Dodgers Final Report
Many of the Dodgers' top prospects—Dee Gordon, Ivan DeJesus Jr. and Jerry Sands, for example—spent the season shuttling between the majors and minors. Of the players who stayed put, however, Double-A Chattanooga first baseman/outfielder Scott Van Slyke
Van Slyke, the son for former big leaguer Andy Van Slyke, hit a Southern League-leading .345 with 19 homers and 90 RBIs at Chattanooga, the kind of breakout the Dodgers have been expecting since the 2005 14th-round pick hit 23 homers and drove in 100 runs two years ago in high Class A. Van Slyke is 25 and will have to improve his glove work to make the next leap. This summer the Dodgers split him between first base—where he made nine errors in 65 games—and the outfield, where he had as many errors (three) as assists.
Although the Dodgers are deep in arms, the standout here is Double-A righthander Allen Webster
. For a team that has spent a lot of first-round picks on pitching, Webster is something of a sleeper since he lasted until the 18th round of the 2008 draft.
Webster has progressed rapidly, going 12-9, 2.88 last year in his full-season debut at low Class A Great Lakes last year. He jumped to Chattanooga after just nine starts (5-2, 2.33) at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga this season. His walk-to-strikeout ratio is a bit high, but he's just 21 and still growing into a body, listed at a svelte 6-foot-3, 185 pounds.
Keep An Eye On:
Chattanooga outfielder Alex Castellanos
impressed after being acquired from the Cardinals at midseason in the Rafael Furcal deal. The 10th-round pick in 2008 out of tiny Belmont-Abbey (N.C.) hit .322/.406/.603 in 121 at-bats while showing improved discipline at the plate with a 24-15 strikeout-walk ratio.
• Juan Rodriguez
, a 20-year-old Dominican righthander acquired in a late July deal with the Red Sox, turned heads in his first month with the Dodgers. He hit 100 mph at Great Lakes and had 108 strikeouts in 76 innings overall this season.
• First-round pick Chris Reed
made his pro debut in late August with Rancho Cucamonga, pitching two scoreless innings. The 21-year-old lefthander out of Stanford got touched up for six runs in seven innings over three starts but also had nine strikeouts.