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Gordon's father Tom pitched 22 seasons in the majors, winning 138 games and saving 158 in a career that ended in 2009, but Dee didn't take up baseball until his senior year of high school. A basketball player up to that point, he quickly took to the diamond. Gordon went undrafted out of high school in 2006 and landed at Southeastern (Fla.), where he hit .378 in his one season at the NAIA school. He planned to transfer to Seminole (Fla.) CC for his sophomore season, but a problem with his high school transcript nixed that plan. That's when his father's connections came in handy. The elder Gordon roomed with Dodgers farm director DeJon Watson in the minors when Dee was born, and he tipped Watson off about his son. After working him out, Los Angeles took Gordon in the fourth round of the 2008 draft and signed him for $250,000. He batted .331 in Rookie-level Ogden in his pro debut, won MVP honors in the low Class A Midwest League in his first full season and started at shortstop for the U.S. team in the Futures Game last summer. The Dodgers jumped him two levels to Double-A Chattanooga in 2010, and he responded by leading the Southern League with 53 steals. Managers voted him the league's most exciting player. Gordon's athleticism is off the charts, giving him the potential for four plus tools. He has a short, compact swing that's geared to let him take advantage of his well above-average speed. He did a better job of taking balls back up the middle last season, and he has a knack for barreling up balls and spraying line drives from gap to gap. He has plus bat speed and while he's primarily a fastball hitter, he has shown he can adjust to breaking pitches. Though he hits balls hard consistently, Gordon lacks power and his approach isn't designed for it, so he'll likely max out at 10 homers per year. He did a better job of incorporating the bunt into his game last year, and he has the skills to be an effective top-of-the-order hitter. He comes to the plate with an aggressive mentality, however, and needs to learn to see more pitches. He carries that same aggressiveness with him on the bases and in the field as well. Along with leading the SL in steals, he also ranked first by getting caught stealing 20 times, the second consecutive season he's topped his league in both categories. He has blazing speed but still has to learn to pick his spots. Gordon is a flashy defender whose range allows him to reach balls few can, and he has an above-average arm. However, he can get a bit out of control on defense and led SL shortstops with 37 errors in 133 games. He rushes plays at times and makes some ill-advised, off-balance throws. Most of Gordon's deficiencies should be correctable with experience, and all the tools are there for him to be an above-average major league shortstop and leadoff hitter. He followed up his strong season with an outstanding turn with Carolina in the Puerto Rican League. He'll move up to Triple-A Albuquerque in 2011 and should be ready to make his big league debut by September, if not sooner.
A highly rated quarterback recruit headed to Louisiana State, Lee was considered the 2010 draft's most unsignable player. When the Dodgers took him 28th overall, there was speculation they did so to save money by not signing him. Lee went to LSU's campus to take summer classes and participate in football workouts before Los Angeles shocked the industry by signing him at the Aug. 16 deadline for $5.25 million, the largest draft bonus in franchise history. Lee has a chance to have three plus pitches. His lively fastball sits in the low 90s and was hitting 95 mph during instructional league. He also attacks hitters with a power curveball that gets slurvy at times but has above-average potential, and he has a changeup that's advanced for his age. Despite his two-sport background, Lee is very polished for a high school pitcher. He has a smooth delivery with no real flaws, and he's beyond his years in terms of command and pitchability. Lee has the makings of a true frontline starter. One of the Dodgers' selling points in getting him to sign was their recent success in developing young pitchers, and he could move quickly for a high school player. He'll make his pro debut at low Class A Great Lakes.
