All-Star Break Stock Up, Stock Down for Los Angeles Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects
Yet again, the Los Angeles Dodgers have seen their top two prospects make headlines. This week, it is for two divergent reasons.
Joc Pederson is much closer to the big leagues than Corey Seager is, and therefore their roles in the news are different. With the defensive struggles of current center fielders Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke, theories abound about just how soon we’ll see Pederson manning the middle of the outfield.
Seager is still just 20 years old, and he was the starting shortstop for the USA Team in Sunday’s Futures Game. It is a mark of his talent that he was selected for the honor despite his young age.
10. Matt Magill, RHP
Last week’s stats: 2.1 IP, 0 R, 2K, 0 BB
This was Matt Magill’s first good week out of the bullpen, so at the very least it’s a minor step forward—if you’re an optimist. The good news is that he has some sort of pedigree, so he was never as bad as he had performed over the past few weeks, but I’m equally unwilling to say that these two outings signal that he’s fixed whatever was ailing him.
2014 stats: 62.1 IP, 5.34 ERA, 52 K, 39 BB
9. Jose Dominguez, RHP
Last week’s stats: 3.2 IP, 0 R, 5 K, 1 BB
On July 11, Jose Dominguez walked his first batter in over two weeks—and that is a streak that highlights just how good he has been. He’s allowed a run in just two of his past 10 outings, and he has finally demonstrated some control that may make him a dominant big league reliever worthy of his strikeout numbers.
2014 stats: 6.1 IP, 11.37 ERA, 12 K, 6 BB (majors); 30 IP, 3.60 ERA, 35 K, 16 BB (Triple-A)
8. Pedro Baez, RHP
Last week’s stats: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB
Pedro Baez made just one appearance on the mound this week, but it was for the big league club. He was recalled to replace the injured Josh Beckett, and his one outing was a solid one. He was unspectacular, but he allowed no runs—a stark contrast to his disastrous two-run performance in his one other big league game.
Following Sunday’s game (and therefore heading into the All-Star break), Baez was optioned back to Triple-A, per a team press release.
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); 2 IP, 9.00 ERA, 2 K, 0 BB (majors)
7. Tom Windle, LHP
Last week’s stats: 9.0 IP, 10 R (9 ER), 4 K, 3 BB
After a pretty decent start to the year, Tom Windle has fallen apart over the last three weeks, with this week’s two outings being the worst of the bunch. He allowed 15 hits in just nine innings, and he proved unable to strike anyone out.
If there is a silver lining, it’s that both games were played in offense-friendly environments: Lancaster and Windle’s home park, Rancho Cucamonga.
2014 stats: 93.2 IP, 4.23 ERA, 78 K, 27 BB
6. Chris Reed, LHP
Last week’s stats: 12 IP, 4 R, 9 K, 6 BB
Like Windle above him, Chris Reed has hit a midseason lull. He’s walked at least two batters in each of his last seven starts, which is concerning given that it's his walk rate that has raised questions about his long-term future as a starter.
As it is, neither start this week was particularly noteworthy—either positively or negatively. Instead, they are reminders that he is not quite where he needs to be.
2014 stats: 112.1 IP, 3.20 ERA, 104 K, 47 BB
5. Chris Anderson, RHP
Last week’s stats: 6 IP, 2 R, 7 K, 3 BB
Chris Anderson was good—but not great—in his start this week. He showed good strikeout potential, but he walked more batters than you’d like to see. However, eight baserunners in six innings is a solid mark that is among the better efforts of his recent starts.
2014 stats: 82.2 IP, 4.79 ERA, 91 K, 43 BB
4. Zach Lee, RHP
Last week’s stats: 6 IP, 2 R, 5 K, 5 BB
An optimist and a pessimist would draw different conclusions from Zach Lee’s start. An optimist would look at his five strikeouts and point out that it is his most since June 9. He also allowed just four hits, perhaps demonstrating that he was less hittable than he has been in previous weeks.
A pessimist, though, would point to his five walks. That number, by any standard, is unacceptable, and it marks the seventh consecutive start in which he has walked at least one batter. It is also particularly concerning because Lee does not have the strikeout rate to be able to survive giving that many free passes.
2014 stats: 102.1 IP, 4.93 ERA, 70 K, 39 BB
3. Julio Urias, LHP
Last week’s stats: 1 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 1 BB
Julio Urias’ one-inning performance for Rancho Cucamonga was clearly impressive, but it is his Futures Game outing that is what will be discussed here.
By all accounts, the lefty’s performance was impressive, and while it was just a one-inning stint, it is certainly a pleasure to see such a highly touted Dodgers prospect shine the way Urias did.
2014 stats: 52.1 IP, 3.44 ERA, 58 K, 25 BB
2. Joc Pederson, CF
Last week’s stats: 23 AB, 7 H, 2 2B, 0 HR, 0 SB
Pederson returned from a shoulder injury to arguments that he should be called up to the big leagues soon, and his performance did not disappoint. His five-game stint featured three extra-base hits, so it’s good to see that he is apparently suffering no ill effects from his time off.
Given the defensive struggles of the big league center fielders, Pederson could be up in the majors as soon as the first game after the All-Star break.
2014 stats: .324/.445/.572, 13 2B, 17 HR, 20 SB
1. Corey Seager, SS
Last week’s stats: 21 AB, 9 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 0 SB
Like Urias above him, Seager made an appearance in the Futures Game. He went 0-for-1 and got hit by a pitch but demonstrated good footwork getting a force out at second base on a ground ball hit to him.
His week in High-A was predictably excellent, but the big news for him is that he has finally been rewarded with a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. As the pitchers are better and the environment is more challenging, we may finally see Seager truly put to the test.
2014 stats: .352/.411/.633, 34 2B, 18 HR, 5 SB
Notes: All statistics courtesy of MiLB.com and updated through July 12 unless otherwise noted. Prospect list courtesy of MLB.com. Nos. 8 and 9 Ross Stripling and Onelki Garcia are injured, so Nos. 11 and 12 Jose Dominguez and Matt Magill have taken their place.