The Los Angeles Dodgers have some of the best depth in baseball. But with a few positional holes and some injury concerns, it could be up to their prospects to plug the leaks throughout 2013.
Below is a list of some of L.A.'s prospects who could make an impact in the upcoming season.
It's worth noting that there's a slim chance any of these guys break through the roster to start the season. But with productive starts, each could see significant playing time by season's end.
Zach Lee is arguably the Dodger's best prospect, and the front office has been very aggressive with his development.
The 21-year-old pitcher started last season at High-A, and was promoted to Double-A after 12 starts. In his first season with the club—at 19 years old—he was assigned to A-Ball.
Despite an inconsistent season in 2012, Lee still has fantastic stuff—and his numbers actually improved with his promotion to Double-A. He's averaged about five innings per start, and has a career 3.03 K/BB in the minors.
With the route Los Angeles has put Lee on, it wouldn't surprise me to see the right-hander start the 2013 season at Triple-A.
Of course, with the signing of Zack Greinke the Dodgers are pretty set with starting pitching. But they also have seven veterans, and chances are a couple of them won't be willing to ride out the season in the bullpen.
The rotation also had their own share of injuries over the season.
So it doesn't seem that far-fetched for Zach Lee to wriggle his way into the rotation at some point this season. And once he's up, chances are he's there to stay.
Taken in the first round of the 2011 draft, Chris Reed has some electric stuff. With a power slider and good fastball, Reed could be a valuable reliever in the Dodgers 'pen.
Outside of a few obvious names—Kenley Jansen and Brandon League to name a few—spots in the L.A. bullpen are up for grabs. With a lack of left-handers, Reed is an obvious choice.
The 22-year-old finished last season at Double-A. Just like Lee, the Dodgers have been fairly aggressive with his assignments.
With a strong showing to start the season, Reed could be a very early call-up in 2013.
If there's any position L.A. is thin at, it's catcher. 2012 starter A.J. Ellis had a career year, and is recovering from offseason surgery.
Things get paper thin after that, with Tim Federowicz that only name on the depth charts (he played in just two games in 2012).
Prospect Gorman Erickson is a great name to fill out the depth chart.
The 24-year-old spent his 2012 at Double-A. Erickson had a disappointing showing hitting just .234, but is only a season removed from hitting .293 and 13 home runs in 2011—split between High-A and Double-A.
With a strong showing in Spring Training, Erickson could easily become a front-runner for the backup catcher spot.
Compared to the Dodgers' other options, giving the kid a chance couldn't hurt.
This would be a huge stretch, but after Yoenis Cespedes' breakout season you can't take anything away from these high-ceiling Cuban prospects.
The Dodgers are huge on Yasiel Puig, as evidenced by the seven year $42 million deal he signed with the club in June. He's a dual threat player who can do a lot of damage with his speed and power.
He hasn't fail to impress either, hitting .400 in the Arizona Fall League with four home runs.
Of course, Puig is still just 22 years old—Cespedes was 26 years old when he signed with the Athletics.
Los Angeles is solid in the outfield, but Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp are coming off injury rattled seasons. If by mid-season the Dodgers are desperate for depth—and Puig is still mashing—it would make a lot of sense for them to call him up.
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