Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (14) | 2013 (19) | 2012 (23) | 2011 (12) | 2010 (21)
2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [94-68] NL West
AAA: [62-80] Pacific Coast League – Albuquerque (2015: Oklahoma City)
AA: [61-77] Southern League – Chattanooga (2015: Tulsa)
A+: [65-75] California League – Rancho Cucamonga
A: [66-73] Midwest League – Great Lakes
This system is stacked at the top with arguably three of the best prospects in baseball and it only got stronger in the draft when the Dodgers selected one of the best prep arms available with their first-round pick. Already loaded with young stars like Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers will see their top three prospects reach the majors in the next year or two. I know it sounds like I have my hyperbole machine turned on, but it really is a nice top-heavy system for fantasy prospects. The Dodgers were part of this year’s affiliation shuffle in the upper levels of the minors and now call Oklahoma City and Tulsa their homes in Triple-A and Double-A respectively.
Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1. Corey Seager, SS | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016
Seager is an easy top ten fantasy prospect. As one of the five youngest players in Double-A, he hit .345/.381/.534 with two homers and 16 doubles in 161 plate appearances. There is talk about him moving to third base eventually, but for the time being Seager’s a shortstop. His fantasy value will be solid at either position since he can hit for both average and power. There’s the potential for 20+ home runs in his bat at the major league level and he should be ready for the majors in 2016. For now, he’ll spend some more time in the upper levels of the minors adding polish.
2. Joc Pederson, OF | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015
Pederson is a big time fantasy prospect thanks to his combination of power and speed. The 22-year-old put up a 30-30 season in Triple-A while also leading the Pacific Coast League in on-base percentage and runs scored. He took MVP honors and should start the year as the Dodgers’ everyday center fielder. The transition to the majors is tough, so expecting the same gaudy numbers in the NL West this season is silly, especially since Pederson struck out at a 27% clip on his way to those MVP numbers in the PCL. Still, it’s easy to see several 20-20 seasons in his future, and that’s fantasy gold. Here’s Grey’s 2015 outlook.
3. Julio Urias, LHP | Age: 18 | ETA: 2016
The ETA should give you a hint as to the type of talent the Dodgers have in Urias. It’s not everyday we see players with a chance to reach the majors before their 20th birthday. Urias is a lefty that brings good strikeout potential to the table already. The crazy thing is just how young he is and how much time he still has to develop his arsenal even further. As the second youngest player in High-A, Urias held opposing batters to a .194 batting average and struck our over 11 batters per nine innings. In terms of pitching prospects, only Lucas Giolito, Dylan Bundy, and Noah Syndergaard top this arm in my mind. 2015 should be an opportunity for Urias to build up his innings with only 141 thrown in the minors thus far.
4. Grant Holmes, RHP | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018
Holmes was selected 22nd overall in the 2014 draft and along with Toussaint and Kolek was one of the best high school arms available. His ceiling is a #2 starter, but dynasty league owners will need patience as he is still 3+ years away from the majors. Holmes’s fastball is his best pitch and it’s a plus-plus offering that sits in the mid-90s. He’ll throw his first full season of pro ball in the Midwest League this year.
5. Alex Guerrero, INF | Age: 28 | ETA: 2015
Prior to the trades for Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins, it looked as though Guerrero might have a path to regular playing time in the Dodgers’ infield. Now that path is a little less clear, and Guerrero may find himself on the bench in a super utility role or back in Triple-A to add more polish to his game. Guerrero is a solid bat that can hit for power and a decent average while chipping in a few steals as well. His 2014 season was cut short with the freak ear injury, so it wouldn’t hurt him to see more at bats in the minors to start the year. The downside is that he is already 28 years old, so the clock is ticking for dynasty leaguers trying to get the most out of his prime years.
6. Scott Schebler, OF | Age: 24 | ETA: 2016
I’m pretty sure Scott Schebler is the name of the guy that used to shove me in my locker in high school, but this has to be a different one since I’m 11 years Schebler’s senior. Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, there isn’t room in the current Dodger outfield. Heck, there was barely room for Pederson for a while there. Schebler has solid power from the left side that could translate to around 20 homers in the majors. He led the Southern League in slugging percentage, home runs, and extra-base hits in 2014, but dynasty owners will have to continue to be patient as he waits for his opportunity in the majors.
7. Alex Verdugo, OF | Age: 18 | ETA: 2018
Verdugo led the rookie-level Arizona League in doubles in 2014, and has the potential to be a 15-15 type outfielder if he makes it. That may hold more value in deeper formats but it also comes with an above average hit tool, so we’re talking about a pretty well-rounded fantasy option. The risk is in his age and distant ETA. His low strikeout rate and solid walk rate in his first season bode well for the future. You could do worse than Verdugo if stashing away a few lottery tickets on a dynasty farm. He’ll see his first full season of pro ball at Great Lakes in 2015.
8. Zach Lee, RHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015
So Lee’s 2014 numbers were kind of gross, but keep in mind he pitched all 150.1 innings in the hitter-friendly PCL, and on top of that Albuquerque is one of that league’s notorious launching pads. 14 of the 18 homers he yielded came while pitching at his home park. Even if we don’t take his stats too seriously, there’s still not a whole lot to get excited about here from a fantasy perspective. It’s not that Lee is a bad pitcher – in fact, he’ll probably get some love on traditional lists. But in fantasy, #4 starter ceilings without much strikeout potential end up being just kind of meh.
9. Jose De Leon, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2018
De Leon’s numbers should be taken with a grain of salt just like Lee’s, but for opposite reasons. De Leon posted pretty 2014 stats, but he was also older for the Midwest League and only threw a little over 22 innings at the level. Despite his promotion to the MWL, he still led the Pioneer League in strikeouts with 77. The 22-year-old right-hander has a plus fastball and a slurve with a developing changeup. Right now, De Leon’s ceiling is that of a mid-rotation starter, but this year will be more of a test and he’s obviously going to face stiffer competition as he advances.
10. Julian Leon, C | Age: 19 | ETA: 2019
There’s a lot of risk in a catching prospect who just turned 19 years old, but Leon has already shown flashes of above average offensive potential. He makes an interesting long term catching option in dynasty leagues, similar to Jakson Reetz in the Nationals’ system. Leon was young even for the rookie-level Pioneer League in 2014 and like Verdugo, he’ll get his first taste of the Midwest League this year. Don’t go nuts, but he should at least be on the radar now in deeper dynasty leagues.