Los Angeles Dodgers 2009 Minor League Review
Overall farm ranking via Baseball America (2009)
2009 (23) | 2008 (6) | 2007 (6) | 2006 (2) | 2005 (2) | 2004 (2)
Record of Major and Minor League Teams
MLB: [95 – 67] NL West – best record in NL
AAA: [80 – 64] Pacific Coast League
AA: [ 65 – 74] Southern League
A+: [59 – 81] California League
A: [81 – 59] Midwest League
R: [24 – 32] Arizona League
R: [42 – 34] Pioneer League
The Run Down
After several years in the top 10, the Dodgers farm ranking fell significantly due to several trades (Manny Ramirez, Ronnie Belliard) and a significant lack of a promising young prospect. In the past, the Dodgers were able to recovery from poor trades (Joel Guzman traded for Julio Lugo) because of a deep pool of talent. With the graduations of Kershaw, Billingsley, Kemp, Ethier, Loney and Russell Martin, the Dodgers farm isn’t quite as bountiful this year. However, they still have a few young power arms that are moving their way through the minors. When the Dodgers acquired George Sherrill for third baseman Josh Bell and pitcher Steve Johnson the Dodgers lost their top third base prospect and a mid-level pitcher who had a fine year. The Dodgers have a couple of top prospects that are nearing the majors, number one ranked Andrew Lambo (Double-A) and fourth ranked Josh Lindblom (Double and Triple-A).
Arizona Fall League Players – Peoria Javelinas
Pitchers – Javy Guerra, Eric Krebs, Aaron Miller, Travis Schlichting (received September call-up)
Hitters – (C) Lucas May, (C) Jessi Meir, (1B) Russ Mitchell (won AFL Sportsmanship Award), (SS/2B) Justin Setters, (LF) Andrew Lambo, (CF) Trayvon Robinson
Players of Interest
#1 – Andrew Lambo | LF | AA | 20 | .256/.311/.407 | 492 AB | 39 2B | 11 HR | .151 ISO | 95:35 K:BB | .298 BABIP
Scouting the Unknown article in September laid him out pretty well. He slashed .330/.365/.484 in the AFL this fall. Overall, it was a pretty underwhelming season for the Dodgers top prospect. Though keep his age in context; he was a couple of years younger than his competition. However, a September call-up looks like the best case scenario for 2010. He should report back to Double-A in 2010 with a potential promotion to Triple-A in mid-June.
#7 – Devaris Gordon | SS | A | 21 | .301/.362/.394 | 538 AB | 17 2B | 12 3B | 3 HR | .093 ISO | 73/25 SB/CS | 90:43 K:BB | .357 BABIP
The son of Tom “Flash” Gordon went the route of running as fast as his father could throw. He has been timed running 60 yards in 6.3 seconds. (For reference, Tyson Gillies mentioned in last week’s Seattle Minor League Review, ran 30 yards (from the batter’s box to first) in 3.8 seconds.) Looks like Gordon put his speed to work, stealing 73 bases in 140 games. Baseball America said that the only thing holding him back from being a major league ready shortstop is himself. His defense is immaculate (although he did have 34 errors) and he is able to move to both sides. Reminds me of Elvis Andrus, except faster.
#4 – Josh Lindblom | SP (RH) | AA/AAA | 22 | 7.7 K/9 | 2.4 BB/9 | 96 1/3 IP | 3.83 ERA | 1.19 WHIP | 1.04 GO/AO | .306/.295 BABIP (AA/AAA)
Mentioned in a September Scouting the Unknown, Lindblom looked impressive across two levels in 2009. He actually improved his strikeout rate from Double to Triple-A by over 1 K/9 (7.22 to 8.31 K/9). Although he isn’t the top ranked pitching prospect for the Dodgers, he does have the best fastball (as of 2009 rankings) and is the closest top prospect to immediately helping the Dodgers in 2010. Look for him to start in Triple-A with a mid-summer call up, especially if there is an injury.
#3 – Ethan Martin | SP (RH) | A | 20 | 10.8 K/9 | 5.5 BB/9 | 100 IP | 3.87 ERA [3.45 FIP] | 1.46 WHIP | .89 GO/AO | .333 BABIP
Yet another Dodger I mentioned in a September Scouting the Unknown (the same one as Lambo). He needs to harness that power fastball of his (92 to 94 mph with late movement) to become successful. Keep in mind that he was mainly a third baseman in high school and only pitched his senior year, meaning he still has a lot to learn. However, 100 innings in his first year means he probably shouldn’t pitch more than 130 next year.
#9 – Chris Withrow | SP (RH) | A+/AA | 20 | 10.4 K/9 | 4.5 BB/9 | 113 2/3 IP | 4.51 ERA [3.68 FIP] | 1.42 WHIP | 1.14 GO/AO | .301 BABIP
The 2008 top draft pick has started to pick it up. He has a 92 to 94 mph fastball that has topped 98 before. Additionally, he has a power curve and a “clean delivery.”
Trayvon Robinson | CF | A+/AA | 21 | .300/.373/.493 | 527 | 29 2B | 11 3B | 17 HR | .193 ISO | 47/20 SB/CS | 143:60 K:BB | .391/.324 BABIP (A+/AA)
Hit .241/.353/.402 in the AFL this fall. He only had 70 AB at Double-A. If he produces at Double-A like he did at High-A, which is highly unlikely as the California League is a hitter’s haven, he’ll have legit major league potential.
Scott Van Slyke | RF | A+ | 22 | .294/.372/.534 | 496 AB | 42 2B | 23 HR | .240 ISO | 128:61 K:BB | .357 BABIP
Like teammate Robinson, Van Slyke hit extremely well in the California League. Matter of fact, this was easily his best year in his entire career. He’ll have to hit like this at Double-A if he wants to be a fourth major league outfielder.