It’s always (but especially this time of year) really easy to overlook the farm system. The moves at the major league level dominate all news and rumors, making the minor leagues seem a much lower priority, but they shouldn’t be.
One of the top priorities when Andrew Friedman stepped in was to replenish the minor leagues and, according to Baseball America, he’s done a pretty good job thus far.
They’ve done so, by the way, without selecting at the top of any drafts. Here’s what they had to say.
Corey Seager is one of baseball’s future stars, something he showed in flashes during his September callup. The Dodgers preferred other international pitchers on the market in 2012, but they ended up signing Mexican lefty Julio Urias, who is on the cusp of the big leagues at 19.
Seager and Urias are the best one-two prospect punch in baseball, but the depth behind them is impressive, too.
Righthanders Jose De Leon and Grant Holmes both have mid-rotation potential, while Jharel Cotton is on the verge of making an impact in the majors. First baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger had a breakout season, while center fielder Alex Verdugo is another one of the team’s brightest position prospects.
While I don’t necessarily agree that we’ll see Urias anytime in 2016, it is fair to assume he’ll pitch for the Dodgers before he can legally drink. That’s pretty impressive.
If the Dodgers strike out on starting pitching this offseason, De Leon might make an appearance this season, which will certainly draw plenty of eyes.
While some high-end Cuban prospects may not have panned out as the organization might’ve liked, the continued investment is an example of how the front office is spending to help benefit the franchise long-term.
This might be a more cost-effective solution versus spending on free agents at the major league level who might help for a couple years, but not much beyond that.
The focus is obviously on the major league team, but to better understand how the front office is rebuilding the entire organization, it also helps to look to the future, which still appears pretty bright.