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Just How Good Are The Dodger Prospects?

Are the Dodgers prospects over-hyped?  Nobody questions the number of role or platoon players that the Dodgers have put into MLB.  From the first AF draft in 2015, the Dodgers have not had one drafted position player or one International Free Agent (IFA) become an All Star as a Dodger.  Walker Buehler (twice) and Tony Gonsolin (once) have made All Star teams as pitchers.  That is 8 drafts that have produced 2 All Stars for a total of three times.

Admittedly, Will Smith deserved to make the team in 2022, but did not.  Gavin Lux also drew consideration as a 2B, but his chances as an All Star SS are extremely remote at best.  What is the likelihood that Miguel Vargas, Ryan Pepiot, or James Outman get an All Star nod this year?

 

In that same time frame, the Ned Colletti era produced 5 All Stars:  Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Hyun-jin Ryu, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson.  While Paul DePodesta produced 1 (KJ), and Dan Evans produced 1 (Matt Kemp).

I was in the process of writing this article when the Rafael Devers extension took place, but it should not sway from the point.

  • Xander Bogaerts would have been a free agent at 27 had he not signed a 6 year extension at 26.
  • Rafael Devers would have been a free agent at 27 had he not signed an 11 year extension at 26.
  • Carlos Correa was a free agent at 27.
  • Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager were 28 when they became free agents.

Atlanta lineup includes:

  • Michael Harris II was 21 when he won 2022 NL ROY.  He had 196 PA in AA and zero PA in AAA.
  • Vaughn Grissom was 21 years old in his rookie year, 2022.  He played 2B for the injured Ozzie Albies and will now be the starting SS as a 22 year old.  He had 98 AA PA and zero AAA PA.
  • Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. were 20 year old rookies.
  • Austin Riley was 22 as a rookie.
  • William Contreras and Spencer Strider (2nd in NL ROY for 2022) were 23 as rookies.

 

Contrast those with LAD prospects.

  • Miguel Vargas will be 23 as a rookie.
  • James Outman will be 26 as a rookie.
  • Michael Busch will be 25 in 2023 (AAA or MLB?)
  • Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, and Jacob Amaya will be 24 in AAA in 2023.
  • Michael Grove will be 26 in his rookie year in 2023 (if he sticks with MLB club).

Miguel Vargas and Michael Busch

 

  • Diego Cartaya will be 21 at AA and Andy Pages will be 22 at AA or AAA.

If this was Atlanta, I would submit that James Outman would be a starting OF.  However, we continue to hear speculation that the Dodgers are looking for a veteran OF.  Why?  Why not tell Outman that the job is his to lose?

Miguel Vargas is not as bad as he displayed in his short tenure with the big league club, and James Outman is not as good as he was in his 16 PA.  They need a clear unobstructed runway to showcase whether they are big league regulars or role/platoon players.

Not one Dodger prospect reached rookie status in 2022.  That is understandable for a team that won 111 games.  But for a team that is looking to get younger and more athletic, I would think that the team could introduce younger players at quicker pace.

Look at what the Braves have done since 2017.

 

  • 2017 – Ozzie Albies (20) started as a rookie – Braves finished 3rd in NL East
  • 2018 – Ronald Acuña (20) started as a rookie – Braves finished 1st in NL East
  • 2019 – Austin Riley (22) started as a rookie – Braves finished 1st in NL East
  • 2020 – William Contreras (23) started as a rookie – Braves finished 1st in NL East
  • 2021 – No rookies – Braves finished 1st in NL East
  • 2022 – Michael Harris II (21), Vaughn Grissom (21) and Spencer Strider (23) all played prominent roles with the ML Braves – Braves finished first in NL East.

 

The last time a LAD rookie played a prominent role as a rookie was Cody Bellinger in 2017 and Walker Buehler in 2018..  I am hoping that one, two, or three of Miguel Vargas, James Outman, Ryan Pepiot, Bobby Miller, Gavin Stone, Michael Busch, or Jacob Amaya can change that.   But I have my doubts.

I do plan on discussing the LAD prospects in greater detail, but thus far, only Baseball Prospectus and Prospects Live have published their top prospects lists.   Baseball America has not yet published their LAD Top 30 prospects.  BA has published top 30 for all of the East and Central Division teams, but only Oakland in the West.  It looks like NL West will be the last Division to be reported.

MLB Pipeline, FanGraphs, ESPN, and The Athletic generally publish their lists later.

For the record, it is difficult to criticize what the Dodgers have done over the last ten years, and I will not begin to try. I am grateful for the last ten years of contending. While AF may not have a record of drafting or signing All Stars, he has constructed teams that have the best won-loss record over his reign as President of Baseball Operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  It is hard now to realize that the Championship Window could be closing, and that the Clayton Kershaw years may have been squandered.

