Stock Up, Stock Down for Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects for Week 21
The Dodgers were humbled at home this weekend by the first-place Boston Red Sox. Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and company took two out of three and ended the Dodgers' 18-series undefeated streak. No need to panic though, as the Dodgers maintain a 9.5-game lead over Arizona.
Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu, two of the hottest rookies in all of baseball, had decent weekends but may be coming back to earth in the second half. Meanwhile, the future rookies down on the farm continue to thrive and grow.
How did number-two prospect Joc Pederson (pictured) fare after a week that earned him Southern Conference Hitter of the Week? Is Zach Lee still making a case for a September promotion? Did any new faces crack the top ten?
Let's check out the rankings, as compared to last week.
All stats courtesy of MiLB.com and current as of Sunday, August 25, 2013.
No. 1: Zach Lee, SP (Double-A)
2013 stats: 27 G, 24 GS, 3.18 ERA, 135.2 IP, 126 H, 53 R, 48 ER, 34 BB, 125 K
Last week's stats: N/A
Because of the tardiness of my last article, Lee hasn't had a chance to make another start since we last checked in on him. His numbers remain phenomenal though, as the righty has shredded opposing Double-A hitters for the entirety of 2013.
If the Dodgers do call Lee up for a spot start or some major league bullpen work, there's no doubt that fans in Los Angeles will be drooling to see this kid pitch. His electric stuff could make an invaluable addition to the bullpen in the playoffs.
No. 2: Joc Pederson, OF (Double-A)
2013 stats: 117 G, .282 BA, 21 HR, 57 RBI, 30 SB, .882 OPS
Last week's stats: 3 G, .400 BA, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 0 SB, 1.589 OPS
Pederson must have heard that he only had a three-day weekend to make a good impression for the list, and boy did he deliver. All Pederson did over the weekend was smack two solo homers in 10 at-bats. Dodgers fans have been clamoring for Pederson to get the call-up for weeks, and you can see why.
Though the fan fare (and talent) wouldn't match that of Pederson's former Cuban counterpart in the Double-A outfield, he could make a very valuable addition to the September roster. Getting him some big league looks would be healthy, and he'd make a great pinch runner.
No. 3: Corey Seager, SS (Single-A+)
2013 stats: 94 G, .276 BA, 16 HR, 69 RBI, 10 SB, .853 OPS
Last week's stats: 3 G, .000 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .083 OPS
I know it's just three games, and I'm not math whiz, but I'm fairly certain that all those zeroes are very, very bad. I'll give Seager a pass because of the small sample size this time around, but I am worried he will continue to struggle adjusting to better competition.
He is still a future infielder with the big league team, but how he fares down the stretch and the beginning of next year will really dictate how soon we'll see him in Dodger Stadium. If all goes well, it could be as soon as late 2014.
No. 4: Ross Stripling, SP (Double-A)
2013 stats: 26 G, 21 GS, 2.83 ERA, 120.2 IP, 110 H, 42 R, 38 ER, 30 BB, 113 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 3.00 ERA, 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Ever since Stripling got moved back to the Double-A rotation, he's been looking great, after struggling a bit out of the bullpen. The reasoning for that mid-season move still baffles me, as Stripling is clearly a starting pitcher who needs to continue his development.
If the right-hander continues to hone his skills in Double-A this year, we could see him heading the top of the rotation next season with Zach Lee, and both of those guys could be seeing MLB service time quite often in 2014.
No. 5: Chris Reed, SP (Double-A)
2013 stats: 28 G, 24 GS, 3.71 ERA, 133.1 IP, 121 H, 60 R, 55 ER, 60 BB, 105 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 4.50 ERA, 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Yes, this means we've now seen three members of the Chattanooga rotation in the top five spots. Reed, unlike Lee and Stripling, has seen his fair share of struggles in 2013. The walk rate is frustrating, especially because he was brilliant in the middle of the season.
Though Reed, a once highly-touted southpaw, is now struggling to stay in the front office's good graces, he has shown flashes of dominance again this year and should continue to get instruction. If he and the coaches can harness that wildness, Reed could still become a valuable big league player.
