Los Angeles Dodgers: Top 10 Prospects Chat With John Perrotto

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.

John Perrotto: Hi everybody. Let's talk some Dodgers' prospects.

    JAYPERS (IL): Where did Brian Cavazos-Galvez land overall on your Top 30 list, and what's your assessment of his game thus far?

John Perrotto: He made the top 30 but I hate to ruin the surprise for when the book comes out. He certain has power and speed but it's hard to know exactly what his big season in the Pioneer League meant since he was facing younger competition. He is certianly an intriguing guy, though.

    Ben (Leland Grove): Where would Santana and Bell have ranked had they remained in LA's system?

John Perrotto: In my mind, Santana would have been No. 1 and Bell certainly would have been in the top 10, maybe the top five.

    Harry (LA): Where did Russell land? Is he another Cody Johnson in the making, or can he cut back on his K's?

John Perrotto: The alarming lack of Ks is exactly the recent Russell missed the top 10. He was close but not quite top 10 material.

    David Bowen (Brushton, New York): The Dodgers used to be known for utilizing the international players for their farm system. Who are their top international minor league players?

John Perrotto: Well, there defintely has been a little bit of a lull as far as producing Latin players but they do have some interesting guys coming. One in particular that I think has a chance to be good is Pedro Baez, a third baseman in A ball. He did not make the top 10 but he has a lot of raw tools that still need refining.

    Garrett (Los Angeles): Would you concur that LA's farm system has been dropping in pure talent over the past few years, or are you optimistic that this year's crop is still considered promising?

John Perrotto: There is little doubt the talent level has dropped, especially after trading Santana and Bell the last two years to get help for the pennant race. I wouldn't say the talent level is poor but it isn't great. I guess you'd say it's average, though they have a lot of interesting pitchers who throw very hard.

    JAYPERS (IL): Has there been any suggestion whatsoever of Ethan Martin reverting to the hot corner if things don't work out for him on the mound?

John Perrotto: Not yet. The Dodgers are firmly convinced Martin can be a major-league starting pitcher and a good one. It would have to take a couple of bad years on the mound before they would consider a position change.

    Ben (Leland Grove): If you were Joe Torre, which reliever would you go to first in an extremely high pressure situation - Lindblom or Elbert?

John Perrotto: Lindblom. A little better command and a little better stuff.

    Harry (LA): What is Hoffmann's likely role going to be — utility guy or a future regular?

John Perrotto: Most likely a fourth or fifth outfielder.

    Kyle (Orlando, FL): What kept Kenley Jensen off the list, and how would you evaluate his FB?

John Perrotto: Jensen nearly made it and I'd be shocked if he isn't on it next year, unless he accrues too much major-league service and is ineligible. I'd rank his fastball as well above average as he throws as high as 98 mph.

    John (Boston): John, what can we reasonably expect from Blake Smith? Is he going to wind up back on the mound, or can he develop into having potential to be a starter in the OF?

John Perrotto: Well, I wouldn't read too much into his struggles last season in the Pioneer League. He wouldn't be the first player to have a hard time adjusting to pro ball. The Dodgers firmly believe he will develop into a power-hitting right fielder. However, pitching is certianly a nice fallback option if he washes out as a pitcher.

    Keith (Jersey): It's seems Dodgers always find very good pitching in the draft. Sounds like Allan Webster could be a stud if he puts all together. What is your take on him and what is his ceiling. THANKS!

John Perrotto: I like Webster a lot and I see no reason why he couldn't develop into a No. 2 starter. He's that good.

    Quinn (CA): One of the pleasant surprises for the Dodgers last season was knuckleballer Charlie Haeger. Does Haeger have a realistic shot at the rotation next year? If not, do you see him as a reliever?

John Perrotto: Haeger doesn't seem to fit prominently into the Dodgers' 2010 plans but he certainly gives them some organizational depth. As far as a reliever, it's my belief that a knuckleballer is best suited as a long man because of the potential for control problems. If he doesn't have command of the pitch on a certain day, he can cost you the game in a hurry if you bring him into a tight situation in the later innings.

John Perrotto: He doesn't appear prominently in the Dodgers' plans for 2010 but a guy who can soak up innings is always a good option to have in the organization. I'd hesitate to use a knuckleballer out of the bullpen in anything but a long role because if he doesn't have command of the floater he can let a close game get away in a hurry.

    Joe (Camarillo): Where would you rank Garrett Gould? I know he didn't get a chance to pitch much and there have been questions about his delivery, what is your take on him?

John Perrotto: He just missed the top 10. He's got a ton of potential and an outstanding curveball. It will be fun to watch him pitch next season and see how he performs.

    Joe (Camarillo): Who is the best catching prospect in the Dodger system? Will Ellis or May ever be more than backups in the Majors?

John Perrotto: Ellis is definitley a backup but May has a chance to be a starter.

    Josh (LA): You sound a bit harsh on your view of Lambo. May start his "third" stint in AA???? Are you considering Lambo's 36 ABs in 2008 as his "first" stint? 36 AB's is hardly a luke warm cup of joe let alone a "stint". Lambo also was only 20 years old for three quarters of the 2009 season and won't turn 22 until August of 2010. So he'll play three quarters of the 2010 season at the age of 21. Yes, I'd say he is still well ahead of most 22 year olds. Given Lambo's highest defensive value appears to be at 1b, did you hear anything regarding the Dodgers possibly moving him to 1b fulltime? Thank you, Appreciate your time!

