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The Dodger Thoughts Comprehensive, Non-Definitive 2005 Minor League Report
Part 1 - Hitters
2005-09-18 17:29
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Catcher
(Level of Depth: 8)
21-24 Years Old
Dioner Navarro, Las Vegas/Los Angeles, 5-10, 190, 2/9/84: Honestly, it's hard to imagine his Dodger debut at age 21 going much better. At the absolute worst for 2006, he is a solid backup, and he's looking more and more like a solid starter each day. It's worth noting that Mike Rose out-offensed Navarro in Las Vegas - it's also worth noting that the Dodgers haven't had a catcher this capable at this age in forever.
Russell Martin, Jacksonville, 5-11, 200, 2/15/83: His .430 on-base percentage in a pitcher's league has people abuzz. He added 17 doubles and nine homers in 409 at-bats. He also ran a surprising amount, tallying 15 steals, though he was caught seven times. Given the pleasure the Dodgers have found using Navarro during this semblance of a pennant race, it's not hard to imagine Martin (51 weeks older) joining him in the majors in 2006 - and yes, even getting at least even playing time with him. Baseball America projects his upside as Cubs catcher Michael Barrett, which is sort of cool but not overwhelmingly so.
Mike Nixon, Vero Beach/Las Vegas/Jacksonville, 6-3, 210, 8/17/83: Was rushed from Vero Beach to Las Vegas as a domino effect from the Dodgers' Paul Bako injury, and his OPS tumbled from .751 to .579. Ended the year with a 3-for-20 performance in Jacksonville, his likely destination in 2006.
Edwin Bellorin, Vero Beach, 5-11, 170, 2/21/82: Bellorin actually logged some time in Jacksonville in 2004, but ended up spending 2005 in Vero with a .684 OPS. As before, a doubles hitter at best. Might return to the Suns to compete with Nixon for playing time.
Andrew Ellis, Vero Beach, 6-3, 240, 4/9/81: Ellis had a walk every eight at-bats in 57 games to boost his .256 batting average to a .708 OPS.
Christopher Westervelt, Columbus, 5-11, 205, 11/20/81: Showing even more discipline than Ellis, Westervelt walked every six at-bats and on-based .389, slugged .430 and OPSed .819.
Gabriel Gutierrez, Columbus/Las Vegas, 5-11, 175, 11/24/83: Despite a mediocre .672 OPS for Columbus, got a taste of the good life in Vegas at season's end and went 6 for 13.
Rotsen Gil, Ogden/Las Vegas, 5-10, 207, 3/2/84: On a small scale, the anti-Martin walked only against 58 plate appearances (mostly with Ogden), but had seven extra-base hits to slug .431. Actually, Martin did slug about that amount, so he's really a Martin without the eye. But he, too, is a pup.
Under 21
Juan Apodaca, Columbus/Ogden/Las Vegas, 5-11, 188, 7/15/86: Started the year with a .662 OPS in Columbus, then exploded for an .858 OPS in Ogden, including 10 home runs in 158 games, the second-best homer rate on the team.
Carlos Medero-Stullz, GCL Dodgers/Columbus/Jacksonville, 5-8, 190, 5/30/86: Batted over .300 in 31 games for the Gulf Coast League Dodgers and even went 2 for 5 with two walks in cameos at Columbus and Jacksonville.
Kenley Jansen, GCL Dodgers/Ogden, 6-2, 178, 9/30/87: In 34 Rookie League games, put the ball in play to the tune of a .304 batting average with nine doubles in 102 at-bats, but drew only six walks. Went 2 for 11 with Ogden in the final week.
Kengshill Pujols, Ogden, 6-0, 187, 3/3/85: Rough debut: .563 OPS in 32 games and a strikeout every 3.5 at-bats.
Mitchell Ayres, GCL Dodgers, 6-0, 210, 4/9/86: 8 for 32, five walks, no extra-base hits.
Over 25
Mike Rose, Las Vegas/Los Angeles, 6-1, 225, 8/25/76: Disappointing season for one of Paul DePodesta's Oakland pickups. A Spring Training candidate to make the major-league roster, he OPSed .882 for Las Vegas, with intermittent ineffective appearances in Los Angeles as third catcher material. Turning 30 next year, his career in a Dodger uniform will be brief.

