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, 2011.
Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for stopping by as we close out the week with some Dodgers chatting. Let's get to it.
Steve (OC): DeJesus not in your top 10??? How do you think he will perform in the bigs?
Although DeJesus hit the ball really well
in the second half of last season for Albuquerque, there just weren't
enough plus tools there to put him in the top 10. He's got a short swing
and a nice approach, but nothing really above-average. His first-step
quickness hadn't come all the way back yet either, but we'll see if
that's any better next year once he's two years removed from his broken
leg. He can be a big league regular, but I don't think he's a
JAYPERS (IL): Jim, what are your thoughts on Jake Lemmerman? Is he someone for us to keep an eye on, and did he make your 30?
Lemmerman, the Dodgers' fifth rounder from
Duke last year, doesn't have the most explosive tools you'll find, but
he's got some potential. He's a heady player with a quick swing and some
bat speed. He's also a better defender than he showed last year with
Ogden, where he made 16 errors, and can play either middle infield spot.
He's in the Handbook, towards the back of the Top 30.
Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware): AA
pitcher Javy Guerra used to have a hitch or irregularity in his pitching
motion. Has this been corrected, and to what result?
Good call by Karl here. Guerra did indeed
used to hop off the mound on his back leg, which made it hard for him to
keep the ball down in the zone. He's also a Tommy John survivor. He's
smoothed the hop out, but his command still has to get better. He's got a
plus fastball and a power slider, so he could be a big league setup man
if it does.
Ben (Leland Grove): How close did Brian Cavazos-Galvez come to making your top 10? Were you impressed with his season in the MWL?
Not all that close, although he's in the
teens. He really got going in the second half last year once he stopped
trying to pull the ball. He's got above-average bat speed and power, so
he is a guy to watch. But he also has a very aggressive approach, only
drawing 12 walks all season last year, so we'll have to see how that
plays against better pitching.
Chris (Charleston, WV): How would you evaluate Aaron Miller's season?
His numbers in the Cal League were fine,
but the problem was his velocity dipped into the high 80s. He was hit
hard in a short trial at Double-A, and the Dodgers have tried to give
him smoother mechanics. His slider looked plus at times, and doing that
should make it more consistent.
Jason (Iowa): Hey Jim, thanks for the chat. I
was surprised to see Trayvon Robinson so low on the list. The writeup
also sounded very positive on him. I'd personally have him number 3 on
my list. Am I way off base here, or is this a case where the number
3-10 prospects are very close and could be ordered in many different
For me, the question with Robinson was how
much offensive upside has. He'll probably settle in as a solid
.270-.280 hitter who gives you 15-20 homers, but it's hard to project
him to be above-average in either area. And there was some doubt among
scout about whether his bat is good enough for him to be more than a
Jasen (FLL): Does Lee have true ace potential?
I wouldn't want to put that label on a guy
who's never thrown a pro pitch. But with three potential plus pitches
and polish for his age, I think he can be pretty darn good.
Frank (NYC): Thoughts on Leon Landry?
Landry made strides last year during the
college season at LSU when he adjusted his approach and started
controlling the strike zone better. He won't hit many home runs, but his
other tools could all be average or better.
Jim (LA): Blake Smith took a huge step forward
in 2010 compared to his 2009 season, are people projecting him as a
starter or just a reserve still? I hope another strong year will put the
pitching option to rest for him
Well, the Dodgers haven't forgotten about
his pitching potential, I'll say that. But this was a nice turnaround
for him, hitting 19 homers for Great Lakes. He'll have to keep hitting
those homers though if he wants to stay off the mound, and there are
still doubts about whether he'll hit enough against advanced pitching.
Chris (Brentwood, CA): Does this team even have a viable catching prospect? JT Wise is not getting any younger and Tony Delmonico seemed to regress.
It's not a pretty picture behind the plate
right now, as evidenced by the fact that I had no other option than to
put Dioner Navarro as the Dodgers' 2014 catcher. Delmonico was the top
guy I had back there, and his catching has a ways to go. Gorman
Erickson, who made last year's top 30, is an impressive looking defender
but his offensive upside looks limited.
JAYPERS (IL): What does Kyle Russell best project as, and did his K rate keep him out of the top 10?
The K rate is part of it, but it goes
deeper than that. Russell has plenty of power, there's no doubt about
that. But he has a long, uppercut swing and struggles to handle breaking
pitches. He could probably give a team 20 homers a year in the majors,
but they'd have to live with his strikeouts and not much in the way of
Bryan (San Francisco): I know he signed late,
what can you tell us about Joc Pederson? He got the second highest
bonus from the Dodgers in last year's draft so they must like him. Was
he close to the Top 10?
The Dodgers gave Pederson $600,000 at the
deadline to keep him away from USC. He's got a good pedigree, as his
father, Stu, played for the Dodgers in 1985. He doesn't have any tools
that blow you away, but he's got good baseball instincts, a sound swing
and the potential for average raw power. He's a slightly above-average
runner, and those instincts give him a chance to stick in center field.
As for his ranking, he's in the Handbook but not that close to the Top
Brandon (Pasadena): Jansen dominated NL hitters
during his 27 innings, Elbert has not even though he has only been used
in middle relief while in the majors. Why Elbert over Jansen? They both
have control issues
Elbert has a viable secondary pitch with
his slider, which is something Jansen doesn't have right now. And
there's still some belief within the organization that Elbert can be a
starter, even if that won't be his role in 2011, so that gives him
Brandon (Pasadena): Since you put Elbert in the
top 10 as a middle relief pitcher, what do the scouts think of Javier
Solano, the 20 year old in AA last year?