No. 6: Michael Thomas, RP (Double-A)
2013 stats: 42 G, 1 GS, 2.09 ERA, 11 SV, 56 IP, 48 H, 13 ER, 21 BB, 64 K
Last week's stats: 1 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Thomas didn't pitch enough between today and last Thursday to move up or down, but his overall numbers continue to impress. Since coming up to Double-A, the lefty has been a little more than half a run worse on his ERA, which means instead of being unhittable, he was just mostly unhittable.
In all seriousness, Thomas has dominated over two different levels this season, and looks primed to be a potential call-up for the bullpen at some point in 2014. The Dodgers need to stock pile those lefty specialists, especially with the uncertain future of Scott Elbert's arm.
No. 7: Jose Dominguez, RP (Triple-A)
2013 stats: 22 G, 1.78 ERA, 25.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 13 BB, 40 K
Last week's stats: N/A
Dominguez remains injured, but may find a place for himself in the big league bullpen now that a few guys (Chris Withrow, Brian Wilson, Carlos Marmol, for example) look human again. If he's fully healthy, a triple-digit-tossing right arm would be very nice to have in the playoffs for the Dodgers.
No. 8: Scott Schebler, OF (Single-A+)
2013 stats: 117 G, .304 BA, 27 HR, 90 RBI, 15 SB, .966 OPS
Last week's stats: 3 G, .200 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .667 OPS
Schebler had a rough weekend, but has been brilliant over the course of the season, so I'll cut him some slack. Once Dominguez is out of these rankings, Schebler might have an outside shot at a top-five ranking. He's been that good.
His OPS is absurd, and he's paired his nearly 30 homers with 15 stolen bases and almost 100 RBI. I assume opposing pitchers are not enjoying facing he and Seager in the same lineup these days. If you need any more proof of who this kid is and how good he can be, just watch the clip above.
No. 9: Julio Urias, SP (Single-A)
2013 stats : 17 GS, 2.68 ERA, 50.1 IP, 42 H, 15 ER, 16 BB, 62 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 0.00 ERA, 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
What more can I say about the 16-year-old lefty? He is making Single-A hitters look foolish on a regular basis, and the kid wasn't even going to play out the entire season at this level. At first, because of his age and inexperience, the Dodgers were going to start him in Single-A and finish in rookie ball.
But Urias has given the powers that be no other choice but to leave him with Great Lakes. Long-term health of his arm pending, I can not wait to see what Urias does with a relaxed innings cap and against better competition next year.
No. 10: Chris Anderson, SP (Single-A)
2013 stats: 11 GS, 2.14 ERA, 42 IP, 31 H, 15 R, 10 ER, 22 BB, 46 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 6.00 ERA, 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
The Dodgers 2013 first-round pick finally had a rough game, allowing six base runners in three innings of work. But that speaks to the level of dominance he had through his first 10 career minor league starts if his ERA still barely exceeds 2.00.
The big right-hander looks to be very high-potential, which really means nothing other than "cross your fingers" at this point. Once Anderson gets a full season under his belt, I'll be more apt to have a true feel for his game and where he ranks in the Dodgers farm system.
Just Missed Top 10
These five players are just barely on the outside looking in. There is a handful of great talent that hasn't cracked the list this season, but might just sneak in over the next couple weeks. Here are the best of that group:
1. Onelki Garcia, LHP (Triple-A)
Garcia has struggled since being moved up to Albuquerque, but dominated in Double-A, and could be a call-up when rosters expand.
2. Carlos Frias, RHP (Double-A)
Frias is now on his third level, having already been promoted from Single-A, to Single-A+, and now to Double-A. He has compiled a 3.25 ERA in those stops.
3. Yimi Garcia, RHP (Double-A)
Garcia has been lights out at Double-A Chattanooga, closing out 18 games and holding a 2.67 ERA in 46 appearances.
4. Noel Cuevas, OF (Single-A+)
Cuevas is hitting .285 with 12 homers, 63 RBI, and 38 stolen bases at Rancho Cucamonga this year. He has a TON of potential, and is showing it off.
5. Tom Windle, LHP (Single-A)
The Dodgers 2013 second overall pick is 5-0 with a 2.77 ERA in his very brief minor league career. He also has 47 strikeouts in 48.2 innings.
Don't forget to check in again next Monday for another edition of Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down.
You can follow Jeremy Dorn on Twitter @Jamblinman.