By Scott Barzilla

The new ownership group is throwing around money like Monty Brewster from Brewster’s Millions. Unfortunately, I dated myself with that reference, but no one could make us laugh quite like Richard Pryor. In this case of the Dodgers, it is Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, and a host of others that are leaving no dime left unspent. That spending has helped the farm system in more ways than one.

It helped the Dodgers in a direct way when they spent more than 30 million on Yusiel Puig. How good will he be? I suppose no one really knows and there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of scouting done on him before the signing. While you can certainly question the multitude of deals they made before and after the deadline, they all had one thing in common: they took on salary in an effort not to trade key prospects. In the end a couple leaked out (primarily on the deal with Boston) but considering the talent they brought in they ended up doing okay.

   

Age

LV

How

BP

BA

MLB

POS

C Tim Federowicz

25

AAA

T

13

10

11

NR

1B Scott Van Slyke

26

AAA

D

18

NR

14

NR

2B Alex Castellanos

26

AAA

D

9

NR

NR

NR

3B Corey Seager

18

R

D

NR

NR

7

NR

SS Jesmuel Valentin

18

R

D

NR

NR

17

NR

OF Yasiel Puig

21

R

I

NR

NR

2

NR

OF Joc Pederson

20

A+

D

8

9

4

NR

OF James Baldwin

20

A

D

12

NR

9

NR

P Zach Lee

20

AA

D

1

1

1

NR

Tim Federowicz– Catcher

The Dodgers hit one out of the park with A.J. Ellis. They didn’t spend in free agency at that position, so they have a couple of cheap guys holding down the fort. Ellis combines power with a lot of patience to be one of the top catchers in the league. Federowicz is good enough to catch in the big leagues, but he’ll likely be nothing more than a backup. That’s fine, they have to save money somewhere.

Scott Van Slyke– First Base

With Adrian Gonzalez under contract for another five seasons, all of the first basemen in the Dodgers system will struggle for playing time. Like with most organizations, their best prospects aren’t there anyway. Van Slyke is a baseball vagabond at this point and likely will spend the rest of his career on the shuttle between AAA and the big leagues.

Alex Castellanos– Second Base

Mark Ellis is a nice guy and has had a solid season, but this is a spot the Dodgers could actually use some help. Castellanos isn’t going to be that guy. He is similar to Van Slyke in the fact that he might make it as a utility player, but that might even be pushing it. The Dodgers have to hope that Ellis can remain healthy and somewhat productive.

Corey Seager– Third Base

The first round pick from this past draft has gotten off to a very good start professionally. He is already showing the power potential that got him picked that high in the draft. In a moment of honesty, the Dodgers would probably take the production his older brother Kyle is giving the Mariners. That being said, the younger brother has the higher ceiling and if he reaches it they have something really special.

Jasmuel Valentin– Shortstop

This spot demonstrates the need for organizational depth. Dee Gordon was penciled in as the shortstop of the future and he obviously still is, but his 2012 campaign has shaken management’s belief in his future. Valentin is really young and raw, so it is hard to say how long it will take him to make it. This is a spot where the Dodgers should have had something more substantial between Gordon and Valentin.

Yasiel Puig– Outfield

The bonus baby benefited from the changing international system. He was the last major signee under the old system. The Dodgers felt like they needed his talent and paid through the nose to get him. Jonathan Mayo says he is their second best prospect now. Is that worth more than 30 million dollars? I’m not so sure and given the fact that he is already 21 he will have to advance fairly quickly to be worth their while.

Joc Pederson– Outfield

We profiled Pederson on our positional breakdowns here at Hardballchat.com. He didn’t put up numbers that wow you, but he is younger than Puig and already playing at a more advanced level. The Dodgers outfield situation is already crowded as it is, so the Dodgers aren’t going to rush him. He may spend next year in advanced A as well.

James Baldwin– Outfield

Baldwin is in a real predicament when it comes to making it in the Dodgers organization. He has two high profile prospects in front of him and three veteran outfielders in Los Angeles signed long term. That being said, he could be used down the road as trade bait should they want to fill a hole elsewhere on the roster.

Zach Lee- Pitcher

Ever since they signed him, the Dodgers have been touting this guy as a future number one starter. We’ve seen this before from other teams. They feel the need to justify a high draft pick and a large signing bonus. Sooner or later, the hype fails to stick. Lee should be a solid middle of the rotation starter and that’s plenty good.

 

 

Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at hardballchat.com. He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

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