Los Angeles Dodgers

Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects

Nick OstillerContributor IIJune 10, 2014

Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Dodgers added several players to their farm system over the past few days through the MLB draft.

    Most of those selected are still years away from becoming impact prospects, and only the team's first-round selection cracked last week's Top-10 list.

    The following slides will further examine the Dodgers' young talent on the farm, specifically focusing on each player's strengths and weaknesses.

    Notes: All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted. All statistics updated through June 9 unless otherwise noted. Tom Windle replaces Scott Schebler as No. 9 prospect.

10. Grant Holmes, RHP

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Drafted: First round, 22nd overall in 2014 (Conway High School, SC)

     

    2014 Statistics4-1, 0.35 ERA, 82 strikeouts in 40 innings (high school)

     

    Strengths: 

    Holmes features a mid-90s fastball that can occasionally reach the high 90s. The offering has a late sinking action that makes it difficult for batters to lift.

    His 11-5 curveball may be his best pitch, according to Mike Rosenbaum's scouting reportHolmes throws the sweeping offering in the low 80s, and it has considerable swing-and-miss potential.

     

    Weaknesses:

    At 6'2'', 200 pounds, Holmes may have already peaked physically. There have also been concerns about his lack of deceptive arm action and ability to control his secondary pitches.

9. Tom Windle, LHP

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    Drafted: Second round, 56th overall in 2013 (University of Minnesota)

     

    2014 Statistics4-4, 4.38 ERA, 56 strikeouts, 19 walks in 61 innings (High-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    Windle's slider is his best pitch, with the ability to mix its velocity and top it out at 89 mph on occasion. The offering, which he's not afraid to throw in any count, features a sharp break that tails away from left-handed batters and back-foots righties. 

    Windle's fastball ranges from 89-92 mph and has a noticeable arm-side movement. This action makes it difficult for batters to get a read on the pitch, and he mixes his four-seam and two-seam fastballs with ease.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Windle has a tendency to overthrow at times and will lose his release point when he misses the strike zone more than three pitches in a row. This naturally leads to command issues, which become magnified when coming out of the bullpen, as Windle is projected to do at the next level.

    There are some concerns about whether he can develop a third pitch to complement his fastball and slider.

8. Onelki Garcia, LHP

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Drafted: Third round, 113th overall in 2012 (Cuba)

     

    2014 StatisticsN/A (recovering from two offseason surgeries)

     

    Strengths: 

    Garcia's fastball hovers between 92-95 mph, but seems quicker due to his deliberate pitching delivery.

    The lefty also features two different curveballs—a tighter one in the low 80s thrown as a strikeout pitch, and a slower mid-70s version that he can get over the plate for strikes.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Cementing his rudimentary changeup as his third pitch and improving his command are Garcia's two biggest concerns as he recovers from offseason surgery. He’s still tinkering with changeup grips in order to make the pitch more effective against right-handed hitters.

    Garcia's fastball shows little movement and remains erratic and flat due to his slow delivery. The same can be said about his curveball.

    In terms of mechanics, Garcia needs to further incorporate his lower half so as to decrease the stress on his pitching arm.

7. Chris Reed, LHP

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Drafted: First round, 16th overall in 2011 (Stanford University)

     

    2014 Statistics: 3-4, 3.01 ERA, 78 strikeouts, 31 walks in 77 innings (Double-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    Reed, a left-hander with elite athleticism, features a two-seam fastball with considerable sink. This helps the Britain native induce many ground balls, a very helpful tool at the next level.

    His slider is considered a plus pitch as it breaks sharply and arrives in the low 80s.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Reed will need to improve his command and control in order to progress up the minor league ladder. His career 4.1 walks per nine innings highlights this weakness.

6. Chris Anderson, RHP

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    Drafted: First round, 18th overall in 2013 (Jacksonville University)

     

    2014 Statistics: 3-4, 5.63 ERA, 60 strikeouts, 29 walks in 54 innings (High-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    Anderson has a quality fastball that typically sits in the low 90s. However, he has shown the ability to ramp it up to as high as 98 mph at times. The offering features heavy life, which makes it tough for batters to lift.

    At 6'4'', 215 pounds, Anderson uses his large frame to pitch on a steep downhill plane.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Anderson's two biggest weaknesses are command and control.

    He tends to let his front side fly open during his delivery, which leads to command issues. Similarly, Anderson has a noticeable arm drag that also negatively affects his control.

