Stock Up, Stock Down for Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects for Week 9
All hail! The moment has finally arrived—albeit earlier than expected—and Yasiel Puig will be joining the big league team Monday night at Dodger Stadium. The No. 1-rated prospect has been forced into duty by a rash of injuries and poor play among the regular starters.
With A.J. Ellis recently joining Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and half of Los Angeles on the disabled list, there are more open slots than ever. It was inevitable that Puig or Joc Pederson would get the call.
Now, we will get to see Puig in action at the highest level. Granted, it's the San Diego Padres. But even if he goes 0-for-4, I'd pay good money to see him in fisticuffs with Carlos Quentin when he gets plunked.
In all seriousness, we'll keep Puig in the top spot on this list another week and re-examine after a week in the big leagues. All I can say is to not expect him to be a godsend. He has the tools to do very well, but the first go can be a little rough, even for the most exciting prospects.
All stats taken from MiLB.com, unless otherwise indicated, and are current as of June 2, 2013.
No. 1: Yasiel Puig
Season stats: 40 G, .313 BA, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 13 SB, .982 OPS
Last week's stats: 4 G, .357, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB, 1.421 OPS
Puig had a good last week before his promotion, although he did go 0-for-4 in his most recent game. Overall, the numbers have been ridiculous this season, hence the call-up. Perhaps most impressive has been his ability to get on base by drawing a walk, something we saw none of in spring training.
This week is something Dodgers fans have been clamoring for, and it can't start soon enough.
No. 2: Zach Lee
Season stats: 11 GS, 2.62 ERA, 58.1 IP, 53 H, 21 R, 17 ER, 18 BB, 52 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 2 G, 0.00 ERA, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
Zach Lee has been consistently dominant in Double-A this season and may soon get a call-up of his own, especially if Josh Beckett's nerve injury turns out to be a long-term issue.
His last start was one of his best, as he struck out seven batters and only allowed the two hits over six innings.
No. 3: Joc Pederson
Season stats: 55 G, .303 BA, 8 HR, 22 RBI, 17 SB, .884 OPS
Last week's stats: 5 G, .063 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 SB, .267 OPS
Way, way down this week for Pederson.
Though I believe the Dodgers were always planning on calling Puig up first, Pederson had been giving the Cuban sensation a run for his money in the Double-A outfield. Pederson has still put up monster numbers (especially the 17 steals in 19 attempts bit) overall and could work his way back into the promotion conversation.
Let's check back on him next week.
No. 4: Matt Magill
Season stats: 5 GS, 2.16 ERA, 25 IP, 15 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 17 BB, 31 K
Last week's stats: N/A
For now, it seems like Matt Magill's permanent spot is as a Triple-A stud.
He got rocked in Colorado as a last-second replacement for Hyun-Jin Ryu. Granted, it was in Coors Field, but he did himself no favors by walking nine batters.
Magill has the stuff to stick in the majors, but for now, we'll be taking stock of him as a prospect only it seems.
No. 5: Corey Seager
Season stats: 30 G, .259 BA, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 5 SB, .729 OPS
Last week's stats: 1 G, .000 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .250 OPS
This is the first time we've seen Corey Seager in game action since returning from the DL. In his return, he drew a walk in four plate appearances and struck out twice.
It hasn't been the best year for Seager thus far, but let's let him work off the rust from missing a couple of weeks and see how he fares next week. The sooner a solid third baseman appears in Los Angeles, the better.
No. 6: Ross Stripling
Season stats: 9 GS, 10 G, 2.83 ERA, 54 IP, 50 H, 17 ER, 13 BB, 58 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 3.18 ERA, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Ross Stripling had his first decently troublesome start of the year since being promoted to Double-A, and it wasn't even that bad. He allowed six hits and two runs in five and two-thirds innings. He struck out six and walked none.
Stripling has been the most pleasant surprise in the minors so far and is rocketing his way up the ladder.
No. 7: Chris Withrow
Season stats: 20 G, 2.11 ERA, 21.1 IP, 22 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 12 BB, 26 K
Last week's stats: 2 G, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
It's a mystery as to why Chris Withrow hasn't replaced one of the inept members of the big league bullpen yet. He's been filthy good for Albuquerque, though certain aspects of his game (the walks and hits, mainly) could be tweaked. Those are the things that may get him in trouble when he does reach the majors.
But can he really be worse than the expensive Brandon League?
No. 8: Michael Thomas
Season stats: 1 GS, 17 G, 1.11 ERA, 24.1 IP, 17 H, 3 ER, 9 BB, 29 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 2 G, 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Michael Thomas started his first game of the year and went four innings, allowing just three baserunners and striking out four. He's been dominant out of the bullpen and may get some more starting opportunities in Double-A with the shuffling going on between the levels.
The southpaw really can't get any better—since being promoted to Chattanooga, he's been even more dominant.
No. 9: Ryan Mount
Season stats: 42 G, .342 BA, 7 HR, 37 RBI, .973 OPS
Last week's stats: 4 G, .353 BA, 0 HR, 3 RBI, .875 OPS
Ryan Mount continues to prove me wrong by sticking on this list and even got better over the last week.
He's an older-than-usual player (27 years old) for the minors, especially for a Single-A middle infielder. Maybe he tweaked his approach and is the next coming of Jose Bautista (knock on wood, Dodgers fans...). But either way, Mount is having an impressive year.
No. 10: Julio Urias
Season stats: 2 GS, 1.35 ERA, 6.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Last week's stats: 1 GS, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
I couldn't resist adding Julio Urias to this list. The newly signed 16-year-old lefty from Mexico has only made two starts for the Great Lakes squad but has been unbelievably good. For someone who should, by most accounts, be prepping for prom and a driver's test, Urias has impeccable control and a lot more moxie than most prospects, regardless of age.
I can't wait to see what he does the rest of this season.
Just Missed Top 10
It was a good week for the Dodgers' farm system (Magill's start notwithstanding), with Puig getting the call and a 16-year-old making big waves. Many of the top 10 stayed put because everyone performed well, but we did see Duke von Schamann drop out of the 10th spot.
Everyone listed below deserved consideration for the top 10, and it's nice to see the return of a familiar face in Chris Reed.
The once highly touted prospect (who originally cracked the top five on this list) has had a rough go of it in 2013, but he bounced back with his best outing of the year last week. He's now had two good starts in a row, which has to have the front office feeling good.
Keep an eye on these names, and you can expect to see them break back into the top 10 in the coming weeks:
Don't forget to check back into the "Dodgers Stock Up, Stock Down" this time next week!
Follow Jeremy on Twitter @Jamblinman.