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.
Jim Shonerd will answer Dodgers questions beginning at 2 p.m. ET.
Thanks for stopping by, everyone. Let's talk Dodgers prospects.
Mara (Dallas, TX): What kept James Baldwin from reaching your top 10?
Baldwin's tools got him very close to the
top 10. He's an outstanding athlete and the Dodgers believe he'll have
solid power. He can be a frontline center fielder as well. But his feel
for hitting still has a ways to go. He'll give at-bats away at times and
his swing can get long. He's only 20 though, so there's time for him to
get better and the Dodgers believe he'll have a solid hit tool
Frank (Chicago): What is Alex Santana's ceiling? Top 30 prospect in your opinion?
Santana is very raw. He was just 17 at the
time the Dodgers took him in the second-round of the draft this year,
one of the youngest players in the class. He'll be in the Handbook
though. His physical tools are there in his power and strong arm, but
the Dodgers have already moved him to third base after he was a
shortstop in high school. He profiles there thanks to his above-average
power potential, but he'll need some time.
Harry (LA, CA): How far off the top 10 was Angelo Songco? How many of his dingers were the result of playing in the CAL, in your opinion?
Yeah, Songco tore up the Cal League,
finishing second in the league with 29 homers, but scouts question
whether he really has the power to make it as a first baseman, where he
moved in the second half of the season as the Dodgers felt his
athleticism was declining. One encouraging development was how much
better he hit against lefthanded pitching. A lefty swinger, Songco
slugged .478 against southpaws in 2011, compared to .346 in 2010.
Jake (St Louis): Has Kyle Russell's stock risen or dropped since last year? Still in your top 30?
Russell is still the same guy, and he is
still in the top 30. The general opinion is still that if you give him a
full season of at-bats in the majors, he could give you 20 or more
homers with an average in the .230-.250 range and, of course, plenty of
Grant (NYC): Blake Smith - prospect or suspect?
Prospect. He's got above-average raw
power, albeit with doubts about how much he'll hit for average. And
don't forget that he could throw 94 mph off the mound in his amateur
days, and the Dodgers wouldn't hesitate to convert him if his
development as a hitter stagnates.
Laura (San Francisco): I was surprised not to see Jonathan Garcia make an appearance. Could you summarize him for us?
Garcia started off red hot last season,
hitting seven homers in April in the Midwest League — not an easy thing
to do. But he cooled off the rest of the year and ended up hitting
.228/.290/.420 with 19 homers. He does have impressive power potential,
but his approach was inconsistent last season and opponents could beat
him by pitching backwards. He's got a strong enough arm to stay in right
field, where he played every day for Great Lakes in 2011, but he's got
below-average speed and will have to stay in shape.
Ben (Leland Grove): Had he remained, about where would Trayvon Robinson have ranked on your list?
Probably would've been in front of
Silverio as the best position prospect in the system. Losing Robinson
(along with graduating Gordon and Sands) has left the upper levels of
the system really thin on impact bats, although Federowicz does fill the
need they had for catching prospects.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Has RHP Ethan Martin's stock
risen, fallen or remained the same since you wrote this list last year?
Are the Dodgers considering at all moving him back to 3B, or is his
future on the mound?
It's dropped a bit since he hasn't
performed well for two years now, but Martin's stuff is still there. He
pitches in the mid-90s with a curveball that's plus in flashes, but he's
been undone by his lack of feel for pitching and inability to repeat
his delivery. The Dodgers didn't express any signs of giving up on him
as a pitcher in the near future. I'd expect he'll be back in Chattanooga
to start next year, as the Dodgers wanted to get him out of the Cal
William (Pensacola, FL): O'Koyea Dickson: He
hit and fielded well in the Pioneer League for me to get excited. Am I
the only one that finds him interesting ?
Dickson's got a shot. The Dodgers'
12th-round pick this year from Division II Sonoma State, Dickson has a
sound swing and some hitting ability. The question is whether he'll have
enough power to make it as a first baseman. The reports I have on him
only give him average raw power, which will hurt his chances since he
can't play any other positions.
Mike (Colorado): Thanks for the chat. That
being said "Red" Patterson had a strong year last year. He seemed like a
workhorse with 8 of his last 10 starts QS. Is he a prospect you
considered for the top 10?
Workhorse is a good word to describe
Patterson. He's not overwhelming and wasn't in the running for the Top
10, but he has a 90-94 mph fastball and his slider is his best pitch.
His delivery was a little rough when the Dodgers signed him as a
29th-round pick in 2010, but they've smoothed him out. He could be a
Jimmy (Butte, Montana): Which names on the list should make the top 100?
My guess is the top three of Lee, Webster and Eovaldi should make it. Silverio is probably borderline.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Which Dodgers top 10 list are you higher on - this year's or last year's?
Last year's, due to the previously mentioned lack of impact hitters at the upper levels.
Grant (NYC): Is Brian Cavazos-Galvez a viable prospect to you?
Even though Cavazos-Galvez held his own in
Double-A this year, batting .277/.311/.470, guys weren't into him as
much. He's a tough out and has some power, but he hit around the ball
too much and took a lot of defensive swings. He also moved from the
outfield to first base midway through the season, but scouts didn't
really see a defensive home for him anywhere. Most of the people I spoke
with felt it'd be a stretch for him to be an everyday major leaguer.
dale (boston): Looks like the Dodgers are very
thin in positional players. Other than outfielders, who do they have in
there system that will be able to help in 2012 and 2013?
