The Los Angeles Dodgers have had an up and down season in the early going, winning two out of three in San Diego before dropping two in Arizona (including a 1-0 heartbreaker yesterday) to finish up a quick road trip.
And with the latest star to fall victim to injury (Zack Greinke has been sidelined for at least eight weeks with a fractured collarbone), we may be seeing some of the minor league studs sooner rather than later.
As the whole organization gets into the swing of the early-season grind, how have the Dodgers' top 10 prospects fared since we last checked in a week ago? To see how their stocks looked last week, check out that piece here.
For week two, we had a couple big movers and—this should please Dodgers fans—a lot of stocks climbing.
All stats taken from MiLB.com and current as of 4/15/2013.
Stats: 9 G, .364 BA, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 1.083 OPS
The dream has finally ended. After watching Puig hit .500 in the first "week" (three games) of the regular season in Chattanooga, he's dipped all the way down to .364. He's a shell of his former self.
Of course, I'm completely kidding. Puig has continued to be one of the most formidable hitters in all of baseball below the major league level, and has doubled his home run and RBI totals since last we checked.
Again, I think Puig will stick in the minors for a little while longer, but should be the first guy called up when the team needs a replacement outfielder. Puig can only terrorize pitchers in Double-A for so long before he gets the call.
Stats: 2 GS, 11 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 12 K
Last time we visited Lee's stat line, it was looking very...mediocre. Granted, that was after one start. But given his relatively average minor league career thus far, there was reason to be nervous about the former first-round pick.
Lee has made one start since last week, and absolutely rocked it over seven innings. He allowed just five hits, one run (a solo homer), one walk, and struck out seven. That outing lowered his early-season ERA down to a Kershaw-esque 1.64.
I still think something would have to go drastically wrong at the big league level for Lee to get his break this year, but if he pitches this well all season long, a September call-up wouldn't be out of the question.
Stats: .182 BA, 1 HR, 3 RBI, .580 OPS
It's hard to imagine a guy who's hitting south of the Mendoza line in Single-A as trending upwards. But last week, Seager came in hitting a cool .077. It's not a huge jump, but his 5-of-16 performance over the four-game weekend was certainly worth noting.
Seager is an impressive talent, and he's going to get his numbers up as the season progresses. It's still too early to tell how well these guys are actually doing at this point, since they have yet to even play 10 games in Single-A.
The Dodgers are high on Seager, and for good reason. Look for him to heat up with the weather over the next couple weeks and find himself in a position to be promoted to Double-A at some point in the middle of the summer.
Stats: 2 GS, 10 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 6 BB, 7 K
Last week, Reed's status was way down after a horrendous first outing in Double-A. In his second start, he was better at limiting the damage, but still allowed seven batters to reach base against him in six innings.
He lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 5.40 in this start, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt in saying he's on the right track. But the southpaw needs to continue to show improvement with his control and work on putting batters away.
Reed doesn't really seem like a prime candidate for a promotion anytime soon, especially with a ton of lefty talent in the Dodgers' big league pitching staff. Check back next week to see if Reed has made strides toward becoming a more elite pitching prospect for the Dodgers.
Stats: .256 BA, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 3 SB, .850 OPS
Dodger fans must love what Pederson is doing right now. He's tearing up Double-A ball with 22 total bases in 10 games, 11 runs scored and an unblemished three-for-three in stolen base attempts.
Pederson was the most exciting player on the field in Single-A last year, and has a chance to prove he really is a top-notch prospect within this organization if he continues to play well for Chattanooga. Since last week, he's added one home run, three RBI, two stolen bases and about 50 points to his average.
Though Pederson is still buried behind Puig, Alex Castellanos, Tony Gwynn and Elian Herrera on the outfielders-to-be-called-up list, he has a shot at becoming a future mainstay in the big league lineup. That is, if he can continue to produce.
