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).

Graduated Prospects
#2 – (P) James McDonald; #5 – (P) Scott Elbert #12 – (RP) Ramon Troncoso; (RP) Ronald Belisario

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.”

Honorable Mentions
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.

  1. tony says:

    signed up for the NOON mock at MDC…. one spot left drafting at spot 7 of 12……

  2. Grey

    Grey says:

    @tony: Take Howard.

  3. tony says:

    @Grey: i’m in the 9 slot, but if i can i will LOL

  4. Grey

    Grey says:

    @tony: Ah… Thought you said 7.

  5. Charlie says:

    General question for Grey and everyone else. I usually post/read the message board on rotoworld.com but it is slow as hell this time of the year. Anyone post on or know of a more active message board for this time of the year?

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Charlie: It’s a slow time for baseball. There’s some guys in our forum discussing a mock draft and I’m on the comments, but other than that I don’t know.

  7. SaltyBiscuits says:

    Withrow actually was promoted to AA last year and made several starts there to end his 2009 season, as a 20 y/o, and did not skip a beat. That is why he is currently regarded as the Dodgers #1 prospect by many who follow the system. I like him a lot more than Martin at this point.

  8. tony says:

    @Grey: the other opening was 7, haha…. i was advertising so a razzballer would get in….

    From the 9th position in a 12 teamer mock:

    4-Cliff Lee
    5-BJ upton
    6- cruz
    7- adam jones
    9- Kershaw
    10- BILLS
    11- cargo
    12- soto
    14- fowler
    15- WEEKS (yes i’ll be taking a back up later)
    17- Capps
    18- Bucholz
    19- Slowey

    there’s a couple more rounds, i’m bailing…. I like what I got and where I got it so far… What do you think Grey and anyone else? ADP is very askewed right now…. It will adjust, but alot of the OF’ers seemed to be sliding. I really like the idea my OF is BJ, cruz, a-jones, mccutchen, cargo, and fowler on the Bench right now…. thats basically 5-6 guys that can all steal 20 bags+ and hit 20+ homers, a couple guys who will hit under a couple with potential to hit over 30….?

  9. Grey

    Grey says:

    @tony: Overall I like your team, so I’ll just focus on the head scratchers. Not sure I get the Cliff Lee pick in the 4th round. Also, I feel like overall you could’ve used a Ted Lilly-type on your pitching staff. The pitchers seem like all upside and no stability.

  10. brett says:

    I feel about your outfield the way Grey feels about your pitching. A lot of upside/unproven types. I like every one of those guys (with the exception of Upton) but had you used that fourth round pick to grab a proven anchor for your outfield (or to shore up second base) i’d like your team a lot better.

    I also feel like you could use a little more guaranteed pop.

  11. Steve says:

    @Charlie: @Grey: This is the only place to be! Can’t promise it will be all about baseball, though.

  12. tony says:

    @Grey: @brett: Ya just a mock, i never go hard on pitching, always focused on hitting. I basically only took Cliff Lee in the 4th because i wanted to take a pitcher and he was the best available. I could always deal for pitching from this team. I feel i have alot of upisde/bounce back pitchers, same with OF’ers. I’m not a fan of BJ Upton, but Upton in the 5th? or i took him in the 6th i think in another draft? If he goes 15/45 thats a nice 5th rounder…. plus if he finds his power, and average, like he should at some point in his career? STEAL. He’s just one of those guys you KNOW there’s a 30/30 player somewhere inside.

    As for the power, alot of its developing… there’s alot of 5 cat guys i drafted, alot of guys that went 15/15 ish in 09 and will improve in 2010, i love a guy that contributes across the board. And i love the younger/upside players. I like to try and create a team that if a guy goes down i’m not crippled in a category…. (ex: ellsbury pulls a hammy, there goes ALL my steals).

    The rankings are a little goofy since its so early, but it was interesting to say the least.

  13. Stephen says:

    @SaltyBiscuits: Yeah, that’s a typo – it was supposed to say A+/AA, however, at best he held his own. He did drop to 8 K/9 with 4 BB/9 in 27 1/3 innings. He’ll still be another year away from making a large impact in the minors – unless he dominates like Lincecum or Hanson in AA.

  14. Grey

    Grey says:

    @tony: Yeah, makes sense. I didn’t mind your outfield. Fowler and CarGo on the same team does seem a bit excessive as far as upside goes.

  15. royce! says:

    I don’t understand what Baseball America meant about Devaris Gordon holding himself back from being a major league ready SS. Does he want to win back to back Branch Rickey awards? Or does he not want to shift to the OF, in which case he’s blocked by Furcal?

  16. Stephen says:

    @royce!: What they mant was he “will” be a major league short stop because he has the talent to, however, he just has to work and progress. Does that help and make sense now?

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