It is assumed that the Dodgers have enough talent to make the playoffs, but it isn’t inconceivable that the Dodgers could miss the playoffs in 2023.  If that happens, it could indicate that the multiple pitchers may have incurred injuries (as many expect), and that the rookies did not put up the production necessary for a playoff team.  If that happens, not only will the playoff streak come to an end, but it could also create doubt as to just how valuable the rookies are, and that the return in future trades will not be there.

I would be very surprised if the Dodgers (as currently constructed) end up with a better record than NYM, Atlanta, or San Diego.  It will then be a battle for the final three playoff spots with St. Louis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and LAD.

OTOH, I could also envision a potentially deep LAD rotation will prove to be elite once again, and that two or three rookies take off to become full on regulars in the LAD lineup/rotation.

That is why they play the games.  Winners and losers are not determined by the nerds and their algorithms.  They are played by young men with tremendous baseball skills.  Get to the playoffs, and get hot.  Getting to the WS as a Wild Card team is not as remote as many believe.

This is the year the Dodgers have to reach for that extra effort and cross the finish line.

 

 

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Oldbear48

Prospects are just that until they are not. Many have failed, few have excelled. As you noted, most of this is due to the fact that the team has been so successful in the last 10 years. They relied heavily on proven veterans. Guys like Adrian Gonzalez, Ethier, Crawford, who when not injured was a solid contributor. They in the last several years with the exception of the salary dump of Kemp et-al, have rarely traded a vet for another team’s top prospect. Bellinger was only brought up because Gonzalez was injured. I remember back when Campanis was GM. There were always the stories out there that he overvalued all of his prospects and trading for Dodger prospects was not cheap. Considering where they draft the last several years, I find it amazing that they have any top 100 prospects in the system at all. Even when he was drafted, Buehler was damaged goods, and now he is out for probably all of 23. Right now, Pages and Cartaya are at least a year away. In 24, there will be an open path for Pages to make the team. Unless Smith is moved to another position though, Cartaya will still have him and Barnes to contend with. You are totally right that the sample size is way to small to make judgements on either Vargas or Outman. But another thing is that there is going to be pressure, especially since they play in LA, for both of them to play at a high level in order for the Dodgers to be competitive in the division. Probably the reason why so many fans are pining for a trade and not willing to wait for those guys to produce.

Oldbear48

Rumor mill is pretty quiet right now. There have been some blurbs that the Padres and Marlins are really interested in Johnny Cueto. Also read something yesterday, cannot remember where, that Ohtani would probably get a contract in excess of 500 million. That is just outrageous. No one player is worth that much money, not even a two-way player like Ohtani.

Badger

Impossible to know how rookies will perform.

But really easy to guess

I say both Vargas and Outman will OPS around .750 and play well enough defensively they won’t be considered a liability.

The success of this team will be determined by 2 things. First, pitching. Those guys need to stay vertical. And secondly, the veterans all need to have very good years. Betts, Freeman, Smith, Lux, Taylor and Muncy need to lead the way.

Do I think all of this will happen?

Of course not.

We have cracks in our foundation. How long before those cracks widen? I’d say about a Bauer and half.

As is? A decent shot at a playoff berth. And that’s all we need, right?

Last edited 26 days ago by Badger
Oldbear48

I think they are at least the second best team in the division. Everyone thinks the Padres are better. Pads have a decent bullpen and a pretty good starting 9. But, they have holes in their rotation, and their CF problem is just as bad as the Dodgers is. Probably worse. Ony time spring training and the deadline will tell exactly where this team stands.

Dionysus

Fangraphs’ list just came out.

Bumsrap

It was depressing

Bluto

So depressing.

Dionysus

Fangraphs is my least favorite of the major outlets. They frequently leave off guys altogether for no reason.

Singing the Blue

I couldn’t find Eddys Leonard anywhere on today’s list. He’s got to be in the top 50.

Dionysus

No Andre Jackson or Lael Lockhart

Bobby

“It is hard now to realize that the Championship Window could be closing, and that the Clayton Kershaw years may have been squandered.”

Yes, but many of those years were squandered by Kershaw himself in October. If April-September Kershaw showed up in October 2013-2019, we would’ve won multiple titles (not counting 2017 of course where he was fantastic and we got cheated). He was also good in 2015 vs the Mets, but he failed big in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 in October.

