Back To The Future II

Well my original draft was entitled Back To The Future, so with this redraft, I will call it Back To The Future II.  I will continue where I left off in yesterday’s post.

Maybe the future lies further down the organizational ladder.  Even most minor league followers dismiss the Dominican Summer League (DSL), where the Mexican, Caribbean, South American ball players get their start. They begin to get acclimated to professional baseball in closer proximity to their culture rather than being thrown immediately into the US.   The Dodgers have two DSL teams, appropriately named Dodgers DSL1 and DSL2.  Below are five pitchers who may or probably not make their way to LA (or any other ML city), but they do have potential and hope.  Maybe they will be remembered as they start to climb that long ladder to the top.

From DSL2:

Antonio Hernandez – 17 year old LHSP – Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico – 5’8” 187 lbs. – 3 Games Started – 15IP  8H  1ER  1BB  12K  – 0.60 ERA, .157 BAA,  0.60 WHIP

Gerardo Castillo – 18 year old RHRP – Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico – 6’0” 154 lbs. – 4G (all in relief) – 8.2IP  3H  0ER  2BB  5K – 0.00 ERA, .107BAA,  0.58 WHIP

From DSL1:

Jose Ernesto Hernandez – 19 year old LHSP – Puerto Plata, D.R. – 6’3” 170 lbs. – 4 Games Started – 20.1IP  3ER  15H  3BB  18K – 1.33 ERA, .211 BAA, 0.89 WHIP

Orlandy Navarro – 18 year old RHP – Maracaibo, Venezuela – 6’2” 175 lbs. – 4G (3GS) – 14.2IP  1ER  10H  7BB  19K – 0.61 ERA, .196 BAA, 1.16 WHIP

Luis Pasan – 22 year old RHRP – San Pedro de Macoris, D.R. – 6’0” 175 lbs. – 6G (all in relief) – 3 saves (3 save opp) – 9.1IP  0ER  3H  5BB  12K  – 0.00 ERA, .103 BAA, 0.86 WHIP


Today the AZL Dodgers (Arizona Rookie League) began their season to become the 8th minor league team to play in the Dodgers organization this year.  The roster came out today and there are some familiar names on the roster.

Both Ronny Brito (SS) and Starling Heredia (LF) may get their USA debuts Saturday night in Arizona.  These are two of the 2015-2016 International signings that are included in the Dodgers Top 30 prospects.  Kevin Aponte a 19 year old CF from Maracay, Venezuela will also get his USA debut in Arizona. Then there is the hard throwing Aneurys Zabala who was included in the Chase De Jong trade with Seattle who will get his Dodger debut in Arizona.

Two pitchers that are also making their USA debut with Arizona and might be worth watching are 20 year old Jose Chacin, 6’4” 168 lbs. RHSP out of Cuidad, Bolivar, Venezuela, and 19 year old Yeison Cespedes, 6’1” 178 lbs. RHSP, from Azua, Dominican Republic.

Chacin has started 12 games in the DSL and has compiled a 7-1 record with 63.1 IP, allowing only 1 HR, with 10BB and 51K, and a 1.71 ERA, .222 BAA, and a 0.99 WHIP.

Cespedes has 42.1 professional IP as a DSL starter, compiled a 1-4 record and also allowing only 1 HR, with 14 BB and 31K, 1.49 ERA, .252 BAA, and 1.28 WHIP.

There will be many others, but those two should be fun to follow.

Another AZL Dodger pitcher to watch is 19 year old Kevin Malisheski.  Kevin was a 38th round draft selection (2016) out of an Illinois HS who signed for $248,500 (as a 38th rounder). The Dodgers are very high on him (they better be to add $148,500 into their bonus pool for a 38th rounder).  He was a 2 sport star in HS who tore his ACL playing football and did not pitch much as a senior.  He did get in some games with AZL last year and is back again for 2017.  Kevin is 6’3” 200 lbs. and if he gets a good start, you might see him start to climb the organizational ladder pretty quickly.

One other notable named pitcher is Amaury Telemaco Jr., son of the 9 year veteran pitcher, Amaury Telemaco.  Telemaco Sr. pitched from 1996-2005 for the Cubs, DBacks, and Phillies.  18 year old Telemaco Jr. signed as a HS FA, but will start his professional career on the 60 day DL.  We will probably have to wait until 2018 to watch Telemaco Jr.

