise in Cuba, but other teams questioned the Dodgers’ process—Puig had been suspended for the past year in Cuba and hadn’t been seen outside of the country since June 2011, with only one light showcase in Mexico where he didn’t face live pitching and wasn’t in game-ready condition.

After starting the 2013 season in Double-A, Puig forced his way to Los Angeles, where he keyed a 42-10 spurt that changed the season. He hit .319/.391/.534 in 104 games, becoming a Dodgers fan favorite for his five-tool ability and explosive athleticism from a hulking frame.

Another rookie, lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu, had a stellar debut after coming over from the Korean majors, posting a 3.00 ERA in 192 innings. There was more industry consensus on Ryu, who several teams saw as a solid mid-rotation starter, but the Dodgers nailed their evaluations of both players.

Their most recent big-ticket international signing—Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero, who signed for four years and $28 million—went against the grain, as teams had several opportunities to evaluate him at showcases in the Dominican Republic and came away skeptical of his chances to be an everyday player.

The Dodgers have four more prospects at the top of their farm system who have separated themselves from the pack. The organization has more outfielders than spots to put them all, and that’s before considering that No. 1 prospect Joc Pederson should be ready at some point in 2014. Corey Seager, a shortstop and likely future third baseman, showed a polished hitting approach and a sweet swing in his first full season at age 19. Pederson and Seager both have star potential.

Julio Urias, purchased from the Mexico City Red Devils in 2012, pitched effectively in the low Class A Midwest League as a 16-year-old, and opposing scouts thought he could have handled even more advanced hitters. Zach Lee pitched well in Double-A and could contribute in 2014, with mid-rotation starter upside.