MINOR LEAGUE/PROSPECTS Thread

Discussion in 'Los Angeles DODGERS' started by Shaw, Nov 15, 2011.

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  1. TheKnockdown

    TheKnockdown DSP Legend

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    International Reviews: Los Angeles Dodgers

    March 13, 2014by Ben Badler

    Top signing: SS Lucas Tirado, Dominican Republic, $1 million.

    Six-figure signings: 3B Alberto Estrella (Dominican Republic), OF Michael Medina (Dominican Republic), SS Moises Perez (Venezuela), OF Daniel Padilla (Venezuela), SS Dennis Santana (Dominican Republic), RHP Takumi Numata (Japan), RHP Miguel Urena (Dominican Republic), RHP Osiris Ramirez (Dominican Republic).
    Total signings: 48.

    The Dodgers went through their first July 2 under vice president of international scouting Bob Engle and Latin American supervisor Patrick Guerrero. Throughout the 2013 calendar year, the Dodgers spent more money on the international market than any other team that didn’t go past their 2013-14 international bonus pool (the Rangers and Cubs), signing 48 players in all to try to beef up the lower levels of an international program that had been relatively dormant under previous ownership.

    When Engle and Guerrero were in Seattle, they weren’t afraid to pay big money for players who were not consensus top talents. They did so last year with Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero as well as their top two amateur signings, including Dominican shortstop Lucas Tirado, who signed for $1 million in July. Tirado, 17, played at the Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field in 2012, and his trainer, Jaime Ramos, put him in both the Dominican Prospect League and the International Prospect League.

    Tirado shows a nice, compact lefty swing, with occasional power but mostly working gap to gap. At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, there’s room for more strength gains down the road. Tirado does a solid job of managing his at-bats and plays under control, but his scouts expressed concern that his swing got longer in games and he swung through too many fastballs, which may be related to his bat speed. Tirado doesn’t project as a shortstop, as teams before July 2 consistently called him a below-average runner without great range and a fringy arm. The Dodgers believe his speed and arm have both improved since then. He could end up at second or third base, with his pro debuted expected to come this summer in the Rookie-level Arizona League.

    The Dodgers signed 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Alberto Estrella for $600,000 in July. Estrella is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds and impressed the Dodgers with his strength and power potential from both sides of the plate. Given Estrella’s size, well below-average speed and limited athleticism, first base could be in his future, though the Dodgers were impressed with how he improved his conditioning since signing, so a corner outfield spot might be possible. Scouts from other organizations expressed reservations about his hitting against live pitching and stiffness to his game. Estrella, who was with Arquimedes Guerrero (who goes by “Pla”) and Rob Plummer, is slated to open in the AZL.

    In Venezuela, the Dodgers signed a pair of intriguing prospects in July, including shortstop Moises Perez for $250,000 when he turned 16 on July 18. Perez is a 16-year-old who looks like he’s 14, with a skinny 5-foot-10, 150-pound build. He’s well beyond his years in the field, where he has clean hands, smooth actions and an above-average arm. He’s an average runner and a good athlete who plays under control in the field, slowing down the game with a good internal clock and a nose for the ball. Perez’s defense is ahead of his righthanded bat, but he has a good approach to hitting and stays within the strike zone. Power will never be part of his game, but getting stronger will help him at the plate. Perez trained with Carlos Rios and will start in the Dominican Summer League.

    Venezuelan outfielder Daniel Padilla has loud tools packed into his 6-foot-2, 175-pound frame, signing for $200,000 on July 2 after training with Dennys Suarez. Padilla is a plus-plus runner with an above-average arm in center field. He has good power potential as well if the Dodgers can get his righthanded bat to click.

    The Dodgers caused a bit of a stir in Japan when they signed 19-year-old Japanese righhander Takumi Numata for $155,000 in September. Numata graduated from Ohkaki Nihon University High in 2012, then pitched for Edion of the Japanese industrial league in 2013. The Japanese Amateur Baseball Association was upset that Numata signed with the Dodgers and allegedly didn’t follow the organization’s protocol in doing so, but the Dodgers performed a status check on Numata before signing him and weren’t found to have violated any MLB rules, so the contract went through. Numata is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds with a low-90s fastball and a splitter that he leans on more than his breaking ball. He will likely come over for the AZL this summer.

    Before July 2, the Dodgers also dropped more than $1.6 million into the international amateur market on players in the first half of 2013 during the 2012-13 signing period. The biggest bonus of that group went to Dominican outfielder Michael Medina, who trained with Amauris Nina and played in the IPL, then signed for $275,000 in January. Medina, who turned 17 in August, ranked second in the DSL in both home runs (10) and strikeouts (94), hitting .198/.289/.411 in 56 games. With a thick, physically mature frame at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Medina has plus raw power from the right side. When he gets a fastball grooved into his swing path, he has the bat speed and strength to leave the yard. Contact frequency is a problem for Medina, who swings uphill with an extreme pull-oriented approach in games. He’s a below-average runner with a solid arm in right field.

