2013 Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects With Scouting Reports




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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.

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Los Angeles Dodgers

What a difference a year makes. The Dodgers have gone from the thriftiness and legal battles of the Frank McCourt era to buying the biggest houses in Beverly Hills, with no signs of slowing down.

After two years of watching McCourt's ownership spiral downward, the Dodgers finally began turning the page when he agreed to sell the team via bankruptcy auction in November 2011. In late March 2012, Guggenheim Baseball Management won control of the team, beating out bids by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban among others.

GBM bid $2.15 billion for the Dodgers, obliterating the U.S. sports record of $1.1 billion the Miami Dolphins went for in 2009. The group, which is led by Mark Walter and also includes Los Angeles Lakers icon Magic Johnson and former Braves and Nationals president Stan Kasten, figures to make back its money with a proposed deal to start a new regional sports network that will be worth an estimated $6 billion.

Money has been flowing freely since the sale. No longer shackled by McCourt's financial limitations, the Dodgers most decidedly entered win-now mode.

General manager Ned Colletti went all-out to fortify the big league roster during the 2012 season, making a pair of blockbuster trades. He picked up Hanley Ramirez and the $36.5 million remaining on his contract from the Marlins in late July, then took on $261 million in salary commitments by acquiring Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez from the Red Sox in August.

The moves didn't pan out, at least not in 2012. Los Angeles held first place in the National League West as late as Aug. 19, but went 19-21 the rest of the way to finish with 86 wins, eight fewer than the Giants. Undaunted, the Dodgers kept spending.

In early December, Los Angeles signed Korean lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu for six years and $36 million and also paid his former team a $25,737,737.33 posting fee. On the same weekend, the Dodgers made Zack Greinke the second highest-paid pitcher ever with a six-year, $147 million deal. The club is poised to open 2013 with a big league payroll north of $210 million.

With Los Angeles locked into veterans up and down the roster, opportunities for young players look limited in the immediate future. In all, the Dodgers sent 12 prospects or young big leaguers away in various trades in 2012, with James Loney the only true veteran shipped out. The list of the departed included talented righthanders Rubby de la Rosa, Nate Eovaldi, Ethan Martin and Allen Webster.

Still, the franchise's new wealth should trickle down to benefit player development. Though new rules prevented Los Angeles from spending freely in the draft, their $6.3 million in bonuses represented a sizeable increase over the $3.5 million McCourt authorized in 2011. The Dodgers made a much bigger splash internationally in June, landing Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig with a $42 million big league deal that shocked many clubs who were more skeptical of his ability.

Puig and 2012 first-round pick Corey Seager now rank as the best hitters in the system. Despite the departure of several valuable young arms via trades, the strength of system remains pitching, with seven hurlers ranked among the top 10 prospects. Ryu headlines an impressive crop of lefthanders that also features Chris Reed, Onelki Garcia and Paco Rodriguez, all premium picks from the last two drafts.

1. Hyun-Jin Ryu, lhp Born: Mar 25, 1987 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 215
Signed: Korea '12. Signed by: Byung-Hwan An
Hyun-Jin RyuBackground: The Dodgers have known Ryu since he was in high school and followed him throughout his pro career in Korea. He had Tommy John surgery as an amateur yet took the Korean Baseball Organization by storm in 2006 when he went 18-6, 2.23 for Hanwha at age 19 and became the first player in league history to  win rookie of the year and MVP awards in the same season. Ryu won two games for South Korea at the 2008 Olympics, highlighted by his 81⁄3 innings in a 3-2 gold-medal victory against Cuba. He worked in relief at the 2009 World Baseball Classic and kept putting up numbers in the KBO. He led the league in strikeouts five times in his seven seasons, including last year with 210 in 183 innings, and compiled a 98-52, 2.80 record. However, he went just 9-9 in 2012 for Hanwha and at times seemed bored pitching against inferior hitters for the KBO's worst team. Ryu repeatedly had expressed a desire to play in the United States, and Hanwha granted his wish by posting him after the season. Los Angeles, continuing its new willingness to spend to the max, submitted the winning bid of $25,737,737.33 in November. Represented by Scott Boras, Ryu's negotiations with the Dodgers stretched to the limit of the 30-day window, after which he would have had to return to Hanwha. On the same December weekend that the Dodgers made Zack Greinke the second-highest paid pitcher in big league history, they got a deal done with Ryu. He signed a six-year, $36 million contract that included a $5 million bonus and an opt-out clause after five seasons if he reaches certain performance levels.