There are currently five 2017 draft choices who have signed and are assigned to AZL:

15th       Marcus Chiu                  2B

18th       Max Gamboa                RHP (60 Day DL)

19th       Zach Willeman               RHP

24th       Preston Grand Pre         SS

30th       Chris Roller                   CF

Ogden, a short season rookie league affiliate (Pioneer League), started a week ago, and has some players of note on that team as well.  I will start to discuss some of these players in more detail as the season progresses, but for now, players to be watching should include.

Kevin Lachance             2016 10th rounder           SS/CF              23 (next week)

Brock Carpenter            2016 20th rounder           3B                    22

Christian Santana          International Sign           3B                     20                     San Cristobal, DR

Hendrik Clementina      International Sign           C                       20                     Willlemstad, Curacao

(Another catcher from Willemstad, Curacao???)

Austin French                2016 27th rounder           LHP                  23

Jeff Paschke                   2016 22nd rounder          RHP                  22

James Carter                  2016 21st rounder           RHP                 23

Carlos Felix                    International Sign           RHP                    21                     Navojoa, Mexico

(Hope he is as good as the last LAD pitcher from Navojoa, Mexico)

Romer Cuadrado           International Sign           OF                    19                     Maturin, Venezuela

Christian Santana, Brock Carpenter, Hendrik Clementina, and Kevin Lachance all have gotten off to good starts.

Draft Update

I would expect to see many of the college 2017 draftees to begin their careers in Ogden.  Currently there are 23 of the 40 draftees who have signed.  Thus far, seven out of the top ten have signed, and 6 have their bonuses published.  Those six have resulted in a total below slot value of $8,500.  Zachary Pop is the one remaining signee who has not had his bonus published.

After watching some film on 11th round selection, Jacob Amaya, LA area HS SS, I am convinced that the Dodgers would like to sign him.  But they are going to have to wait to see what the first three picks sign for to see how much bonus money can be allocated to Amaya to get him to walk away from his Cal State Fullerton commitment.  He is extremely soft handed and quick in his foot work and release.  I do not know if he will hit at the ML level, but he will be able to defend.  He is a very good looking HS SS.

Second round pick, University of Texas RHP, Morgan Cooper, is reportedly eager to sign and start his Dodger career.  They are going to have to still see how much Jeren Kendall will require.   Third round pick Connor Wong, University of Houston catcher, may be the last of the top ten because he is not as much of a need (or want) as #1 and #2.

Minor League Update

OKC 4-1 winners over Nashville Sound (A’s).  Wilmer Font had another good start going 5.1 innings, 1 run on 5 hits, 2BB and 3K. The sole run was a Jeff Decker HR.  Jeremy Bleich/Josh Fields/Madison Younginer finished with 3.2 perfect innings in relief.  Alex Verdugo continues to be hot with another 2 hits and one walk, raising his BA to .341.  Brett Eibner also had 2 hits for the Dodgers.  Verdugo also added 2 stolen bases on the night, giving him 7 on the year. Kyle Farmer had another hit, and his BA is at .351.  What are they going to do with him?  Hint, he also plays a very good 3B.

Tulsa scratched out a 3-2 win over NW Arkansas Naturals (KC).  Recently signed 29 year old LHP, Chris Rearick went 6 solid innings but did not get the win.  He allowed 1 unearned run on 4 hits, 2BB and 5K.  Shea Spitzbarth blew his first AA save but came away with the win. All-Star Corey Copping notched his 6th AA save on the year.  Jose Miguel Fernandez and Quincy Lattimore led the Drillers with 2 hits each, with Fernandez getting his 8th HR.  He is now batting .325 for the Drillers.

RC Quakes picked up a big 13-3 victory over the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies).  Errol Robinson, Will Smith, Ibandel Isabel, Brandon Montgomery, and Victor Roach each had 2 hits.  Smith (8th) and Robinson (1st) each hit a HR, while Isabel, Montgomery, Smith, and Roach (2) all had doubles.  Caleb Ferguson started for the Quakes and went 5 good innings allowing 2 runs on 7 hits, 1 BB and 2K.  Andrew Thurman and Chris Cotton each pitched a perfect 1 inning each, while recently demoted Isaac Anderson finished up with 2 innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits.

