ESPN’s Keith Law ranked all 30 farm systems, and the Dodgers ranked rather highly.
The Dodgers did well on MLB.com’s top prospect list, featuring five of the top-100. Two of those five were in the top four, with Julio Urias ranking as number four and Corey Seager taking home the top spot.
They arguably did even better on Keith Law’s ESPN Insider list, with seven prospects in the top-100. Those same two finished in the top-five, as Urias was named the fifth best prospect and Seager was named the best.
Those two were the only Dodgers in the top-50, but Law placed five other Dodgers in the 51-100 range. In a bit of a shocker, the third Dodger on the list wasn’t Jose De Leon. De Leon, who ranked 24th on MLB’s list, was ranked 60th on Law’s list. Law pointed to a spike in home runs allowed as the reason he wasn’t as high on him. De Leon allowed 11 homers in 76 2/3 innings at AA Tulsa last year (12 homers in 114 1/3 total innings), after only allowing three homers in 77 innings in 2014. The move up from A-AA could be the reason, but Law stated that he needs to keep the homers in control to reach his ceiling.
Alex Verdugo, who wasn’t listed on MLB’s top-100 or their top-10 outfielders lists, was the 51st ranked prospect according to Law. Law claimed that Verdugo had the most upside of any Dodger position prospect not named Seager. Through 756 career professional plate appearances, Verdugo has a triple-slash of .322/.363/.460 and has only struck out 81 times. Verdugo was the Dodgers’ second round pick in 2014 and will be 20 in May, so his prospect status should keep rising as he matures.
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Grant Holmes (62 on MLB) was the final Dodger pitcher on Law’s list. He came in at 71, up from 79 in last year’s list. Law projected Holmes as a league-average or slightly better starter, stating that he needed “to work primarily on throwing his off-speed stuff for strikes and developing some confidence in that changeup.”
The final two Dodgers on Law’s list were absent from MLB’s list. The first, Yusniel Diaz, agreed to a deal with the Dodgers in November, but the team has not yet made the deal official. Diaz, 19, was ranked third on MLB’s international prospect list and 77th on Law’s list. Law calls Diaz a four-tool player (only missing power) that has the build to be a power hitter, but has a contact-oriented swing. Law also claims Diaz could be a Lorenzo Cain/A.J. Pollock type.. Sign me up for that immediately.
The final Dodger on Law’s list was Cody Bellinger. It’s still unknown whether Bellinger will be the .312 hitter with three home runs player he was in 2014, or the .264 with 30 home runs player he was in 2015. Either way, Law thinks his 70-glove will give him a chance to be an everyday player.
Notably absent from this list was Frankie Montas, who was 95th on MLB.com’s list. Montas’ role as either a starter or reliever is a question mark, but it’s also sort of nice to see him miss the list. No prospect lists are going to completely agree, so seeing nine different prospects in two top-100 lists is phenomenal. Even past the big two, the Dodgers have top-level minor league talent and are always seeking more via trades or international signings. Law ranked the Dodgers as the second best farm system in baseball, only behind the Braves (who are more-or-less actively tanking and got half their farm from Arizona).