Los Angeles Dodgers: Top 10 Prospects Chat With Ed Price

Los Angeles Dodgers: Chat




Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible. Ages are as of April 1, 2009.

Moderator: Ed Price will answer your Dodgers questions beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

 Q:  Jon from Peoria asks:
How much progress has Travis Schlichting made as a pitcher? Is it realistic that he could see time with LA this year?
 A: 

Ed Price: Schlichting is an interesting player. He is aggressive and confident despite becoming a full-time pitcher only in 2007. If his slider becomes more consistent he could definitely reach the majors this year.

 Q:  Ben from Leland Grove asks:
Was it close between Lambo and McDonald for the top spot?
 A: 

Ed Price: It was an interesting call — a guy who is close to the majors, expected to contribute this year, or someone with a higher ceiling further away. In the end, we went with the higher ceiling — Lambo — because he may not be that far off either.

 Q:  Katie from Tallahassee, FL asks:
How close was Austin Gallagher to making your list?
 A: 

Ed Price: Gallagher just missed the top 10. He handled high A ball well for a young player and impressed the Dodgers with his makeup.

 Q:  Warren from Texas asks:
Where did Pedro baez fall in the Top 30? how does he profile as a prospect? Thanks for the chat!
 A: 

Ed Price: A couple of people asked about Baez. He's in the 11-15 range on the Dodgers list. He has plenty of tools — especially throwing arm and power — but needs to learn how to handle playing every day and being consistent. He's been clocked at 95 mph throwing across the diamond!

 Q:  Meta from Atlanta asks:
What do you think of Justin Miller? Did he make the top 30?
 A: 

Moderator: Miller did make the top 20. He has adjusted well to pitching after being drafted as an outfielder. Some have compared his sinker to Derek Lowe's.

 Q:  Meta from Atlanta asks:
Do you think Ethan Martin is underrated due to having missed time after signing? He sometimes seems like the forgotten man from this past draft.
 A: 

Ed Price: Well, we didn't underrate him — having him 3rd on the Dodgers list. But compared to others from his draft, he's probably a sleeper because of missed time. His Instructional League performance has the Dodgers thinking he's right back on track.

 Q:  Shawn from Rochester asks:
Did Xavier Paul take a step forward this year? I know the PCL is a hitter's league, but Xavier put up some nice numbers while cutting down his K rate. Does he still look like a 4th OF that can play all 3 positions like Alan Matthews said about him last year? ETA/ future impact?
 A: 

Ed Price: Paul is probably a fourth outfielder — unless his defense improves to where he can be a true center fielder, and it seems a little late for that. He doesn't have a lot of power and needs to use his speed better on offense. But he could be a nice extra player who can fill in at all three outfield spots.

 Q:  Don from Rosemont, IL asks:
Is there still a question whether Kyle Russell will hit with the type of power he did in college?
 A: 

Moderator: Power isn't the question — although he won't repeat his record college numbers in pro ball. He could be an Adam Dunn type but with plus defense in right field.

 Q:  Richard from British Columbia asks:
After drafting him, Logan White talked about converting Tony Delmonico to catching. Is Delmonico going to be a catcher this season?
 A: 

Ed Price: Delmonico will be a catcher this year. He caught in Instructional League and, despite having a lot to learn, made our top 20. He has the blue-collar attitude and leadership skills but needs to learn the footwork and other intricacies of catching.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
I'm surprised DeJesus ranked where he did, especially considering his 2008 campaign. What factors led to his placement?
 A: 

Ed Price: I assume you think he could have been higher than sixth. DeJesus is an advanced hitter, but he lacks power and speed and he probably won't be able to stay at shortstop. So that balances out what he has accomplished and his (significant) positives.

 Q:  Richard from British Columbia asks:
Josh Wall had a poor season in the California League. What was his problem in 2008?
 A: 

Moderator: Wall's stuff is great at times, awful at others. And the Dodgers have concerns about his maturity. There's a high ceiling there but he hasn't show command or a feel for pitching.