De la Rosa's U.S. debut in 2009 didn't go auspiciously, as he posted a 6.06 ERA in five games before getting sent home to the Dominican Republic for disciplinary reasons. One year later, he was the Dodgers' minor league pitcher of the year after going 7-2, 2.37 and reaching Double-A. De la Rosa weighed 130 pounds and threw 89-91 mph when he signed as an 18-year-old. Since getting on a proper diet, he has added 40 pounds of quality weight and fueled his breakout with a fastball that lights up radar guns. He pitches at 95-96 mph and registered as high as 102 mph at Great Lakes. He's capable of holding that velocity deep into games and finding an extra gear when he needs it. De la Rosa has two promising secondary pitches in his changeup and slider. His changeup is the more consistent of the two, with late fade at 85-89 mph. The slider has sharp, late break when he stays on top of it. His command has improved but still needs work, as he has some effort in his delivery and loses his arm slot at times. De la Rosa has the potential to be a No. 2 starter or a closer. He'll begin 2011 back in Chattanooga and could contribute in Los Angeles by the end of the season.
Withrow would have been a two-way player at Baylor had his work on the mound not earned him a $1.35 million bonus as the 20th overall pick in 2007. His father Mike pitched in the White Sox system and was his high school pitching coach. Chris spent 2010 in Double-A at age 21, but he was rarely able to get into any kind of groove and led the Southern League in earned runs allowed (86). Despite of his numbers, Withrow still looked like a future frontline starter when at his best. He pitches in the mid-90s with his sinking fastball and tops out at 98 mph, though he doesn't command it well. His curveball is a legitimate strikeout pitch, featuring sharp, late break and plenty of depth. However, he has trouble staying on top of the ball at times, resulting in too many straight fastballs and inconsistent curves. His changeup is fringy, though his struggles with his other pitches forced him to develop a better feel for it. The Dodgers have tinkered with Withrow's mechanics a bit, trying to stop him from tilting his head toward third base and give him more balance over the rubber. Withrow still has a ceiling as a No. 2 starter, but he still needs to refine his pitches and learn to deal with adversity. He'll get another crack at Double-A in 2011.
Webster was primarily a shortstop in high school and saw only limited action on the mound, but the Dodgers immediately converted him to pitching full-time after signing him for $20,000 as an 18th-rounder in 2008. He quickly developed into one of their best pitching prospects, and the Diamondbacks brought his name up in trade talks when he was in Rookie ball in 2009. Webster made his full-season debut last season, tying for the Midwest League lead in wins and topping the system in wins and ERA (2.88). Webster's fastball sat at 88-90 mph in his predraft workout with Los Angeles, and he has gotten bigger and added some more heat since then, now working in the low 90s and topping out at 95 with plus late sink. His best secondary pitch is an above-average changeup with fading action, and he's starting to trust it more. He also has a solid curveball with some bite. With his compact, natural delivery and easy arm action, he should develop into a dependable strike-thrower. Webster's biggest need at this point is experience. He could become a mid-rotation starter and possibly more if he tightens his curveball. He'll deal with the challenging pitching environment in the high Class A California League in 2011.
Sands set school records at NCAA Division II Catawba (N.C.) for career homers (61), walks (132) and slugging (.752), but that still only netted him a $5,000 bonus as a 25th-round pick in 2008. After spending most of his first two years in Rookie ball, he reached Double-A in 2010, earning the Dodgers' minor league player of the year award after tying for third in the minors with 35 homers. Sands' has plus power to all fields. He focused on shortening up his swing coming into last year, and he now has a sound stroke with some loft and above-average bat speed. While he has trouble laying off high fastballs at times, he shows an aptitude for handling breaking pitches, so he shouldn't just be a one-dimensional slugger. Sands split his time between the outfield and first base last season and was surprisingly effective on the outfield corners. Though he has below-average speed, his instincts compensate for it and make him an average defender. His arm strength is a tick below average but enough to get by. Sands has the power to profile as a solid everyday left fielder or first baseman, and he also might get a chance to play some third base. He'll return to Chattanooga to begin 2011, but a September callup isn't out of the question.