First Base
(Level of Depth: 5)
21-24 Years Old
James Loney, Jacksonville, 6-3, 200, 5/7/84: The sweet swinger is back as a prospect (if he ever left). Showed good power for the Suns with his 11 homers and 31 doubles, slugging .419 while on-basing .357. Still the age of a college senior, he'll start 2006 in Nevada and see his stats really inflate.
Cory Dunlap, Vero Beach, 6-1, 205, 4/13/84: A third-round draft choice in 2004 who destroyed the Pioneer League for Ogden that season (.492 on-base percentage, 1.010 OPS), Dunlap in 2005 nearly became the rare first baseman whose on-base percentage topped his slugging percentage (.382 vs. .398). For comparison, he's 3 1/2 weeks older than the far more developed Loney.
Daniel Batz, Columbus, 6-2, 210, 3/19/82: A sixth-round pick in 2004, Batz hit .335 in Ogden a year ago but fell to .280 with a .727 OPS in '05. Doubles hitter (27 in 429 at-bats).
Jason Mooneyham, Ogden, 5-11, 210, 4/19/82: A .885 OPS, including a .440 on-base percentage.
Under 21
David Sutherland, Ogden, 6-6, 175, 5/2/85: An Australian who spent two years in the Gulf Coast League - fielding .997 there in 2004 - Sutherland impressed in his first upward move with a .422 on-base percentage in 2005. A Pioneer League All-Star.
Over 25
Brian Myrow, Las Vegas/Los Angeles, 5-11, 190, 9/4/76: Who'd have thought there might be second thoughts about trading Tanyon Sturtze to the Yankees. Myrow did hit 22 homers in Las Vegas this year and OPSed .950, but he's 29 and no longer a serious prospect.
Trey Dyson, GCL Dodgers/Vero Beach, 6-4, 215, 3/11/80: Playing only 12 games, a lost season for the 25-year-old former Cleveland farmhand.

Second Base
(Level of Depth: 5)
21-24 Years Old
Delwyn Young, Jacksonville/Las Vegas, 5-10, 180, 6/30/82: Got the Vegas bounce in on-base percentage (.361) but not slugging percentage (.475) after his promotion from Jacksonville (.346/.499). His 16 homers with the Suns matched the more heralded Joel Guzman in 71 fewer at-bats. While the younger Guzman has greater long-term potential, Young is better positioned to help the Dodgers in April 2006, although currently 25-year-old Antonio Perez blocks his path. Young also has the plate discipline of Dodger minor leaguers of old - 35 walks against 531 at-bats over the two levels. He is hardly a basestealing threat.
David Nicholson, Columbus/Jacksonville, 6-0, 175, 10/22/82: .626 OPS. Went 4 for 34 in a brief Jacksonville run.
Justin Crist, Ogden/Columbus, 5-10, 175, 8/6/82: Managed 19 hits in 28 games on the season.
Under 21
Tony Abreu, Vero Beach/Jacksonville, 5-11, 160, 11/13/84: OPSed .808 in Vero Beach, then moved up to the Suns to replace Young and struggled to a .607 OPS. Was caught stealing 12 times in 26 attempts overall.
Travis Denker, Columbus/Vero Beach, 5-9, 170, 8/5/85: Another rider up the organizational elevator got caught between floors - his whopping .973 OPS with Columbus nearly sliced itself in half in Florida (.565). Still ended up with 23 homers on the season.

Shortstop
(Level of Depth: 8)
21-24 Years Old
Chin-lung Hu, Vero Beach, 5-9, 152, 2/2/84: Working in my weight class, Hu was picked as early as 2003 as the Dodgers' best minor-league defensive infielder. Did fine in Florida this season, OPSing .777 and stealing 23 bases in 29 attempts. He even hit 29 doubles and eight home runs, but walked only 19 times against 470 at-bats.
Jimmy Rohan, Jacksonville/Las Vegas/Vero Beach, 6-1, 190, 5/13/84: A graduate of Valencia High School, Rohan started the year in Jacksonville and even saw the Strip before landing in Vero, where his OPS was .708.
Lucas May, Columbus, 6-0, 190, 10/24/84: .612 OPS. Eighth-round pick in 2003.
Brandon Carter, Columbus, 5-7, 170, 11/12/82: .558 OPS after a 34-for-96 2004 debut, mostly in Ogden.
