CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Vote in the Internet Baseball Awards for a chance at a free copy of Dollar Sign on the Muscle
Voting ends in 15 days and 19 hours

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Future Shock: Blue Jay... (01/26)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Who Woul... (02/01)
Next Article >>
The BP First Take: Tue... (01/31)

January 30, 2012

Future Shock

Los Angeles Dodgers Top 11 Prospects

by Kevin Goldstein

the archives are now free.

All Baseball Prospectus Premium and Fantasy articles more than a year old are now free as a thank you to the entire Internet for making our work possible.

Not a subscriber? Get exclusive content like this delivered hot to your inbox every weekday. Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get instant access to the best baseball content on the web.

Subscribe for $4.95 per month
Recurring subscription - cancel anytime.


a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Purchase a $39.95 gift subscription
a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

Previous Rankings: 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

System In 20 Words Or Less: There is depth here, but there's also a disturbing lack of future impact talents.

Four-Star Prospects
1. Zach Lee, RHP
Three-Star Prospects
2. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
3. Allen Webster, RHP
4. Chris Reed, LHP
5. Garrett Gould, RHP
6. Chris Withrow, RHP
7. Alfredo Silverio, OF
8. Joc Pederson, OF
9. Alex Castellanos, OF/2B
10. Angel Sanchez, RHP
11. Shawn Tolleson, RHP

Nine More:
12. James Baldwin, OF: He's an ultra-athletic outfielder with power, speed, and a disturbing number of strikeouts.
13. Tim Federowicz, C: He has big league-ready defense (and plus at that) but a backup's bat.
14. Ethan Martin, RHP: The former first-round pick will try starting again but remains in the deep weeds in terms of command and control.
15. Josh Lindblom, RHP: He's a big league-ready reliever, but his ceiling ends in 7th or 8th inning.
16. Aaron Miller, LHP: This power lefty lost his 2011 season due to non-arm injuries; he could move up the list with healthy season.
17. Gorman Erickson, C: He's an intriguing backstop with on-base skills and a bit of pop, but his defense needs work.
18. Scott Van Slyke, 1B: He can hit but is an older, first-base only prospect that needs to keep doing it.
19. Kyle Russell, OF: He possesses huge raw power, excellent right field defense, and all sorts of contact issues.
20. Steve Ames, RHP: The scouting reports are not as impressive as the numbers, but evaluators see a big league future as middle reliever.

1. Zach Lee, RHP
DOB
: 9/13/91
Height/Weight: 6'4/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2010, McKinney HS (TX)
2011 Stats: 3.47 ERA (109.0-101-32-91) at A (24 G)
Tools Profile: Athletic right-hander with stuff and ceiling

Year in Review: The big-bonus 2010 first-rounder pitched well in his debut but rarely dominated.
The Good: Lee's velocity dipped a bit from his high school days, but his fastball remains a plus pitch that sits in the low 90s, touches the mid-range often, and features explosive life. He added an upper-80s cutter to his mix, and it projects as a plus pitch. He throws both a slider and a curveball, and scouts prefer the power pitch as a potential plus offering. He's a fantastic athlete and earns high marks for his poise and maturity.
The Bad: Lee's changeup is a below-average pitch that often comes in with too much velocity and not enough fade. He has a tendency to get around on his curveball and lose break. He can frustrate at times by focusing on his secondary pitches and not going right after hitters.
Ephemera: Lee gave up one-third of his earned runs in the first inning and had a 2.95 ERA in all other frames.
Perfect World Projection: Star-level starting pitcher
Fantasy Impact: Lee could end up an early pick but not the first starting pitcher on your roster.
Path to the Big Leagues: Lee will be challenged with an assignment in the offensive environment of High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
ETA: 2014

2. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP
DOB
: 2/13/90
Height/Weight: 6'3/195
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Eleventh round, 2008, Alvin HS (TX)
2011 Stats: 2.62 ERA (103.0-76-46-99) at AA (20 G), 3.63 ERA (34.2-28-20-23) at MLB (10 G)
Tools Profile: Power arm but limited arsenal.