Scouting Report: Ryu has the weapons to step into Los Angeles' rotation immediately. He runs his fastball up to 94 mph and sits at 92-93. His heater has some cutting action and he can locate it to both sides of the plate. Most scouts who watched him in Korea thought his changeup was his best secondary offering, though the Dodgers believe more in his slider. Both are quality options. His slider is crisp with sharp, late break when he has it going. He does sometimes get around the ball when he's not able to pitch out front, causing the slider to get slurvy. He gets good arm speed on his fading changeup, eliciting some swings and misses with it. He also has a fourth pitch in a slow curveball he can flip up to the plate. The curve has good depth but sits in the high 60s, and he uses it mainly as an early-count pitch. Ryu isn't a bad athlete, but he has a portly build and will have to keep his weight in check. He had gotten overweight at the end of 2012 but is back in shape. He does a fine job of repeating his delivery, throwing strikes and getting downhill plane on his pitches. Some major league teams were wary of his workload in Korea, where he logged 1,269 innings in seven years from ages 19-25, combined with his having had Tommy John surgery as an amateur. He threw more than 200 innings in each of his first two KBO seasons at ages 19 and 20.

The Future: Ryu's contract includes a clause that forbids him from being sent to the minor leagues without his consent. That shouldn't be an issue. Projected to be the first player to go directly from the KBO to the majors, he'll be the Dodgers' No. 3 starter behind Clayton Kershaw and Greinke.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
Did Not Play

2. Yasiel Puig, of Born: Dec 7, 1990 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 215
Signed: Cuba '12. Signed by: Mike Brito/Paul Fryer
Yasiel PuigBackground: One of the Dodgers' first big outlays under new club ownership was a seven-year, $42 million major league contract for Puig that included a club-record $12 million bonus. The deal was widely questioned around the game given his history. Before defecting to Mexico, he had been barred from playing in Cuba's professional league for the 2011-12 season for disciplinary reasons. He hadn't played in a live game in nearly a year when he signed, with teams only getting to see him in a few workouts.

Scouting Report: Puig has the tools to justify his contract. He's a physical specimen, generating explosive bat speed and plus-plus raw power. He could stand to incorporate his lower body a little better, but he shows a good load and an ability to get through the ball, so he should hit for solid averages. He does need to be more selective, however, and not get impatient when he sees fewer fastballs. Puig has the speed for center field but his above-average arm makes him a better fit in right. Some observers question his maturity, as he rubbed opponents and scouts the wrong way during his time with high Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

The Future: Los Angeles sees Puig as the most talented position player to come through its system since Matt Kemp. He'll begin 2013 back in high Class A but could move quickly.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'12 Dodgers (R) 30 10 12 0 3 4 11 6 7 1 1 .400 .500 1.000
'12 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 52 10 17 2 0 1 4 6 8 7 4 .327 .407 .423
Minor League Totals 82 20 29 2 3 5 15 12 15 8 5 .354 .442 .634

3. Corey Seager, ss Born: Apr 27, 1994 B-T: L-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 195
Drafted: Northwest Cabarrus HS, Concord, N.C., 2012 (1st round).  Signed by: Lon Joyce
Corey SeagerBackground: The younger brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager, Corey rose up draft boards last spring, eventually landing an above-slot $2.35 million bonus from the Dodgers as the 18th overall pick. Los Angeles hadn't used its top choice on a position player since taking James Loney 19th overall in 2002.

Scouting Report: Seager has an advanced bat and easily transitioned to pro ball in his debut. He has a clean lefty swing, with good direction to the ball and the ability to keep the bat head in the hitting zone a long time. He ropes line drives to all fields, and he generates enough backspin and loft to hit for above-average power down the road. Seager exudes polish for his age and shows a natural ability to slow the game down, both at the plate and in the field. He already has a physical frame and should get stronger in time. He's an average runner who doesn't have great range at shortstop, though he makes up for it with first-step quickness and his feel for positioning. He has soft hands and the arm to stay on the left side of the infield.

