Los Angeles Dodgers 2011 Minor League Review
Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America:
2012 (23) | 2011 (12) | 2010 (21) | 2009 (23) | 2008 (6) | 2007 (6) | 2006 (2)
2011 Affiliate Records
MLB: [82-79] NL West
AAA: [70-74] Pacific Coast League – Albuquerque
AA: [77-62] Southern League – Chattanooga
A+: [80-60] California League – Rancho Cucamonga
A: [72-67] Midwest League – Great Lakes
R: [34-22] Pioneer League – Ogden
The Run Down
While none of them is particularly interesting, the Dodgers have quite a few prospects who are close to helping in some capacity at the Major League level. Among the pitchers, there isn’t much drawing excitement outside of Zach Lee, and even he doesn’t quite project as the frontline arm you expect from the organization’s top prospect. There is depth here, though. LA is loaded with mid-rotation and bullpen arms who’ll be pitching in the bigs before long. On the offensive side, the situation is much thinner. Alfredo Silverio has a future as a productive everyday outfielder, but he headlines a collection of hitters that could surely fail to produce a big league regular outside the aforementioned.
Arizona Fall League Players – Salt River Rafters
Steve Ames (RHP); Stephen Fife (RHP); Cole St. Clair (LHP); Josh Wall (RHP); Gorman Erickson (C); Jake Lemmerman (SS); Alex Castellanos (OF); Kyle Russell (OF)
Players of Interest
Alfredo Silverio | OF:
Silverio is LA’s top hitting prospect. Signed in 2003 out of the Dominican, it’s taken a while for the outfielder to develop, but he broke through in 2011 with 76 XBH in 572 trips to the plate. Silverio makes good contact and drives the ball all over the field. He should only build on those impressive numbers in the PCL. Expect Silverio to arrive late this season. Could be earlier if needed.
Tim Federowicz | C:
Federowicz is a defense-first catcher who, with Barajas out of LA, could work his way into a starting role with the Dodgers this year. Outside of a 25-game stint in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League during which he slashed .325/.431/.627, Federowicz has never impressed as a hitter. Even if he earns a regular role, he won’t be worth much in terms of fantasy.
Nate Eovaldi | RHP – SP:
Eovaldi was decently effective during his first stretch in the big leagues, posting a 3.63 ERA over 35 IP. He throws a heater in the mid to high-90s and counters with a power slider. He’ll be working to earn a spot as a starter during spring training. If he doesn’t crack the Dodgers’ rotation, he’ll likely be kept by the club for a bullpen role. His two-pitch power repertoire might be better suited for relief, anyway.
Josh Lindblom | RHP – RP:
In 30 IP with the Dodgers last year, Lindblom posted a 2.73 ERA along with 28 strikeouts. He should stick in the big leagues for 2012 as a member of the bullpen, and could settle into a set-up role. It should be noted that Lindblom features a four-pitch repertoire (FB, SL, CB, CH), befitting of a starter. He hasn’t worked as such since early on in 2010, but the Dodgers could shift him back, conceivably.
Allen Webster | RHP – SP:
After posting a 2.33 ERA in the hitter-friendly California League, Webster was promoted to Double-A where his performance faded somewhat. With a mid-90’s sinking fastball, he draws plenty of grounders and keeps the ball in the park. Webster figures to be headed back to Double-A to begin 2012, but depending on big league needs, he could factor into the Dodgers’ rotation at some point this year.
Shawn Tolleson | RHP – RP:
Tolleson has impressed since his debut in 2010. In two professional seasons, he’s put up a 13.3 K/9 and 1.01 ERA while walking just 23. The Dodgers consider him MLB-ready and Tolleson will most surely debut in the bigs at some point in 2012.
Kyle Russell | OF:
Russell is bound for Triple-A in 2012 where he’ll work on shrinking some holes in his swing. Albuquerque is one of the most hitter-friendly facilities in the minors, and he stands to put up some gaudy power figures. He projects as a 25 HR guy, but hey may never get the chance if those homers are to come along with a .230 AVG and a million K’s. Russell is a candidate for a late-season arrival in LA if he can tighten up his swing and be a little more selective at the plate.
Scott Van Slyke | OF/1B:
Scott, son of Andy, had an outstanding 2011 in Double-A, slashing .346./.425/.593. It was his best year as a pro by a comfy margin, and the Dodgers are anxious to watch him build on it in Albuquerque in 2012. Like Russell, Van Slyke could be in line for a late-season call up.
Ivan DeJesus Jr. | 2B/SS/3B:
DeJesus opened the 2011 season with the Dodgers and struggled mightily. After being sent to Albuquerque in May, however, he settled back into Triple-A ball nicely. Slashing .310/.389/.432, DeJesus put himself back into position to compete in spring training for a spot with the big club. The on-base specialist will likely return to Triple-A to begin 2012, but the Dodgers will be quick to recall him for their bench if his productive numbers continue. Ultimately just a utility guy, though.
Zach Lee | RHP – SP:
Lee, the system’s top prospect, is an impressive athlete. He could have played QB at LSU, but pulled out to sign with the Dodgers in 2010. Although his numbers at Low-A weren’t overly impressive, the Dodgers believe Lee has the makeup and ability to move quickly through the minors. He projects as a workhorse number two and he should arrive in 2013.