Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Seven Dodger prospects in ESPN’s top 100

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By Jon Weisman

ESPN prospect analyst Keith Law ranked the Dodger farm system second in MLB, thanks in no small part to the appearance of seven prospects in his top 100 list that was released today.

As has been their custom, Corey Seager and Julio Urias landed in Law’s top five, with Seager claiming the top spot previously held by Minnesota’s Byron Buxton. They are the only Dodgers in Law’s top 50. However, there are five in the next half-hundred: Alex Verdugo (51), Jose De Leon (60), Grant Holmes (71), Yusniel Diaz (79), the Cuban emigré whose signing hasn’t been officially announced by the Dodgers, and Cody Bellinger (92).

An excerpt from Law’s writeups on Seager and Urias:

Seager, the younger brother of Mariners third baseman Kyle, has electric hands at the plate and does everything very easily — his swing, hip rotation and power look effortless — but it’s his approach that makes him the best prospect in baseball. Seager’s pitch recognition is advanced way beyond his years, and you’ll see him make adjustments within at-bats that even veterans don’t make. He’s better than most players his age at adjusting to a pitch he didn’t expect and does very well covering the outer half without creating a hole on the inner third. He’s tall and his swing plane can be high, so he’s a little vulnerable to the pitch down at the knees. But for someone his age, that’s a minor weakness to have as your primary issue at the plate.

Urias is no longer undersized or pudgy, coming in last spring at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, and given his age, he’s possibly still growing. He’s comfortably 91-95 mph with his fastball, with minimal effort, and will show both a plus curveball and plus changeup, although neither secondary pitch is consistent yet. He stays online to the plate and in time, he should have better fastball command to go with his above-average control, thanks again to that easy, repeatable delivery.

Seager is also No. 1 with Baseball Prospectus and MLB Pipeline. Urias’ No. 5 ranking from Law slides in nicely between his No. 4 from MLB and No. 6 from Baseball Prospectus. Baseball America is scheduled to release its top 100 Friday.

De Leon suffers the most in comparison to the list, where he ranked 24th. On the other hand, while leaving off No. 96 MLB prospect Frankie Montas, Law’s list includes two names not in MLB’s 100: Verdugo and Bellinger.

Law said that Verdugo has “special ability” at the plate and “looks like a 20-homer, high-batting-average hitter who can play plus defense in a corner with a 70 arm and add a little value on the bases.”


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  1. Future looks the best since the Jacksonville 5 days, but without bounce backs from Puig, Grandal, first half Pederson all year, and health in general to pitching staff, 2016, will be a lot like 1989-2015 IMO.

  2. paulgarzajr

    It is great that the Dodgers farm system appears to be re-stocked. I don’t understand the ‘prospect’ label on Seager – he is projected as the starting shortstop so it is time to stop being a ‘prospect’ and becoming a contributor. Otherwise, the Dodger everyday lineup is a mess. Maybe we get lucky with Puig and maybe even with Pederson but the everyday lineup doesn’t match up to the Giants . . not close. And, the starting rotation is probably close to the Giants but not as good. Our bullpen, which is the Giants strength, doesn’t match up to them. I don’t like to hope for wildcard berth but that is what is looks like right now.

    Does anyone really believe the Grandal will hit for power with a surgically repaired shoulder? Does anyone remember the recovery process of Kemp and Gonzalez? I suspect the Dodgers will end up with Austin Barnes at their number one catcher. At least his defense is better than Grandal’s. At best, standing ‘pat’ as the Geniuses have chosen to do is a major crapshoot. Gonzalez will be solid but probably not spectacular, Kendrick will be okay except his defense won’t get better, Turner has the best chance at being fully productive and special – he may be our big man on the diamond but he could have micro fractures again . . .and Utley, a nice reserve but at 37 he isn’t going be a savior. Who can love the Dodger’s outfield?

    • Seager is a prospect because he didn’t lose his rookie eligibility.
      One thing Dodgers have over Giants is depth. If Giants have more than 2 injuries from the group of Posey, Belt, Crawford, Pence, Bumgartner, and Cueto they probably won’t be in good shape. As far as Dodgers, any injury other than Kershaw, and maybe AGon can easily be filled in some way.

    • Your comparison of the Dodgers and Giants sort of peters out when you get to the outfield with a question about love. Last year, despite down years from Puig and SVS, injuries to CC and Joc’s fade over the last couple of months, the Dodgers outfield ranked sixth in the NL in contributing OPS+. The Giants ranked 12th and have acquired Span.

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