Great Lakes suffered a 4-2 loss to the South Bend Cubs.  Jordan Sheffield did not get out of the 1st inning and took the loss.  Ryan Mosely, Nolan Long, and Kyle Grana were solid in relief.  Cody Thomas had a 2 hit evening, and Carlos Rincon slugged his 12th HR.

Ogden continued with their strong offensive output, but tonight got solid pitching in their 9-0 victory over the Grand Junction Rockies.  Aforementioned Carlos Felix went 5 very strong innings allowing 2 hits.  Matt Dittman and Jeremiah Muhammad followed up with 2 innings each of shutout and 1 hit pitching.  The hot hitting raptors pounded out 14 hits with Moises Perez and Kevin Lachance each getting 3 hits, while Brock Carpenter, Christian Santana, and Michael Medina with 2 each.  Carpenter hit his 1st HR, wile Romer Cuadrado hit his 2nd.

DSL 1 lost to DSL Braves 5-4.  Marco Hernandez and Jhoan Calderon had 2 hits each.

DSL 2 beat DSL Astros Orange 12-1.  Aldry Acosta started and went 3 innings, allowing 1 unearned run.  He was followed by Nelfri Contreras, Dawalyn Lantigua, Reinaldo De Paula and Franklin De La Paz pitched 6 shutout no-hit innings. Roland Lebron led the offense with 3 hits, and Ismael Alcantara & Maikel Pineda had 2 each.  Bryan Gonzalez hit his 1st HR.


Posted by Always Compete

This article has 30 Comments

  1. Thank you Always Compete! After reading this, I have seen the future and the future looks good!

  2. Was anyone as surprised as me that Roberts brought Romo in to pitch the nineth last night? It was Romo’s third one inning outing in four games. Nine batters faced and nine outs.
    I am beginning to think Roberts and FAZ might know more about baseball than all of us!

  3. AC

    I was thinking last night that you were so right about Wood, and Morrow, before the season began.

    They are going to be important part of this team, throughout the season I believe.

    I really liked when the front office found some pitchers to freshen up the bullpen, at the trade deadline last year.

    And I think our bullpen is in even better shape this year.

    Our team is playing really well right now, and they are a joy to watch.

    It is suppose to be 100 today, so the balls should be flying out.

    AC thanks for your contribution to this blog, you are a very valuable addition, and I believe Mark thinks the same, so thanks again!

    1. Thank you, MJ. I don’t know how much Mark appreciates it, but he hasn’t told me to stop yet. So I guess I will keep posting. In all seriousness, this has been a blessing for me.

      1. AC,

        Not only do I enjoy it very much, but I also appreciate bit very much and invite you to do more (if you want).

  4. I know we have talked about different players and their production, or lack of production.

    But with the way we have been winning, it looks like our whole is greater then the sum, of our parts, so maybe we are just over analyzing, a little to much.

    Maybe Puig isn’t hitting for a great average, and has not hit lefties well, but maybe his HRs and RBIs, and his defense, makes up for that, because he doesn’t have to be a top producer, with the other players we have on the team.

    And for that same reason, the team can afford to give Joc and Logan the time, to see if they can get better.

    Also Kike and Utley playing a little to much, isn’t hurting us either, and Kike has been better this year, and he has made a bigger contribution, then some think, to this team.

    So while we are winning, these other things are not that important, but that may change, but for now, we should just enjoy what the team is doing right now.

  5. The Dodgers are flying so high right now! At some point they’ll come back to earth. Won’t they?? Let’s enjoy the ride.

  6. Very good article. Especially on the young players.

    Boxout, I agree with you on our farm kids. FAZ and scouts know what they are doing. I know they are certainly smarter than me. Calhoun, Farmer and Verdugo would probably be starting for other major league teams.

    The Dodgers are fun to watch right now. Everyone is contributing right now. Some on defense and some on offense. Really we should have two shutouts against the Rockies.

    1. Yes Idahoal, “FAZ and scouts know what they are doing”! Equally important, Player Development, looks like they also know what they are doing! Guys like Taylor showing up with a new swing and I heard Barnes has also been working on the Taylor swing. Oh, and can’t forget a guy like Cody Bellinger, who only hit FOUR home runs in his first 600 minor league ABs prior to FAZ (how is that possible?) all point to good days ahead.

