The Los Angeles Dodgers system took a hit last season with the graduation of top prospect Yasiel Puig to the major leagues. However, the organization had a slew of other promising young players step up in his place.
Left-handed hitters Corey Seager and Joc Pederson both had strong seasons at their respective levels and continue to move at an accelerated pace through the minor leagues. But with the organization’s aggressive spending on free agents (both international and domestic), it’s not even guaranteed that there'll be a spot for either player in the everyday lineup once they are deemed major-league ready.
And then, of course, there was the emergence of 17-year-old Julio Urias—technically, it was his age-16 season—who thrived as the youngest player at a full-season level. In what would have been his sophomore year of high school, the left-hander carved up considerably older hitters in the Low-A Midwest League.
Meanwhile, right-hander Zach Lee, the team’s first-round bonus baby from the 2010 draft—he accepted a $5.25 million signing bonus to pass on a football scholarship to Louisiana State—turned in the best season of his professional career at Double-A Chattanooga.
2012 fifth-rounder Ross Stripling spent most of the year pitching alongside Lee in the Double-A rotation, and he continued to quietly post impressive numbers against advanced hitters in the Texas League. Expect both right-handers to receive their first tastes of the major leagues in 2014.
The Dodgers also added a pair of advanced college arms in Chris Anderson and Tom Windle through the first-year player draft in June, and both pitchers impressed in their respective professional debuts. While neither player is expected to contribute in the major leagues next season, there’s a realistic chance they both finish the year in the Double-A rotation.
Here’s a look at the Los Angeles Dodgers’ top 10 prospects for the 2014 season.