Year in Review: He took advantage of weaknesses at the upper levels by pitching well at Double-A and ending the year in the big leagues.
The Good: Eovaldi's calling card is a 92-96 mph fastball that touched 98-99 when he pitched out of the bullpen. His upper-80s slider can be a wipeout offering at times, and he has some feel for a changeup.
The Bad: There is some effort to Eovaldi's delivery, and he does himself no favors by falling behind in the count and racking up high pitch counts. His changeup still needs improvement. While he has plenty of velocity, he loses movement on the pitch the harder he throws it.
Ephemera: Double-A batters hit .308 in 65 at-bats against Eovaldi with runners in scoring position and two outs but just .181 in all other situations.
Perfect World Projection: Number-three starter or late-inning reliever.
Fantasy Impact: There is risk without knowing his role.
Path to the Big Leagues: The acquisitions of Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang could leave Eovaldi as the odd man out in the 2012 Dodgers rotation. He could end up in the bullpen or starting at Triple-A Albuquerque.
ETA: 2012

3. Allen Webster, RHP
DOB
: 2/10/90
Height/Weight: 6'3/185
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Eighteenth round, 2008, McMichael HS (NC)
2011 Stats: 2.33 ERA (54.0-46-21-62) at High A (9 G), 5.04 ERA (91.0-101-36-73) at AA (18 G)
Tools Profile: Big fastball but other pitches need work.

Year in Review: The young right-hander dominated in the California League but learned some tough lessons in his first exposure at the upper levels.
The Good: Webster's fastball is a special pitch, as it's a natural sinker with low-to-mid 90s velocity and plenty of sink. He has a plus changeup that he'll throw at any point in the count and a simple delivery that is easily repeatable, leading to plenty of strikes.
The Bad: Webster has struggled to find a reliable breaking ball, and the lack of a vertical aspect to his game led to him getting hit hard in the Southern League. He has a distinct curve and a slider, but both are inconsistent, and he has a tendency to overthrow them.
Ephemera: Only four players selected with the 547th overall pick have reached the big leagues, with former Cubs GM Ed Lynch being the only one to play more than 50 games in the majors.
Perfect World Projection: Number-three starter
Fantasy Impact: He could be a solid contributor across the board.
Path to the Big Leagues: Webster's Double-A stint proved that he still need development time, and he'll return to the level in 2012
ETA: 2013

4. Chris Reed, LHP
DOB
: 5/20/90
Height/Weight: 6'4/195
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2011, Stanford
2011 Stats: 7.71 ERA (7.0-9-4-9) at High A (3 G)
Tools Profile: Left-hander with impressive three-pitch mix.

Year in Review: The top college reliever in the country went a bit higher than expected at number 16 overall, but scouts see him as a starter.
The Good: Scouts were confused as to Stanford's use of Reed out of the bullpen, as he has the arsenal, frame, and delivery to start. His best pitch is a heavy, low-to-mid-90s fastball, and he backs the pitch up with a slider that missed bats while keeping hitters off balance with a solid-average changeup. 
The Bad: The biggest risk for Reed is the unknown, as it's impossible to say how his stuff will hold up under a starter's workload. If he can't stick in the rotation, his stuff is not closer worthy, which limits his upside as a reliever.
Ephemera: Reed starred as a prep at Cleveland High School in Los Angeles, whose most famous baseball alum is Brett Saberhagen.
Perfect World Projection: Number-three starter with some chance for more if he transitions well to a starting role.
Fantasy Impact: If he can start, he has good value.
Path to the Big Leagues: Reed will begin the year at High-A but could move to Double-A by mid-season.
ETA: 2013

5. Garrett Gould, RHP
DOB
: 7/19/91
Height/Weight: 6'4/190
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Second round, 2009, Maize HS (KS)
2011 Stats: 2.40 ERA (123.2-102-37-104) at A (27 G)
Tools Profile: Good stuff with advanced polish for his age.

