Stock Up, Stock Down for Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects for Week 14
I'll spare you the drawn-out chili pepper heat reference to point out how well the Dodgers are playing this week. But it remains largely due to former list-topper Yasiel Puig that the Dodgers are creeping up on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.
Chris Withrow and Jose Dominguez remain in the majors (for now), and the farm system avoided a major hit when the Dodgers acquired Ricky Nolasco from Miami for three prospects who aren't considered "top tier."
So after weeks of coming so close, Steve Ames will never be promoted to the top-10 list. He's now a member of the Miami Marlins and is said to be getting moved straight to the bigs, so good luck to him. Along with Ames, the Dodgers traded pitchers Angel Sanchez and Josh Wall for Nolasco and international money.
The trade doesn't really shake up the list too much, but if anyone thought they had a chance at catching the reigning No. 1 prospect, think again. He had a fantastic week and keeps making a case for promotion. Let's check out how the guys did as compared to last week's list.
All stats courtesy of MiLB.com and current as of 7/7/2013.
No. 1: Zach Lee
Season stats: 18 G, 17 GS, 93.2 IP, 81 H, 33 R, 29 ER, 24 BB, 85 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
Lee took the bump on July 4th for Chattanooga and was credited with a complete game shutout in a rain-shortened game that the Lookouts won 2-0. Even if the game had went the full nine innings, chances are Lee would have taken a win the way he was going.
He continued his dominant streak (two earned runs in his last 18.1 innings pitched) in that start and improved his season numbers even more.
I know the Dodgers could very well pull Lee up from Double-A, but it almost seems like the league isn't challenging him sometimes. I'd be interested to see him get a couple starts against Triple-A competition.
No. 2: Joc Pederson
Season stats: 82 G, .299 BA, 14 HR, 38 RBI, 25 SB, .910 OPS
Last week's stats: 3 G, .231, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .817 OPS
Even though Pederson's numbers since last week are nothing special, I'm not going to move him down. He had three games with Double-A since we last checked in, so the sample size was a bit too small to take seriously. Either way, we know that Pederson is having a monster season at the dish.
There are some fans who worry that Pederson will be moved in a big deal at the trade deadline, but now that Ned Colletti has secured the services of Nolasco, that possibility has likely been put to rest. It's a good thing too, because despite the logjam in the major league outfield, Pederson looks like a future star.
No. 3: Corey Seager
Season stats: 53 G, .299 BA, 8 HR, 40 RBI, 8 SB, .868 OPS
Last week's stats: 7 G, .333 BA, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 SB, 1.005 OPS
Seager has really been hitting well since a DL stint earlier this year. Just like Pederson, his average is hovering right below .300, and his power swing is starting to come around again. As MLB fans watch Corey's older brother, Kyle Seager (Seattle Mariners third baseman), drop bombs, we have to wonder if Corey will eventually clone that type of production.
He's slowly and surely making his case for promotion and for an eventual shot to do just that. Seager had a big week—including a four-RBI game—for the Loons. If he gets hot in the second half, we could see some big numbers down the line. It's only a matter of time until he gets a shot at Double-A.
No. 4: Ross Stripling
Season stats: 17 G, 15 GS, 2.49 ERA, 1 SV, 86.2 IP, 71 H, 26 R, 24 ER, 17 BB, 86 K
Last week's stats: 2 G, 1 GS, 0.00 ERA, 1 SV, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
I finally moved Stripling into the top four this week. I did so for two reasons. First, it's my way of celebrating that he is still a Dodger after the trade for Nolasco. Secondly, he's very good at pitching-related activities. He is dominating Double-A and might get a taste of Triple-A before season's end.
For the record, I can't find any conclusive news on why Stripling only pitched one inning in his most recent start and then was moved to the bullpen. I can't imagine the Dodgers are converting him to a reliever after the success he's had in 2013, so I'm assuming—for now—that it is to limit his pitch count.
No. 5: Chris Withrow
Season stats: 24 G, 1.78 ERA, 25.1 IP, 25 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 12 BB, 32 K
Last week's stats: N/A
Withrow is still in the big leagues and has been for the last week. But I'm not buying that he won't be sent down soon with the re-shuffling after trades for Nolasco and Carlos Marmol.
Withrow has still only made five appearances in the majors and has been really good at getting the first two outs. Once he learns to put a team away, he may become a more regular part of the Dodgers bullpen.