Stats: 2 GS, 9 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 7 BB, 9 K
Similar to Reed, I have to give Magill credit for bouncing back and having an improved second start of this season. But the big right-hander still hasn't shown off any of the tools that make the Dodgers front office so excited about him.
Magill is averaging a strikeout per inning, but he's also allowed nearly two baserunners an inning and can't seem to keep that walk rate down. This is a generous ranking from me this week because he imploded in his first start and had a WHIP the size of Albuquerque in his second.
If Magill is going to reach the majors this year, he needs to settle down and get back to his pinpoint, strikeout-producing ways. This is the year for him to really prove he belongs, but Triple-A hasn't been kind to him so far. Tune in next week to see if he's made more strides.
Stats: 2 GS, 7.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
Slightly. Slightly up. Mostly because he hadn't yet appeared in a game last time we talked stocks here. Garcia has made two starts since, picking up a no-decision in the first and a loss yesterday in his second.
The Dodgers are excited about his raw potential, and he's shown flashes of it. Garcia's line actually isn't terrible for the first two starts in Double-A of his minor league career, but the control needs to get better. This seems to be a theme among pitchers in the Dodgers organization right now.
One promising figure is the strikeout total, which would be a huge asset to the Major League team in 2014 or later. If he can be a power arm at the back of the rotation or in the bullpen, the Dodgers will be very pleased with their Cuban southpaw.
Stats: 3 G, 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K
No more Mr. Nice Guy. Withrow has been mostly lights-out this season so far, but I can't stand to see a walk per inning from a relief pitcher. If the Dodgers need a hard-throwing righty to walk batters late in games, they will re-sign Matt Guerrier this winter.
Don't get me wrong—I like Withrow a lot. I think he definitely has a future spot in the Dodgers' bullpen. But unless he learns to harness his tools and make good pitches to avoid putting runners on base, the road is going to get exponentially longer for him.
In fairness, Withrow is transitioning into his first season in Triple-A and still learning the role of a reliever. And also, the game in which he walked two batters over an inning and a third was the same one he struck out four.
Stats: 2 GS, 7.1 IP, 14 H, 13 R, 11 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Way, way down. Gould has been an absolute disaster in the early going for Rancho Cucamonga. He struggled last year for the Quakes as well, which worries yours truly.
After getting roughed up in his first start last week, I figured the only way was up for Gould. But he found a whole new way to stink it up last time out, allowing eight hits and six earned runs in just two innings while failing to record a strikeout.
Gould is just two years removed from leading the Dodgers organization in ERA (2.40 in 2011) and has been reliable for just under a strikeout per inning through his minor league career. At this rate, 2013 might be a step backward for Gould. We'll see if he puts it together this week.
Stats: 2 G, 1 GS, 7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 7 K
Bird is young, raw, and talented—just how the Dodgers like them. But he got the nod for the Single-A Great Lakes Loons this past week and bombed. It was a far cry from his first relief outing in Week One.
He was all over the place, allowing six baserunners and a home run in just four innings of work. One promising stat is that Bird did strike out five batters over that start, so it looks like he's adjusting his hard fastball nicely to the minor leagues (this is his first regular time in the Dodgers organization after only playing in the Arizona Fall League previously).
Scouts love Bird's fastball and think he has the right frame to develop into a gem if he can nail down his delivery mechanics. The big right-hander from Mississippi is not even sniffing the majors anytime soon, but the Dodgers would love to see him make some progress as a starter in the meantime.
I failed to note this on the first edition of Stock Up, Stock Down, but I will be modifying the top 10 list as the season progresses. The real top prospect lists ebb and flow as the season goes on, and I want to make sure Dodgers fans know who is playing well at what level, and when.
Here is a short list of players with no MLB service time who barely missed the cut this week:
Yimi Garcia, RHP (Double-A)
Blake Smith, OF (Double-A)
Tyler Ogle, C (Single-A)
Ross Stripling, RHP (Single-A)
Don't forget to come back next week for the next round of the Dodgers stock watch.