Oldbear48

Bobby, that is totally false. His postseason record is not what fans would like, but it is not as bad as all that. In 2013, he lost game 6 by a large margin, that much is true, but both games he pitched, the Dodgers were shut out. He could have easily won game 2 which they lost 1-0. The team failed to score for him in that series. In 2014 he lost game one, again the Cardinals lit him up for 7 runs, but the team barely lost 10-9. The pen gave up the runs that eventually lost the game, and the rally fell short. But in game four, he made one mistake, and he lost 3-2. Again, lack of scoring cost them the game. In 2016 he won game 2 1-0 outdueling Kyle Hendricks. He lost game 6 when Hendricks returned the favor and 2-hit the Dodgers. Not really his fault if the offense sucks. 2018 He pitched well in both the NLCS and NLDS winning 2 of his three decisions. He lost game one of the World Series when he gave up five of the eight runs surrendered. But when he lost game 5, again, it was the Dodgers lack of offense that killed him as DAVID PRICE, yeah that guy, three hit the Dodgers for the Series win. 2019 he pitched two games against DC. He lost game two 4-2. He did not pitch bad at all. Gave up only 3 of the 4 DC runs, but Strasburg shut the Dodgers down. Ya don’t hit, ya don’t win. Then he pitched in relief. He came in in the 7th inning to relieve Buehler, got the final out of the inning, and then in an incredibly dumb move, Roberts left him in and he allowed 2 game tying homers. But, the onus is on the offense and Roberts for also allowing Joe Kelly to pitch a second inning and give up the deciding 4 runs on a grand slam by Kendricks. There is no guarantee they would have won another World Series in any of those years had they gone. Also, in 2013, they lost their best offensive player when Joe Kelly broke Hanley’s ribs. Taking his offense out of the game was a lot more responsible for the loss than Kershaw’s pitching. His postseason record is now 13-12. And more than a couple of those games he lost were not as a result of bad pitching.

Last edited 26 days ago by Oldbear48
Bumsrap

Koufax spoiled us especially in the post season

Oldbear48

Koufax did not pitch game one of the World Series in 1959, his only loss was the 1-0 game. The starting pitcher and loser was Roger Craig. Koufax did not start until game 5 when they were up 3 games to one. Podres started game 2, Big D game three and Craig game 4. Koufax’s world series mark is 4-3, not 4-4.

Oldbear48

He did pitch 2 perfect innings in game one. Those were his only two appearances. In game 5 he went 7 innings on 5 hits a run and one walk. He struck out six, so his ERA for the series was 1.00. Drysdale only pitched in game 3. He would have started game 7 if needed. Sherry was the MVP with 2 saves and 2 wins, Essegian hit two pinch hit homers, Neal had two homers and Hodges batted .391 with one long ball. Chuck Churn, who pitched 2/3rds of an inning in game one, never pitched in the majors again.

Singing the Blue

News from out there:

Carlos Baerga says the Dodgers and the Padres both have two year offers out to Aroldis Chapman. He broke the Devers story yesterday but got Judge to the Giants wrong, so we shall see. I find it hard to believe that Chapman would get multi-year offers at this point considering how bad he was last year. Also find it hard to believe the AF would make this the deal that blows past the CBT…………….unless he plans to trade Bauer within the next 24 hours or so.

Giants release Tommy LaStella – are we interested?
Reds release Moustakas – are we interested?
I’m guessing the answer is no to both.

Old friend Wilmer Font signs with the Padres after two nice years in Korea.

Poor Edwin Rios hasn’t found a home yet. I’m wondering if he winds up in Asia for a year or two to build some value.

Singing the Blue

Although we’ve talked here about moving CT3’s contract, I hadn’t thought about it in relation to signing Chapman.

What’s your guess as to the size of the contract he’ll wind up with (even if it isn’t with us)?

I still don’t see AF getting rid of CT3 by selling low, considering all of the question marks he has at both infield and outfield positions. Taylor can play 5 or 6 different positions and this year I think that’s going to be very valuable.

If he’s going to sign Chapman and not go over the CBT, I still think the greater possibility is that he gets a team to pick up part of Bauer’s contract.

Last edited 25 days ago by Singing the Blue
Oldbear48

LaStella was placed on release waivers, but has not cleared them yet. Anyone picking him up is on the hook for his entire contract.

Oldbear48

Nope, just like if the Dodgers release Bauer, no one is picking that up either. Main reason I do not think they are going to just release him.

Bluto

DiGiovanna:

Several rumors floating around today about the #Dodgers being interested in veteran closer Aroldis Chapman, one claiming team has offered him a two-year deal. Neither is true. Two sources familiar with team’s thinking say LA is not involved in the bidding for the embattled LHP.

Singing the Blue

I could see Preller doing that, but definitely not Andrew.
I’d be absolutely shocked if the Dodgers were in on him. On the other hand, they do a nice job of driving up prices for their competitors.

Badger

Feels like the calm before the storm this morning.

Sun’s out. That could be a good sign.

Read an article this morning about being genetically predisposed to making poor decisions. Could explain a lot.

