We continue with our look at the Dodgers successful farm system. Dodger affiliates posted the second-highest winning percentage among MLB teams in 2011. The organization’s seven Minor League teams put together a combined .543 winning percentage, with only the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes (70-74) posting a losing record. Utah is our next destination, where the Rookie-advanced Ogden Raptors have had three consecutive playoff appearances and have had quite a few upcoming Major Leaguers on their roster including current Dodgers.
- Ogden Raptors (1994-present)
- Pocatello Posse (1993)
- Salt Lake Trappers (1985-1992)
- Calgary Expos (1979-1984)
- Calgary Cardinals (1977-1978)
The Ogden Raptors, founded in 1977, are the Advanced Rookie affiliate of the Dodgers and play in the Pioneer League. They have been affiliated with the Dodgers since 2003. They are based in Ogden, Utah and play at Lindquist Field which was built in 1997. Baseballparks.com named Lindquist Field the Best View in all of baseball. The field is surrounded by a backdrop of beautiful Utah mountains often snow capped in the winter.
Damon Berryhill will return for a fourth season as manager for Rookie-advanced Ogden after leading the club to its third-straight playoff berth in 2011. Pitching Coach Bill Simas returns for a second season alongside Hitting Coach Doug Mientkiewicz, who will make his coaching debut after an 11-year big league career. Mientkiewicz earned a Rawlings Gold Glove at first base in 2001 with Minnesota, won a World Series ring with Boston in 2004 and batted .333 in 20 games with the Dodgers in 2009, his final season in the Majors.
Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Ben Sheets, first baseman Prince Fielder, shortstop J. J. Hardy, third baseman Bill Hall, and Corey Hart are some notable major leaguers who formerly played for the Raptors. Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda was manager of the Ogden Dodgers, and led them to three consecutive Pioneer League titles from 1966-1968.
An 18-year old Chad Billingsley pitched in 11 games for the Ogden Raptors in 2003. He was 5-4 with 2.83 ERA in 54 innings. Russell Martin also played for the Raptors in 2003, and Ogden was where he began his transition to catcher. In 52 games, he hit .271 with 6 homeruns and 36 RBI before being promoted to class A ball. Former Dodgers Xavier Paul and Blake DeWitt also played for Ogden.
The mascot of the Raptors is Oggie, a green velociraptor dinosaur.
Ogden Raptors first baseman O’Koyea Dickson hit two home runs as the Raptors clinched the Southern Divisional title two games to one with a 12-9 win over the Orem Owlz at Lindquist Field. The Great Falls Voyagers beat the Ogden Raptors 7-1 at Centene Stadium to clinch the Pioneer League Championship, two games to none. It was the second straight second place finish in the Pioneer League for the Raptors. Dickson played in 48 games for Ogden and hit .333 with 13 homeruns and 38 RBI. Outfielder Joc Pederson hit .353 with 11 homeruns and 64 RBI in 68 games played. Pederson and Dickson were 4th and 6th in batting respectively in the league. Pitcher Brandon Martinez was 5th in the league with a 4.07 ERA. He had a record of 6-3 in 15 starts.
You can check out their schedule on the Raptors website. We will keep you updated throughout the season with all the Dodger affiliates’ seasons.