Coming off a 2009 season in which he spent four separate stints in the majors and made the Dodgers' postseason roster, Elbert had a forgettable 2010. The 15th overall pick in the 2004 draft, he made a single appearance for Los Angeles on May 29 and left Albuquerque for personal reasons shortly after being sent back down. He made up for lost time with a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League, where he got a chance to audition for new Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who piloted Elbert's AFL squad. Elbert has been a starter for most of his minor league career, but his big league future looks to be in the bullpen. He attacks hitters with riding fastballs that sit at 93-94 mph and can reach 96 mph. His 87-88 mph slider gives him a putaway pitch with tilt and depth. He also has a solid-average changeup, though he doesn't use it much. A star running back in high school, Elbert still has a football mentality. His aggressiveness leads him to rush his delivery, causing his fastball to miss up in the zone and his slider to flatten out. Some club officials believe Elbert has the repertoire to be a starter, but he's expected to make the big league bullpen in 2011. With better command, he could emerge as a dominant two-pitch reliever.
Jansen first gained some notoriety as a cannon-armed backstop for the Dutch squad that upset the Dominican Republic twice at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. However, he hit just .229/.310/.337 in five seasons as a catcher, and the Dodgers decided to try his arm on the mound in mid-2009. Less than a year after his first pro pitching appearance, he made his big league debut. Major leaguers had no answer for Jansen's power fastball. His heater sits in the mid-90s, reached triple digits at times and features some cutting action. He has a loose, easy delivery and the ball jumps out of his hand, making it that much more overpowering. Jansen's second pitch is a slurvy 82-84 mph slider that could become a plus pitch if he can tighten it up. He also has some feel for a changeup but rarely uses it. He does a good job of being around the strike zone considering his size and limited time on the mound. Though his command isn't pinpoint, he won't need it to be. Jansen might benefit from some Triple-A time to sharpen his slider, but after his dominant turn in Los Angeles last year, the Dodgers are counting on him for their big league bullpen. He'll be a set-up man for Jonathan Broxton for now and could emerge as a closer down the road if his slider develops
Martin was a highly rated prospect in high school as both a pitcher and a power-hitting third baseman. He also could have been a college quarterback but opted to sign with the Dodgers for $1.73 million as the 15th overall pick in 2008. He had a rough 2010 at high Class A Inland Empire, losing seven consecutive starts to end his season. Martin is one of the best athletes in the system and has an effortless delivery with a loose arm. When he's at his best, his fastball sits at 94-95 mph and can reach as high as 98. He had trouble maintaining that velocity last year, dipping to the low 90s at season's end. When he throws it for strikes, Martin's curveball is a wipeout pitch. He also has a changeup with slight sinking action that's a work in progress at this point. His command held him back in 2010, when he led the California League with 81 walks. He'd fall prey to big innings when he'd struggle with his mechanics and start leaving his fastball up in the zone. Martin still has the ceiling of No. 2 starter if he can improve his command. He could end up starting 2011 back in high Class A, but could move quickly one he puts everything together.
A product of MLB's RBI program, Robinson played at Los Angeles' Crenshaw High, whose notable baseball alumni include former all-stars Chris Brown, Darryl Strawberry and Ellis Valentine. Robinson has made steady progress in the minors, improving his on-base percentage in each of his four years in full-season leagues. Placed on the 40-man roster after a breakout 2009 season, he ranked third in the Southern League in OBP (.404) and steals (38) last year. Robinson is loaded with athleticism and could have four average or better tools. A righthanded hitter when he signed, he's now a switch-hitter with bat speed, loft and average power from both sides of the plate. He should be able to hit for a solid average as well, thanks to his plus speed and improved approach. His strikeout totals remain high, however, as he usually takes aggressive hacks rather than settling for putting the ball in play. Robinson has improved his basestealing technique but still can make further gains. He has above-average range and a fringy arm in center field. If the Dodgers decide to trade Matt Kemp, Robinson could be his successor in center field. He needs a full season in Triple-A before he's ready for his big league debut.
