Trio of Rookie Dodger Pitchers Rank in MLB.com top 100 Prospect List
By Scott Andes
Last night MLB.com posted their annual Top 100 Prospects List. Every year around this time, MLB.com analyst Jonathan Mayo ranks the top prospects in all of Baseball. This year’s list is expanded from the top 50 to the top 100. Once completed the list is posted online. The list is one of several prospect rankings on MLB.com’s prospect watch. The Dodgers had three prospects rank in the top 100: Zach Lee, Allen Webster, and Nathan Eovaldi, all pitchers of course. That’s three more Dodger prospects than I expected to see on the list, although I did figure that Zach Lee would probably make the list somewhere.
Speaking of Lee, he ranked the highest of the three at number 45. The right handed pitcher was selected by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2010 draft and was the 28th overall pick. The Dodgers had to talk Lee into staying in Baseball, since he received an offer to play football at Louisiana State University. The Dodgers gave Zach Lee a 5.25 million dollar signing bonus, and we’re all glad they did. Lee in his first year of Pro ball pitched very well at class A Great Lakes in the Midwest League. Lee was 9-6 with a 3.47 ERA in 24 starts. He put up very good strikeout to walk numbers. He walked only 32 and whiffed 91, while holding opponents to a .241 average. Scouting reports tell us the 20 year old has a very good fastball that can reach 98 on the gun, plus a good change-up, and he’s learning a breaking ball. Projections see him developing into a frontline starter.
Nathan Eovaldi ranked number 70, and despite making his MLB debut last August for the Dodgers is technically still a rookie since he has had less than 45 days of MLB service time. Eovaldi made six starts for the Dodgers last August after being called up from Double A Chattanooga. He was 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA. He also saw four relief appearances, but he fared better as a starter. Eovaldi had Tommy john surgery in high school, and was drafted by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2008 draft. Eovaldi has a great fastball too much like Lee plus a sharp slider. I like Eovaldi, and we think that Eovaldi might see some time this year if anyone is injured and should at least get some playing time when rosters expand in September. I think he is better as a starter than as reliever. Eovaldi needs to limit his walks in order to see better results.
Allen Webster ranked number 79 on the list. Webster was originally a shortstop in high school, and was drafted in the 18th round of the 2008 amateur draft. Webster is a ground ball pitcher known for his effective sinker ball. For Class A Rancho Cucamonga he was 5-2 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts, and was then promoted to Double A Chattanooga. In Chattanooga the 21 year old struggled a bit, and was 6-3 with a 5.17 ERA in 18 games. Webster could fill out to be a solid number two or three guy in the rotation.
All three of these youngsters figure to have long successful blue careers ahead. There’s a quick rundown of the Dodgers top three prospects in 2012. All players have to have rookie status in 2012 in order to qualify for the list.