John Perrotto: I think he will wind up at first base but my biggest concern is he hits with enough power to be an above-average player the position. I certainly haven't given up on Lambo by any measure and I realize he is young but he needs to hit with power to be an above-average major-leaguer.

    jr (valencia,ca): Could you please rank these Dodger backstops? Delmonico, Wise , and May. Who has the most offensive potential? Whos the better defensive prospect?

John Perrotto: May, Delmonico, Wise. May has a little bit more offensive potential and Wise is a litte bit better defensively. They all have a shot to play in the major leagues.

    jr (valencia,ca): Should we be excited about Jerry Sands? Is he a legit prospect?

John Perrotto: I think he is. He's got outstanding power and he isn't a total hacker. He's not a sure thing by any means but he is definitely an interesting guy.

    TBLA (Los Angeles): Elbert dropped his walk rate significantly while starting for the Isotopes this past summer, while maintaining a high K Rate. Isn't this what you would call growth, yet he failed to make the top 20 in the PCL. Does everyone now view him as a relief pitcher even though he's still starting when in the minor leagues?

John Perrotto: I think the Dodgers still think he can be a starting pitcher but the question is always going to be if he can physically withstand a starter's workload because of his past arm problems. There is certainly still some upside with Elbert and I'd love to see him get a chance to take a regular turn in the Dodgers' rotation to see what he could do.

    TBLA (Los Angeles): Jonathan Garcia had quite a year for a real 17 year old in the rookie league. Is he in the top 20?

John Perrotto: Yes, he is in the top 20 and he might have been the Dodgers' most surprise of 2009, this side of Jensen going from journeyman catcher to lights-out reliever.

    charlie (new york): John, are you a believer in Dee Gordon developing any power? What about consistency to be a ML SS?

John Perrotto: I refer back to wrote in my analysis of him in the magazine, the sky is truly the limit for this kid. He is such a raw player who didn't even take up the sport until his senior year of high school. He truly is a blank canvas at this point. I don't have a crystal ball to know how he will turn it but it's going to be fun watching him develop in the next few years.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): A few years ago I saw Travis Chick pitch a no-hitter in Greensboro against the old Greensboro bats. Since then, I've been intereted in how he is progressing. Is he on track to pitch in Dodger Stadium in the next few years?

John Perrotto: His career has taken a few twists and turns but he had a good year at Chattanooga in 2009 and he is at least still a sleeper propsect.

    charlie (new york): obviously hitting depth is lacking in the system, but how would you rank the dodgers' minor league pitching compared to other systems in the league?

John Perrotto: On pure talent, the Dodgers' pitching prospects are above average as many them throw hard and the one that don't have very good command. However, many of them are quite raw and need more experience.

    Maggie (Pasadena, CA): How did RHP Rubby De La Rosa do this year, and how come he is not one of the Top 10? We heard that he has a great arm!

John Perrotto: De La Rosa is an interesting guy but not top 10 worthy yet. He got sent home from the Arizona Rookie League for disciplinary reasons but is certainly a prospect.

    Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): Javy Guerra was described in a former Prospect Handbook as having a "crow hop" in his delivery. Does he still have the "crow hop"? And what is a "crow hop" anyway?

John Perrotto: A crow hop is something a catcher usually develops as he takes a little hop toward second base to get more on a throw. It is actually a balk if a pitcher does it and the Dodgers have eliminated it from Guerra's delivery.

    Nick (Phoenix): With a soild season logged by Nate Eovaldi was it a toss up between Nate Eovaldi and Allen Webster or is Webster that good? And whats your take or ceiling for Garrett Gould

John Perrotto: All three of them were in contention for the No. 10 spot. They all have very bright futures.

    Greg (LA): If the LAD's turn out to have no money for free agents, do they have any minor leaguers who might be forced to take the next step into the rotation?

John Perrotto: I think the most logical rookie to step into the rotation would be Scott Elbert who had a good 2009 between Class AA and Class AAA while also getting a chance to pitch out of the bullpen for the Dodgers.

    MJ (Valparaiso): Curious what has happened to Austin Gallagher? He had a breakthrough 2008—what happened to him in 2009? Does he have a future with the Dodgers?

John Perrotto: Gallagher injured his arm in spring training, was held back in extended spring training until June and them really struggled at low Class A Great Lakes. He is too young to write off but he appears to be outgrowning third base and he has yet to hit enough power to be a first baseman. He needs a good 2010 to get back on the map.

    sportznut (Clinton Township, MI): Would it be fair to compare Dee Gordon's upside to Jose Reyes? If not, who would you compare his ceiling to?

John Perrotto: I think it's a fair comparison.

    PJ (SF): Blake Smith in 11-20?

John Perrotto: 21-30.

    greg (mission viejo): What's the future for preston mattingly ?

John Perrotto: Not very bright. He was moved from second base to left field last season and still hasn't showed the ability to hit professional pitching. He's a real long shot to play in the majors at this point.

John Perrotto: Well, thanks for all the good Qs and I hope I gave you some insightful As. Take care everyone and happy holiday to you all.