Shane Justis, Ogden, 5-10, 175, 3/11/83: His name a pun and a typo all in one, Justis was surved to the tune of a .779 OPS.
Dominique Laurin, Vero Beach/Columbus, 6-0, 185, 10/7/82: Ooh, .519 OPS with 168 at-bats. It was worse at season's start in Vero.
Under 21
Joel Guzman, Jacksonville, 6-6, 225, 11/24/84: The scouts say he will grow to 7-1, 330 and move from shortstop to the low post. In all seriousness, perhaps the best sign for Guzman was that his walk rate improved despite having plenty of support in the lineup. Interestingly, though, he batted seventh for the Suns at times, perhaps indicative of the fact that his ceiling, however high, is still some time from being reached. Sixteen homers, 31 doubles and an .826 OPS are knockout numbers for a 20-year-old shortstop, but please, let's take it easy and not even think about this guy until 2007.
Jesus Soto, Jacksonville/Ogden, 5-11, 178, 9/7/86: .748 OPS with 16 doubles in 254 at-bats, and just turned 19.
Ivan DeJesus, GCL Dodgers/Ogden, 5-11, 182, 5/1/87: Ah, the '87s. You can feel the rising optimism of the Dukakis campaign coinciding with DeJesus' mother going into labor. The Dodgers' second-round pick this year, DeJesus effectively handled the Gulf Coast League (.389 on-base percentage, .380 slugging percentage) and will get 2006 to improve upon his season-ending Ogden numbers (.296/.222). Has only six extra-base hits in 193 at-bats so far. Update: Baseball America adds, "He has soft hands and excellent footwork, and his speed and range allow him to make more than his share of athletic plays. He has everything scouts look for in a prototype shortstop except arm strength, though the Dodgers see a move to second base only as a worst-case scenario."
Juan Rivera, Ogden, 6-0, 148, 3/17/87: .610 OPS.
Over 25
Jose Flores, Las Vegas, 5-11, 180, 6/28/73: As 32-year-old minor leaguers go, that Flores is all right (.435 on-base percentage, .878 OPS).
Brian Sprout, Jacksonville, 6-0, 205, 6/28/80: A backup for the Suns, he OPSed .709.

Third Base
(Level of Depth: 9)
21-24 Years Old
Andy LaRoche, Vero Beach/Jacksonville, 6-1, 200, 9/13/83: Absolutely the talk of the minors with his 21 homers in 63 games (And 1.031 OPS) in Vero Beach through June 16, LaRoche settled in at Jacksonville and hit nine more with an .812 OPS. Move him on up with the crew to Vegas.
Mayke Cabrera, Vero Beach/Las Vegas, 6-1, 204, 2/10/81: .657 OPS, two extra-base hits in 135 at-bats.
Under 21
Blake DeWitt, Columbus/Vero Beach, 5-11, 175, 8/20/85: Drafted in the first round in 2004, DeWitt had an exceptional finish in Vero (batting .419 with four extra-base hits in 31 at-bats), following what has to be considered a decent run for a teenager in Columbus (.751 OPS).
Russell Mitchell, Vero Beach/Jacksonville/Ogden, 6-1, 182, 2/15/85: You know about this guy? Only 20, he slugged .511 and OPSed .869 for the Raptors and was named to the Pioneer League All-Star team. Guess he's no DeWitt or LaRoche, but he seems noteworthy.
Over 25
Norihiro Nakamura, Las Vegas, 5-10, 205, 7/24/73 : In the U.S., he is what he is - a 32-year-old right-handed journeyman. The vast difference between his slugging percentage (.487) and his on-base percentage (.331) tells his story.

Outfield
(Level of Depth: 6)
21-24 Years Old
Justin Ruggiano, Vero Beach/Jacksonville, 6-2, 205, 4/12/82: Promoted in June from Vero Beach, where he OPSed .917, and actually topped that with a .950 in Sunstown. He batted .342 in AA - not bad for a 25th-round draft pick from the previous year.
Cody Ross, Las Vegas/Los Angeles, 5-11, 180, 12/23/80: Ross managed to lead the 51s in slugging (.509) despite a midseason slump. He completely flubbed his Dodger callup, going 4 for 25 with one walk, but he's still a candidate to be a bench player in the majors somewhere.
