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Prospect News: MLB.com Releases Dodgers Top 30 Prospects

Sep 1, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Alex Verdugo (61) follows through during the ninth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

During the course of this entire off-season we have been covering the Dodgers’ top 10 prospects. Dodgers Nation recently completed our Top 10 countdown with the culmination of Walker Buehler at #1. And recently,  MLB.com officially released their Dodgers Top 30 prospects list. We are here to break that list down.

The Top 10 Prospects

  1. Walker Buehler
  2. Alex Verdugo
  3. Keibert Ruiz
  4. Mitchell White
  5. Yusniel Diaz
  6. DJ Peters
  7. Jeren Kendall
  8. Yadier Alvarez
  9. Will Smith
  10. Dennis Santana

No Surprises Here

As with the end of last year Buehler and Verdugo remain the top two prospects the Dodgers have. Going into 2017 Bellinger was still a rookie so he had the claim to the top prospect place. However now that firmly rests in the wiry frame of Walker Buehler. By the end of 2018 there is a distinct probability that both Buehler and Verdugo will have exhausted their rookie status, dropping them off the list by years’ end.

Other familiar faces like Diaz, Alvarez, White and Smith are still on the top 10. From the beginning of 2017 to now all these names have had spots in the top 10, and should continue to do so right now.

New Faces

With the exception of Jeren Kendall, who is here by merit of his 1st round pick status, as well as his 5-tool ceiling, all others on this list are newcomers. All of Dennis Santana, DJ Peters, and Keibert Ruiz have been fast risers in the last two years. All three showed promise as early as 2016, but were not put in the Dodgers’ Top 10 for a number of reasons. Among those reasons were that the system was a bit more top-heavy in 2016-2017, and all three players had only had their first real success in 2016. 2017 for them was meant to be a “show-me” season, and boy did all three impress.

Keibert Ruiz is now the Dodgers’ #3 prospect on MLB.com, as well as our list. But is also #52 in their Top 100, and the #3 ranked catching prospect in baseball. Certainly an impressive feat for a 19 year old who is having his first showing this Spring as a non-roster invitee. Indeed 2018 will once again be a season Ruiz needs to show he can continue to develop his already excellent hitting eye and receiving skills behind the dish.

DJ Peters has also been a fast riser in the system. His calling card is definitely his power. Not only is his raw power excellent, but so is his game power. Peters, according to many scouts, has some of the best, if not the best game power in our system. Over the last two years he has managed a .246 isolated slugging percentage (ISO). Players in the Majors with similar ISO’s last year include Kris Bryant and George Springer. Not necessarily saying Peters will certainly reach those levels of productivity, but merely pointing out the kind of potential he does have.

Lastly we have Dennis Santana who has had an interesting rise in the Dodgers’ system. Originally signed to be a shortstop the organization realized his bat wasn’t where they wanted it to be. After moving to a pitching role he has since found immense success. With a power sinker and a wipe-out slider Santana has made great strides in the last two years. Now he finds himself on the 40 man roster, and potentially competing for a significant role on the 2018 starting 25. Quite an amazing rise for the young Dominican.

The Bottom Line

The Dodgers once again are a top 10 farm system in baseball. All this despite graduating multiple top overall prospects the last three years. And trading a few others. Since the club is currently the #10 system, it wouldn’t be surprising if graduations by Buehler and Verdugo knock us down a spot or two by mid-season. At the same time, as I’ve written about before, there are multiple prospects currently ranked in our top 30 that could easily vault into our top 10, and the top 100 overall by years’ end as well. Dustin May (#11), Cristian Santana (#13), Starling Heredia (#17), and Imani Abdullah (#19) could all see that rise if they all continue their current upward trends.

The present and the future is bright for the Boys in Blue. And I am excited to see what that will bring.

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Written by Blake Coble

Born and raised in SoCal and bled Blue my whole life. Absolutely love baseball and absolutely love the Boys in Blue! I have a fascination with analyzing the statistics and trends that drive player performance, and I love following our minor league prospects as well! Active duty Air Force currently stationed in Central California! Follow me on Twitter @yarritsblake

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