Stock Up, Stock Down for Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects for Week 11
Everybody's favorite son had another big week for the big league team, including his first ever MLB-level heave-ho. Yasiel Puig continues to pound the baseball into submission for the Dodgers, prompting Don Mattingly to announce that he will stay up when Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp return.
That means Joc Pederson is stuck in Double-A until further notice, and pending a trade or injury, probably won't see any action until the rosters expand. Given Mattingly's announcement, this will be the last week we see Puig in our rankings, as a full-time Major League player will no longer be considered a "prospect" for me.
The bad news for the Dodgers is that they are in last place, about seven games out of first place. The good news is that everyone else is lumped in a cluster about two games apart at the top of the division, and will be beating each other up the rest of the first half. This may be the big opportunity to sneak back in.
With everyone getting healthy (finally), there may be less room for call-ups. Although Chris Withrow did get the promotion last week and performed admirably in his first couple MLB appearances. We could see more bullpen arms make the jump.
Let's review this week's top 10, as compared to last week's group.
All stats courtesy of MiLB.com and current as of 6/18/2013.
No. 1: Yasiel Puig
Season stats: 40 G, .313 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 13 SB, .982 OPS
Last week's stats: N/A
As mentioned (and as everyone knows by now), Yasiel Puig has already arrived. He's hitting home runs, he's getting on base, he's stealing bases, he's making ridiculous throws from the outfield, and he's even getting into brawls—there's no doubt about it. Puig is a Major League star.
He continues to hit over .400 in the big leagues, and has been the main spark for this Dodgers offense since being recalled. The team is still struggling overall, but we can see the offense turning a corner. Now if only Puig could close out the ninth inning on the mound...
No. 2: Zach Lee
Season stats: 14 G, 13 GS, 2.65 ERA, 71.1 IP, 62 H, 25 R, 21 ER, 20 BB, 65 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
It was a solid, if unspectacular last performance for Lee, who took the loss for Chattanooga. His season overall remains the picture of consistent dominance, and he continues to make a play for whichever spot start may be next for the big league team.
The gap between walks and strikeouts continues to widen for Lee, who had struggled with his control in previous years. He has really settled in at Double-A and will likely see some time either at Triple-A, the Majors, or both, before the year is out.
No. 3: Joc Pederson
Season stats: 68 G, .302 BA, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 19 SB, .896 OPS
Last week's stats: 8 G, .259 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 SB, .838 OPS
Pederson's stock takes a slight hit because of the bad batting average last week, but he's been consistently good this season too. For a while there, I even thought he might be the first Double-A outfielder called up instead of Puig.
It is nice to see Pederson end a long homer-less drought with two in his last eight games, but I'm waiting to see if he can take off on another hot streak and get his average back up over the .310 mark, where it had comfortably been sitting all season. Pederson will play his way into a promotion at some point.
No. 4: Corey Seager
Season stats: 36 G, .282 BA, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 7 SB, .800 OPS
Last week's stats: N/A
The Single-A Great Lakes Loons finished the first half of their season this week, and have yet to resume games for their second half. Seager started slowly, got injured, then bounced back to post pretty good numbers over his first 36 games. I'm not sure why he didn't play at all in the past week, though.
No. 5: Chris Withrow
Season stats: 22 G, 1.93 ERA, 23.1 IP, 23 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 12 BB, 30 K
Last week's stats: N/A
Even though Withrow has been just decent at the big league level since being recalled, he seems to be a promising arm for that struggling bullpen. His minor league success has translated nicely to the big leagues. In his first appearance, he got a little rattled after putting two men on, but ended up just getting unlucky on a bloop hit.
He also has looked filthy with his high 90s fastball, and had a couple nice strikeouts against Pittsburgh before Paco Rodriguez came on and allowed an inherited runner to score. So while Withrow's ERA doesn't look fantastic so far, he's pitching better than the numbers show. He's here to stay for a little while longer.
No. 6: Ross Stripling
Season stats: 13 G, 12 GS, 2.84 ERA, 69.2 IP, 64 H, 24 R, 22 ER, 17 BB, 70 K
Last week's stats: 2 GS, 0.80 ERA, 11.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K
The only reason Stripling dropped in the rankings is because Withrow was promoted, and therefore earned himself a jump into the top five. But if not for that, Stripling may have even had a case to be bumped to number four, as he's really holding his own in Double-A right now.
Stripling was having a great start to the year in Single-A, and when the Dodgers decided he needed a bigger challenge, he took it on and has absolutely dominated. Since the promotion, he has gone 3-1 with a 2.75 ERA with only six walks allowed and 36 strikeouts in 36 innings. He's quickly gaining ground on Lee.
No. 7: Michael Thomas
Season stats: 22 G, 1 GS, 1.19 ERA, 9 SV, 30.1 IP, 23 H, 4 ER, 9 BB, 35 K
Last week's stats: 2 G, 2.25 ERA, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
When the ERA has been so minuscule for so long, Thomas is bound to have very little room for error on this list. He's been absolutely fantastic both in Single-A and Double-A this year, so I don't have many complaints. His "rough" outing this week was allowing one run in two innings of work.
He was a very good closer at Single-A, and has become a dominant force in Double-A since being promoted with Stripling. He's definitely a candidate to move up to the big league bullpen down the line this season, as the Dodgers could use another good southpaw arm out there.
No. 8: Ryan Mount
Season stats: 42 G, .342 BA, 7 HR, 37 RBI, .973 OPS
Last week's stats: N/A
Between being placed on the seven-day DL and the first half of the Single-A season ending, Mount hasn't seen a ton of game action recently. His numbers for the season overall are definitely worthy of a promotion to Double-A when the Dodgers get a chance, though.
No. 9: Chris Reed
Season stats: 14 G, 12 GS, 3.80 ERA, 73.1 IP, 69 H, 35 R, 31 ER, 24 BB, 49 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 1.13 ERA, 8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Reed continues his triumphant march back into the top 10 with a third straight week of strong play. This most recent start may have been his best effort of the year, as he posted four hits and one run over eight innings and got the win for Chattanooga.
He had an incredibly rocky start to the year, but has bounced back in a big way and seems to have fixed whatever flaws were holding him back. Reed, if (and it's a big "if") he continues to pitch well in the second half, could see a few innings in Triple-A before the season ends.
No. 10: Julio Urias
Season stats: 5 GS, 3.12 ERA, 17.1 IP, 17 H, 6 ER, 7 BB, 19 K
Last week's stats: 2 GS, 8.06 ERA, 5.2 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K
The 16-year-old Mexican phenom isn't so phenomenal anymore. As Single-A lineups start to figure him out, the numbers will drop steadily. He's starting to serve up more home runs and walk more batters than he did in his first few starts.
But Urias has still been awfully impressive for a kid his age, and though he will likely end the season in Rookie Ball, he's really made an impression so far. Even with his ERA above 3.00 for the first time in his career, he should be turning more heads in the future.
Just Missed Top 10
We saw a slight shuffle in the top 10 as the 16-year-old southpaw Urias dropped to number 10, and Reed and Mount continued to climb. And now that Withrow is in the big leagues, he leaped Stripling, who otherwise would have likely been in the top four.
Things will start to get interesting in the second half of these minor league seasons as we continue to watch prospects like Lee, Pederson and Seager to see if they can make the jump to the next level (in Lee and Pederson's cases, can they jump all the way to the big league roster?).
Here is a list of players who just barely missed making the top 10 this week:
Don't forget to check in next week for the new list on Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down.
Follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman.