Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects

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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. Ages are as of April 1, 2011.

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Jim Shonerd
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1. Dee Gordon, ss
2. Zach Lee, rhp
3. Rubby de la Rosa, rhp
4. Chris Withrow, rhp
5. Allen Webster, rhp
6. Jerry Sands, of/1b
7. Scott Elbert, lhp
8. Kenley Jansen, rhp
9. Ethan Martin, rhp
10. Trayvon Robinson, of
Best Hitter for Average Dee Gordon
Best Power Hitter Jerry Sands
Best Strike-Zone Discipline Justin Sellers
Fastest Baserunner Dee Gordon
Best Athlete Dee Gordon
Best Fastball Kenley Jansen
Best Curveball Chris Withrow
Best Slider Scott Elbert
Best Changeup Allen Webster
Best Control Zach Lee
Best Defensive Catcher Gorman Erickson
Best Defensive Infielder Dee Gordon
Best Infield Arm Pedro Baez
Best Defensive Outfielder James Baldwin
Best Outfield Arm Blake Smith
Catcher Dioner Navarro
First Base James Loney
Second Base Ivan DeJesus Jr.
Third Base Pedro Baez
Shortstop Dee Gordon
Left Field Jerry Sands
Center Field Matt Kemp
Right Field Andre Ethier
No. 1 Starter Clayton Kershaw
No. 2 Starter Zach Lee
No. 3 Starter Chad Billingsley
No. 4 Starter Rubby de la Rosa
No. 5 Starter Chris Withrow
Closer Jonathan Broxton
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Ben Diggins, rhp Out of baseball
2002 Ricardo Rodriguez, rhp Out of baseball
2003 James Loney, 1b Dodgers
2004 Edwin Jackson, rhp White Sox
2005 Joel Guzman, ss/of Orioles
2006 Chad Billingsley, rhp Dodgers
2007 Andy LaRoche, 3b Pirates
2008 Clayton Kershaw, lhp Dodgers
2009 Andrew Lambo, of Pirates
2010 Dee Gordon, ss Dodgers
Year Player, Position 2010
2001 Brian Pilkington, rhp
(2nd round)
Out of baseball
2002 James Loney, 1b Dodgers
2003 Chad Billingsley, rhp Dodgers
2004 Scott Elbert, lhp Dodgers
2005 *Luke Hochevar, rhp
(1st round supp.)
2006 Clayton Kershaw, lhp Dodgers
2007 Chris Withrow, rhp Dodgers
2008 Ethan Martin, rhp Dodgers
2009 Aaron Miller, lhp
(1st round supp.)
2010 Zach Lee, rhp Dodgers
Hiroki Kuroda, 2007 $7,300,000
Zach Lee, 2010 $5,250,000
Clayton Kershaw, 2006 $2,300,000
Joel Guzman, 2001 $2,255,000
Ben Diggins, 2000 $2,200,000
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Los Angeles Dodgers

After winning back-to-back National League West titles and making consecutive NL Championship Series appearances in 2008-09, the Dodgers fell to fourth place last year. As if its first losing record since 2005 wasn't bad enough, Los Angeles also suffered the ignominy of their owners' divorce proceedings.

Frank and Jamie McCourt were once the first couple of Dodgers baseball, but their relationship disintegrated and the franchise took center stage in their divorce. The McCourts' feud hung over everything the club did in 2010. Frank attempted to take sole control of the franchise through a marital property agreement, but in December a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled it invalid and reinstated Jamie as co-owner. That decision promises to drag the dispute well into 2011.

More than the mechanics of who gets control of the Dodgers, however, documents filed in the divorce case revealed that the McCourts used the franchise as their personal piggybank, taking huge salaries for themselves and traveling extravagantly on the team's dime. At the same time, the front office continually has had to pinch pennies on the big league roster, often sending premium prospects away in trades in order to get other teams to pick up salaries for the veterans they obtain. The most notable example was the 2008 deal that sent Carlos Santana to the Indians for Casey Blake, with Santana subsequently blossoming into one of the game's best young catchers and Los Angeles in need of help behind the plate.

The Dodgers started out well enough in 2010 and were tied for first place in the NL West as late as June 17. A six-game losing streak coming out of the all-star break started a fast fade, however. Los Angeles ended with an 80-82 record, a distant 12 games behind the rival Giants, who went on to win their first World Series since the franchises moved to California.

The Manny Ramirez experiment ended ingloriously, when the slugger was waived and picked up by the White Sox at the end of August. General manager Ned Colletti tried to keep hope alive with several midseason trades, sending away a total of seven young big leaguers or prospects, including Andrew Lambo and James McDonald, the top two players on this list two years ago.

The team will have a new manager in 2011, after Joe Torre retired at the end of the season. Former hitting coach Don Mattingly, who had also coached under Torre with the Yankees and followed him Los Angeles in 2008, will take over despite having no real managerial experience. The Dodgers also ousted team president Dennis Mannion after the season, clearing the way for Frank McCourt to take on a larger role in the team's day-to-day operations again.

The Dodgers did make waves in the 2010 draft. When they used their first-round pick on high school righthander Zach Lee, who had a scholarship to play quarterback at Louisiana State, the consensus was that they had no chance of meeting his asking price. Instead, Los Angeles gave Lee more in one bonus—$5.25 million, spread over five years in a backloaded deal—than it handed out to any of its previous three draft classes as a whole.

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