The Future: Seager likely will face a move to third base at some point, but the Dodgers will keep him at shortstop to start his career. He has all the makings of an impact bat and could move quickly for a high school player. He'll begin his first full pro season at low Class A Great Lakes.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'12 Ogden (R) 175 34 54 9 2 8 33 21 33 8 2 .309 .383 .520
Minor League Totals 175 34 54 9 2 8 33 21 33 8 2 .309 .383 .520

4. Joc Pederson, of Born: Apr 21, 1992 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 185
Drafted: Palo Alto (Calif.) HS, 2010 (11th round).  Signed by: Orsino Hill
Joc PedersonBackground: Pederson could have played baseball at Southern California and walked on to the football team as a wide receiver, but he instead turned pro for $600,000 at the 2010 signing deadline. His father Stu played briefly for the Dodgers in 1985. Joc took off in the second half of 2012, batting .328/.410/.595 with 16 homers and 18 steals, and won the organization's minor league player of the year award. He played in the Arizona Fall League and for Israel in a World Baseball Classic qualifier after the season.

Scouting Report: Pederson swings with controlled aggression. He attacks balls yet does a good job of keeping his hands back, spraying line drives all over the field. Los Angeles wants to improve his posture when he swings, as he tends to dip his head, but the ball jumps off his bat. He does a good job of imparting backspin, leading the Dodgers to believe his power has a chance to keep emerging as he ages, as it did with Andre Ethier. Pederson isn't a blazer, but he has the athleticism and speed to play center field. His average arm gives him a chance to play in right field as well. His tireless work ethic and grinder mentality draw praise.

The Future: Pederson will see time at all three outfield positions moving forward, given that he's unlikely to unseat Matt Kemp in center field. Pederson still has the tools to be an above-average regular, and he'll move up to Double-A Chattanooga for 2013.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'10 Dodgers (R) 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 0 0 .000 .417 .000
'11 Great Lakes (LoA) 50 4 8 0 0 0 1 7 9 2 0 .160 .288 .160
'11 Ogden (R) 266 54 94 20 2 11 64 36 54 24 5 .353 .429 .568
'12 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 434 96 136 26 4 18 70 51 81 26 14 .313 .396 .516
Minor League Totals 757 155 238 46 6 29 135 98 149 52 19 .314 .401 .506

5. Zach Lee, rhp Born: Sep 13, 1991 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 190
Drafted: McKinney (Texas) HS, 2010 (1st round).  Signed by: Calvin Jones
Zach LeeBackground: Considered the 2010 draft's most unsignable player, Lee had committed to play quarterback and pitch at Louisiana State. But the Dodgers selected him 25th overall and signed him to a heavily backloaded two-sport deal worth $5.25 million, the largest draft bonus in franchise history. He has advanced rapidly, reaching Double-A at age 20.

Scouting Report: Lee doesn't have a truly dominant pitch, but his ability to command four solid offerings sets him apart from his peers. He has a physical frame and throws his fastball from 90-95 mph, with the projection to add more velocity. He can give his heater fastball sinking or cutting action. Lee's curveball and slider come in with similar 1-to-7 break. His slider has tighter rotation and rates slightly higher than his curve, which is softer and has more depth. He has feel for using his changeup, which could become a plus pitch. He shored up his direction to home plate last season, helping him work both sides of the plate. He's ahead of his years in terms of pitchability and mound presence.

The Future: Lee's lack of a knockout pitch keeps him from having true frontline potential, but he's a fairly safe bet to become a quality No. 3 starter. He could be ready to pitch in the majors in 2013, though Los Angeles won't rush him. He's ticketed for a return to Chattanooga.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'11 Great Lakes (LoA) 9 6 3.47 24 24 0 109 101 51 42 9 32 91 .236
'12 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 2 3 4.55 12 12 0 55 60 31 28 9 10 52 .265
'12 Chattanooga (AA) 4 3 4.25 13 13 0 66 69 37 31 6 22 51 .259
Minor League Totals 15 12 3.95 49 49 0 230 230 230 101 24 64 194 .250

6. Chris Reed, lhp Born: May 20, 1990 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 195
Drafted: Stanford, 2011 (1st round).  Signed by: Orsino Hill
Chris ReedBackground: Though he grew up in California, Reed was born in London and represented Great Britain in the 2012 Futures Game and in a World Baseball Classic qualifier in September. A reliever throughout his career at Stanford, he converted to a starter after signing for $1,589,000 as the 16th overall pick in 2011. Blister problems plagued him in his first full pro season, but he did reach Double-A.