Landry lost his starting job during Louisiana State's run to the 2009 College World Series title but recovered to bat .364 in the Cape Cod League that summer and came back with a vengeance last spring. Landry hit .338 and stole 16 bases for the Tigers, the best numbers of his college career, and didn't slow down after signing for $284,400 as the Dodgers' third-round pick, finishing fifth in the Rookie-level Pioneer League in batting (.349). Landry could develop four average or better tools. His swing is short and compact and he should be able to hit for a solid average. He started controlling the strike zone better and became a much tougher out last year when he stopped selling out for power, which isn't his strength. He'll probably settle in around 8-12 home runs a year, but he can be a difference-maker in center field. Landry has outstanding instincts on defense, getting good reads and jumps on balls. He's able to range well in all directions and make highlight-reel plays, even though his straight-ahead speed is only a tick above-average. With the makings of a capable leadoff hitter and center fielder, Landry should advance to low Class A to get his first look at full-season ball in 2011.
Baldwin grew up around big league clubhouses, as his father James pitched 11 seasons in the majors and was an all-star in 2000. The younger Baldwin was a three-sport standout in high school, also excelling in basketball and football, and got a $180,000 bonus as a fourth-round pick last June to pass up a commitment to Elon. Baldwin is a tremendous athlete, with a frame that should allow him to get stronger as he matures. He can be a dynamic center fielder, getting good jumps on balls, and his speed rates a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. That's not to say he doesn't have offensive potential as well. Baldwin's swing has drawn comparisons to Garret Anderson's, and he worked on getting shorter to the ball after turning pro. He's able to keep the head of the bat in the zone for a long time and is willing to drive pitches the other way. He won't be a major power threat, but he could develop enough to hit 12-15 home runs a year as he gets stronger. He's still raw in other respects, such as picking up on how pitchers are attacking him and learning when to utilize his speed to steal bases. He's a few years away and could end up staying in extended spring training to start 2011 before taking an assignment to Ogden.
Though he was also a highly rated pitching prospect in high school, Miller was drafted as an outfielder by the Rockies in the 11th round in 2006 and played outfield almost exclusively during his first two years at Baylor. He became a two-way player as a junior and pitched his way into the sandwich round, earning an $889,200 bonus as the Dodgers' top 2009 pick. Miller would have won the California League ERA title last year if he had enough innings there to qualify, but he got a six-start trial at Double-A at midseason before being sent back to Inland Empire. Miller was able to hit 93-94 mph when he signed, but his velocity dipped into the 87-91 range last year. Los Angeles wasn't too surprised, given the rigors of his first full season after pitching so little in college. Miller shows good command of both his fastball and his above-average changeup. He has a slider that flashes aboveaverage potential at times but is inconsistent, flattening out when he has trouble maintaining his arm slot. He has an easy delivery but can be too slow and deliberate at times. Miller handled his demotion with the right attitude, and while he's raw for his age, he is working hard to catch up. The Dodgers believe he can be a mid-rotation starter. After getting a taste of Double-A in 2010, he'll get another opportunity there to start 2011.
DeJesus lost his 2009 season when he broke the tibia in his right leg during spring training. Otherwise he would've been on track to make his big league debut last year. As it was, he spent all of 2010 in Triple-A, where he took some time to get going but hit .316/.351/.435 from June on. DeJesus could be a similar offensive player to his father Ivan Sr., who played 15 seasons in the majors and now works on the Cubs coaching staff. He has a short swing with solid-average bat speed. He'll never hit many home runs, but he has a solid up-the-middle approach and can drive balls into both gaps. Although DeJesus logged most of his time at second base last year, he has also played shortstop, and some in the organization think he could still end up there. He has the arm strength for short, but his first-step quickness still lags after his broken leg, and he has to improve his double-play pivot. He's only an average runner and isn't a major threat on the bases. The Dodgers believe DeJesus is ready for the majors from an offensive standpoint, but the signing of Juan Uribe means he's likely ticketed for Triple-A again until there's a need in the middle infield in Los Angeles.
