It’s a fun time to think about the Los Angeles Lakers future with the farm system drafting and signing premium talent that should become major leaguers in the coming years.
Julio Urias was recently ranked the top left-handed pitching prospect, while shortstop Corey Seager was ranked fourth among shortstops by MLBPipeline.com. Darnell Sweeney was also ranked in the top-10 among second basemen. The Dodgers have kept their top prospects in the organization rather than trade them way and they should soon reap the benefits.
In their latest rankings, MLB Pipeline had another Dodger among their top-10 via Teddy Cahill of MLB.com:
2. Joc Pederson, Dodgers: The outfield logjam at Dodger Stadium extends to their prospect ranks. Pederson was named the 2014 Pacific Coast League MVP after hitting .303/.435/.582 with 33 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 121 games for Triple-A Albuquerque. He has solid all-around tools, and after making his Major League debut in September, he figures to soon play a prominent role in Los Angeles.
Pederson ranked behind Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins and ahead of Jorge Soler of the Chicago Cubs. The outfield prospect is expected to be the Dodgers center fielder this season after the trade of Matt Kemp. Pederson got his first taste of the big leagues after September call-ups and hit just .143 in 18 games. He struggled with making contact, striking out 11 times in 28 at-bats. That was slightly offset by his patience at the plate with nine walks and a .351 on-base percentage.
To some, it may be a surprise that Pederson remained in Los Angeles after there were various rumors that he could be on the way out in a potential trade; however, the front office ultimately believed in his abilities and he will finally get his chance to start.
If Pederson can produce at the big-league level this year, it could start another string of successful rookies that would rival the five consecutive Rookie of the Year awards in the 1990s.