Year in Review: The 2009 second-round pick made major strides while earning Midwest League All-Star honors.
The Good: Gould made some mechanical tweaks prior to the season and improved his velocity dramatically in 2011, sitting at 91-94 mph. His curveball is among the best in the system as a slow, loopy pitch with heavy, late break. He improved his changeup, which some scouts project as average, and generally throws strikes.
The Bad: Gould is greater than the sum of his parts, as he doesn't blow hitters away and needs to hit his spots and have effective secondary pitches to succeed. His changeup still lacks consistency, and he'll need to improve his stamina after running out of gas towards the end of the 2011 season.
Ephemera: Only five pitchers taken with the 65th overall selection in the draft have reached the majors. Anthony Telford is the all-time leader in wins with 22, and none of them have a winning record.
Perfect World Projection: Number-three starter.
Fantasy Impact: Gould is not going to be a big strikeout pitcher, but his control will keep the WHIP down.
Path to the Big Leagues: The Dodgers rotation at High-A Rachno Cucamonga will be one worth keeping an eye on.
ETA: 2014

6. Chris Withrow, RHP
DOB
: 8/1/89
Height/Weight: 6'3/195
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: First round, 2007, Midland Christian HS (TX)
2011 Stats: 4.20 ERA (128.2-11-75-130) at AA (25 G)
Tools Profile: Wild Thing.

Year in Review: This enigma of a pitcher made some strides in 2011, but he also took some steps backwards.
The Good: Withrow has the ability to dominate hitters when everything is working. He has one of the best fastballs in the system, sitting consistently in the mid-90s with movement, and he is just as likely to miss bats with his power breaking ball. He has at least an average change-up.
The Bad: Withrow is a messy, inefficient pitcher who averaged 105 pitches per six innings. He battles with his mechanics and can overthrow all of his pitches, and he has well below-average command and control because of it. While the Dodgers have yet to try it due to his potential value, multiple scouts wonder if he'd work better in a bullpen role.
Ephemera: Two of the seven players drafted out of Midland High have reached the majors: the Nix brothers, Jayson and Laynce.
Perfect World Projection: Withrow has the stuff to be an effective starter or late-inning reliever, but obviously, there is risk here.
Fantasy Impact: He'll provide strikeouts in any role, but that is all that is guaranteed.
Path to the Big Leagues: The Dodgers hope Withrow shows them that he's ready to move up to Triple-A this spring. He's one of those prospects who could be in the big leagues by July or not for another two years, if ever.
ETA: 2013

7. Alfredo Silverio, OF
DOB
: 5/6/87
Height/Weight: 6'0/205
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2003
2011 Stats: .306/.340/.542 at AA (132 G)
Tools Profile: Nothing below average.

Year in Review: The Dominican outfielder had a breakout season, including a home run in the Futures Game.
The Good: Silverio has always impressed with his tools. He has plenty of bat speed and enough strength for average power. He runs well and plays a solid outfield with a plus arm.
The Bad: Silverio's aggressive approach often gets the best of him, as he often falls behind in the count by chasing breaking balls. He's an above-average runner but is better in right field than center, which puts more pressure on the bat. He's never been a good baserunner and has stolen just 35 bases over the last few years at a middling 57 percent success rate.
Ephemera: Silverio's season of 42 doubles, 18 triples, and 16 home runs has been matched just nine times in the majors, the last by George Brett, who had 42 doubles, 20 triples, and 23 home runs in 1979.
Perfect World Projection: Everyday corner outfielder but not a star.
Fantasy Impact: He could supply double digits in home runs and stolen bases, but he won't fill up any one category.
Path to the Big Leagues: Silverio could put up some massive numbers in Albuquerque and should be in line for a September look.
ETA: Late 2012.

8. Joc Pederson, OF
DOB
: 4/21/92
Height/Weight: 6'1/185
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Signed: Eleventh round, 2010, Palo Alto HS (CA)
2011 Stats: .353/.429/.568 at Rookie (68 G), .160/.288/.160 at A (16 G)
Tools Profile: Plenty of potential and an approach that should help him reach it.

