I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, our Minor League baseball Site, Seedlings to Stars, is churning out some seriously good content. Recently they emailed me and asked what part of the Dodgers minor league system I would like them to review. Feeling pretty good about the Dodgers pitching prospects, especially the power bullpen arms, I asked for their thoughts on various Dodgers hitting prospects. Here is their analysis, and get ready cause they do a fantastic job analyzing numerous prospects.
Who do you think has the highest ceiling among Dodgers batting prospects between Angelo Songco, Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Jonathan Garcia, Alfredo Silverio, Jake Lemmerman, Joc Pederson, O’Koyea Dickson, and James Baldwin? Is there someone you think I left out, and does any of this group project as an MLB regular?
Nathaniel Stoltz says: ”I’ll go through these guys one by one, to start.”
Here are some of the highlights but again to view the entire article click here
Garcia is a guy I was really high on entering the season, but he then went out and put up a .290 OBP in the Midwest League. Still, he was 19 for the whole season, which gives him an edge over Cavazos-Galvez, Silverio, and their ilk—he’s got plenty of time to learn plate discipline. He’s also got excellent raw power.
I like Lemmerman’s bat at shortstop, but he becomes considerably less interesting if you move him to a more demanding offensive position, and most scouts seem to think he’s not going to be able to handle short in the major leagues. He should make for a nice switch-hitting utility guy, though, and that’s nothing to scoff at in the NL, when defensive replacements, matchups, and overall roster depth matter a lot.
Pederson is a really intriguing player, because he actually knows how to take ball four. He also poses much more of a threat on the bases than the other outfielders and even Lemmerman. At just 19, those are great signs—the only thing to be wary of is that Ogden and the Pioneer League are very hitter-friendly and can distort numbers.
So I’d say Pederson projects as a regular, and it’s not too hard to see Garcia getting there as well. If Lemmerman defies the odds and stays at short or at least second base, he could end up as a starter too.
Angelo Songco is another outfielder with bigtime power and a K/BB rate that’s nothing to write home about. We’ll see how he does outside of the Cal League next year, but if he can transition well to Double-A, he would project as a big leaguer of some kind.
Finally, catcher Gorman Erickson has a lot of work to do defensively, but he should certainly be able to hit better than many MLB catchers, so he has a future if he can stay behind the plate.
Wally Fish says: Of the players Nathaniel touched on in his response, I am in lock-step agreement with him on most of them.
To me, Joc Pederson is the player to watch for and the one that has a chance to become a solid major league regular. In his first full-season as a pro, he tore apart the Pioneer League, hitting 0.353/.429/.568 with 20 2B, 11 HR, and 24 SB in 68 G. As Nathaniel mentioned, the league is one of the more offense-inflating out there, but still, his performance was significantly better than that of a guy like Garcia, who hit 0.305/.365/.527 at the level in 2010. Garcia was 18 when he did that, while Pederson was 19 this year and still young for the level himself.
But what separates Joc from his fellow Dodger prospects is that he is already showing signs that he has an idea of what he’s doing at the plate in terms of approach and discipline. These things are semi-rare traits in teenage prospects, and we should take note of them. Pederson doesn’t have a “standout” tool, but he could become solid-average to slightly above average across the board in all of them. Unlike his peers, he does not appear to have an aspect of his game that needs a to be addressed with a potentially massive overhaul. In Joc’s case, he merely needs to refine his skills, and that gives him a much better chance to be an legitimate asset in the major leagues down the road.
Pederson’s 16-game stint in the Midwest League to start the season was definitely a case of being overzealous on the part of the Dodgers. Prior to 2011, he had just 3 games of professional experience in the Arizona League, so it’s not surprising that he hit just 0.160/.288/.160 in 60 PA with the Great Lakes Loons. He clearly wasn’t ready for that time of jump, but even still he managed 7 walks and only struck out 9 times.
Joc is also helped by the fact that he has major league bloodlines, as his father had a 12-year minor league career and a brief 8 game run with the Dodgers in 1985. Stu Pederson, like Joc, was a left-handed outfielder, and both share similarities in their builds as well. The elder Pederson was 6’0″, 185 and Joc is listed at 6’1″, 185.
I’m so pro-Joc Pederson I may have to go out and get some buttons made…
Thank you to Nathaniel and Wally for this terrific in-depth analysis. And for ALL of your Minor League Baseball/Prospect needs be sure to make Seedlings to Stars part of your daily reading, they are producing a ridiculous amount of quality content.
Topics: Alex Castellanos, Alfredo Silverio, Angelo Songco, Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Cody Johnson, Dodgers Prospects, Gorman Erickson, Jake Lemmerman, James Baldwin, Joc Pederson, Jonathan Garcia, Kyle Russell, Los Angeles Dodgers, O'Koyea Dickson, Seedlings To Stars