Solano could be a decent two-pitch middle
reliever thanks to his low 90s fastball and solid curvball. There are
some concerns about whether he'll be able to stay in shape though.
Grant (Miami): Could you give us a brief rundown on James Baldwin? Thanks Jim.
Baldwin, the Dodgers' fourth round pick
last year and son of the former big league pitcher of the same name,
profiles similarly to Leon Landry. He's more raw than Landry, as you'd
expect since Baldwin's a high school pick, and rates higher in terms of
speed. But both can be plus defenders in center field who'll hit for a
solid average without much power.
Brandon (Pasadena): Has Josh Lindblom completely lost it, or will he rebound now that's he will be in the bullpen full time?
His velocity was down while he was
starting for Albuquerque last year but had picked back up into the 94-95
range by the fall, so the Dodgers are hoping he'll be able to maintain
that as a full-time reliever this year.
Nora (GA): Biggest sleeper in the organization to keep an eye on is?
I'll nominate another player the Dodgers
gave a six-figure bonus to as a late-round pick, outfielder Scott
Schebler. Their 26th rounder from Des Moines Area CC last year, Schebler
fits the same mold as Baldwin and Landry, but possibly with more power.
He also might not be quite as fast as those two and probably won't be
playing center field if he's along side Landry next year, but he's got
above-average speed in his own right.
Brandon (Lennox): Who got more consideration for the top 10: Jonathan Garcia or James Baldwin?
Baldwin's higher in the Top 30. I do like
Garcia though, he's got a promising swing and power. He has to get more
selective, but he's only 19 so there's time for that. Conditioning is
another thing he'll have to watch if he's going to remain in the
Brandon (Pasadena): I recently saw Pedro Baez
at the Dodger workout, physically he was the most imposing athlete
there. What are the scouts thoughts on him?
His plus power remains impressive, but he
gets too pull-conscious and swings at too many pitchers' pitches. As a
defender, he can be spectacular when he has his mind in the game, but he
can lose focus and boot some routine plays at times.
Brett (Denver): How many from this top 10 list do you see making the top 100?
I'd say the top three should be safe bets
to make it. I'd be a little surprised if it's more than that but
wouldn't completely rule out Withrow, Webster or Sands.
bill (pheonix): Matt Magill pitched pretty well
this year. Do most scouts think his stuff can't can't get advanced
hitters out? Because it doesn't seem like he gets much respect from
other org. lists. Where do you think he ranks if he puts up same numbers
Magill doesn't have anything that's
above-average, but he has a feel for four pitches and his velocity has
picked up a bit since he signed as a 31st rounder in 2008. He can get it
up to 88-92 mph now and has some deception. Again, nothing spectacular,
but he can be a back-of-the-rotation type.
Todd (Tosa): Where did Garret Gould fall on the list? What's his ceiling? Where do you see him starting this year? Thanks for the chat!
Gould's in the teens. He didn't show the
same velocity last summer as he did leading up the '09 draft, pitchimg
mostly in the 88-91 mph range with Ogden. He has a very good curveball
though, so he can be a mid-rotation starter if his velocity picks back
up. He should be in Great Lakes this year.
Freddy (Tennessee): Justin Sellers big breakout
in 2010, will it mean anything for him in the organization and was he
in the top 11-20 prospect rankings?
Let's keep the Albuquerque factor in mind
with Sellers. He hadn't hit more than six homers in any season before
hitting a career-best 14 last year, and 10 of those were in Albuquerque.
He's a usable defender at shortstop but scouts don't see him bringing
enough to the table to be more than a big league bench player.
JD (AZ): Jim, did Travis Schlichting figure into the top 30?
No, he came up short in spite of his solid
big league showing last year. He's a sinkerballer with a couple of
average secondary pitches, but he doesn't have a real putaway offering
and needs to command better.
Marlin (Clinton Township, MI): Nathan Eovaldi has an excellent HR ratio, but low K rate, and gives up way too many hits.
What does he have to work on to get better?
He shows an above-average curveball at
times, but he has a wrap in his arm action that causes inconsistency. He
needs to command the zone better also.
Bryan (San Diego): Was there ever any reason
other than "personal reasons" given for Elbert's absence at the end of
the summer? Is there a concern moving forward that he may be a
head-case, or is this behind him?
The Dodgers were very tight lipped about
what was really going on, and we may never know the full story. I was
told he came back to the team a different person and a much hungrier
player, so hopefully that carries over to this year.
KyleS (Loudonville, NY): Hey Jim, Could you give me a scouting report on RHP Ralston Cash? Thanks
Cash was the Dodgers' second round pick
last year. He's got an average fastball right now and the Dodgers
believe he can add some more heat as he matures. He'll show flashes of a
nice curveball at times and he also has a changeup that's further away.
He could be a mid-rotation guy if it all works out.
Brandon (Pasadena): Do you have any information
on Derek Cone, as in how hard he throws or what his other pitches are?
he signed late for a decent bonus and has a great pitcher's frame.
I'll wrap it up with this one. The
Dodgers' 31st round pick last year, Cone's a guy the Dodgers feel could
be a late bloomer and just snuck into the back of the top 30. He's a
strikethrower with a 90-91 mph fastball right now, and the Dodgers think
he'll add to that once he fills out. His curveball is his best
secondary offering and he's shown a feel for a changeup as well.
Thanks for all the questions. Come back on
Monday for Matt Eddy's Padres chat. Oh, and be sure to order those