Stock Up, Stock Down for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects for Week 14
This week’s big news for the Los Angeles Dodger farm system actually came from outside of the organization. The Oakland Athletics’ trade for Jeff Samardzija cost them elite prospect Addison Russell, so at this point, one can only imagine what it would take to get Tampa Bay Rays starter David Price (whom the Dodgers have been linked to, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports).
In this mailbag from the excellent Dodger blog Dodgers Digest, Dustin Nosler speculated that it would take two of the three elite prospects—and that is a sentiment I agree with.
With that being said, let’s get to this past week’s performances.
Note: Nos. 8 and 9 Ross Stripling and Onelki Garcia are injured, so Nos. 11 and 12 Jose Dominguez and Matt Magill will take their place.
10. Matt Magill, RHP
Last week’s stats: 3.1 IP, 7 R (6 ER), 3 K, 2 BB
In what has unfortunately become a pattern, the young righty had a rough week. It seems as if the move to the bullpen has not had the desired effect: Magill’s strikeout rate has not gone up, his command has worsened, and he has proved even more hittable.
His week’s numbers are mildly skewed by a hilariously horrendous outing on July 2 against El Paso in which he allowed six runs in just 1.1 innings, but it was a cumulative accounting that had been building up over the past few weeks. He now has an 8.31 ERA with 12 walks in his past 10 outings.
2014 stats: 60 IP, 5.55 ERA, 50 K, 39 BB
9. Jose Dominguez, RHP
Last week’s stats: 3.1 IP, 2 R, 5 K, 0 BB
Dominguez allowed both of his runs in a July 4 performance versus Las Vegas, but those two baserunners were the only he allowed all week. With just those two hits and no walks, it has to be considered a successful week for the righty. He continues to make a case for the big league roster.
2014 stats: 6.1 IP, 11.37 ERA, 12 K, 6 BB (majors); 26.1 IP, 4.10 ERA, 30 K, 15 BB (Triple-A)
8. Pedro Baez, RHP
Last week’s stats: 4 IP, 4 R, 3 K, 1 BB
It wasn’t a great week for the righty, but his problem was that he was too hittable rather than that he allowed free passes, so that’s at least a minor positive. The fact that he strikes out roughly a batter per inning demonstrates he does have swing-and-miss stuff, so I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when he allows a couple of home runs, because Albuquerque (and the Pacific Coast League) is such a rough place to pitch.
2014 stats: 19.1 IP, 2.79 ERA, 18 K, 9 BB (Double-A); 16 IP, 4.50 ERA, 17 K, 4 BB (Triple-A)
7. Tom Windle, LHP
Last week’s stats: 6.0 IP, 1 R, 4 K, 2 BB
Windle’s start this week was a good one, although it was not exceptional. The lefty proved difficult to hit, allowing just four. The four strikeouts are good, but you would like to see a higher number if he’s also walking two.
For the season, Windle has settled into a pretty solid performance. His 3.60 ERA is decent, particularly in the offense-friendly Cal League, and he is still just 22. His strikeout and walk numbers don’t paint the picture of an elite starter, but they’re certainly not terrible, either.
2014 stats: 84.2 IP, 3.72 ERA, 74 K, 24 BB
6. Chris Reed, LHP
Last week’s stats: 4.1 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 4 K, 2 BB
Reed had a bad outing that was driven by eight hits allowed in just over four innings, a ratio that is clearly unacceptable. More concerning, though, is that this start continued the pattern of subpar walk totals and not-elite strikeout numbers.
The left-handed Stanford product has not struck out more than five since June 2, nor has he walked fewer than two since that same start against Mobile.
2014 stats: 100.1 IP, 3.23 ERA, 95 K, 41 BB
5. Chris Anderson, RHP
Last week’s stats: 5.2 IP, 4 R, 7 K, 3 BB
Anderson’s outing this week is an opportunity to remind readers about the environment in which he pitches. The Cal League is notoriously offense-heavy: The air is thin, which helps balls travel farther and makes it difficult to pitch. The only big league similarity is Colorado, and even Coors Field isn’t this extreme.
Using that context as background for Anderson’s line is helpful then. The righty was clearly not great—three walks is too many—but two home runs is abnormal even for someone who has already allowed eight on the year. It is for reasons such as this one that I have spent the year focusing more on strikeouts and walks than runs allowed, and I will continue to do so.
2014 stats: 76.2 IP, 4.93 ERA, 84 K, 40 BB
4. Zach Lee, RHP
Last week’s stats: 9.1 IP, 7 R, 4 K, 5 BB
The former first-round pick has unfortunately taken a turn for the worse this season, and his two-start week continued that trend. Four strikeouts in 9.1 innings is quite a poor rate, and there’s no scenario in which more walks than strikeouts is even remotely acceptable.
For someone who was expected to be close to the big leagues at the beginning of the season, Lee has certainly not met expectations in 2014. At this point, it would be a bigger surprise if he made an appearance in the majors than if he doesn’t.
2014 stats: 96.1 IP, 5.04 ERA, 65 K, 34 BB
3. Julio Urias, LHP
Last week’s stats: 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB
Urias is a good pitcher. That’s not a news flash to anyone who’s been following along all season, but it’s worth remembering. His outing this week demonstrated that, even if superficially, he’s not elite.
Four hits in 1.2 innings is obviously rough, but he—like Anderson—pitches in the Cal League and is thus susceptible to some unfortunate variation on balls in play. Even now, though, he still struck out three batters and walked just one. And, of course, he’s still more than a full month from turning 18.
2014 stats: 51.1 IP, 3.51 ERA, 55 K, 24 BB
2. Joc Pederson, CF
Last week’s stats: 0 AB
Pederson suffered a separated shoulder on June 24, and he remains out of commission. The initial diagnosis was that he would miss at least 10 days, and that timetable is coming to an end soon.
2014 stats: .319/.437/.568, 11 2B, 17 HR, 20 SB
1. Corey Seager, SS
Last week’s stats: 23 AB, 6 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 SB
The young shortstop remains the future of the Dodger system. With Pederson injured, he is certainly the top prospect, and he would likely have to be included in any deal for David Price.
In my opinion, though, that is too steep of an asking price. The Dodgers are low on hitting prospects, but the difference between Seager and Pederson is their position. There is no imminent space for Pederson in the Dodger outfield, but the infield is not as full. Additionally, Seager remains—for the time being at least—a shortstop.
2014 stats: .346/.403/.608, 31 2B, 15 HR, 5 SB