  7. Great write up AC, lots of good info! I did not realize Farmer could play a good 3B, we should see him in Sept. Nice insight on the bonus slot situation, looks like they can’t sign all of them, but I sure like #1 and #2!

    MJ I agree it’s hard to nitpick when the team is on such a roll. It’s really been the pitching that is starting to show how good the Dodgers are. When the Rockies play good teams like the Dodgers and Snakes their pitching is exposed. The rookies in the Rocks rotation are starting to wear down a bit. The DBacks don’t play that well on the road and they come to Chavez Ravine July 4-6. The pitching match up today signals a sweep!

    1. Kyle Farmer was a SS at the University of Georgia for four years. He ended his collegiate career with the highest fielding percentage by a Georgia shortstop at .968 in 1,045 total chances and the single season record for a Bulldog shortstop with a .978 mark in 2013.
      This year he has played 23 games at 3B (192.1 innings) and 31 games at Catcher (259.2 innings). He has 36 assists with 2 errors at 3B. He has 3 errors at catcher, 4 passed balls, and has caught 10 out of 27 base stealers. He is certainly no Nolan Arenado or JT at 3B, but he can hold his own. But he can hit.

  8. Always Compete and Vegas Dodger, I appreciated your comments on the prior thread about extending Kershaw. I am REALLY enjoying 2017, but any message board GM worth his salt must think ahead.
    I am really curious how FAZ will approach free-agency once the payroll is under control and MEGA STARS are available after the 2018 season, including Kershaw. As I have stated, I do believe we are witnessing FAZ pioneering a new path, building a sustainable model for continued success, maybe the baseball equivalence of the San Antonio Spurs or New England Patriots. We have seen an emphasis on bigger management, more and it looks like better scouting and player development/coaching and analyzing, signing and working with MORE players to determine if they have reached their absolute ceiling. I have long admired how the Spur/Patriot “system” always seem to find diamonds in the rough. Guys who fill a specific need and just keep them winning.
    The FAZ bashers like to point out our high payroll, approximately $250M in 2017. But a closer look shows that we are getting almost ZERO for about $88M of that, invested in just 5 players.
    Gonzalez, $22M
    Kazmir, $18M
    Ethier, $18M
    Crawford, $22M
    Guerrero, 8M
    Even though I believe FAZ will always have Dodger payroll right around the luxury tax threshold, will they see enough value in signing Mega Stars? Will the perceived value be worth the RISK to them? Or do we keep developing MORE low cost depth? I am not sure.
    Vegas Dodger, I knew Harper was from Las Vegas, but didn’t know Harper played at Bishop Gorman HS. I am from Reno and my boys went to Bishop Manogue HS so I am very familiar with Gorman, Harper going there doesn’t surprise me and I should have guessed it. Nothing but the best for Gorman!

    1. Box, nobody really knows what FAZ thinks, but I agree they are already planning 2020-2025. I am certain they know which FA will be available after the 2018 season, but I do not believe they will spend the big $$$ for any player other than Kershaw. They will not pony up $400-$500MM for Harper, nor will they pony up more than $300MM expected for Machado. I do not see them looking at Josh Donaldson or Dallas Keuchel, who will also demand large $$$. I can see them pursuing D J LaMahieu; I can see them re-signing Grandal; I think they will look at A J Pollock; and I think they will look hard at relievers Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Miller, and Zach Britton.
      What I think they will do is to continue to sign their own, and continue to develop the organizational pipeline, and build from within. It is a hybrid of the Tampa Bay/Oakland strategy. They will continue to look for players in the draft or trades for lower level prospects, and be in a position to sign their own FA (i.e. JT, Kenley, Hill) for large $$$; rather than trade them away as was necessary in Tampa Bay and Oakland. They know how to spot talent (when others cannot see), and they know how to develop them. Watching the River Cats in Sacramento for so long (Oakland years not Giants), I was absolutely impressed with the quality of talent that came through this town on the way to the ML. Tampa also has a history of good organizational pipelines. It is just that neither team has the financial muscle to keep them. FAZ should no longer need to look at the Anderson’s, Kazmir’s, or McCarthy’s. Their pitching cupboard is full, and I am very anxious to see how Morgan Cooper will do once he signs. I like big Texas pitchers.
      FAZ will also continue to fill in with complimentary players where necessary. Logan Forsythe, Chase Utley, Howie Kendrick, Josh Reddick…Some work, some do not, but none are prima donnas that hurt the overall chemistry with the team. There is no doubt that Bryce Harper is one of the best hitters in all of MLB, but what kind of teammate is he? There are a lot of stories hinting that he is not a good one. I have never been in the Nats dugout, so I do not know for sure.
      The more I read about Scott Boras, the more I understand why he is so much sought after. Not only did he come up with two opt out periods for Stephen Strasburg, and convince the Nationals to agree, but he staged the opt outs for 2019 and 2020 so that Strasburg would not have to compete with Dallas Keuchel, and possibly Clayton Kershaw and David Price, after the 2018 season. Now those teams that missed out in 2018 might be bidding on Strasburg without the competition (other than Madison Bumgarner after 2019 season) driving up Strasburg’s contract.