Scouting Report: Reed has better raw stuff than 2010 first-rounder Zach Lee, his teammate at two stops last year, but he lacks Lee's command. Reed's fastball operates at 92-96 mph with heavy sink, and he complements it with a devastating spike slider that's hard with late movement when he has it working. The slider was the culprit behind his blister problems, however, and they remain a concern going forward. Reed's changeup looks good in flashes but remains a work in progress. His command has to improve, and Los Angeles wants him to stay more upright in his delivery, which should help him stay behind the ball better.

The Future: The Dodgers will loosen the reins on Reed in 2013. He could reach the majors quickly if he went back to the bullpen, but Los Angeles will continue developing him as a potential No. 3 starter. He'll head back for more fine-tuning at Double-A to open the season.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'11 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 0 1 7.71 3 3 0 7 9 6 6 1 4 9 .300
'12 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 1 4 3.09 7 6 0 35 25 12 12 1 14 38 .192
'12 Chattanooga (AA) 0 4 4.84 12 11 0 35 31 19 19 2 20 29 .226
Minor League Totals 1 9 4.32 22 20 0 77 65 65 37 4 38 76 .220

7. Onelki Garcia, lhp Born: Aug 2, 1989 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 220
Drafted: Los Angeles (no school), 2012 (3rd round).  Signed by: Dennis Moeller
Onelki GarciaBackground: After Garcia defected from Cuba in January 2011, MLB decided he would have to enter the draft rather than decreeing him a free agent. Los Angeles considered taking him with the first-round pick it used to draft Chris Reed, until MLB tabled Garcia's case and made him wait a year. The Dodgers stayed on him throughout, watching him pitch winter ball in Puerto Rico and in a local adult league, before taking him in the third round last June and signing him for $382,000.

Scouting Report: Garcia has two above-average pitches in his fastball and curveball. He sits in the low 90s with running action on his heater, and he touched 97 mph during his pro debut. His 12-to-6 curve is even tougher to square up, featuring good rotation and depth. He also throws a slider/cutter and a changeup, though those two pitches aren't as advanced. Garcia arrived with a good delivery and arm action to go with his strong, athletic build. The Dodgers like his makeup as much as his stuff.

The Future: Garcia struck out seven over three no-hit innings in a Double-A playoff game in September, looking like he could have pitched in the big leagues that day. He's 23 and certainly could reach the majors quickly, though he's expected to begin his first full season back in Chattanooga.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'12 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 0 0 0.00 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000
Minor League Totals 0 0 0.00 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000

8. Paco Rodriguez, lhp Born: Apr 16, 1991 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 215
Drafted: Florida, 2012 (2nd round).  Signed by: Scott Hennessey
Paco RodriguezBackground: Rodriguez was a bullpen mainstay for Florida teams that reached three straight College World Series from 2010-12. Dodgers scouts who watched him saw a major league-ready reliever and he lived up to that billing after signing for $610,800 as a second-rounder. He became the first 2012 draftee to reach the majors, allowing one run in 11 September appearances.

Scouting Report: Rodriguez does have quality stuff, but his deception is what sets him apart. He hides the ball well and has funk to his arm action. Los Angeles had him tone down the high leg lift he used in college because an umpire they consulted said he'd likely be called for balks in the majors. His best pitch is a high-80s cutter that continually beats up the hands of righties. His fastball ranges from 88-93 mph with armside life, so he can run his pitches to either side of the plate. He also has a sweepy slider and occasionally will unveil a changeup. Rodriguez's control and mound poise are two more assets. He wasn't awed by his surroundings in the big leagues.