Russell set the University of Texas single-season home run record when he belted 28 as a draft-eligible sophomore in 2007, but he opted to return for his junior season rather than sign for a reported $800,000 as the Cardinals' fourth-round pick. He hit another 19 home runs as a junior in 2008, setting the program's career record at 57, but settled for $410,000 as the Dodgers' third-rounder. Russell has hit 52 home runs in his two full seasons in the minors, and there's little doubt what he's at the plate to do. Russell has an uppercut swing with outstanding bat speed, giving him plus raw power, and he swings for the downs almost every time. While he'll always be able to crush mistakes, Russell's swing is long and he struggles to recognize breaking pitches. His throwing arm is average to a tick above, but that looks like his only other potentially plus tool. He gets good reads and runs well enough to be solid corner outfielder who can play center field in a pinch. Russell could deliver 20-25 home runs a year in the majors if given a chance to play everyday, though he won't hit for much average against big league pitching. If nothing else, he should be able to carve out a career as lefthanded power threat off a big league bench. He still has to conquer Double-A, though, and he'll return to Chattanooga to start 2011.
Lindblom blossomed as Purdue's closer in the spring of 2008, landing a $663,000 bonus as the Dodgers' second-round pick. Los Angeles believed he had the arsenal to be a starter, and he worked in that role for most of his first two pro seasons. He had shown 94-95 mph fastballs with sink in the past, but his velocity dropped as a starter last spring, sitting in the high 80s. After going 2-1, 7.06 in 10 starts, Lindblom moved back to the bullpen in late May. His velocity recovered in the shorter stints, and he was working in the low 90s by the end of the regular season and flashing 94-95 mph in instructional league. His changeup was his most consistent secondary pitch, featuring late downward action. He also has an average curveball, a slider that looked plus at times and a developing cutter. Lindblom has to tighten his command, but he has a good delivery and a clean arm action, which should help. He could still make for a back-of-the-rotation starter, but his future appears to be in relief. With his velocity back, he'll head to spring training with an outside chance to make the big league bullpen. Otherwise, he'll return to Triple-A.
Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery as a high school junior. That, along with his price tag and strong commitment to Texas A&M, caused him to drop to the 11th round of the 2008 draft. Sales pitches by Joe Torre, Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton, to say nothing of a $250,000 bonus, swayed Eovaldi to sign that July. He was the only pitcher in the California League to throw two shutouts last year, but he was shut down in July with a strained lat muscle. Eovaldi owns a heavy fastball that comes at hitters in the low to mid-90s and tops out at 96 mph with occasional late life. He has a wrap in his arm action that causes inconsistency with his curveball. The curve shows above-average potential with tilt and depth when it's on, but it can get slurvy. He also has a fringy changeup that he developed a better feel for last season, and he has to command the strike zone more effectively. The Dodgers laud Eovaldi for his fearless nature on the mound as well as his maturity off it. He has the potential to be a mid-rotation starter, though he also could end up as a weapon out of the bullpen. Like Ethan Martin, he could find himself back in high Class A to start 2011 but should be on his way to Chattanooga at some point.
Gould broke out on the high school scouting showcase circuit in 2008, most notably by beating Shelby Miller in the World Wood Bat Association Championships and being named the event's MVP. He was an all-state quarterback as a high school junior, but gave up the gridiron as a senior to concentrate on baseball. He netted the largest bonus in Los Angeles' 2009 draft class, signing for $900,000. Gould's fastball velocity jumped into the low 90s in the spring of 2009, but he didn't show that same heat consistently last season. He pitched mostly at 88-91 mph, topping out at 93. With his physical frame, he could add velocity as he matures. His above-average curveball is his best weapon right now, featuring tight break and good depth. Gould's changeup is a work in progress but shows promising fading action. He lands on a bit of a stiff front leg, but his delivery is otherwise simple and repeatable with clean arm action. His command will have to be tightened as he moves up but it's at least average to a tick above for a pitcher his age. Gould profiles as a mid-rotation starter for now, and his ceiling goes higher if his velocity does pick up. He took his lumps in the Pioneer League last season but should find a more hospitable pitching environment in low Class A in 2011.