    Dominican shortstop Dennis Santana signed for $170,000 in March, then hit .198/.312/.256 in 56 games as the Dodgers’ starting shortstop in the DSL. Santana, 17, isn’t a total free swinger and has some sense of working the count while showing occasional power form his skinny 6-foot-2, 160-pound frame, but he’s still raw at the plate and a work in progress in the field.

    Dominican righthander Miguel Urena, who turned 19 last month, signed for $140,000 last year in January. Urena is enormous at 6-foot-8, 210 pounds and looks like a power forward. He throws in the low-90s and can reach the mid-90s at times with steep downhill angle. Everything about Urena is raw, from his secondary pitches to his ability to keep his mechanics together, understandable for someone his size with limited experience. He finished with a 7.76 ERA and a 21-16 K-BB mark in 26 2/3 innings last year in the DSL.

    Osiris Ramirez had been a shortstop in the Dominican Republic but transitioned to the mound a couple of years before signing with the Dodgers for $100,000 in April. Ramirez, 18, is 6-foot-3, 185 pounds and his athleticism is apparent on the mound. He signed from Laurentino Genao’s program throwing 87-91 mph but has jumped up a little to be in the low-90s with more frequency. His breaking ball has solid bite at times but is inconsistent, though it’s ahead of his changeup. His pitchability is still fairly raw, as he allowed 18 runs (11 earned) in 16 1/3 innings last year in the DSL.

    One of the best players the Dodgers signed last year was 18-year-old Ibandel Isabel, a Dominican outfielder who landed an $80,000 bonus in April. In his pro debut, Isabel hit an impressive .327/.398/.500 in 57 games. At 6-foot-4, 185 pounds, Isabel has natural hitting actions and instincts from the right side. His hands work well at the plate with a sound swing, quick wrists and good bath path. Isabel has mostly doubles power now with occasional over-the-fence pop, but with the room he has to add size to his frame, he could grow into above-average power. The development of that power will be important, since Isabel’s speed and arm are both below-average and restrict him to left field, with first base a potential option down the road.

    Dominican outfielder Deivi Castillo could be another sleeper after signing for $70,000 last year in January. Castillo, 18, hit just .190/.308./240 in 37 DSL games last year, but he played through some injuries last year. He’s a well above-average runner who covers a lot of ground in center field with good defensive actions. He has good size (6-foot-3, 170 pounds), but is more of a line-drive hitter than a power guy from the left side.

    The Mariners were among the most active teams in Europe, and the Dodgers went in there last year to sign German righthander Sven Schuller for $70,000 in June out of the same program that had Twins outfielder Max Kepler. Schuller is a good athlete with a solid delivery who throws strikes with an 88-91 mph fastball and has a solid breaking ball that he’s still learning to use more in games, along with the makings of a promising changeup that he’s added as well.
     
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  2. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    good shit knock
    grats!
     
  3. chris

    chris Guest

    Yes. Even worse probably. There's a reason he left the Blue Jays
     
  4. chris

    chris Guest

  5. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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  6. Based God

    Based God DSP Legend

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  7. Jpdodgers

    Jpdodgers Well-Known Member

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    SAN DIEGO -- Cathedral Catholic High School left-hander Brady Aiken was a likely top-10 pick coming into the spring, but I'm not sure anyone saw his recent ascent coming. Aiken threw an inning in a scrimmage against Alex Jackson's team, Rancho Bernardo, on March 8, sitting 94-97 mph with his fastball, and was 92-97 in a short start last Tuesday in front of a lot of scouts. His outing Tuesday drew five scouting directors and Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd, and Aiken fulfilled expectations with his first pitch at 95 mph, punching out 12 in 4 ⅔ hitless innings before he was pulled because of his pitch count.

    Aiken showed four distinct pitches Tuesday, two of them plus. His fastball was 91-95 for the first few innings, dipping as low as 89 in the fifth right before he exited the game -- normal for a pitcher making just his second start of the spring. His curveball was 76-78 mph with angle and depth; he threw it for strikes, he buried it in the dirt to try to get hitters to chase, and he threw it down and in to punch out a right-handed hitter. Aiken's changeup was also above-average, mostly around 82 mph with good arm speed, and he mixed in a low-80s cutter (up to 85 mph) because, well, why the heck not.

    Aiken has some projection left; he's started to fill out his 6-foot-4 frame, with a strong core and hips as you see in most power starters, but he'll add some good muscle as he reaches his early 20s to increase his durability. His delivery is excellent -- he starts tall over the rubber with a high leg kick, then pushes off well with a long stride, turning his pitching elbow over early and finishing mostly over his front side. He doesn't fully pronate his forearm before his front foot lands, but other than that it's a solid delivery that makes very efficient use of his lower half to generate that power.

    You could argue that Aiken showed three grade-60 pitches in the fastball, curve and changeup, maybe a little less than that on the change but a little more on the curveball; no matter what, however, he projects to have three plus pitches and it's reasonable, based on his build and delivery, to project him to end up with a fastball that's closer to a 70, averaging 93-94 and touching 97 as a starter.