The Future: While Rodriguez may not have the upside of a closer, the future is now for him as a set-up man. He should be back in Los Angeles to open 2013.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'12 Great Lakes (LoA) 0 0 0.00 6 0 2 6 4 0 0 0 0 10 .182
'12 Chattanooga (AA) 1 0 1.32 15 0 3 14 7 2 2 0 6 22 .146
'12 Los Angeles (MAJ) 0 1 1.35 11 0 0 7 3 1 1 0 4 6 .130
Major League Totals 0 1 1.29 11 0 0 7 3 3 1 0 4 6 .125
Minor League Totals 1 0 0.90 21 0 5 20 11 11 2 0 6 32 .155

9. Matt Magill, rhp Born: Nov 10, 1989 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 190
Drafted: Royal HS, Simi Valley, Calif., 2008 (31st round).  Signed by: Chuck Crim
Matt MagillBackground: Magill had a below-average fastball and rough mechanics as a high school senior in 2008, but area scout Chuck Crim persuaded Los Angeles to invest a 31st-round pick and $75,000 in him. A former big league pitcher, Crim shifted to coaching in 2009, and the two have reunited at several stops, including last season in Double-A. Magill led the Southern League in strikeouts (168) and strikeout rate (10.3 per nine innings), and the Dodgers give Crim much of the credit for his development.

Scouting Report: Magill has added mass to his frame and smoothed out his delivery over the years, adding velocity to his fastball. He can hit 94-95 mph early in games and sits at 91-92 as he gets deeper into outings. He pounds the strike zone with his fastball, which runs in on righthanders. Magill has a legitimate strikeout pitch in his sharp, late-breaking slider, which he can also throw for a strike in any count. His changeup is rudimentary but does have some fade. He draws raves for his blend of pitching smarts and aggressiveness, showing the right demeanor to be a big league pitcher.

The Future: Los Angeles added Magill to its 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft and will send him to Triple-A Albuquerque in 2013. He has the ceiling of a No. 3 starter and could be ready to pitch in the majors by the end of the season.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'08 Dodgers (R) 1 2 3.34 11 3 1 30 30 16 11 2 9 25 .252
'09 Ogden (R) 6 3 4.00 15 15 0 72 59 43 32 7 30 55 .215
'10 Great Lakes (LoA) 7 4 3.28 24 20 2 126 87 50 46 13 52 135 .187
'11 R. Cucamonga (HiA) 11 5 4.33 26 21 0 139 156 78 67 15 52 126 .272
'12 Chattanooga (AA) 11 8 3.75 26 26 0 146 127 71 61 8 61 168 .224
Minor League Totals 36 22 3.81 102 85 3 513 459 459 217 45 204 509 .230

10. Ross Stripling, rhp Born: Nov 23, 1989 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 190
Drafted: Texas A&M, 2012 (5th round).  Signed by: Clint Bowers
Ross StriplingBackground: Stripling didn't take up pitching full-time until his senior year of high school, and he originally joined Texas A&M as a walk-on. He blossomed in 2011, tying for the NCAA Division I lead with 14 wins, then spurned the Rockies as a ninth-round pick that summer. He went 10-4, 3.08 as a senior, which included a no-hitter against San Diego State on the day he was scheduled to graduate last May. He signed a month later for $130,000 as a fifth-rounder.

Scouting Report: In his pro debut, Stripling impressed the Dodgers both with his stuff and his feel for using it. His fastball sat at 92-93 mph with run and sink last summer at Rookie-level Ogden. His velocity picked up from the 88-91 mph he showed in college, and Los Angeles believes there's more in there if can incorporate his lower half better in his delivery. Stripling's best pitch is a 12-to-6 curveball with plus potential, and he also has a fading changeup. The Dodgers see Stripling as a gutsy competitor. He's extremely athletic, has a clean arm action and commands the ball to both sides of the plate.

The Future: The Dodgers felt fortunate to get Stripling in the fifth round. They see the makings of a No. 3 starter who can climb through the system quickly. He could skip a level and begin his first full pro season in high Class A.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'12 Ogden (R) 1 0 1.24 14 12 0 36 26 7 5 0 6 37 .193
Minor League Totals 1 0 1.25 14 12 0 36 26 26 5 0 6 37 .194