Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Jose De Leon (Page 2 of 2)

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).

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Dodgers extend 16 non-roster invites to MLB camp for Spring Training

Julio Urias signs autographs at Spring Training in 2015. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Julio Urias signs autographs at Spring Training in 2015. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

2016 non-roster invitations
Pitchers (6): Chris Anderson, Lisalverto Bonilla, Brooks Brown, Jose De Leon, Julio Urias, Matt West
Catchers (3): Kyle Farmer, Jack Murphy, Shawn Zarraga
Infielders (2): Charlie Culberson, Rob Segedin
Infielder-outfielders (2):
Cody Bellinger, Elian Herrera
Outfielders (3): Corey Brown, Alex Hassan, Rico Noel

By Jon Weisman

Minor-league pitching prospects Julio UriasJose DeLeon and Chris Anderson are among the 16 players not currently on the 40-man roster who have been invited to Major League camp for Spring Training.

The 19-year-old Urias is the No. 1 left-handed pitching prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, while DeLeon, 23, is the No. 5 righty. The 23-year-old Anderson, the Dodgers’ first-round draft choice in the 2013 draft, had a 4.05 ERA and 7.0 strikeouts per nine innings for Double-A Tulsa in 2015.

The hottest non-roster invite on the hitting side is Cody Bellinger, who is ranked sixth among first-base prospects in the minors.

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New and familiar faces on Baseball America’s top 10 Dodger prospects for ’16

top 10

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

Baseball America’s annual ranking of Dodger prospects actually comes early this year — the 2015 rankings were published 10 months ago — and comes with five names that weren’t on the preseason 2015 list.

Joc Pederson graduated from prospect status, but Corey Seager remains a rookie despite his impressive September debut, allowing the Dodger infielder a second consecutive year in the No. 1 slot. Julio Urias moves up a spot accordingly to No. 2, while right-hadner Jose De Leon leapfrogs into the No. 3 spot.

The top newcomer on this year’s list is infielder Jose Peraza, acquired from Atlanta in the big July 30 deal. “Peraza lacks a high ceiling,” Baseball America’s Ben Badler writes, “but his bat-to-ball skills and wheels should make him a steady player in the middle of the diamond.” In the list of best tools in the Dodger minor leagues, Peraza is called the organization’s top athlete.

Making the biggest leap internally is first baseman-outfielder Cody Bellinger, who skipped Great Lakes after hitting three homers with Rookie League Ogden in 2014 and hit 30 for High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2015. The 20-year-old is also labeled the best power hitter in the system.

“Bellinger used to gear his swing for line drives, but he made a mechanical adjustment in 2015 to put his body in a better position to create torque,” Badler wrote in his analysis. “Toward the end of 2015, he began to study heat maps to understand his own strengths and weaknesses, and he condensed his trigger slightly.”

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Eight storylines for 2016 you can ponder now

Ryu Pederson

By Jon Weisman

It’s no secret that this will be another offseason of change for the Dodgers.

Already, manager Don Mattingly and vice president of medical services Stan Conte have departed. Five days after the World Series ends — sometime before November 10 — free agency begins. And you never know what the trade market will bring or take away.

The winter months will address several issues facing the Dodgers. But whatever happens will still leave several questions that won’t be answered until we’re well into the 2016 season.

Among them, these:

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Dodger minor league report No. 18: Winning time for Julio Urias

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By Jon Weisman

Because of the careful way the Dodgers have controlled his innings at a young age, 19-year-old Julio Urias only had five wins in his first 50 career starts. Thankfully, no one judged him on that.

For the record, Urias has picked up career victories No. 6 and No. 7 in the past two weeks, most recently with six innings of one-run ball in Double-A Tulsa’s 2-1 victory Wednesday over Frisco.

Urias struck out eight and allowed six baserunners in a slender 81 pitches. In August, Urias has a 2.53 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with 22 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings, and he hasn’t allowed a home run. For the season in Double-A, Urias has a 3.03 ERA and 1.03 WHIP with 71 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings.

For comparison, at age 19 with Double-A San Antonio, Fernando Valenzuela had a 3.10 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 162 strikeouts in 174 innings. In a much different era, Valenzuela completed 11 of his 25 starts in 1980 before his callup to the Dodgers, for whom he pitched 17 2/3 innings in relief without allowing an earned run, striking out 16.

Now, let’s take our tour of the system …

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Dodger minor league report No. 17: Wieland dealing, Hatcher healing

Arizona Diamondbacks vs Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

We begin this week’s Minor League Report with an update on two pitchers you saw with the Dodgers earlier this year.

Joe Wieland had his best game of the season Tuesday, with seven strikeouts in seven shutout innings in a 9-0 Triple-A Oklahoma City victory at New Orleans. For Wieland, continuing a comeback from 2012 and 2014 surgeries, it came two starts after he allowed only one run in seven innings at Memphis. Since July 26, Wieland has a 2.92 ERA.

Also, relief pitcher Chris Hatcher, on the 60-day disabled list, could be activated by the Dodgers as soon as this weekend.

Hatcher, who has been out since June 14 with a left oblique strain, picked up the save for the Dodgers on Opening Day before struggling to a 6.38 ERA in 18 1/3 innings, despite 19 strikeouts. He pitched a shutout inning Tuesday, but has allowed four runs on seven baserunners in 4 1/3 innings with Oklahoma City.

