Stock Up, Stock Down for Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects for Week 12
A sad time has arrived on Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down. The number-one prospect for 11 straight weeks has outlived his time on the list and will no longer be considered a "prospect."
As soon as Don Mattingly told reporters he expected Yasiel Puig to stay in the majors the rest of the year, the sad breakup had to occur. But one man's promotion is another man's...well, promotion. To the top spot on this list! And it should really be no surprise who sits there, as he had been number two behind Puig all season long.
With Chris Capuano making two clutch starts in just five days, this new number one may have to wait even longer for his debut, but we have to consider that the Dodgers are doing due diligence with the former first round pick. No sense in bringing him up too early only to get shelled and shatter his confidence (cough, Matt Magill, cough).
So, without further ado, let's jump into the list and see the new faces. Compared to last week's list, things are looking a little bit different.
All stats courtesy of MiLB.com and current as of 6/23/2013.
No. 1: Zach Lee
Season stats: 15 G, 14 GS, 3.23 ERA, 75.1 IP, 70 H, 31 R, 27 ER, 20 BB, 70 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 13.50 ERA, 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Confused? Don't worry. It will all make sense in minute. This is all a case of awful timing for yours truly. I had no choice but to rank Lee first overall, as he's been number two the entire season. But, of course, Lee had his worst outing this week and made me question everything that is human.
So his most recent outing was awful. Let's take his entire body of work into account here, though. Lee has been hovering right above or below the 3.00 ERA line all season, has a fantastic strikeout-to-walk ratio and is still allowing less than two earned runs per start. He's having a great season, and definitely worthy of this top ranking.
No. 2: Joc Pederson
Season stats: 73 G, .300 BA, 11 HR, 31 RBI, 21 SB, .894 OPS
Last week's stats: 5 G, .263 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB, .760 OPS
Yes, Pederson had a bit of a rough week in the batting average department, but he's really still making his presence felt. He had two more successful stolen base attempts, to bring his total to 21 against three times caught this season. That's an amazing ratio, even in Double-A.
And the kid is finally getting his power stroke back after a bit of an absence. Seven RBI in five games is nothing to scoff at. Really, the only thing holding me back from sending his stock skyward was that he struck out 10 times in those five games (including a four-strikeout game) and only walked four times.
No. 3: Corey Seager
Season stats: 40 G, .301 BA, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 7 SB, .892 OPS
Last week's stats: 4 G, .467 BA, 2 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 1.642 OPS
In his first game action since June 9th, Seager showed that he was back and better than ever. If you count the five games leading up to his break, he now has a nine-game hitting streak. And in the last week, Seager put on an impressive one-double, two-homer, six-RBI performance.
Dodgers fans have been waiting to see their 2012 first round pick compile a stat line like this for a long time, and we can only hope it leads to more improvement so Seager can get a promotion to Double-A before the year ends.
No. 4: Chris Withrow
Season stats: 23 G, 1.85 ERA, 24.1 IP, 24 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 12 BB, 30 K
Last week's stats: 1 G, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Withrow, in this writer's opinion, never should have been sent back down from the big league club. In his third and final appearance in the majors, he cut his ERA down to 5.40, but most of those runs were simply just hard luck. Either way, I thought he looked very good in his short stint, and should be back soon.
Especially with the continued struggles of Matt Guerrier, Brandon League, and Ronald Belisario, surely Withrow and his high-90's fastball is a better option than those three or Peter Moylan. But while Withrow is down for now, I have no doubt he'll be back in that bullpen soon.
No. 5: Ross Stripling
Season stats: 14 G, 13 GS, 2.85 ERA, 78.2 IP, 69 H, 26 R, 24 ER, 17 BB, 77 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 3.00 ERA, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
Stripling, for the most part, has been the fastest climber on this list. I've wanted to sneak him into the top five for a while now, and with Puig officially a major leaguer, I finally had my chance. Honestly, a case could still be made for Stripling as a top three or four player on this list.
His last start was very average by Stripling standards, but still a nice, quality start. In both Single-A and Double-A this year, Stripling has thrived, and is making a case for himself to be the next best option behind Lee for a spot start. I believe the Dodgers want to give Stripling a little more seasoning before considering that for the 2012 fifth-round pick, though.
No. 6: Michael Thomas
Season stats: 23 G, 1 GS, 1.08 ERA, 10 SV, 33.1 IP, 23 H, 4 ER, 9 BB, 39 K
Last week's stats: 1 G, 0.00 ERA, 1 SV, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Thomas continues to impress in a season that has seen him thrive since joining the Double-A team. He got his first save at that level after racking up nine in Single-A, when he pitched the last three innings of a ball game for Chattanooga last week.