Cavazos-Galvez's father, Balvino Galvez, made 10 appearances for the Dodgers in 1986 and spent 11 seasons pitching in the minor leagues, though the two haven't been in contact since Balvino left to go play in China in 1994. Cavazos-Galvez has hit everywhere he's played, batting .495 over two seasons at New Mexico JC before being a two-time all-Mountain West Conference selection at New Mexico. He hit .392 in the spring of 2009 for the Lobos, received a $15,000 bonus and then won Pioneer League MVP honors in his pro debut. He pressed early on in low Class A last year but caught fire in the second half, hitting .375/.386/.656. He had trouble with being too pull-conscious and flying open in his swing, and he had more success once Los Angeles got him focused on taking balls up the middle. Cavazos-Galvez has outstanding bat speed, allowing him to square up any fastball and have above-average power to all fields. As his low walk total from last year suggests, he has an overly aggressive approach at the plate, frequently swinging at the first pitch. A better runner than he looks, Cavazos-Galvez has a strong arm and has become a solid defender. He has seen time at all three outfield positions and fits best in right field. He's a candidate to move up to Double-A in 2011, where more advanced pitchers would offer a much stiffer test.
Cash, a cousin of fellow Dodgers pitching prospect Ethan Martin, has faced his share of adversity off the field. His mother died in a car accident when he was 3 years old, and Cash walked away from a violent accident of his own in November 2008. He had committed to Georgia before signing with Los Angeles for $463,500 as the 78th overall pick in last June's draft. Cash's velocity can fluctuate from one outing to the next, and some days his fastball sits in the upper 80s while on others it's in the low 90s. When he's fresh, Cash works at 91-92 mph and can touch 94 with running and sinking action. He has a good delivery and a clean arm action, along with the frame to add velocity as he matures. He flashes an effective curveball at times, though he sometimes gets caught between a curve or a slider. The Dodgers prefer the curveball. He also shows a feel for a changeup that could be average down the road. Cash also stands out for his strong character and work ethic. A potential No. 3 starter, he should advance to low Class A for his first full season.
As a high schooler, Garcia developed a reputation as a player who looked great in workouts but struggled to hit in games. He hasn't had that problem as a pro. He was the youngest player on Ogden's roster last season but put up numbers on par with his older teammates. Garcia, who received a $120,000 bonus in 2009, shows the ability to consistently square balls up and has above-average bat speed. He should generate average to potentially above-average power as he moves along. He has good plate coverage and can hit balls in different parts of the strike zone. He's usually able to maintain a short, compact stroke, though his swing does have some moving parts. He's still raw in terms of selectivity, and breaking balls can give him problems. Ogden's everyday right fielder last season, Garcia has average arm strength, though he registered 12 outfield assists last season, tying him for the Pioneer League lead. He's an average runner and his range is good enough for now, but he'll have to watch his conditioning if he's going to stay in the outfield long term. Garcia will move up to low Class A for 2011.
Baez has been selected for the last two Futures Games, and he looked to be picking up steam in 2009 after a strong first half in high Class A, but his progress has slowed since. He injured his knee and required surgery shortly after returning from the 2009 Futures Game, ending his season. Returning to Inland Empire last season, he was never able to get his bat going and was bothered by the effects of dislocating his left shoulder early in the season. From a tools standpoint, Baez's upside remains impressive. He has plus raw power, but getting to it in games has been a problem. He is too pull-conscious, and his lack of pitch recognition holds him back. He expands his strike zone against breaking pitches, swinging at too many balls he can't drive. Baez can be an aboveaverage defender at the hot corner. He's a below-average runner, but his hands and arm strength are both pluses. Problems arise because his focus can waver. If Baez can develop a consistent approach both at the plate and on defense, he has the tools to be a big league third baseman. He got his feet wet in Double-A at the end of last season and should be back there in 2011.
