Dodgers Featured On BA Midseason Prospect List

Sep 23, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Frankie Montas (60) pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Frankie Montas (60) pitches against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Baseball America released their midseason top-100 prospect list, and to no surprise the Dodgers are very well-represented.

Every year, Baseball America releases two lists of their top-100 prospects, one list being released before the season and the other being released around the halfway point of the season.

In their first 2016 top prospect list, the Dodgers had seven representatives, led by Corey Seager and Julio Urias (numbers one and four, respectively). That list can be found at the side of the page here.

For their midseason update, their rules stipulate that a player must be in the minors on June 21st, and they must still be considered a rookie. Seager, Urias and Kenta Maeda (50th on their initial list) were all disqualified from the midseason update. All three of them were on the Dodgers’ major league roster on June 21st, and only Urias still qualifies as a rookie (13.2 innings away from the 50 required to lose rookie status). Despite graduating three of their four top prospects in the preseason list, the Dodgers still had six on the midseason top-100.

Jose De Leon was the first non-Seager or Urias on the preseason list, but he was leapfrogged on the midseason list by Cody Bellinger, who was number 24.. Bellinger was number 54 on the preseason list after a strong season at Rancho and a strong Spring. His power hasn’t quite carried over to AA, but his walks are a bit up and his strikeouts are down. Bellinger is the highest-rated first base prospect on the top-100 list.

Right behind Bellinger is De Leon, who was number 23 on the preseason list and is 25 on the midseason list. De Leon has had an abbreviated season due to an ankle injury. He has a 3.03 ERA in seven starts at AAA, but has 44 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. He almost surely would have been called up by now if he was healthy, but De Leon gives the Dodgers two highly-rated pitchers on the fringe of staying in the majors.

Alex Verdugo made a huge jump in the prospect rankings. He was number 100 in the preseason rankings, but 44 on the midseason rankings due to a bat that has proven it can work at all levels. Verdugo has already matched his 2015 home run total (nine), and while his average is down to .293, Verdugo has seen a bump in on base percentage (24 walks in 280 ABs, 21 walks in 512 ABs last year) and still looks like a future stud at the plate. He showed a lot of promise in the Spring, so he could continue to be one of those bats that keeps sneaking higher on prospect lists.

Grant Holmes comes in at 60 on the midseason list after being ranked 72nd in the preseason. Holmes is definitely the farthest out of all these prospects as he’s still at high-A Rancho, but the 20 year old is still putting up a solid year. He’s slowly approaching his career-high in innings, but Holmes has a 3.48 ERA in 16 appearances (14 starts) and while he isn’t the star prospect like Urias or De Leon, Holmes could be a future rotation rock at best and a high-velocity reliever at worst.

The final two Dodger prospects on the midseason list were absent from the preseason list. The first, Frankie Montas (82), has only thrown 11.1 innings this year. He suffered a rib injury in Spring Training and came back in late May, only to suffer another rib injury. Montas probably would be helping the MLB team if he was healthy, but he’s still been bumped into the top-100 list thanks to his huge fastball and wipeout slider, a combination that could make him a future rotation piece or a huge asset in the back of the bullpen.

The final Dodger prospect on the list is Willie Calhoun (98), who wasn’t on many top-100 radars to start the season. Calhoun was drafted in the fourth round of last years’ draft and hit .319 with 11 home runs as he moved from rookie ball to High-A last season. At AA-Tulsa this season, Calhoun has seen a dip in average, but has 16 homers. His hit tool will get him to the majors at some point, but his future will be determined by whether his glove gets the job done at second.

Next: Three Dodgers Named All-Stars

The Dodgers are in a position where their major league team has survived poor play and more than their fair share of injuries and still have the 10th-best winning percentage in baseball. This season has gone about as poorly as anyone could imagine, and they’re still in striking distance for the division and in a wild card spot right now. People throw the word “rebuilding” around because the Dodgers have such a strong farm system, but most rebuilding teams (see: Cubs, Mets, Astros) go through abysmal years before their young studs come up and turn the team around. The Dodgers are in their “abysmal” years and are still a playoff team.