On two separate occasions, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had players win NL Rookie of the Year at least four times in a row. From 1979-1982 and 1992-1996, the Dodgers were churning out winners on a yearly basis.
However, a lot of that went away during the Frank McCourt era as the farm system was left barren since players didn’t pan out or were traded before reaching the big leagues. However, under the Guggenheim Group an added emphasis has been placed on drafting and keeping young talent at all levels. In his yearly farm system rankings, ESPN Insider Keith Law moved them up seven spots from last season to 11th in his rankings:
11. Los Angeles Dodgers- Also a very top-heavy system, like Baltimore’s, with two elite guys at the top and three solid guys after, followed by a lot of reliever/fifth starter depth. They did have some intriguing arms in short-season ball who could push this system’s overall value up a lot by next year, especially since none of their top eight prospects are likely to lose eligibility in 2014.
With Spring Training getting underway in under two weeks, analysts are coming out with more and more prospect rankings. Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America and MLB.com all gave their top-10 Dodgers prospect rankings, but failed to name a consensus top prospect.
Zach Lee, Corey Seager, Julio Urias and Joc Pederson are the class of the farm system and as Law notes, it’s very top heavy. Of the top-4, Lee is the most likely to reach the big leagues this season, granted the Dodgers don’t sign a veteran pitcher like Bronson Arroyo.
Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten along with GM Ned Colletti have both said the team is transitioning into Phase 2, which is developing the farm system and it’s clear that the talent in the minor leagues is quickly increasing.
ICYMI: Here’s our Dodgers Nation Week in Review Video