A Minor Review of 2013: Dodgers

There is always a bit of a lull between the end of the minor league playoffs in September and the start of the annual top prospects lists in early November. Because of that gap, I’m breathing new life into an old feature that I wrote for the site in FanGraphs’ infancy back in 2008 and 2009.

The series ‘A Minor Review of 2013′ will look back on some of the major happenings in each MLB organization since the beginning of April as a primer for the upcoming FanGraphs Top 10+5 prospects lists. This series will run throughout September and October. I hope you enjoy the series and are eagerly anticipating the start of ‘Prospect List Season.’

The player listed in the sleeper section was featured in a pre-season series that looked at one fringe prospect in each organization that was expected to take a big step forward during 2013, chosen by myself, a scout or a front office talent evaluator.

The Graduate: Yasiel Puig, OF: Puig entered the 2013 season with just 23 games of minor league experience — and none above A-ball — under his belt. It took just 40 games for the Cuba native to convince the Dodgers front office that he could help the big league club try and rebound from a horrible start to the year. He was arguably the Dodgers’ best hitter while flashing his five-tool potential. Listed at just 22 years of age, he has massive potential if he stays on his current development path.

The Riser: Joc Pederson, OF: When the season began, I viewed Pederson as a future fourth outfielder. After another strong campaign, though, I’ve moved over into the “believer category’ and see him as a future big league regular. He has the ability to turn in a few 20-20 campaigns at the big league level while providing a solid batting average, although none of his tools are true ‘plus’ skills.

The Tumbler: Garrett Gould, RHP: The development of impact arms in the Dodgers system has slowed a bit in recent years (Hyun-Jin Ryu doesn’t count). Gould had an absolute nightmare season — his second bad year in a row — and he posted a 6.64 ERA with 131 hits allowed in 118 innings over two minor league levels. He could end up following Chris Withrow‘s development path by shifting to the bullpen in hopes of finding success.

The 2013 Draft Pick: Tom Windle, LHP: The southpaw had a solid pro debut and could be a quick mover through the system despite coming from a cold weather state (Minnesota) where baseball development is typically stunted in comparison to areas such as California, Florida and Arizona where the sport can be enjoyed year round. Windle has an above-average fastball for a lefty and a promising slider. If his command holds up and he can develop a reliable third pitch, he could see the Majors in short order.

The Sleeper: Bobby Coyle, OF: When I watched Coyle play in 2012, he was swinging the bat really well at the Double-A level. Things fell apart for him in ’13, though, and he earned a demotion to High-A ball. The left-handed hitter does have a ton of defensive value so he’s going to have to find his swing again if he’s going to reach the Majors but I could see him potentially carving out a decent career as a bench player and pinch hitter.

Print This Post

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospect analysis. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

13 Responses to “A Minor Review of 2013: Dodgers”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. thinkblue says:

    Question for you. Between Ethier, Crawford, Kemp, Puig, SVS, & whatever veteran Ned brings in this year, the outfield is a bit of a logjam. Yes, injuries, but we can only assume that at some point we have 4 healthy all-star outfielders plus SVS and Pederson.

    I would imagine the Dodgers try to trade Pederson, but what are the chances that they work him out at a different position? He’s still young. Is it worth trying him out at 3B? C? I’m not sure what the process is there for minor leaguers. Any examples of great switches like that in the past?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Mike Petriello says:

      Pederson’s a lefty, so he’s not playing anywhere but the outfield. (Or 1B, but, he’s not playing 1B.)

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Justin says:

      I am legitimately concerned about Mr. Glass (Kemp)’s ability to play regularly going forward. He’s had serious injuries in the past, but nothing that happened this year was the sort of thing that should’ve caused him to miss as many games as he did. I hope this isn’t just who he is now.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Bip says:

        This is pretty recent phenomenon for Kemp. He held the active streak for most consecutive games played for a season or two, eventually reaching 399 games. His two most serious injuries were also of the “freak” variety, those being a torn labrum from running into a wall and a sprained (and later aggravated) ankle from a poorly timed slide.

        I don’t think consistent health is out of reach for him, I just hope that he hasn’t lost his swing from taking so much time off or adjusting his mechanics to compensate for shoulder pain.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. BirdsOfAFeather says:

    You know Puig isn’t lying about his age because he acts like baby on the baseball field.

    -9 Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Hurtlockertwo says:

    I expect Puig to have a hard time next year, pitchers are smart and will figure him out. When he doesn’t hit his fielding/base running lapses will be even more magnified. It will be interesting to see how a kid with so much talent reacts.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Bip says:

      His fielding and baserunning mistakes couldn’t be any more magnified. Those who are determined to criticize him have touted them ceaselessly and exaggerated their impact (see: NLCS game 6 TBS broadcast).

      I wouldn’t expect someone who hasn’t watched him consistently to notice, but as someone who has, I can attest to noticeable maturing over the course of the season on Puig’s part. Ill-advised throws in game 6 aside, Puig did a much better job of hitting cutoff men as the season went on. His strikeout rated declined and his walk rate increased as the season progressed.

      Pitchers have definitely learned about him. His Zone% plummeted over the course of 2013. It was at times painful to watch how easily some pitchers would get him to chase three straight high fastballs, or three straight outside sliders. While he still has weaknesses at the plate, he’s greatly improved his ability to lay off many of those bad pitches.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Sean says:

    Pederson’s platoon splits bother anyone?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. capnsparrow says:

    Finally somebody gives some love to Tom Windle! The three of Urias Anderson and Windle look to be 3/5ths of a future Dodger rotation. Kershaw and Lee being the rest! All the opt outs will come into play sooner than later

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. The Dude Abides says:

    I would have included another category — The Phenom — and used it for Julio Urias, the first 16-year old to spend the season in Single A in 20 years. And not only that, he excelled.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>