So now that we’ve hit June and the basketball playoffs are officially a giant DUD, we can start focusing on baseball and only baseball. This is the absolute best time of the year and with the MLB Draft approaching, the prospect talk will continue to heat up.
Coming into the 2017 season, the depth of the Dodgers farm was one of the major organizational strengths. It is safe to say the youth has not disappointed and in some areas, have completely surpassed expectations. There are, however, a few kids in the system that have left me scratching my head, wishing we had sold high or at the very least, warned me not to rank them so high on the pre-season Top 50. Eeeeek. Now for the Rise, Fall and potential ROY….hmmm, I wonder who that is?
Players with rising stock
Willie Calhoun 2B/OF – Calhoun continues to prove doubters wrong. What he lacks in size and defensive mobility, he makes up for with a pure hit tool and shocking power. Calhoun has 22 EBH (10 HR’s) with an .865 OPS and only 24 K’s in almost 200 AB’s. The guy has hit at every level and will continue to do so. Although he has played a better second base this season, he is starting to see time in the outfield to increase his flexibility. He will see time in the show in 2017, enjoy the show!
Walker Buehler RHP – The trade of Jose De Leon (dropping stock in TB), the slow start of Yadier Alvarez and early injuries to Brock Stewart leave Buehler as the clear #1 Dodger pitching prospect in my eyes. The Dodger brass loves Buehler and everyone is beginning to see why. He has shown the ability to rebound from TJ surgery quickly with a fast start to the 2017 campaign. Already earning a promotion to AA, he has 50 K’s in 38 IP, with a 2.13 ERA, .201 BAA and 1.03 WHIP. The depth at the MLB level of the Dodgers gives them the luxury to slowly groom Buehler, but believe me, he’s ready now.
Mitchell White RHP – Coming in at #12 on my preseason Dodgers Top 50 Prospects, I will admit I am not surprised by Mitchell White’s fast start. He started so hot that a certain high named baseball guru placed him in his updated top 50 MLB prospects list. White is another flame thrower with great command in the Dodgers system. 49 K’s in 38 IP, with good control numbers and a fantastic .187 BAA has prospect lovers foaming at the mouth. The guy will only get better.
Edwin Rios 1B/3B – Rios came into the 2017 season as my #23 prospect with major swing and miss concerns. Although he is still striking out nearly 25% of the time, the power numbers are just tough to ignore. Rios already has 26 EBH to go along with a .333 AVG and .932 OPS. If he improves his walk rate (6 BB’s…ewww), he will be a starting caliber MLB player.
Dennis Santana RHP – Santana started the season at #34 for me. Today, I’d have him somewhere in the mid to late teens. He has improved his command, limited contact and has really developed into a nice SP prospect. I’d like to see him earn a promotion soon to keep him challenged. Striking out a batter per inning, coupled with limiting the HR ball (1 in 46 IP), is a great recipe for success.
AJ Alexy RHP – Alexy did not make my preseason Dodgers Top 50, but his early performance has earned my mention. 43 K’s in 33 IP, .172 BAA and .99 WHIP are all promising numbers. I want to see more AJ….more!
Kyle Farmer C/3B – Prospect fatigue, shmospect shmatigue. I bagged on the guy early on for being a boring prospect that is a AAAA type. His early performance seems to have been ignited by hitting to a cool tune of .333/.411/.494. He has defensive versatility and has started to hit. He could see some MLB time this year….finally.
Others to mention:
Wilmer Font RHP – 59 IP, 88 K’s, 1.05 WHIP
Alex Verdugo OF (#4 Preseason) – .305 AVG, 13%K rate, only 1 HR
Matt Beaty 1B – .305 AVG, 14 XBH and a low K rate
Jose Miguel Fernandez 2B – Decent defense to go along with a .304/.355/.452
Scott Barlow LHP – Just when I’m about to write the guy off….61 K’s in 57 IP and the guy just doesn’t give up hits (33 in 57 IP)
DJ Peters OF – K’s a ton but has a very nice .259/.367/.473.
Will Smith C – Hidden behind the .231 AVG is a very sound OBP machine with improving power.
Players with falling stock
Yadier Alvarez RHP – Coming in very high on my 2017 Top 50 Dodgers Prospects list, I was not the only one optimistic about Alvarez having a full breakout season. He has struggled to separate himself from the pack to say the least. The command has been on and off, the K numbers are down and he is just allowing too many base runners (1.48 WHIP). I wouldn’t have him falling out of my Top 3 Dodger prospects or the MLB Top 50 just yet, there is still plenty of arm and projection there.
Gavin Lux SS – Errrrr….very poor man’s Brandon Crawford? It helps my early comparison that Crawford is struggling early as well. Lux is still young, but he is showing all glove, no bat at the moment. There is enough talk that a new approach has him off to a slow start, that I am convinced he will still hit. Plus its still early in his career, very early.
Jacob Scavuzzo OF – My preseason frustration with Jacob is proving to be warranted. He has hit (if you can call it that) .225 with a 48:8 K:BB rate. This is just pitiful and beyond prospect ranking talks. He doesn’t even really deserve consideration at this point, this kid ain’t breaking out.
Mitchell Hansen OF – Come on Mitch! .188 AVG, 7 XHB and 46 K’s in 150 AB’s??? Really Mitch, reallllly? The kid still has sweet hair and a nice lefty swing but oh boy. He is only 21 and is still physically developing, so I like the potential but he really hasn’t shown anything worthwhile.
Others to mention
Brock Stewart RHP – Injury issues leading to only 2.1 IP on the year
Grant Dayton LHP – Up and down from AAA to MLB has lead to inconsistent performance. This is on the front office.
Johan Mieses OF – Still love the power potential as he has gotten hot over the past few weeks (9 HR’s). Hard to look beyond the 70 K’s in 145 AB’s though….wow.
Josh Sborz RHP – 25 K’s and 22 BB’s in 38 IP is just bad. Time to move back to the pen.
Yusniel Diaz OF – Looks pedestrian. None of the Power/Speed combination really showing.
Preseason #1 for ROY???
Cody “Smash” Bellinger, oh boy, what a player to watch. As a pure baseball enthusiast, I am so excited to see what this kid will accomplish over the course of his career. He has already crush 12 HR’s, 7 doubles and knocked in 31 runs in his first 39 games. He has cooled a bit, predictably so, as pitchers are beginning to adjust to his hitting style. Trust me though, Cody will adjust right back and continue this torrid pace. I’m predicting he ends the season with a .281-26-77 line, good enough to earn him rookie of the year. Oh yeah and he plays awesome defense. Future Gold Glover and will get MVP votes on a yearly basis, he’s that good.
Article featured image of Yadier Alvarez – courtesy of BaseballAmerica.com