With the All-Star break now but a few days away, with it comes teams doing litmus tests on their chances to compete in the second half of the season, and updates to prospects lists. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, they appear to be in good position in each of those aspects.
They’ve assimilated plenty of talent in their farm system and have been reluctant to part ways with any of their elite prospects for a Major League player. Among those leading the charge for the Dodgers in the Minors is prized shortstop Corey Seager.
According to Baseball America, Seager checks in as the top prospect in all of baseball at the midway point of the season. Ben Badler had nothing but praise for the infielder:
I definitely like Seager as the No. 1 guy. We always try to look at what can go wrong with a prospect on this list or any prospects in general. Whether it’s if Carlos Correa was still in the minors, I think that there is almost nothing wrong with him; there is very few holes in his game. Corey Seager is the same way. Different type of player. Maybe the biggest knock against him there is just less chance that he can play shortstop, but if he ends up sliding over to third base, all the tools are there for him to be an above average defender at third base. He’s got a strong arm. The range he would have at third base would be above average. And then we haven’t even talked about his offensive game yet because I don’t think there is any question about his offensive game. This guy has one of the prettiest swings in the Minor Leagues. He’s hit everywhere he has gone. He’s got a good approach. He uses the whole field. He makes a lot of contact and he’s got power too. That power has really starting to come out this year and I think there is a lot more in there. The Dodgers have a good lineup, so I’m calling him a future middle-of-the-lineup masher. I don’t know if he is going to be there at some point this year or next year, but this is a guy who should be a franchise player and be a potential MVP kind-of-guy for them.”
The 21 year old is batting .280/.33/.466 with eight home runs, 29 RBIs and 17 walks over 58 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Along with Seager, other Dodgers also made Baseball America’s top 50 update. No. 4 overall is young southpaw Julio Urias. The Mexico native is currently recovering from left-eye surgery after making seven starts this season.
Urias is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and owns a 46 to nine strikeout-to-walk ratio. for the first time this week after recovering from eye surgery. The next Dodger on the list is Hector Olivera, arguably the club’s biggest signing this season. He’s ranked 16th and is also sidelined to a certain degree.
A hamstring strain forced the OKC Dodgers to place Olivera on the disabled list just over two weeks ago. He played in his first rehab assignment Tuesday with the Arizona League Dodgers. Olivera is batting a .357/.400/.518 over 14 games this season ranging from the AZL league to Triple-A.
The last Dodger to appear on the list is Jose De Leon at No. 20. The right-hander began the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and was largely dominant through seven starts before getting promoted to Double-A.
Under Guggenheim and now Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, the farm system has been one on the rise, regularly having prospects make top rankings lists.