Year in Review: The over-slot eleventh round pick struggled in the Midwest League but was among the Pioneer League's top performers in the second half.
The Good: Pederson's upside ranks with any position player in the system. His approach and pitch recognition is highly advanced for his age, and he has a sweet left-handed swing with the potential for 20-plus home runs as he learns how to drive balls. He's has solid-average speed and is an excellent baserunner.
The Bad: Pederson lacks the speed for centerfield and the arm for right, so he'll need to be a big offensive performer as a left-fielder. He shortens his swing and makes contact against left-handers but shows little power against them.
Ephemera: While none of the six players drafted out of Palo Alto High have reached the big leagues, the school has an impressive list of alumni from sports, business, and entertainment, including all four members of The Donnas.
Perfect World Projection: Good everyday corner outfielder, with some star potential.
Fantasy Impact: He could turn into a valuable 20/20 player if everything works out.
Path to the Big Leagues: Pederson will get another shot at the Midwest League in 2012.
ETA: 2015

9. Alex Castellanos, OF/2B
DOB
: 8/4/86
Height/Weight: 5'11/180
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Tenth round, 2008, Belmont Abbey College
2011 Stats: .319/.379/.562 at AA Texas League (93 G), .322/.406/.603 at AA Southern League (32 G)
Tools Profile: Good bat, but his overall package is not as impressive as the numbers.

Year in Review: Castellanos was in the midst of a breakout season at Double-A and continued to mash after being traded by the Cardinals to the Dodgers for Rafael Furcal.
The Good: Castellanos can hit. He gets his bat into the zone quickly, and it stays there for a long time. He features sneaky power for his size thanks to strong wrists. He's an average runner with impressive instincts on the basepaths.
The Bad: Castellanos is an aggressive hitter who looks to yank fastballs, and he needs to develop more patience and a sound two-strike approach. He's not an impressive athlete and is merely average in the outfield, but the Dodgers are considering him at second base after trying him there in instructs.
Ephemera: In just 14 home game for Double-A Chattanooga following his trade to the Dodgers, Castellanos hit .345/.406/.793, with 16 of his 20 hits going for extra bases.
Perfect World Projection: Offensive-oriented second baseman.
Fantasy Impact: It would be much greater if he can stay in the infield, as he'd be a middle of the road option as a corner outfielder.
Path to the Big Leagues: The Dodgers hope that their lack of infield prospects can be addressed by returning Castellanos to his college position. He should at least start the year there at Triple-A.
ETA: 2013

10. Angel Sanchez, RHP
DOB
: 11/28/89
Height/Weight: 6'3/177
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2010
2011 Stats: 2.82 ERA (99.0-72-39-84) at A (20 G)
Tools Profile: Throws hard.

Year in Review: The rare prospect that was signed out of a Dominican college, Sanchez went from off-the-radar to a very real prospect in his pro debut.
The Good: Sanchez is a lanky right-hander with a whippy arm action that produces 91-93 mph fastballs while consistently touching 95. He gets good spin on an average curveball, but his changeup is his best secondary pitch with plenty of depth and fade.
The Bad: Sanchez's arm-heavy delivery is hard to repeat, and he can struggle with his control at times. He's still learning how to use his secondary pitches and is quick to abandon them and take a fastball-centric approach, which will hurt him at the upper levels.
Ephemera: Sanchez had four starts in which he allowed four or more runs. His ERA was 1.66 in his 16 other appearances.
Perfect World Projection: Number-three starter with the ability for more.
Fantasy Impact: Sanchez is risky because of his experience, but his upside is significant.
Path to the Big Leagues: Sanchez will be another part of an impressive rotation at High-A Rancho Cucomonga, and some feel he has breakout potential.
ETA: 2014

11. Shawn Tolleson, RHP
DOB
: 1/19/88
Height/Weight: 6'2/215
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Signed: 30th round, 2010, Baylor
2011 Stats: 0.00 ERA (15.0-8-4-33) at A (14 G), 0.93 ERA (9.2-2-3-17) at High A (5 G), 1.62 ERA (44.1-42-11-55) at AA (38 G)
Tools Profile: Insane numbers, but his stuff falls short of closing for some.

Year in Review: The unheralded relief prospect began the year in the Midwest League, finished it at Double-A, and dominated at every level.
The Good: With a career ERA of 1.01 in 83 games and 144 strikeouts in 97.2 innings, it's hard to argue with what Tolleson has done. His best pitch is a nasty upper-80s cutter with plenty of movement, but his straight fastball is also a plus pitch at 92-95 mph. His off-speed pitch is a mid-80s slider that is at least average.
The Bad: Tolleson has dominated in the minors, but scouts wonder if he can close in the big leagues without elite velocity and a plus breaker. He throws across his body, but as a reliever, there is less concern about the amount of stress it produces.
Ephemera: Tolleson lasted just five weeks in the Midwest League before earning a promotion, and it was with good reason, as batters went 8-for-52 (.154) with 33 strikeouts.
Perfect World Projection: Good set-up man or second-division closer.
Fantasy Impact: It will be limited if he's not getting save opportunities.
Path to the Big Leagues: Tolleson will get a long look this spring but will likely begin the year at one of the Dodgers' upper-level affiliates. He certainly has the ability to pitch his way into the big leagues.
ETA: Late 2012.