Federowicz. But yeah, you pegged it right
that most of the organization's strength is in the outfield, as far as
hitting prospects go. Ivan De Jesus Jr. is still there in Triple-A, and
Gorman Erickson could be another catching option in the near future.
Erickson turned a corner last season, hitting more homers in 2011 (13)
in high Class A and Double-A than he had in his first four seasons put
Ken (Lakewood CA): Wondering if Scott Van Slyke
figures anywhere in the Dodger future? Maybe at 25 he's a bit old for a
prospect, but he seemed to have a good 2011 season. I've seen him
listed at 1B and the OF. What are his shortcomings, in your opinion?
Van Slyke has a nice swing and started
going to all fields more in 2011, keying his turnaround after he got
exposed in Double-A in 2010. He was put on the 40-man after the season
and will get a shot at Triple-A next year. If he keeps producing, he'll
get a crack at the majors sooner or later, though there are still doubts
about whether he can handle inside fastballs and major-league quality
jr (valencia,ca): What do you make of Ethan
Martin? Is he now a full time reliever, or might he be able to continue
working as a starter with the hope that he can develop into someone who
can slot into a middle of a rotation?
Already did a Martin question, but I want to add that the Dodgers say he will return to the rotation next year.
Brandon (Pasadena): Does Javy Guerra still
qualify as a BA prospect? He was under 50 IP, but do you have an
appearance limit? If he does qualify, how close was he to making the
Yes, we set the limits at 50 innings OR 30 appearances, and Guerra made 47 for the Dodgers this year.
Brandon (Pasadena): Were any scouts impressed
with Angel Sanchez? He had a great ERA and batting average against,
especially for a Dominican player making his professional debut in the
Midwest League, but his K/9 was a bit suspect. Did he make your top 30?
Sanchez is in the top 30, definitely a
name to watch going forward. He's got a power arm, throwing his heater
at 92-96 mph, and a quality changeup. His slurvy curveball is a
work-in-progress though, and he needs to tighten his command.
Brandon (Pasadena): What happened to Pedro Baez? Any talk about moving him to the mound?
Baez injured his left (non-throwing)
shoulder diving for a ball. That was the same shoulder he'd already hurt
in 2010. As far as his performance goes, Baez is just a really streaky
hitter. He's got plus power and is an outstanding defender with a cannon
arm, but he goes through stretches where he gets out of rhythm and
swings through everything. And yes, one Dodgers exec did in fact mention
the possibility of putting him on the mound. Not saying it's going to
happen soon, but it's something to keep in mind.
Vanessa (Vegas): Did Aaron Miller's injuries set him far enough behind the other pitchers that he is purely being looked at as a reliever now?
After a strong 2010, a sports hernia
limited Miller to 10 appearances in 2011, during which he struggled
while pitching through pain. Moving forward, I didn't get the sense that
the Dodgers are looking at him as anything other than a starter right
now. He's behind the curve a bit, having turned 24 in September, but the
Dodgers feel they've got enough pitching depth that they don't need to
rush him. He was showing mid-rotation potential when healthy.
@Jaypers413 (IL): Shawn Tolleson put up some
eye-popping numbers in relief this year. Was he considered for the top
10, and do you see him in the bigs next year?
Tolleson was close to the top 10 and could
definitely pitch in the majors next season. A 30th-round pick from
Baylor in 2010, Tolleson dominated three levels this year and one
Dodgers official said he could've pitched in the majors already. He was a
starter in college, but his herky-jerky delivery and combo of a 93-96
mph four-seamer, cutter and slider have made him deadly as a reliever.
Brandon (Pasadena): Who would you say is the biggest sleeper in the Dodgers minor league system?
Angel Sanchez is a good one as a guy not
many people know about yet. Another one is righthander Scott Barlow, the
Dodgers' sixth-round pick this year. His fastball was fringy in high
school, but he added weight after the draft and was pitching at 90-93
and touching 94 in instructional league. He has a quality curveball
that's his best secondary pitch, along with a slider and changeup. The
Dodgers were also encouraged by his clean mechanics and feel for
felix (puerto Rico): Stephen Ames, top 30? How good is he?
Ames fell short of the Top 30. He has a
decent fastball at 91-93 mph with some tailing action, but his secondary
stuff didn't impress consistently. He competes and is usually around
the zone, though that leads to him giving up his share of hits. He could
be a sixth- or seventh-inning guy, but probably not more than that.
Austin (Amherst, MA): Even though it was a
small sample size Nate Eovaldi showed he can start in the majors late
last year. Whats the reservation about him being in that role long term?
His changeup got some mixed reviews, which
was where that thought came from. It's not great, but most observers
felt it was adequate enough for him succeed as a starter.
Paul (Baltimore, MD): Are you optimistic about Leon Landry? Did he fall much in your rankings this year?
Tough year for Landry, hitting
.250/.307/.360 as a college guy in the Midwest League, so he did take a
fall. Scouts weren't impressed with his sweepy swing, and his approach
was inconsistent. Defensively, he could be a major league outfielder
though, and he drew a Dave Roberts comparison.
That's going to wrap it up for me. Thanks
again for coming out. If you have any other questions that can be
answered in 140 characters or less, hit me up on twitter @jimshonerdBA.
We'll be taking a break from Top 10s during the Winter Meetings,
returning on Monday, Dec. 12 with Matt Eddy's Padres list.