Baseball America recently ranked the top 10 Dodgers prospects in their annual list. Here are their picks for the best players in the Dodgers farm system:
Joc Pederson, who was ranked first last year, now is pushed to second as Corey Seager takes the top spot. Julio Urias remains in the third spot which was where he was last year.
Zach Lee is not ranked in the Dodgers top ten prospect list for the first time in four years. The first-round draft pick of 2010 was once ranked first by Baseball America after the 2011 season and in the top five spots from 2011-204.
Julio Urias, the 18-year old phenom, was recently named the top left-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com. His dominance in the California League in 2014 was impressive being that he was still only 17-years old. In 25 games (20 starts) for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Urias went 2-2 with a 2.36 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.95 with a 11.2 per nine innings strikeout rate.
Julio Urias pitches for the Dodgers during Spring Training 2014 at Camelback Ranch. Photo: Stacie Wheeler
I have ranked Urias second to Seager, and you could even make a case for Urias being ranked at the top of the list. After all, 2014 was just Julio’s second professional season. Urias was one of the 27 invitees to the Dodgers eighth annual Winter Development Program held at Dodger Stadium this month. Urias also was invited to Major League camp at Spring Training as a non-roster invite.
2012 first-rounder Corey Seager, also invited to Major League Spring Training camp, had a solid season in 2014 while reaching Double-A for the first time in his professional career. The 21-year old hit .340/.402/.602 with 20 homeruns and 50 doubles last season between Single-A and Double-A. Seager is one of the most exciting position player prospects to come out of the Dodgers minor league system in many years, and I look forward to seeing him in Dodger Blue in the next year or two.
The Dodgers first-round draft pick last year, Grant Holmes, had a solid professional debut season at the Rookie level (Arizona and Ogden). He went 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA over 11 games (10 starts). The 18-year old right-hander struck out 58 batters while walking 13.
I’m happy to see Scott Schebler getting some recognition and ranked eighth on the list. Often times Schebler gets overlooked with all the focus being on the abundance of Major League outfielders the Dodgers have at their disposal. When I saw Schebler play for Rancho Cucamonga in 2013, I was impressed with his power. Last season with Double-A Chattanooga, Schebler hit .280/.365/.556 with 28 homeruns and 73 RBIs over 135 games.
Here’s my rankings for 2015:
- Corey Seager
- Julio Urias
- Joc Pederson
- Grant Holmes
- Alex Verdugo
- Chris Anderson
- Jose De Leon
- Scott Schebler
- Chris Reed
- Zach Lee
I still have Zach Lee on my list, because we tend to forget that the right-hander is still only 23-years old. Even though he struggled in Albuquerque last season, the Dodgers’ Triple-A move to Oklahoma City could benefit the big Texas hurler. Even though Lee has been considered a disappointment among the Dodgers top prospects over the past few years, I wouldn’t count Lee out just yet. Look for him to make his Major League debut sometime this season.
Overall, the Dodgers minor league system is improving with the additional depth which has been added. The top three prospects for the Dodgers are amongst the best in all of baseball.
Ben Badler had this to add to the annual list giving me high expectations for the Dodgers farm system:
"“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.”"
Jose De Leon was a 24th round draft pick in 2013, but the right-hander has emerged as a very promising pitching prospect after striking out 119 batters over 77 innings pitched between Rookie-Ogden and Single-A Great Lakes.
Alex Verdugo also is a new name on the Dodgers list for this year after having a nice first professional season after being drafted in the second round behind Holmes last year. The center fielder will be 19 in May, and he hit a combined .353/.421/.511 with 67 hits over 54 games between the Rookie Arizona Dodgers and the Ogden Raptors. More on Verdugo here.
I’d like to hear your top 10 prospect list for the Dodgers. Who do you feel is their No. 1 prospect? We will have continued prospect coverage here at Lasorda’s Lair including a more comprehensive look at our top 10 prospects.