Over this off-season, we did a feature called “Farm-Hand Fridays”. Every Friday for ten weeks we looked at our Top 10 prospects in the organization. Starting with Dennis Santana and ending with Walker Buehler, it was a rousing success. Now more than ever in today’s game there is a great deal of interest in team’s prospect. This is a result of both the changing dynamic of the game and the success many young players are having immediately in the Majors. So, with that type of success fans are beginning to look at their team’s farm system with great intrigue. We only did feature-length articles on our Top 10 prospects. But as any good fan knows, farm systems are far deeper and interesting than just the cream of the crop. So we decided to do a Dodgers top prospects list recap.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) March 12, 2018
With that in mind, we’ve heard your comments, and your desires to expand our list out to our Top 20 Prospects. Over the next few weeks leading into Opening Day, we will give the quick hits on our prospects. And we will include their Spring Training stats if they have made appearances there. So, without further adieu, here are our #16-20 prospects in the system.
Number 20: Connor Wong
As one of the many catching prospects in the Dodgers’ organization, Wong has a lot of competition in the system. Drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft Wong very much fits the recent mold of catchers that the Dodgers like – athletic and versatile. Like Austin Barnes and Will Smith, Wong can play multiple positions. And just like Barnes and Smith, Wong also has a discerning batters eye. In 97 at-bats at Single-A Great Lakes Wong slashed .278/.336/.490. As a college draftee, he is expected, like Will Smith, to move quickly through the system. Expected 2018 Level: High-A Rancho Cucamonga to AA Tulsa by years end.
Number 19: Jordan Sheffield
Fairly universally considered a top 10 prospect in 2016, Sheffield’s prospect star has waned significantly in the last year. It was not quite all due to a lackluster 2017 performance. But more so that he failed to take a significant step forward in the weakest part of his game: his control. In 2016 he walked 4.5 batters per 9 innings. But in 2017 that number rose to 4.8 batters. Not exactly a step forward. His stuff remains relatively intact. Armed with a mid 90s fastball, and a sharp slider, he may eventually find his place as a late-inning reliever. Expected 2018 Level: AA Tulsa, with a possibility of AAA Oklahoma City.
Number 18: Imani Abduallah
Abdullah is one of the more intriguing arms in the system. When he was drafted, and signed over-slot, in 2015 many hoped he would immediately make an impact in the system. Instead, he has spent most of the last two years in instructional leagues refining his delivery and pitches. He now has a fastball that reaches the high 90s and one of the better changeups in the system. We have discussed how he could be one of a few prospects to make a huge leap this year in the prospect rankings. If he can put together his tools and pitches, he should be knocking on the door of our top 10 prospects. Expected 2018 Level: High-A Rancho Cucamonga, with a slight chance of reaching AA Tulsa.
Number 17: Cristian Santana
— Steven Douglas (@wxdude22) January 14, 2018
You have no idea how badly I want to rank Santana five spots higher. This kid has that kind of ceiling. MLB.com currently has him ranked #14 in the Dodgers’ Top 30. Santana is one of our only true 3B prospects in our system. He has some serious raw power, solid defensive tools, and makes really, really hard contact often. His biggest weakness is his hyper-aggressive approach. Despite a .363/.390/.563 tripe slash, he walked only 11 times in 54 games. He doesn’t strike out at an enormous rate, but that lack of walks could hurt him. However, not all prospects need to post double-digit walk rates to be successful. Santana is one of the most dynamic and exciting prospects we have. Expected 2018 Level: Start at High-A Rancho Cucamonga, but certainly could reach AA Tulsa if he continues to hit like he did in 2017.
Number 16: Gavin Lux
Gavin Lux is still hanging around the top 20 prospects. Unfortunately, many expected more out of a first-round pick than what he has given. To date, in 167 Minor League games, Lux has slashed a very average .262/.346/.374. He is still only 20 years old so he could fill out and have more power. But as it stands he has limited power and average contact. His defensive skills are solid, but yield mixed results. He is certainly athletic, but he made 19 errors last year. He did spend some time at 2B to diversify his value, but as it stands he is one of our only emerging SS prospects. He will have to take strides forward in order to avoid slipping out of the top 20 this year. Expected 2018 Level: Will spend most of the year at Single-A or High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
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