Edwin Rios Rising in Deep System
LOS ANGELES—It is a sign of just how deep the Dodgers’ farm system has become that Edwin Rios can’t crack the list of its top prospects.
That could change very soon if Rios continues the type of production he showed in 2016. It was Rios—not more heralded blue-chip prospects Cody Bellinger, Willie Calhoun or Alex Verdugo—who was named the 2016 Branch Rickey Award winner as the Dodgers’ top minor league position player.
"We knew about Edwin’s sweet stroke and raw power when he entered our system,” Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler said. "(Scouting director) Billy Gasparino and our scouting department did a sensational job of illuminating his strengths and sharing where he’d been. What we didn’t have was a full appreciation for his leadership characteristics. Edwin is unquestionably among our most well-liked players.”
A sixth-round pick out of Florida International in 2015, the Puerto Rico native might also be among the Dodgers’ best power prospects with 30 home runs in less than 500 career at-bats. Last year he progressed from low Class A Great Lakes all the way to Double-A Tulsa, hitting a combined .301 with 27 home runs and a .908 OPS.
Rios, 22, credits his progress in part to an offseason workout regimen at strength and conditioning coach Tom Shaw’s facility in Orlando (near Rios’ home in Kissimmee, Fla.). Big leaguers Carlos Gonzalez and Martin Prado were workout partners there and Gonzalez, in particular, has become a friend and mentor to Rios.
"I got to see what his work ethic is and what it takes. It tells me I still have a lot of work to do,” Rios said of those winter workouts. "That competition this offseason was great. I was just trying to match what they were doing.”
• The Dodgers announced their minor league coaching staffs for 2017. They will return completely intact at Triple-A, Double-A and high Class A, including managers Bill Haselman (Triple-A Oklahoma City), Ryan Garko (Double-A Tulsa) and Drew Saylor (high Class A Rancho Cucamonga).
• Just a few weeks after signing him to a minor league deal, the Dodgers sold the contract of Dominican righthander Alexis Candelario to the Seibu Lions. Candelario, 34, has already played in four different countries over the past five years—Mexico, Venezuela, the United States and Italy.
Top MLB Prospects Hot Sheet (8/5/19)
Ranking baseball's 20 hottest prospects from the last week, headlined by Padres farmhand Ty France.
— Bill Plunkett covers the Dodgers for the Orange County Register