Stock Up, Stock Down for Los Angeles Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects Entering May
A month into the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ big league team is performing pretty much as expected, with the exception of the bullpen. Fortunately for L.A., its farm system is loaded with arms—nearly all of whom have been quite good thus far in 2014.
With almost a month’s worth of data, we can get some legitimate insight into what each of the Dodgers’ top 10 prospects has done. This post will provide their year-to-date statistics and then delve a little deeper with some quick notes.
10. Jose Dominguez, RHP
Year-to-date stats: Triple-A: 3 IP, 3.00 ERA, 4 K, 1 BB; majors: 5.0 IP, 10.80 ERA, 7 K, 2 BB
Jose Dominguez has bounced between the majors and the minors this year, and his performance has been uneven in both places. His electric fastball is finally resulting in strikeouts, which is good to see from someone who failed to strike out even half a batter per inning last year.
However, he has still simply allowed too many runs. He has been bitten by the home run ball thus far (two in five innings, which is unlucky for anyone), but the fact remains that he just has not been good enough.
9. Pedro Baez, RHP
Year-to-date stats: 10.1 IP, 0.87 ERA, 5 K, 5 BB
A converted third baseman, Pedro Baez is just in his second season pitching. He is doing quite well given that background, and his future is promising.
Unfortunately, his peripherals are still lacking a bit . The Dodgers would like to see better control and more strikeouts, as the 1-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio is not impressive. However, given that he struck out nearly a batter per inning in 2013, the strikeouts do seem likely to return. The command, though, remains an issue.
Even with all of that, though, the results are a clear positive.
8. Onelki Garcia, LHP
Year-to-date stats: 9.2 IP, 3.72 ERA, 14 K, 3 BB
The Cuban lefty has run into some bad luck so far in 2014. He has demonstrated much-improved command, as his walk rate has been cut nearly in half. He has also struck out more batters per inning than he did last year. If even part of those improvements is legitimate, the Dodgers have a real weapon for the second half of the season.
With the way the big league bullpen has struggled, it is certainly a positive to see Onleki Garcia improve so much. He will likely get a shot in the majors in 2014.
7. Tom Windle, LHP
Year-to-date stats: 17.2 IP, 5.60 ERA, 16 K, 6 BB
Tom Windle has gotten off to a rocky start. He’s had some good and bad outings, but unfortunately, to this point the bad outweighs the good. In fact, the ERA likely oversells him a little: He’s had four unearned runs score on him (through April 26), and that really makes a quantifiable difference with the small number of innings he’s thrown.
His first two starts of the season really demonstrated his potential, though. His command was pinpoint, as he didn’t walk anyone in, and he even struck out a few batters.
6. Chris Reed, LHP
Year-to-date stats: 31.2 IP, 1.71 ERA, 28 K, 12 BB
Chris Reed has been remarkable this season. He has dominated in almost every outing, and the improved command is a huge plus. The fact that his walks are so far down from his career level (3.4 compared to 4.1) bodes well for his ability to stay in the rotation over the long term.
Additionally, the Englishman has been dynamite on right-handed batters. This, like his control, is a positive sign in his development.
5. Chris Anderson, RHP
Year-to-date stats: 19.2 IP, 3.66 ERA, 25 K, 15 BB
Chris Anderson has been solid thus far in 2014, as he has demonstrated both his positives and negatives. He has excellent strikeout stuff, as his strikeout rate illustrates. But as with most young power pitchers, he has struggled to find the zone at times—although his last start was incredible.
4. Zach Lee, RHP
Year-to-date stats: 22.2 IP, 1.99 ERA, 13 K, 6 BB
For a couple weeks, I’ve dismissed Zach Lee’s lack of strikeouts as not worrisome given his age (22) and proximity to the big leagues (Triple-A). However, it is beginning to be a trend that the Dodgers would clearly prefer to see flip.
But his command remains excellent, and the results are still there. Lee remains near the top of the line to be the next man into the starting rotation.
3. Julio Urias, LHP
Year-to-date stats: 10.2 IP, 7.59 ERA, 13 K, 12 BB
Honestly, it’s difficult to get too disappointed with Julio Urias’ undeniably slow start. He is, after all, 17 years old and pitching in the offense-friendly Cal League. It is certainly upsetting that the young lefty has shown such poor command in every start, but it’s still early in the year—and given his age, the Dodgers are being rightfully careful with him.
2. Joc Pederson, OF
Year-to-date stats: .372/.476/.640, 8 2B, 5 HR, 6 SB
Well, this is fun. Joc Pederson continues to crush Triple-A pitching and make his case for a call-up. Unfortunately, there simply isn’t room at the big league level for him. Without multiple injuries or a massive trade, there won’t be enough plate appearances to justify the loss of development time in Albuquerque. For the moment, though, just enjoy the show.
1. Corey Seager, SS
Year-to-date stats: .294/.337/.482, 6 2B, 2 HR, 4 SB
After a slow start, Corey Seager has a five-game hit streak and is putting together the type of performance we expected to see. He just turned 20 and is already with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, so the outburst should be a sign of things to come. After being ranked highly across the board on preseason prospect lists, Seager is finally showing he can live up to the hype.
Notes: All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted. All statistics updated through April 26 unless otherwise noted. Prospect list courtesy of MLB.com. No. 9 Ross Stripling is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, so No. 11 Jose Dominguez takes his place.