2014 Los Angeles Dodgers Top Prospects: #40-31
2014 Dodgers’ Top 51 Prospects
2014 Dodgers Top Prospects: #51-41
Now, a closer look at the Dodgers’ #40-31, from Jonathan Martinez to Andres Santiago.
40. Jonathan Martinez, RHP
A Venezuelan native, Martinez spent a summer in the DSL before heading to the states at 18. He had a solid American debut in 2012 and built on it in 2013. The 19 year old spent time with both Ogden and Great Lakes, amassing a 3.99 ERA in 99.1 innings.
Not overly physical, Jonathan has an average fastball with some movement and there’s room for more. His slider is his go-to breaking ball, though it doesn’t have a lot of bite and his command of the pitch is erratic. He also has a changeup to complete his repertoire, but it’s his third pitch.
If the young right-hander fills out and tightens up the slider, he could have the makings of two above average pitches. He split time between starting and relieving last year, so a full season in the rotation is key to his development as a starter.
39. Scott Griggs, RHP
The Dodgers have their own “Wild Thing” in Griggs. The former UCLA reliever was selected in the 8th round of the 2012 draft and immediately began racking up the K’s. However, he also issued more than his fair share of free passes. That trend continued into his first full season.
Scott uses a fastball that can regularly reach the mid 90s along with a plus breaking ball. Those two offerings led to a K/9 of 14.6 last year. His problem, though, is control. In 45.2 innings, he walked 33 batters. That type of performance won’t help him move up the ladder.
Griggs was named the best reliever in the Midwest League by coaches and managers. He also ended the season on the disabled list. Moving forward, he simply needs to throw more strikes to live up to his potential as a late-inning reliever.
38. James Baldwin III, OF [image src=”http://www.milb.com/images/2012/06/27/bg3znwl3.jpg” width=”240″ height=”135″ title=”James Baldwin III” lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
I seriously debated about whether I should put Baldwin on this list at all. He struck out 154 times in 118 games last year. He struck out 36 times in 28 games in the Australian League. There are serious concerns about his ability to make contact.
So why did I put him on the list? Because he could play center field in the majors tomorrow. And do it well. And he could steal 30-40 bases at an acceptable clip. He’ll even run into some homers given the leverage in his swing. If he makes it to the show, he’s the Dodgers’ version of Drew Stubbs, and there’s some value to that.
Now, if he’ll hit enough to even reach the majors remains to be seen. But he’s only 22 and still has time to develop.
37. Jeremy Rathjen, OF
Rathjen is in the same boat as Baldwin. He plays great defense, can run very well on the bases and occasionally shows some power. However, given his long limbs, he struggles to make contact (though not as much as JB3).
Jeremy is at a slight developmental disadvantage, given that he’s two years older and hasn’t played at a higher level than A ball. However, the fact that he makes more contact gives him a distinct advantage over his neighbor James. Both should be patrolling the green area in Rancho this season.
36. Lucas Tirado, IF
I’ve mentioned that the Dodgers have been more active in the international market of late. Tirado is a key example. The Dodgers broke the bank for the 16 year old Dominican in 2013 by signing him for $1 million.
While Lucas was a known quantity entering the signing period, his in-game performance was very erratic. Early in 2013, he went 0 for 12 with 9 strikeouts in a brief spring game series. While his BP swing is pretty, it doesn’t carry over into games. And that’s a problem, given the fact that the rest of his skillset is uninspiring. He lacks the range for short and his arm isn’t great, so second base looks like his future home.
Still, he’s 17 and has potential to be a good hitter, but it’s going to take a lot of time and patience. And some luck wouldn’t hurt either.
35. Josh Henderson, OF
Yet another 2012 draftee, Henderson was the Dodgers’ 16th rounder that year and signed for $200,000, which was the team’s highest bonus paid to a prospect after the 10th round.
Josh is another all-bat profile, as his speed and arm limit him to left field. He played just 22 games last year, but batted .299 with a .792 OPS for the club’s Arizona League affiliate.
Hendo just needs more time on the field. He’s 20, so there’s no need to rush him, but a full run in Ogden would give the organization and scouts a real read on his ability.
34. Theo Alexander, OF [image src=”http://www.suffolknewsherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Henderson1.jpg” width=”240″ height=”135″ title=”Theo Alexander” lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
Alexander was taken 9 rounds ahead of Henderson in 2012, but has suffered similarly in getting consistent at bats. He’s played just 27 games in each of his first two pro seasons.
His skillset is reminiscent of Josh’s, though he played right field for the AZL Dodgers last season. He showed some in-game power with 5 doubles and 5 homers but also struck out 35 times in 102 plate appearances. He’ll need to do a better job of controlling the strike-zone moving forward.
Young for his draft class, 2014 will be Alexander’s age 19 season. Expect him to move up to Ogden with a chance at breaking in to full season ball late in the year.
33. O’Koyea Dickson, 1B
Not your prototypical first baseman, Dickson hits well enough but won’t carry a lineup. He’s been solid for the Dodgers in his three seasons with the organization. This past year, he batted .280 with a .796 in Rancho Cucamonga. Not numbers that will blow you away, especially given the environment, but nothing to sneeze at. His real test comes in Chattanooga.
32. Kyle Farmer, C
When I saw that the Dodgers drafted Farmer and planned on converting him to catcher, I was skeptical. Then I saw his body and thought it was a perfect fit. A college shortstop, Farmer made a quick transition behind the plate where he displayed good arm strength (throwing out 39% of attempted base stealers). However, he’ll have to improve his blocking, as he surrendered 13 passed balls in 35 games.
Offensively, he didn’t skip a beat, batting .347/.386/.533 in 41 games with Ogden. However, he was 22 playing in a hitter’s haven. It will be interesting to see if the Dodgers move the 23 year old past Great Lakes entirely and start him in Rancho Cucamonga. They have to walk a line between dealing with his age and allowing him to develop defensively.
31. Andres Santiago, RHP [image src=”http://mlb.mlb.com/images/2012/10/24/mpwBykBK.jpg” width=”240″ height=”135″ title=”Andres Santiago” lightbox=”yes” align=”center”]
The 2013 World Baseball Classic provided an unforgettable opportunity for Santiago. Pitching for his home country of Puerto Rico, Andres posted a 3.12 ERA in two starts, helping his team to the finals. He then went on to a solid season in Double A.
Santiago’s stuff is pretty average across the board and his control isn’t great, but he misses enough bats and keeps the ball on the ground and in the yard.
Even with his experience, Andres doesn’t figure into the club’s plans in the near future. He’s split time between starting and relieving, which adds to his value. However, unless he blows people away in 2014, he’s likely not long for the Dodgers.
Suffolk News Herald
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