No. 6: Michael Thomas
Season stats: 26 G, 1 GS, 1.47 ERA, 10 SV, 36.2 IP, 28 H, 6 ER, 9 BB, 39 K
Last week's stats: 1 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
It was a yawner of a week for Thomas, who got one appearance, one batter and just did his job.
He continues to be one of the best pitchers in the minor leagues for the Dodgers this year and may find himself with a shot at Triple-A before the season ends. He will move up the list once Withrow registers enough big league service time or is demoted and struggles.
No. 7: Chris Reed
Season stats: 18 G, 16 GS, 3.36 ERA, 96.1 IP, 84 H, 41 R, 36 ER, 32 BB, 74 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K
What a week for Chris Reed. Many feared he might be another piece in a trade for Nolasco, which would have been a slap in the face to the progress he's made to return to form throughout the 2013 season for Chattanooga. Then, in a shortened game, Reed absolutely dominated.
In just four innings, Reed struck out nine batters, scattered four hits and posted zeroes the rest of the way. I can't understate the importance of Reed marching his way back to prominence for the notoriety of this Dodgers system. They are counting on the lefty to be a big piece down the road.
No. 8: Jose Dominguez
Season stats: 22 G, 1.78 ERA, 25.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 13 BB, 40 K
Last week's stats: N/A
Dominguez is in the same boat as Withrow. He is still in the major league bullpen and is still lighting up the radar gun.
Unfortunately, he's throwing gas but getting tagged lately. In three appearances, Dominguez has seen his ERA rise to 3.38—not bad, but not great for someone with his repertoire. It will be a tough choice for the Dodgers between demoting Dominguez and Withrow.
No. 9: Julio Urias
Season stats: 8 GS, 2.78 ERA, 32.1 IP, 28 H, 10 ER, 13 BB, 38 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
How can you not be excited about this kid? This past week, Urias posted his best professional outing to date, notching career highs in innings and strikeouts.
The lefty continues to prove both his own promise and the Dodgers international scouting team's expertise. Did I mention Urias is only 16 years old?
We have to remember that Urias, due to his age, probably won't pitch a full season. He seems to have earned his spot with the Great Lakes Loons (I originally thought he might get demoted just to be safe), but that doesn't mean he'll be seeing much more action this minor league season.
No. 10: Scott Schebler
Season stats: 74 G, .308 BA, 15 HR, 50 RBI, 8 SB, .984 OPS
Last week's stats: 7 G, .448 BA, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, 1.471 OPS
This is one of those really good weeks while authoring this ranking. I've been considering Schebler for a while but decided it was time to get the kid some recognition. And it really proves that the Dodgers have more depth and talent down on the farm than many people believe.
Schebler has posted a ridiculous offensive season so far in Rancho Cucamonga and may finally get a chance to experience the Double-A outfield—especially if Joc Pederson gets a promotion.
Schebler is making his way up the minor league food chain slowly but is improving every single season. His OPS this year is ridiculous, and he has 21 doubles and 10 triples to add to the 15 jacks, totaling 46 extra-base hits.
Just Missed Top 10
There are many players deserving an honorable mention of sorts in the Dodgers farm system, but this list is more to acknowledge a group of five players who could find their way into the top 10 next week. Check it out, and then come back next week to see if they did crack the list:
1. Yimi Garcia, RHP (Double-A)
Garcia has bounced on and off the list this season and finds himself bumped out of the No. 10 slot this week. It's no fault of his own—his only appearance last week was a scoreless inning—but he ends up on the outside looking in.
2. Duke von Schamann, RHP (Double-A)
Von Schamann had hit a slight rough patch recently, but he bounced back with a nice outing for Chattanooga this week. He went six innings, surrendering just five hits and one run, and he got the win. He'll be back in the top 10 at some point in 2013.
3. Onelki Garcia, LHP (Double-A)
This Double-A, Garcia has been dominant since becoming a permanent fixture in the bullpen. He has only allowed one earned run in his last 13 innings as a reliever but is still waiting for that season ERA to drop below 3.00 on the year.
4. Noel Cuevas, OF (Single-A+)
Cuevas has been very impressive in High-A this year. Over the last week, he hit .308 and saw a sudden spike in power with three home runs (bringing his season total to eight). He also stole his 20th base of the year, out of 27 tries.
5. Chris Anderson, RHP (Single-A)
Anderson, the Dodgers' 2013 first-round pick, obviously has quite a ways to go before cracking the top 10. But his first few starts for Great Lakes definitely deserve recognition. In three starts, Anderson has allowed just three runs (all in one start) over 7.1 innings and is striking out nearly two batters per inning.
Don't forget to check back in next week for another version of Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down.