Matt Kemp, Vero Beach, 6-4, 210, 9/23/84: Boom chucka chucka chucka. Kemp slugged .569 with 27 homers and added 23 steals in 29 attempts at age 20. Teach this guy to take a walk (25 against 418 at-bats) and you've got something.
Anthony Raglani, Vero Beach, 6-2, 215, 4/6/83: Nice. Slugged .496 and OPSed .879, and even walked 60 times in 124 games. Has there ever been a Dodger from George Washington University?
Jamie Hoffmann, Columbus/Vero Beach, 6-3, 205, 8/20/84: .797 OPS with Columbus through July 5, then moved to Vero Beach and slipped to .606.
Sergio Pedroza, Ogden/Columbus, 5-11, 180, 2/23/84: Fresh out of Cal State Fullerton, Pedroza exploded with like nine hits in every game in Ogden. Quickly promoted to Columbus after batting .500 with four homers in 12 games, Pedroza settled in with a .774 OPS and 12 homers. He's got a long road still, but he's off to a great start.
Andrew Locke, Ogden, 6-1, 205, 2/28/83: .909 OPS with a home run every 13 at-bats. Had 24 singles and 22 extra-base hits in 50 games.
Ryan Russ, Vero Beach/Columbus, 6-2, 200, 3/7/81: Started the season in Vero Beach but spent most of 2005 with the Catfish, for whome he OPSed .771. His numbers just about compete with Pedroza's - but Russ is three years older.
Ryan Carter, Columbus, 6-2, 175, 1/4/83: Injured for all of 2004, Carter bounced back to slug .536 in 224 at-bats with the Catfish. But oh boy: eight walks, 68 strikeouts.
B.J. Richmond, Columbus/Ogden, 6-3, 185, 2/3/84: He Norihiroed the season's first month at a 4-for 39 clip in Columbus, then went to the Raptors and OPSed .775.
Adam Godwin, Ogden, 5-11, 170, 12/13/82: .754 OPS.
James McDonald, Ogden, 6/5, 195, 10/19/84: The Long Beach Poly Sports Factory product pitched in 2003, played outfield in 2004, and did both in 2005 (.601 OPS in 83 at-bats, 1.50 ERA with nine strikeouts in six innings). You tell me.
D.J. Jackson, Ogden/Las Vegas, 6-1, 190, 6/13/84: Showing some of the chaos the Dodgers minor league system endured this year outside of Jacksonville, Jackson OPSed a measly .556 in Ogden, then went to Las Vegas for the final 10 days and OPSed .693 in nine games.
Under 21
Xavier Paul, Vero Beach, 6-0, 200, 2/25/85: One of three 20-year-olds on the team, he had a .720 OPS.
Steven Sapp, GCL Dodgers/Columbus, 6-3, 190, 11/17/85: Spent most of the year in Rookie ball (.716 OPS) except for a late promotion to the Catfish, for whom he went 3 for 23.
Rick Taloa, Ogden, 6-4, 250, 12/14/84: The hulking 20-year-old went 20 for 75 but drew nary a single walk while striking out 26 times.
Trayvon Robinson, GCL Dodgers/Ogden, 5-10, 175, 9/1/87: .827 OPS in 40 GCL games earned the 10th-round pick out of Crenshaw High a final week in Utah, where he went 5 for 23.
Scott Van Slyke, GCL Dodgers, 6-5, 195, 7/24/86: Born nine months and a week after father Andy stood in the on-deck circle at Dodger Stadium and saw Jack Clark hit his pennant-winning homer for St. Louis, Scott might bring some good karma to the organization someday. A potential steal in the 14th round of the draft, he OPSed .754 despite only four walks in 24 games. He slugged .424.
Eloy Guiterrez, GCL Dodgers, 6-1, 178, 11/25/84: .716 OPS.
Jesus Mora, GCL Dodgers, 6-2, 185, 12/25/83: .709 OPS, low on the walks (five in 31 games).
Jeremy Brown, GCL Dodgers/Columbus, 6-1, 195, 4/2/84: .701 OPS in the GCL, 4 for 20 in a brief Columbus stint.
Over 25
Jon Weber, Jacksonville, 5-10, 190, 1/20/78: Leader of the grown-up outfield in Jacksonville, Weber did nothing to hurt his popularity in the southeast with his .825 OPS, and conceivably fill a big-league bench.
