Dodgers 2014 Minor League Review: On The Corners

Alex Santana

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Although the Los Angeles Dodgers’ farm system includes elite talents Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Julio Urias, the overall depth remains a work in progress. Among the areas in need of improvement the corners in the outfield and infield.

State of the System – Weak

While the Dodgers are strong up the middle, there’s a dearth of prospect punch on the corners. The team has just one player at the Major League level in Matt Kemp, who was playing a corner spot last season.

Granted, Yasiel Puig began his career in right field, but seems to have found his niche in center; Scott Van Slyke could count as a contributor as well. However, the impact talent and depth in the corners throughout the Minors leaves a great deal to be desired.

10. Ibandel Isabel, 1B

Signed in April of 2013 for just $80,000, Isabel came out of the gate swinging, batting .327/.395/.500 in his debut with the Dominican Summer League Dodgers. That performance led to a quick journey to the states and he made his domestic debut this summer with the Arizona League affiliate.

Isabel’s offense took a hit, as his OPS dropped .200 points, but he showed positive secondary skills. His move to first base drops his value and he’ll have to hit moving forward to prove he’s a legitimate prospect.

9. Jacob Scavuzzo, OF

Now, Scavuzzo has played the majority of his games as a pro in center field, but he played more games last year in left. He’s a capable defender in all three but may settle in to a corner once he’s fully matured.

Scavuzzo was another player who hit well in 2013 with Ogden but struggled on offense in 2014. He returned to Ogden late in the year for their playoff push and hit well, though he must prove that he can hit against more advanced pitching. He turns 21 in January and should return to Low-A Great Lakes in 2015.

8. Alex Santana, LF

Santana was supposed to be the answer at third base after he was drafted in the second round in 2011, but things haven’t exactly gone according to plan. After struggling on offense in his first two trips in the rookie leagues, things clicked for him in 2013 when he hit .327 with Ogden.

That offseason, Santana moved from third base to left field, where he was better able to corral his long limbs. He moved up to Low-A Great Lakes in 2014 but struggled to put it together with the bat, OPSing .623. He did show well on defense and even stole 13 bases. Just 21 years old, Santana has plenty of time to develop and could return to the Loons next season.

7. Michael Medina, RF

Medina is very similar to Chigbogu with his power potential and strikeout numbers. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in January of 2013 for $275,000, the 16 year old debuted in the Dominican Summer League that year and was aggressively promoted stateside in 2014.

Medina played 36 games with the Arizona League Dodgers, hitting five home runs and nine doubles while walking 18 times. However, he also struck out at a staggering 37.4 percent clip. Granted Median is still a teenager, but he’ll need to cut down on the strikeouts in order to take full advantage of his potential.

6. Jared Walker, 3B

Hey look, a third baseman. Third base has been a position the Dodgers haven’t homegrown since Adrian Beltre. Andy LaRoche looked like the heir apparent, but injuries derailed his career. Walker was taken in the fifth round of the 2014 draft and sent to the Arizona League, where he showed some promise and rawness.

The 18 year old has athleticism and a promising left-handed swing, along with the ability to draw a walk, but must improve his defense and power moving forward. He’s likely to begin next season in extended Spring Training and debut in Ogden next summer.

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