And now, this week’s tour …

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Dodger minor league report No. 16: Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias, Jose Peraza and more

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By Jon Weisman

Mike Bolsinger and Carlos Frias, the two Dodger starting pitchers displaced by Mat Latos and Alex Wood, each had early exits from their first starts back with Triple-A Oklahoma City this week.

Bolsinger was hit in the forearm Tuesday by a batted ball and departed after three-plus innings, after allowing three runs on six hits. Don Mattingly relayed to reporters Wednesday that Bolsinger isn’t expected to miss his next scheduled start.

Frias, who was officially optioned to Triple-A on Sunday, started Wednesday for Oklahoma City, pitched one shutout inning and then took his leave. Mattingly told reporters after the Dodgers’ victory in Philadelphia last night that Frias “felt something” and was removed as a precaution, then added today that Frias was undergoing further tests.

Joe Wieland ended up pitching five innings in relief, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out five.

Two other recent Dodger starting pitchers have resumed work for Oklahoma City. Zach Lee allowed one earned run in seven innings (striking out three) August 2, and Brandon Beachy — who was accepted an assignment to Triple-A after clearing waivers — allowed five earned runs in six innings August 3.

Now, on with our tour of the Dodger minor leagues …

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In case you missed it: Julio Urias to have elective surgery

Julio Urias (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

At age 18, Julio Urias has a 3.00 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings for Double-A Tulsa this year.  (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Sorry for the near silence the past couple days — deadline for the June issue of Dodger Insider magazine is coming in hard and fast. But let’s catch you up …

  • Julio Urias is having surgery, but it’s nothing to worry about, as Ken Gurnick notes at MLB.com.

    Urias will undergo elective cosmetic surgery on his left eye to repair a defect and be sidelined for about a month.

    Urias will have the procedure — peri orbital benign mass removal — on May 28 in Phoenix. He will resume baseball activity in the middle of June and is expected to be back in games by the end of the month.

    “He deserves this level of support and we are thrilled to give it to him,” said director of player development Gabe Kapler.

    Because the overpowering left-hander is only 18, the recovery time will also serve as an innings limiter that management welcomes. Conceivably, a freshened Urias could pitch for the Dodgers beyond the Minor League season, although the club has never given that indication. …

  • Not unrelated: pitching prospect Jose De Leon is being promoted from Class A Rancho Cucamonga to Double-A Tulsa. In 37 2/3 innings this season for the Quakes, De Leon has struck out 58 while allowing only seven earned runs (1.67 ERA) on 38 baserunners.
  • Billy Bean wrote for MLB.com about his experience participating in Saturday’s Old-Timers Game. As Bean notes, it was the first time “an openly gay player, past or present, would wear a big league uniform and play in a Major League stadium.”
  • Here’s another piece on what is and isn’t wrong with Clayton Kershaw (mostly isn’t), from Owen Wilson at Fox Sports’ Just a Bit Outside.
  • Some numberific nuggets on Kershaw’s 100-victory milestone come from Adam Berry at MLB.com.
  • Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles looks how much the Dodgers can maintain their Dodgers’ fiery offensive production to date this season.
  • The Dodgers are on pace for their worst basestealing season since 1941 (the year, not the movie), writes Bill Shaikin of the Times.

Dodger minor league report No. 4: Seager adjusting to Triple-A

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Dodgers at Brewers, 10:40 a.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Alex Guerrero, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Uribe, 3B
Kiké Hernandez, SS
Carlos Frias, P

By Jon Weisman

Though the Pacific Coast League has put a slight break on the rapid rise of Corey Seager, it wouldn’t be fair to say he’s lost all momentum.

Seager, who turned 21 last week, is 5 for 20 with a double, a walk and four strikeouts since his promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City from Double-A Tulsa. Seager had hits in two of his first three at-bats, then went 0 for 9 (with his one walk).  But in his last two games, Seager is 3 for 8 with a double and two RBI, heading into tonight’s game against New Orleans.

On to this week’s roundup …

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Baseball America rates top 10 Dodger prospects

By Jon Weisman

In Baseball America’s new assessment of the Dodger farm system, the triumvirate of Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Julio Urias rates up top, in that order, followed by top 2014 draft picks Grant Holmes and Alex Verdugo.

Jose De Leon has leaped to the No. 6 spot, outfielder Scott Schebler to No. 9 and catcher Julian Leon to No. 10, with pitchers Chris Anderson and Chris Reed returning from 2014’s list. (Here’s the 2013 list for reference as well.)

“Aside from the Cubs, the Dodgers’ top three prospects are as strong as any other organization’s in basebal,” writes BA’s Ben Badler.  “After the vaunted trio, the Dodgers farm system is in a better place than it was a year ago because of the emergence of depth beyond them. Their top 2014 draft picks—first-round righthander Grant Holmes and outfielder Alex Verdugo—both had strong debuts and look like potential impact talents.”

Minor league highlights from 2014

Minor League Wrap

In the October issue of Dodger Insider magazine, Cary Osborne took this snapshot of highlights from the Dodger farm system in 2014, and I thought it would be nice to share with our blog audience before this year passes into next. Click the image above to enlarge.

— Jon Weisman

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