Schebler batted .446 with 20 home runs last spring for Des Moines Area CC. He was set to transfer to Wichita State for the 2011 season and would've been the Shockers' starting left fielder, but the Dodgers changed his mind with a $300,000 bonus at the Aug. 16 signing deadline. One of Los Angeles' goals with last year's draft was to inject speed and athleticism into the system, and Schebler is another piece of that puzzle along with Leon Landry and James Baldwin. Schebler has plus speed in the outfield and should have a chance to play center as he moves up. He shows promise at the plate as well. He has a sound swing that's short to the ball. He primarily has a line drive, gap-to-gap approach, with the strength and bat speed to hit for at least average power. While Schebler has plus speed, it doesn't translate into stolen bases yet. It does help him leg out more hits than an average runner, but he needs to getter better reads and jumps to be a more effective basestealer. His throwing arm is below-average and would dictate a move to left field if he isn't able to play in center. Schebler could find himself playing on a corner anyway if he's alongside Landry in low Class A in 2011.
Lemmerman took over as Duke's everyday shortstop as a freshman and missed just two games in his three-year college career. After two productive seasons, he came on as a junior in 2010, leading the Blue Devils with a .335 average and 11 homers and earning a $139,500 bonus as Los Angeles' fifth-rounder. He kept right on hitting after turning pro, winning the Pioneer League MVP award after finishing second in the batting race and leading the league in doubles (24) and runs (69). Lemmerman's best tool may be his brain, as he's a heady player whose feel for the game stands out, but he's not lacking physical talent. He has a compact swing with surprising bat speed. He has a bit of a dead start swing but should still be able to hit for a solid average with an up-the-middle approach. An average runner with a strong arm, Lemmerman made an uncharacteristic 16 errors with Ogden. He made just three in the spring with Duke and is generally regarded with as a surehanded defender who can play either middle-infield position. Some in the Pioneer League compared Lemmerman to either Mark Loretta or Mark Grudzielanek as a heady player who has solid tools and gets the most out of what he has. After thriving in the Pioneer League's hitter-friendly environment, Lemmerman will move up to the more challenging Midwest League in 2011.
In Los Angeles' 2010 draft class, only first-rounder Zach Lee received a larger bonus than Pederson. Los Angeles gave the 11th-rounder $600,000 at the Aug. 16 deadline to steer him away from a commitment to Southern California. Pederson's father Stu was an outfielder who played briefly for the Dodgers in 1985 and had a 12-year pro career. Joc, who was also a wide receiver in high school, doesn't have any dominant tools, but he has the potential to be average across the board and certainly would have gone higher in the draft if not for his price tag. He has a physical, athletic build and the potential to add strength as he matures. His pedigree shows through in his mechanically sound lefthanded swing and all-fields approach. He has a quick bat and average raw power. He'll have to do a better job of staying back, though, because he does have a tendency to get out on his front foot. He has an average arm and is a tick above-average runner, and his instincts help his speed play up and give him a chance to be a center fielder. Pederson may be advanced enough to handle an assignment to low Class A for his first full season.
Because of injuries, the Dodgers have had to be patient with Guerra, whom they gave $275,000 in 2004, but his power arm could be worth waiting for. He had Tommy John surgery in 2005 and was bothered by shoulder inflammation and hamstring problems in 2010, but he was effective when healthy. His fastball touches as high as 98 mph and sits at 93-95. He throws it on a nice downhill plane despite his lack of size, but it takes some effort in his over-the-top delivery. He also used to hop off the mound on his back leg, making it hard for him to keep the ball down, but he has smoothed that out. His main secondary weapon is a hard slider at 86-88 mph with average movement. Guerra developed his changeup over the last few years and it has late sink. He can also mix in a solid-average curveball. Guerra will need better command if he's going to succeed against major league hitters, and the effort in his delivery makes that more of a challenge. He can be a major league set-up man if the command is there. Guerra should advance at least to Triple-A in 2011 and can put himself in position to join the big league bullpen during the season.