    Between this spring and last summer, I've seen all of the top prospects for this year's draft, including Carlos Rodon, Tyler Beede, Jeff Hoffman, Alex Jackson, Tyler Kolek and Jacob Gatewood, and I'd take Aiken over all of them.

    • Aiken has two teammates of note for this year's draft. Shortstop Sean Bouchard showed a plus arm and good hands, although he may outgrow the position, as he's already 6-foot-3 and at least 190 pounds. He's a plus runner and turned on a two-strike fastball up to smoke a double down the left-field line, struggling to pick up the spin on curveballs in several of his at-bats. He's a UCLA commit and looks like a second-rounder, especially in a draft that's so light on middle-infield prospects.

    His Italian-born teammate Giovanni Garbella, who won the MVP award at last year's European Junior U18 Baseball Championship, homered to left and tripled to right-center, showing good hand strength and the ability to turn on a good high school fastball. He played third but probably doesn't have the hands or foot speed to stay there, profiling better as a corner outfielder. Garbella's committed to Valparaiso, but I think he'd profile as a seventh- to 10th-rounder because of the hit tool.
     
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  8. Jpdodgers

    Jpdodgers Well-Known Member

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    Though only 17 years old until August, Julio Urias was my No. 14 prospect coming into 2014 and he’s already showing big league stuff. He performed very well in a brief stint in the low Class A Midwest League last year and threw an inning for the Dodgers on Saturday. He then came back with a crisp three-inning outing on Wednesday in an A-ball game against the Cubs' high Class A roster.

    Urias was 91-95 mph with his fastballs, showing good life on a two-seamer and a lot of confidence in the four-seamer, running it in to a right-handed batter for a strikeout when the hitter was probably looking for off-speed. Urias didn't throw his curveball, but threw some very sharp sliders anywhere from 81-86, tending toward the top end of the range for right-handed batters. His changeup was at least solid-average, 81-84 with a little action, relying more on deception and his ability to control the pitch.

    Urias' delivery is very clean and simple, with a good stride, plenty of hip rotation, a clean arm swing and a landing that puts him online to the plate. There's a little deception in his delivery, but most of his swings and misses will be from the quality and diversity of his pitches, not from hitters failing to pick up the ball. His body is mature, thick but not fat in any way, and he's every bit of 5-foot-11 (although his listed weight of 160 pounds is a little optimistic). While the ptosis in his left eye may have scared teams away from him when he was an amateur, the issue is a cosmetic one and the Dodgers are going to reap the rewards from seeing past that superficial problem.

    • The Dodgers' eighth-round pick from last year's draft, University of Georgia shortstop Kyle Farmer, is now a full-time catcher and the early returns are promising. Farmer receives very well for a player who's less than 12 months into his tenure at the position, having little trouble with velocity or balls in the dirt over the two games I saw. He only struggled when the occasional ball was fouled straight back at him -- and even that hardly bears mentioning.

    He's got at least an average arm, 1.98 seconds to 2.05 down to second base when I saw him, although I have other reports of throws below that range that would put him comfortably above average. At the plate, his swing is sound but his bat speed was below average -- he has a good feel to hit, but I worry that better fastballs will blow by him. There's backup catcher potential here, most likely, which would be a solid return for a pick in that round.
     
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  9. irish

    irish DSP Staff Member Administrator

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    thanks jp!
     
  10. LASports96

    LASports96 DSP Legend

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    Guy from my HS is getting a bunch of scouts at all the games he pitches, he even said he got a call from the Dodgers a few weeks ago. :rubhands:

    He threw a no hitter earlier this year and yesterday pitched a CGSO 10K's

    Not saying he's a big prospect or anything, but nonetheless this is very cool, I've known this guy for 10 years.

     
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  11. LASports96

    LASports96 DSP Legend

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    http://www.bigleaguefuturesplus.net/2014-mlb-draft-profiles/2014-mlb-draft-profile-cameron-bishop/ .. Some video in here as well

     
  12. TheKnockdown

    TheKnockdown DSP Legend

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    Does Bishop have any college commitments?
     
  13. Dodgers99

    Dodgers99 DSP Legend

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    Not a shocking development, but Urias, Anderson and Windle will start at Rancho.
     
  14. doyerfan

    doyerfan MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    yoooo, when are we all making a trip out there?
     
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  15. LASports96

    LASports96 DSP Legend

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    Yes, UC Irvine
     
  16. blazer5

    blazer5 DSP Legend

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    I'm down.
     
  17. MZA

    MZA MODERATOR Staff Member

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    Don't post in this thread much (not too well verse when it comes to the minor leagues), but I'd be down for a trip up there to watch the Quakes.
     
  18. TheKnockdown

    TheKnockdown DSP Legend

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    If you haven't been to rancho and you live in SoCal...the trip is well worth it. Awesome restaurants, good hotels etc...it is well worth the drive.
     
  19. Dodgers99

    Dodgers99 DSP Legend

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    Anderson had a bad first start, 2/3 IP, 3H, 3ER, 2BB, No Ks.

    Seager: 0/4
     
  20. chris

    chris Guest

    I'll be at opening day today and I'm shooting over to Rancho to see Urias. Fuck yeaaaaa
     
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