5. Zach Lee, RHP

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Drafted: First round, 28th overall in 2010 (McKinney High School, TX)

     

    2014 Statistics: 5-5, 4.71 ERA, 48 strikeouts, 20 walks in 65 innings (Triple-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    Lee's deep pitching arsenal is what originally attracted the Dodgers back in 2010. The right-hander features four pitches that project as above average offerings at the next level.

    His fastball sits in the low 90s and is complemented by two distinct breaking balls and a changeup.

    Lee's command is among the best for Dodgers pitching prospects and is a product of his loose, easy delivery.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Although all four of Lee's main pitches are project as above average, none of them are considered dominant or overpowering.

    To make matters worse, Lee has had trouble keeping the ball down this season, per Chris Jackson of MiLB.com.

    "It can be hard," Lee said of keeping the ball down. "[But] it's one of those things that's the reason why we're here. If we could do it consistently, then most of us would probably be up in the big leagues.

4. Julio Urias, LHP

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Drafted: N/A (signed out of Mexico in 2012)

     

    2014 Statistics: 1-1, 3.76 ERA, 43 strikeouts, 18 walks in 40 innings (High-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    Still just 17 years old, one of Urias' biggest strengths is his poise beyond his years. The teenager never seems to stray from his game plan, even when he gets himself into hot water on the mound.

    His two best pitches at this point are his curveball and changeup. The curveball sits around 75-79 mph and he does not hesitate to throw it in any count. The changeup is Urias' most consistent pitch and he will also throw it in nearly every situation.

    Urias makes the most of his relatively small stature (5'11'', 160 pounds) by bending his back very well. This allows him to make use of his entire body in order to achieve a higher velocity on his pitches.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Urias is still a raw talent and he will need to continue to prove himself as he advances up the minor league ladder. His fastball, which sits at 89-93 mph, needs some refinement and perhaps some added velocity, although it has the potential to become a plus pitch in the future.

     

3. Alex Guerrero, SS

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    Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

    Drafted: N/A (signed out of Cuba in 2013)

     

    2014 Statistics: .376/.417/.735, 10 home runs, 29 RBI in 33 games (Triple-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    At 5'10'', 205 pounds, Guerrero is physically strong, and he utilizes a toe-tap while batting to generate power from his well-built lower half. 

    His bat speed is above average due to strong wrists and forearms and he displays impressive extension upon contact with the ball.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Most of Guerrero's weaknesses lie with his defense. In fact, the question marks surrounding this aspect of his game are what may have cost him a spot on the Dodgers' Opening Day roster this spring.

    He possesses average range and arm strength, which suggests a projection at second base rather than shortstop.

    Offensively, Guerrero has a tendency to dip his backside while batting, but the issue is easily rectifiable with continued coaching in the minor leagues.

2. Corey Seager, SS

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Drafted: First round, 18th overall in 2012 (Northwest Cabarrus High School, NC)

     

    2014 Statistics: .348/.394/.626, 12 home runs, 49 RBI in 55 games (High-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    Seager's smooth swing and excellent bat speed allow him to spray line drives to all fields. He has shown modest power, which should improve with continued development in the minors.

    He displays above average pitch selection and consistently battles pitchers deep into at-bats.

    Defensively, Seager is projected to become an above-average defender at the next level because of his soft hands and strong arm.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Although he is stationed at shortstop for now, he will become oversized for the position if he continues to grow at his current rate. It's not really a weakness, but a more realistic destination for him as his career progresses will be at third base.

1. Joc Pederson, CF

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Drafted: Eleventh round, 352nd overall in 2010 (Palo Alto High School, CA)

     

    2014 Statistics: .332/.440/.623, 16 home runs, 37 RBI in 59 games (Triple-A)

     

    Strengths: 

    Pederson has a thoughtful approach at the plate and has shown the ability to hit the ball to all fields. The power numbers are also encouraging, as he owns a .503 slugging percentage for his career to go along with at least 31 extra base hits at each stop along the minor league ladder.

    Pederson is considered an above-average runner as demonstrated by the fact that he has swiped at least 26 bags in each of his first three seasons in the minors. With 13 already this season, he is on pace to achieve that mark again. His speed also translates to solid range in the outfield, where his strong arm is a viable play at all three positions.

     

    Weaknesses:

    Pederson has consistently struggled against left-handed pitchers, batting nearly 100 points lower against southpaws as compared to against righties this season. The power numbers also drop off against left-handers.

    Although Pederson is pegged as a five-tool prospect, none of the five truly stand out, and it will be difficult for the 22-year-old to crack the Dodgers roster this season due to their surplus of outfielders.

     

     


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