If the staggering numbers aren't good enough for you, take his trivia skills (okay, so they aren't actually that great...but better than Pratt Maynard's!) in the video above as solace that we have a promising young man in this farm system. I'd love to see Thomas' arm in the bullpen this season, but he may still be a year away.
No. 7: Chris Reed
Season stats: 15 G, 13 GS, 3.74 ERA, 79.1 IP, 73 H, 37 R, 33 ER, 27 BB, 51 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 3.00 ERA, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Reed's incredible comeback (starting at number four on the list in week one, dropping completely off the list soon thereafter) continues, as he posted another quality start for Double-A Chattanooga this week. He's showing why the Dodgers were so high on him coming into 2013, and why he might still have a shot for a late-season call-up.
In Reed's last five starts, he has thrown 33.1 innings, allowed a total of four earned runs, issued six walks and struck out 21. I don't know what changed, whether it be mechanics, mindset, or a little bit of both, but Reed has definitely—finally—found his stride.
No. 8: Ryan Mount
Season stats: 42 G, .342 BA, 7 HR, 37 RBI, .973 OPS
Last week's stats: N/A
We're going to keep the 27-year-old Single-A middle infielder at number eight. Despite having a career year so far, he's currently on the 7-day DL and hasn't seen game action in the month of June.
No. 9: Yimi Garcia
Season stats: 27 G, 2.75 ERA, 14 SV, 36 IP, 22 H, 11 ER, 6 BB, 47 K
Last week's stats: 2 G, 4.50 ERA, 1 SV, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Welcome back, Yimi Garcia! After taking a turn a few weeks ago around this spot in the top 10, Garcia breaks back in with the opening left by Puig. He didn't fare well in a big spot in his most recent outing, allowing two hits and a run, but Garcia has been mostly phenomenal this season.
The Double-A closer has converted 14 saves and has an incredibly impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio. Despite all the success, the southpaw isn't even the best reliever on his team (that honor goes to Thomas, who was sixth on this list). But, Garcia should still get a late season shot at the bigs, or a promotion to Triple-A before the season ends.
No. 10: Julio Urias
Season stats: 6 GS, 3.74 ERA, 21.2 IP, 22 H, 9 ER, 10 BB, 23 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 6.23 ERA, 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
It's hard to even be upset with the 16-year-old Urias' stock falling. He's still so young and fresh that even being on the list warrants immense praise. But opponents finally started clicking against the young lefty, and it shows in his ERA.
Over his first three starts, Urias was nearly unhittable. Since, he's posted three straight starts of allowing at least two earned runs without going more than four and a third innings on the mound. He's got the stuff, and the confidence, but we'll see how long the kid can hold out against full grown men.
Just Missed Top 10
I'm going to change this slide up a bit, and give a short explanation for each player's "just missed status" this week, and confining it to five players from here on out:
1. Duke von Schamann, RHP (Double-A)
The righty narrowly missed a spot after dazzling in his first two starts in Chattanooga. But he proved to me that he's still just barely on the outside looking in when he got roughed up last week in his only start (4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER).
2. O'Koyea Dickson, 1B (Single-A+)
Dickson just continues to hit and drive in runs, bringing his RBI total to 50 this year just last week. Though he's tallied 129 total bases in just 72 games, Dickson went cold last week, hitting a measly .200.
3. Steve Ames, RHP (Triple-A)
I'm surprised Ames, the Triple-A closer, hasn't received a call-up yet. The team has used Magill and Withrow, but for some reason refuse to promote Ames. It is probably because, despite his decently gaudy numbers (3.07 ERA, 7 saves), Ames allows a ton of hits and doesn't strike a lot of guys out.
4. Carlos Frias, RHP (Single-A+)
After Frias was recently promoted half a level, he's been having a little trouble adjusting. His numbers, overall, between Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga (5-4, 2.99 ERA) are fine, but in two starts since moving up, Frias has allowed three runs in five innings of work each time.
5. Noel Cuevas, LF (Single-A)
For the sake of a new face on this list, I was at a toss up between Cuevas (.298/5/39/.822) and fellow Rancho Cucamonga outfielder Scott Schebler (.278/10/33/.882) to replace Great Lakes first baseman Tyler Ogle (.283/10/37/.876). All three are having solid years, but I was intrigued most by Cuevas' 19 steals.
Don't forget to check back next week for another round of Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down!