In recent years the Los Angeles Dodgers have made a concerted effort to rebuild the farm system that was depleted under Frank McCourt’s reign as owner. While they have yet to reap the benefits of refocusing on keeping and developing talent, that appears to be around the corner.
Joc Pederson, widely considered one of the Dodgers’ top-three prospects, made his MLB debut in September and though it isn’t guaranteed, is in line to earn the starting job in center field heading into 2015.
According to Baseball Prospectus’ rankings, Pederson again comes in third place among the Dodgers’ top-10 prospects, though this time behind Julio Urias after a swap in the first two spots, as seen in the table below:
|Player||Position||Age||2015 Rank||2014 Rank|
|Jose De Leon||RHP||22||7th||N/A|
Although it was a minor jump, Corey Seager’s 2014 campaign with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga was enough to vault him ahead of the Urias, the 18-year-old wunderkind. Whereas Pederson is on track to undoubtedly play for the Dodgers next season, Seager’s immediate future isn’t quite as clear.
The 20-year-old (21 on April 27) shortstop is heralded as a cornerstone for the future and while his time conceivably could come as soon as the 2016 season, the Dodgers have given indications he won’t be rushed along.
After beginning 2014 with the Quakes, Seager finished out the season with the Lookouts, playing in 38 games and batting .345/.381/.534 with 16 doubles and 27 RBIs. His production (.352/.411/.633, 18 home runs, 70 RBIs) with the Quakes was good enough to earn California League MVP honors and he was one of three recipients of the Branch Rickey Award.
Absent from Baseball Prospectus’ 2015 ranking are Chris Reed (sixth in 2014), Ross Stripling (seventh), Tom Windle (eighth), Onelki Garcia (ninth) and Victor Arano (10th). Three of the names no longer being included on the list is due to them no longer being with the Dodgers.
Windle was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of the Jimmy Rollins deal, Garcia was claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox, and Arano was the final player to be named later in the Roberto Hernandez trade.
As for Reed, in stints at the Double-A and Triple-A level last season, he struggled and finished a combined 4-11 with a 4.26 ERA in 28 starts. Stripling appeared in the Dodgers’ opening Cactus League game last year and underwent Tommy John surgery after feeling pain in his elbow, which caused him to miss the entire 2014 season.