Tydus Meadows, Jacksonville, 6-2, 220, 9/5/77: Meadows distinguished himself not with his pop, which was decent (27 doubles, 15 homers) but his eye, which brought him 79 walks in 108 games and a .418 on-base percentage. Jim Tracy would probably like Todd Donovan; DePodesta would like this guy.
Todd Donovan, Jacksonville/Las Vegas, 6-1, 180, 8/12/78: Biggest basestealing threat in the organization with 63 in 75 attempts, and also had 10 triples. With a .750 OPS at age 27, he's also fifth outfielder material in an organization full of them.
Chin-Feng Chen, Las Vegas/Los Angeles, 6-1, 189, 10/27/77: Has spent enough time in the shadow of UNLV to graduate. Finally got his first major-league hit, so we can all sleep well. His .849 OPS was his lowest since Vero Beach 2001.
Nick Alvarez, Jacksonville, 6-3, 205, 2/8/77: .731 OPS in his third consecutive season with the Suns.
Henri Stanley, Las Vegas, 5-10, 185, 12/15/77: The so-called nothing the Dodgers acquired for Dave Roberts, Stanley OPSed .788 in Fantasyland. The irony is that Roberts didn't crack the bigs until he was Stanley's current age, 27, and barely broke 100 major league games by the time he was 30. Stanley could probably do the same exceot his once speedy legs appear to be gone.

Utility
(Level of Depth: 5)
21-24 Years Old
Willy Aybar, Las Vegas/Los Angeles, 6-0, 175, 3/9/83: Should his smashing major-league debut be a surprise? A .775 OPS in hit-happy Las Vegas doesn't lead one to think that major league numbers will follow in the immediate future, putting aside the long-term. For some reason, the power that gave him 37 homers in his previous three seasons yielded only five round-trippers in 2005. His walk totals (40 in 108 games) were adequate but not exceptional. So we're probably still talking potential here. But he's certainly looked nice so far - and his ability to play second base is a long-term bonus.
Cole Bruce, Vero Beach/Columbus, 6-3, 200, 1/20/82: Hammered the ball in Columbus (.924 OPS) despite walking twice in 22 games. In Vero, his walk rate increased but everything else crashed.
Matt Paul, GCL Dodgers/Vero Beach, 5-10, 190, 9/3/82: Hasn't gotten it going yet. Since being drafted in the 18th round in 2004, Paul has 30 hits (in 61 games). He is the so-called other brother to Xavier Paul - whom the Dodgers also have.
Eduardo Perez, GCL Dodgers/Jacksonville/Columbus, 6-1, 175, 8/30/84: A terrific .958 OPS in the Gulf Coast League earned him some Columbus playing time, where he was overmatched (.530 OPS in 10 games).
Parker Brooks, GCL Dodgers/Ogden, 5-10, 175, 8/1/81: 13 for 58 in 25 games in the GCL and with Ogden.
Jose Miguel Nunez, GCL Dodgers, 6-2, 200, 12/1/83: .631 OPS. In 99 at-bats, didn't hit (.222 batting average), but with those 22 hits had 17 walks compared to 15 strikeouts.
Under 21
Carlos Santana, GCL Dodgers, 5-11, 170, 4/8/86: Nice little debut for the kid: .812 OPS, .412 on-base percentage, and twice as many walks as strikeouts in just under 100 plate appearances.
Adolfo Gonzalez, GCL Dodgers/Jacksonville, 5-11, 160, 6/13/85: .731 OPS in the GCL (119 at-bats). Somewhat strangely, his on-base percentage crashed but his slugging percentage soared, albeit in only 41 at-bats, with Jacksonville.
Joshua Bell, GCL Dodgers, 6-3, 205, 11/13/86: .794 OPS, mainly on singles and walks. Fourth-round pick in 2005.
Yosanddy Garcia, GCL Dodgers, 6-0, 170, 10/28/87: .552 OPS. Of his 99 outs, he struck out 47 times. But he's 17, for crying out loud!
Over 25
Sergio Garcia, Jacksonville, 5-10, 175, 3/20/80: At 25, he's got a tough road in in this infield-heavy system, but had his best season with a .773 OPS.
Nick Theodorou, Las Vegas, 5-11, 182, 6/7/75: Might be time for this eight-year Dodger farmhand to wrap it up, following a .640 OPS in 2005.

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