Scouts were divided on Smith entering the 2009 draft. He showed promise as both a hitter and a pitcher during his time at California, and had an outstanding summer with USA Baseball's college national team in 2008. He had the tools for either role, but the Dodgers decided to make him an outfielder after signing him for $643,500. He rebounded from a difficult pro debut with a strong showing in low Class A last year, finishing fourth in the Midwest League in home runs. That power will drive Smith's career as a position player. He has the strength and bat speed to generate plus raw power, projecting as a potential 25-homer threat in the majors. Scouts question whether he'll hit enough, though. He struggles with plate discipline and tends pull off pitches. Smith threw 92-94 mph off the mound, giving him an easy plus arm as a right fielder. He's only a fringy runner, but he gets good reads and has enough range to be an average outfielder. Los Angeles hasn't abandoned the idea that Smith could make an intriguing pitching prospect, but they'll continue developing him as a hitter for now. With his power, he could be in for a big year as he moves up to the high Class A California League with the Dodgers' new Rancho Cucamonga affiliate.
Songco was a three-year starter for Loyola Marymount and his draft stock climbed as a junior, when he led the West Coast Conference in on-base percentage while hitting .360/.481/.678 with 15 homers. He received a $225,000 bonus in the fourth round. He earned a trip to the Midwest League all-star game in his first full season, batting .301/.358/.483 in the first half before tailing off as the year went on. Songco uses a slightly open stance and holds the bat up high. He has a fluid lefthanded stroke, though it's not without shortcomings. He can be long to the ball at times and swings with some uppercut. He has a chance for at least average raw power, though it's geared mostly to his pull side. He also has trouble squaring up lefthanders, and he had just five extra-base hits against southpaws in 2010. Songco is a capable defender but doesn't have any flashy tools, rating as an average runner with a fringy arm. He played right field in college but has already made the move to left as a pro, and that's where his arm dictates he should stay as he moves up to Rancho Cucamonga.
In Cone's final start for Mesa (Ariz.) CC in an NJCAA playoff game, he worked 112⁄3 innings, including a span of 92⁄3 no-hit innings, but ended up taking a 3-2 loss. Cone finished the college season with a 6-4, 1.93 record and was ready to transfer to Brigham Young for his junior year, but the Dodgers persuaded him to turn pro with a $150,000 bonus one day before the signing deadline. Cone has a lanky, projectable frame. He has average fastball velocity right now, usually pitching at 90-91 mph, but Los Angeles believes he'll have an aboveaverage fastball once he fills out and gets stronger. Cone's promising 12-to-6 curveball is his best pitch, and he also has shown some feel for a changeup. He has a good, clean delivery and arm action, and he's already a solid strike-thrower. Cone didn't pitch extensively in high school, and the Dodgers feel he could be a late bloomer. He'll have a chance to move up to low Class A in 2011.
The Dodgers originally signed Vasquez as a shortstop in 2003, but he converted to pitching after only one season. His progress has been slowed by injuries, including missing the 2006 season after Tommy John surgery, but Los Angeles added him to its 40-man roster after last season to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, though he had never pitched above high Class A. When Vasquez gets on the mound, it doesn't take long to see why the Dodgers felt he needed protection. He runs his fastball up as high as 100 mph while sitting in the mid-90s. He gets boring action on the fastball as well, though his combination of velocity and movement can lead to poor command. Tall and skinny, Vasquez uses a high three-quarters delivery, but he tends to have trouble getting over his front side enough, which also contributes to his command problems. He has a couple of average secondary pitches in his slider and changeup, though in one-inning stints he relies on his fastball almost exclusively. Coming off his best season as a pro, Vasquez could climb the ladder quickly, a notion the Dodgers' move to put him on the 40-man backs up. He could be a candidate to move straight to Double-A in 2011, or he could get there quickly if he does have to open in high Class A.