 Q:  Keith W from Fort Dix NJ asks:
How good do u think Josh Bell could be and what is his ceiling? Thanks!
 A: 

Ed Price: Bell could be an impact player — even if it isn't at third base, he could handle first or left field. He compares to Matt Kemp, with excellent power, a good hitting approach and good size.

 Q:  JAYPERS from IL asks:
Are Elbert's days of starting officially over at this point?
 A: 

Moderator: Not necessarily. He could earn a spot with the major-league team as a reliever this spring. If he doesn't, then the Dodgers have to decide whether to use him as a starter or a reliever in the minors. Some think he projects only as a reliever, but the Dodgers don't want to give up on him starting until they have to.

 Q:  Jon from Peoria asks:
What did you make of Steven Johnson's season? He was very good in the MWL but was not very good in the Cal League. Where does he rank?
 A: 

Ed Price: Johnson made our top 15 — primarily on knowhow and guts. He doesn't have eye-popping stuff but has a feel for pitching. His velocity was actually better in the Cal League, so the Dodgers still see him as a solid back-of-the-rotation prospect.

 Q:  Jim from LA asks:
Any insight into Cole. St. Clair? He was really good at Rice before his shoulder injuries.
 A: 

Ed Price: St. Clair is one of those college pitchers who could climb fast but then stall out a bit at the majors. His fastball can be anywhere from 85 mph to 91, depending on the day, but has shown competitiveness. He may stay in relief for a while to recover from his college workload.

 Q:  John from LA asks:
Any thoughts on Jon Michael Redding, Daigoro Rondon, and Tim Sexton?
 A: 

Ed Price: Redding is a strike-thrower who could top out as a No. 3 starter. Rondon has a live arm and nasty slider but needs to mature on the mound. Sexton is awkward on the mound and has yet to show above-average stuff.

 Q:  Joseph Wall from Fort Worth, TX asks:
Thanks for the chat Ed. I was surprised to see Chin Lung Hu missed the Top 10. I know he didn't have a great season, but with his average offensive potential and plus defense at SS, I figured he would be a shoe in. What was it that kept him out, and how does this list stack up against last year's? Thanks again.
 A: 

Ed Price: Hu didn't make our list simply because he is no longer rookie-eligible (145 career at-bats). He is still considered an excellent defender; the bat is a question. The Dodgers ruled him off-limits during the Manny Ramirez trade discussions.

 Q:  TrueBlueLA from Los Angeles asks:
Everyone knows about the top ten. Who has a chance to go Carlos Santana for us?
 A: 

Ed Price: If you mean someone who come come on strong this year ... Justin Miller, Brent Leach, Ramon Troncoso.

 Q:  TrueBlueLA from Los Angeles asks:
With four players in the top 10 from the 2008 draft and one of them a 4th round pick and the other an 11th round pick it looks like the Dodger draft was the best one since 03. I don't remember a 4th round pick who was not a signability pick making it as the teams 7th best prospect the following spring. Devaris Strange-Gordon must really have impressed.
 A: 

Ed Price: Part of the reason so many 2008 picks made the top prospect list is a big chunk of the 2007 list made the majors or got traded. But, yes, so far it's been a good draft — but these things can't be judged totally so soon. Gordon did impress with fantastic athleticism and some surprising strength.

 Q:  TrueBlueLA from Los Angeles asks:
Victor Garate was the best K ratio prospect in 2008 and is doing very well in the VWL. Is he just someone to expect to become a bullpen specialist(Loogy) or does he have a shot at becoming more?
 A: 

Ed Price: A poor man's Brian Fuentes, I was told. So probably a LOOGY at best.

 Q:  ScottAZ from Phx, AZ asks:
Why is McDonald already being labled a reliever? Ave FB, + change, + curve is hardly the profile of a closer
 A: 

Ed Price: McDonald isn't necessarily a reliever, although he surprised the Dodgers by throwing harder in that role. He is certainly considered a possible starter, and it's going to depend on what their need is.

 Q:  charlie from new york asks:
how close do you think josh lindblom is to helping the team, and do you think he will be a starter right away or go the billingsley, and now apparently mcdonald, route
 A: 

Ed Price: Lindblom could show up this year in LA. He adapted well to starting after closing in college, so now the Dodgers know he can do both. So yes, he could be considered on that Billingsley/McDonald track — used where needed when called up but still considered a starter in the long run.