      1. Man, oh, man, AC. I keep throwing one strike after another. Great analysis. Thanks for the read.

  9. This from MLB TRade Rumors:

    The offseason trade buzz about Yasiel Puig has died down since he is playing well, so it doesn’t seem like the Dodgers would move the controversial outfielder unless they get full value in return. Interestingly, Rosenthal notes that Puig’s clubhouse reputation is still a work in progress, as “many” Dodgers teammates view Puig “as an annoyance.

    1. That’s exactly why I never bought the Maeda rumors.
      Why trade him when his value is at a low?

  10. I believe it was Adam that asked whether anyone thinks that Wood should be included in any Cy Young conversation. I think everyone knows how I feel. YES!!! I also believe that Mark made a comment yesterday in response that Kershaw and Wood form the best 1-2 in in the NL.
    We know that Kershaw is 11-2 and Wood is 8-0, but they are 24-5 in games they have appeared in. Scherzer and Strasburg (undoubtedly the 2nd best) are 20-10. When you include Gio Gonzalez and Brandon McCarthy, the Dodger top three are 32-9 while the Nats top three are 29-16. The big problem with the Nats is that they are done after those three. Tanner Roark and Joe Ross are not as formidable as what the Dodgers can throw out there. The Nats gave up a lot to get Eaton. Their bullpen is also very suspect.
    Of course the Astros have a great 1-2 in Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. They are 22-3 in games they have appeared. But will they stay healthy the rest of the year?

  11. That ball that Cody Bellinger just hit to the warning track, and others he’s similarly hit, will go flying into the seats in the next few years when he naturally gets stronger with maturity. Same goes for Cory Seager.

    1. Hey Brooklyn, I have to admit I thought it possible your health may had failed as it’s been so long since you’ve shown yourself. Glad to see you and I await to read more of your very talented way with words professor.

  12. I agree Brooklyn. Nice to hear from you. I feel the same about Verdugo. He is a great contact hitter. His power is just starting.

  13. Puig and Petersen both look better at the plate. Taylor is struggling, but he is still doing the small things like walks and stolen bases.

  14. All I can say is enjoy!!! This cannot last . Everything they do is great. Bellinger has to come back to earth sometime, doesn’t he?

  15. On April 26, the Dodgers were 10-12 after losing to the Giants 4-3 in 10 innings. Since then, the Dodgers have gone 41-14; winning nearly 75% of their games. Cody Bellinger started his MLB career on April 25, when the Dodgers were 9-11. Since then the Dodgers have a record of 42-15. It’s not 42-8, but it is still pretty good. I think an argument can be made that Cody Bellinger is not only a ROY candidate, but should also be in the discussions for NL MVP. Could this be a replication of 1975 when Fred Lynn was the AL ROY and AL MVP? Yes, I know there is more than half a season to go, but it sure is fun to think about, and the earlier Cody gets into the discussion, the easier it will be to justify.

  16. Anyone interested in Gerrit Cole? I believe his last 3 starts have been quality starts against the Rockies, Cards, and Brewers. The Yips are back…..

  17. If Dodgers win the 1st game vs Angels that would put them on course for 108 games. Actually quite a few more than 108 unless they play much less enthused than the have the last 6 or so weeks. CHEERS!!

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