About two weeks ago we began a recap of the Dodgers top prospects. Over the off-season, our Farm-Hand Fridays series was very successful. But as any good fan understands, there’s more to a farm system than the top 10 prospects. So, with that in mind, we covered our #11-20 prospects. Now, we will continue our recap moving into the top 10 prospects today. You can find our recaps of the #11-15 and #16-20 prospects at those respective articles. Without further adieu, here is the recap of our #6-10 prospects.
#10: Dennis Santana
Dennis Santana opened our series for Farm-Hand Friday’s way back in December. He is one of a few of our Top 10 prospects that are actually on the 40-man roster. Because of that, he may actually contribute to the big league club this year. However, it is much more likely that he will contribute as a reliever than he will as a starter. This is likely due to the fact that he is a bit further down on the depth chart than some other options. Despite being further down on the depth chart he looks to have a #3 starter upside. With an excellent mid-90s sinker, a sharp slider, and an improving changeup he could make an impact in the rotation in the next few years. He will spend most of 2018 at AAA Oklahoma City. Hopefully, we can see some sort of meaningful contribution from him later on this year.
#9: Will Smith
Will Smith is not on the 40-man roster but he did make his debut in Spring Training this year. As a non-roster invitee, he actually had a decent showing at Spring Training. Despite only hitting .188 his OPS was .778 and his defensive skills were as advertised. Will Smith is continuing the trend of catchers that have a great deal of athleticism. As seen with Austin Barnes and last year’s draft pick Connor Wong, the Dodgers have been keen to take catchers that are athletic and versatile. Smith is likely going to spend a good portion of the year at AAA Oklahoma City in 2018. With Yasmani Grandal likely to leave via free agency after this season it would not be a surprise to see him compete with Kyle Farmer to become the backup catcher for Austin Barnes next year.
#8: DJ Peters
#Dodgers prospect DJ Peters disturbs the berm crowd with a laser. His 3rd HR in Cactus League play.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 23, 2018
DJ Peters has been a very exciting and fast-rising prospect in the last couple years. Despite his strikeout tendencies his raw power is unmatched in the Dodgers farm system. This top-notch raw power was on display throughout spring training. Slugging 3 home runs, and putting up an OPS of 1.273 will definitely catch a lot of attention. After spending most of last year at High-A Rancho Cucamonga Peters is likely to spend the majority of this season at AA Tulsa. He has solid defensive skills that allow him to play every outfield position. But his strong arm makes him an ideal fit for right field. The most important thing he needs to work on this year is to cut down on his strikeouts. Look for Peters to continue to climb many prospect lists including our own throughout the year.
#7: Yusniel Diaz
Yusniel Diaz as one of the safer outfield prospects in our Top 10 list. He was also a non-roster invitee this spring but had a less-than-stellar showing. This does not take away from his prospect star though. Despite being quite a bit younger than most of his competition Diaz has consistently put up strong offense of numbers and shown plus defensive skills. His skill with the glove will allow him to be an above-average defender at the major league level. He makes consistent and solid contact but doesn’t have a lot of raw power to tap into. However, he does have the upside to hit .300 on a consistent basis. Diaz should spend most of the season at Triple-A and could possibly make a cameo late in the season as a September call-up.
#6: Jeren Kendall
Agreed. Prospects 4 thru 8 (White, Diaz, Peters, Kendall, Alvarez) all could be Top 100 guys this year. Lower down the list, guys like May, Rios, C.Santana, Ferguson don't get as much acclaim as they deserve. @Dodgers https://t.co/cLXDv3gozm
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) March 1, 2018
Finally, at #6 we have Jeren Kendall. Kendall is easily the most exciting outfield prospect we have currently in our system. Not since the days of Matt Kemp have we had a true five-tool prospect. 2018 will be Kendall’s first full professional season with the Dodgers. His showing with the club last year in the Minors was a mixed bag. On one hand, he flashed many of his five tools, but at the same time, the concerns over his strikeouts were showing as well. Going forward in order for Kendall to reach his full potential he does need to cut down on the strikeouts. But unlike DJ Peters he has better speed and defensive skills that could allow him to still be a useful fourth outfielder or corner outfielder. Few prospects can match the excitement Jeren Kendall brings. It will be interesting to see what he can do in a full season.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”http://www.dodgersnation.com/opening-day-recap-dodgers-blanked-in-season-opener-bc0887/2018/03/29/”]Opening Day Recap: Dodgers Fall to Giants[/button]