Los Angeles Dodgers Prospects Creating the Most Buzz so Far in Spring Training
The sun has finally shone on baseball players at Camelback Ranch, and the Los Angeles Dodgers kicked off their spring training calendar with a February 26 matchup against Arizona. For the past few weeks or so, though, we’ve been hearing about certain young guys that fans of the major league team simply haven’t seen much of.
Interest is obviously high on the big names—Joc Pederson and Alex Guerrero—but a couple of other youngsters have made the headlines.
All advanced statistics courtesy of FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.
The buzz surrounding Pederson is probably more notable for what it’s lacking. Despite being a consensus top prospect, there is very little speculation that Pederson will make the big league team out of camp.
Obviously, this is because of the logjam in the Dodger outfield. With Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier all locks to make the team if healthy, there is no room for Pederson.
The rub in the above statement, though, is “if healthy.” Crawford was scratched from Thursday’s game with a quad problem, and Matt Kemp still can’t “run on anything but an anti-gravity treadmill" (per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times).
Given that information, you can bet Pederson’s name will keep popping up throughout the spring (as it did in this article from Fox Sports’s Jon Morosi).
Second base headlines the Dodger list of question marks, but much of the hope rests with Guerrero, the Cuban defector whom the Dodgers signed to a four-year deal this offseason.
Doubts were raised about Guerrero’s readiness all offseason, and this piece from ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon describes them well.
In two games, we have seen both the good and the bad with the Cuban. He received mixed reviews after his first game—both for his glove and his bat. The questions about his glove were expected—after all, he had played only shortstop during his career in Cuba—but his bat was supposed to be calling his card.
The second game, though, went much better. Guerrero got two hits as a designated hitter while attempting to work off some rust.
As mentioned in this Ken Gurnick report (the Dodgers beat reporter for MLB.com), Reed is often overshadowed by the bigger names in the Dodger system: Zach Lee and (now) Julio Urias. However, that same Gurnick article mentions that Reed has impressed in camp.
Over at True Blue LA, Eric Stephen does an excellent and succinct job of explaining Reed’s situation. He is still inconsistent with his command, as he has never had a walk rate below 10 percent.
If your instinctive reaction to this name is “who?” then I can’t blame you. Rosin is a 25-year-old pitcher from Minnesota who has never pitched above AA, with the Dodgers acquiring him in this year’s Rule 5 draft.
He probably wouldn’t deserve much more attention than your standard Rule 5 pick (who are required to stay on the big league roster for the entire season to stay with their new organization), except for his performance on Wednesday against Arizona.
Striking out five of seven batters will get you noticed, even if it’s just the first game of spring training.
Rojas is in much the same anonymity boat as Rosin, except that general manager Ned Colletti made waves earlier this offseason when he refused to rule out Rojas as a potential candidate to start at second base.
The Venezuelan cannot hit much at all (career .589 minor league OPS), and the Dodgers are very much aware of this. In fact, they have committed their major league hitting coaches to helping Rojas get to where he needs to be offensively.