The Sleeper: 2009 second-round pick Blake Smith has plenty of tools and could move up if he can repeat his California League showing at the upper levels.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/86 or later)
1. Clayton Kershaw, LHP
2. Dee Gordon, SS

3. Zach Lee, RHP
4. Kenley Jansen, RHP
5. Nate Eovaldi, RHP
6. Allen Webster, RHP
7. Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
8. Jerry Sands, OF/1B
9. Chris Reed, LHP
10. Garrett Gould, RHP

Kershaw is the most valuable young pitcher in the game considering his age and existing production. He turns 24 in March, already has one Cy Young award, and has the potential to be a generational talent. Gordon is a strange player to evaluate, as scouts still have wide-ranging reviews on him, although those that love him think he's just scratching the surface of his potential. Jansen deserves the closer job with the Dodgers and could earn it this spring. De La Rosa would rank higher, but he'll miss most (if not all) of the season recovering from Tommy John surgery, which makes it a bit more likely that his future will be as a bullpen arm. Sands's limited defense and disturbing home/road splits at Triple-A leave most skeptical, including the Dodgers, who made no opening for him.

Summary: The Dodgers have plenty of young pitching, but their minor league system is a mismatch in terms of major-league needs considering that the team has little offense after Matt Kemp.

Kevin Goldstein is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Kevin's other articles. You can contact Kevin by clicking here

27 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run... (01/30)
<< Previous Column
Future Shock: Blue Jay... (01/26)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Future Shock: Who Woul... (02/01)
Next Article >>
The BP First Take: Tue... (01/31)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Edinson Volquez
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Are Elite Pitchers Becomi...
Premium Article Pitching Backward: In Love With Lohse
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Angels vs....
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL Wild Card Game Recap
Premium Article Moonshot: Fastballs and the Collapsing A's
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Orioles vs...

MORE FROM JANUARY 30, 2012
Bizball: The Sale of the Dodgers and the Pos...
The BP Broadside: Jorge Posada and the Third...
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: Searching for the Worst Game...
Premium Article Resident Fantasy Genius: From Mash to Mush
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Rounding Up the Usual Sus...
Premium Article Fantasy Beat: Using Secondary Average to Eva...
The BP First Take: Monday, January 30

MORE BY KEVIN GOLDSTEIN
2012-02-02 - Premium Article Future Shock: Angels Top 11 Prospects
2012-02-02 - Future Shock Blog: Edwin Jackson and the Fal...
2012-02-01 - Premium Article Future Shock: Who Would You Rather?
2012-01-30 - Premium Article Future Shock: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 11 Pro...
2012-01-26 - Future Shock: Blue Jays Top 11 Prospects
2012-01-26 - BP Podcast: Episode 80: He Hit Both Basins
2012-01-25 - Premium Article Future Shock: Raising Their Prospect Stock
More...

MORE FUTURE SHOCK
2012-02-03 - Future Shock: Giants Top 11 Prospects
2012-02-02 - Premium Article Future Shock: Angels Top 11 Prospects
2012-02-01 - Premium Article Future Shock: Who Would You Rather?
2012-01-30 - Premium Article Future Shock: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 11 Pro...
2012-01-26 - Future Shock: Blue Jays Top 11 Prospects
2012-01-25 - Premium Article Future Shock: Raising Their Prospect Stock
2012-01-24 - Premium Article Future Shock: Washington Nationals Top 11 Pr...
More...

INCOMING ARTICLE LINKS
2013-01-28 - Premium Article Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Los Angeles...
2012-03-12 - Future Shock: 2012 Organizational Rankings
2012-03-09 - Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Notable NRI: NL West
2012-02-02 - The BP First Take: Thursday, February 2