Spring Training is more than just a time for the MLB players to prepare for the season, but also a time to evaluate the progress of the up-and-coming prospects.
Gabe Kapler, the Los Angles Dodgers director of player development has been evaluating each and every player. While most of the media attention is focused on young talents such as Julio Urias and Corey Seager, Kapler has given credit to a few others for their improvements over the last year.
In an interview with Jim Callis of MLB.com, Kapler discussed how much depth the Dodgers actually have in their system:
Our group of young talent has been overlooked because of the names everyone mentions,” Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler said. “We have talent and depth in the system. There are a lot of guys that no one talks about who have very impressive packages and are super-talented and worth watching.”
One of these young stars is 24-year-old Scott Schebler. The outfielder has played in 15 games for the Dodgers this spring and has gone 8-for-27 for a batting average of .308. However, six of his eight hits have been extra-base hits (two home runs and four doubles).
Kapler commented on both Schebler and Darnell Sweeney’s success this spring:
Both of them are extremely talented,” Kapler said. “Schebler came in tremendously prepared, and he strikes the ball with as much force as anyone in our big league camp. Sweeney’s ability to get to the ball down in the zone and drive it into the gaps or out of the park, even to the opposite field, is impressive.”
Catcher Julian Leon is another young player to catch Kapler’s eye. The 19-year-old catcher has drawn little attention sinc his arrival in 2013, but Kapler is impressed with his hitting ability:
I love the way his hands work in the batter’s box,” Kapler said. “He has really loose hands and a good path to the baseball. His defense is coming along, so we’re pleased with that. He has a very advanced mindset and he’s super mature for 19.”
Leon only appeared in one game for the Dodgers and struck out in his only at-bat, but scouts believe the catcher has potential. While his defensive skills are not ready for the MLB, Kapler believes the Leon could impact the Dodgers in the future.
Although only certain players in the Dodgers farm system are getting a majority of media attention, it is apparent that the the team has much more depth than what first meets the eye.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Darnell Sweeney