Dionysus

Ah hufflepuff

Badger

I get it.

Badger. Witchcraft and Wizardry.

We could use some.

Josue De Paula?

Last edited 24 days ago by Badger
Sam Oyed

Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.

Bumsrap

Red, Right, Return

Bumsrap

You could take the George Costanza route and do the opposite of your first thought.

Singing the Blue

We’ve been talking about the wisdom of trading for Bryan Reynolds, whom the Pirates may or may not be willing to trade, but if they are it will be at a high price.

What about Cedric Mullins, a much better center fielder and a major stolen base threat with the same 3 years of control remaining? I’d rather have him and he’s probably just as available or not available as Reynolds for the right package.

Singing the Blue

I’ll bet he’d be available for a package similar to what the Pirates are demanding for Reynolds. Of course, nothing says Andrew is willing to pay that price.

Strangely enough our friend the Trade Simulator values Mullins at 36.2 while it values Reynolds at 64.2. I’d still rather have Mullins, considering our current roster makeup.

Bobby

Any prediction?

I’ll predict we waive him, but I would hope that we don’t.

OhioDodger

Dodgers will keep him and continue to work on trading him at least until ST starts. They can also get a better idea of the fan reaction that way.

Singing the Blue

Seems like a reasonable way to go. Now let’s see if Andrew agrees with you.

Bobby

Your last point is the one I keep thinking about as well.

NOT releasing him today doesn’t mean guaranteeing him a roster spot for all of 2023.

If we need to, just kick the can down the curb for a while.

Jeff Dominique

Bauer released

Fred Vogel

Do the Dodgers have any financial wiggle room at this time?

Bobby

Bauer designated for assigment

Sam Oyed

Surprised by the decision. Always expected a trade. Guess we’ll all see what kind of market there is for him.

Bobby

Correct. Assuming the Dodgers did their due diligence, and likely had more facts that we all do, shouldn’t we also assume that other clubs had or will have access to the same info?

So is it certain other teams would clamor for him, if their fans also would be against it or if their players were against it?

Bumsrap

Good, preferred a trade but this is next best outcome.

Singing the Blue

I wonder if we’ll ever get any more details as to what led to their decision.

I suppose we can assume they tried to trade him for the past two weeks and that’s why they didn’t DFA him immediately. By doing so today, they’ve given themselves another 10 days to find a deal. Unlikely but not impossible.

Not every fan base is going to be as angry about Bauer as the L.A. fans so I could see a number of teams willing to give him a deal at the MLB minimum. If a few teams make him offers, some GM might just decide to call AF and tell him he’ll take him in trade if the Dodgers pay 20 mil of the deal, or 18 mil, or whatever.

When we passed on our Aroldis Chapman deal, did anyone see the fans gathering at the gates of Yankee Stadium threatening to burn it down. No.

When other players have been suspended for beating their wives or girlfriends, almost all of them were taken back after their suspensions and, again, the fans didn’t come to the stadiums waving torches.

This tells me there will be a market for Bauer. Just a matter of where and for how much. I’m predicting it will be one of the following teams: Rangers, Astros, Red Sox, Phillies.

Bumsrap

If a team signs him for $22M would Dodgers still owe him anything or would Bauer make $44M?

Obviously multiple teams would be bidding if offered that much..

Last edited 24 days ago by Bumsrap
Singing the Blue

I think every dollar another team pays him is subtracted from what the Dodgers owe him.

Or not. I thought I read that, but now I’m not so sure.

Last edited 24 days ago by Singing the Blue
Bluto

Exactly this. You gotta hope some team will not want to risk going through the waiver order and make a trade offer.

Even if the Dodgers keep 80% of the salary, they will have a chance to stay under the threshold.

Singing the Blue

Bauer has just released this fascinating statement:

https://twitter.com/jphoornstra/status/1611525214839664642/photo/1

Last edited 24 days ago by Singing the Blue
Badger

The Dodgers told him they looked forward to having him pitch for them?

Not knowing all the details all I can say tonight is I’m disappointed. I expect him to be pitching for somebody this year. I just hope it isn’t for a contender in the National League.

Sam Oyed

Just saw this “MLB promised at least one witness that if Bauer retaliated legally for their participation in the investigation, it would attempt to discipline him further”.



OhioDodger

Will be interesting to see what team if any will sign Bauer after his release. Would be a hell of a statement if no team wanted him.

Singing the Blue

Somebody will sign him and, if not, he’ll probably sue MLB for collusion.

Bluto

Does MLB’s anti-trust exemption work against that?

Otherwise, totally agree its Colin Kaepernick all over

OhioDodger

I’m thinking Padres, Astros, or Yankees. Dodgers blew it. Took the cowards way out. Just pay to make it go away.

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