 Q:  jr from valencia,ca asks:
where would carlos santana have ranked had he not been traded to the indians? also, will lucas may end up being russel martin's backup in the near future?
 A: 

Ed Price: There's been a few inquiries on where Santana would have ranked. That's hard for me to say, since I didn't try to compare him to the players still there. But since he was Cleveland's No. 1, you can assume he'd have been quite high on the LA list. ... Lucas May hasn't been very durable, so Delmonico could pass him on the depth chart.

 Q:  TrueBlueLA from Los Angeles asks:
Is Jesus Castillo someone who can handle a major league spot at the back end of a rotation?
 A: 

Ed Price: Probably not, but the Dodgers hold out some hope.

 Q:  walter from plano asks:
Great to see Lambo is at the top of your list. Great kid and nice player...saw him in AFL. Does this guy have multiple positions he can excel at since their is a lot road blocks ahead in LA? Also, how does Joe Torre do with young talent? Thanks
 A: 

Ed Price: Lambo can play first base or a corner outfield spot — at least, well enough to justify playing him with his offensive potential. Torre in New York had a track record of preferring veterans over young players, of course. But if someone forces himself on the scene or there's a need (i.e., Robinson Cano), Torre will make room.

 Q:  Michael from Washington DC asks:
Do the Dodgers have any hope for Greg Miller? Does Elbert have the ability to join the starting rotation this year?
 A: 

Ed Price: Miller has stuff but bad mechanics, so the hope is limited. Elbert might start this year but probably not out of spring training.

 Q:  JP from The Manch Vegas asks:
Tell Me about Austin Gallagher and how close he was to the #10 spot.
 A: 

Ed Price: Gallagher has good bat speed and will develop power. He will probably get too big to handle third base. He's No. 11 on our list — you can't get much closer to No. 10.

 Q:  Jerry from Los Angeles asks:
Where would Chin Lung Hu rate on the top 30 list if he was still eligible to be ranked. He seemed to hit pretty well in AAA last year.
 A: 

Ed Price: Hu would probably make the 5-10 range, based mostly on how close he is to the majors.

 Q:  Eric from LA, Ca asks:
Where would you rank LHP Watts if he was still with the Dodgers?
 A: 

Ed Price: Michael Watt could have been pretty high up the list, but as in the Manny and Casey Blake deals, the Dodgers gave up talent for Greg Maddux rather than pay him.

 Q:  Chris Torgrimsson from Brentwood, CA asks:
Where did Steve Johnson and Victor Garate fall in the top thirty?
 A: 

Ed Price: Johnson is in the 11-15 range. Garate was in the 21-25 area.

 Q:  Jay from Arizona asks:
Is there anyone down on the farm to fill second base in the future?
 A: 

Ed Price: Ivan DeJesus Jr. probably ends up at second base.

 Q:  Jay from Arizona asks:
What can you tell us about Jamie Hoffman? Thanks.
 A: 

Ed Price: Hoffman is a former hockey player who, not surprisingly, is strong and plays hard. Because no one toll stands out, he's an overachiever, and he'll likely overachieve his way to the majors at some point.

 Q:  Greg from LA asks:
What do you think of the LAD's habit of buying players for special minor league talent instead of paying their salaries (Manny, Blake)?
 A: 

Ed Price: It tells me they don't have a lot of money to spend. Good thing for them they have a good young nucleus.

 Q:  Mat from Halifax, Nova Scotia asks:
Within what range did Ramon Troncoso wind up in your rankings and do you see his progress from last season in th ebigs continuing?
 A: 

Ed Price: He's 12th. And if he can throw his power sinker more consistently for strikes, he'll be a very valuable reliever.

 Q:  Jim from LA asks:
Everybody knows that Trayvon Robinson has speed, but does he have the other tools to project well to the majors?
 A: 

Ed Price: Doesn't seem that way.

Moderator: Thanks for the great questions. This was my first time doing such a chat and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.