By now it’s old news that the Dodgers were named the Organization of the Year in 2017 by Baseball America. If we go back in time to when Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi took over the Dodgers three years ago, the Farm System was ranked number 14 in all of baseball by Baseball America. In one short year, FAZ elevated that ranking to #3 and in 2016, they were ranked Number One.
By that time, the Dodgers had started graduating players: Stripling, Seager, Urias and others. In 2017, they were ranked number four and yet they produced their second rookie of the year in a row. Of course, the skeptics will say that the farms system was ranked that highly because of the former Dodger front office of Ned Colletti and Logan White… and I would like to give them their props. They did draft some good young players…. and FAZ kept them!
Baseball America’s annual ratings are not out for 2018, but I am confident that the Dodgers are TOP 10… maybe TOP 5 in the Farm Systems Rankings. Even after winning five straight NL West Pennants and picking low in the draft, the Dodgers are still right up there in prospects with teams that have tanked for several years. After the Cubs World Series and their uneventful 2018, they will likely be near the bottom of the rankings.
If you look at the Dodgers TOP 25 Prospects, you will see that the majority are players picked and developed by FAZ (not in any particular order).
- Buehler – FAZ
- Verdugo – Colletti/White
- Ruiz – FAZ
- Smith – FAZ
- Diaz – FAZ
- White – FAZ
- Santana (P) – Colletti/White
- Lux – FAZ
- Kendall – FAZ
- Heredia – FAZ
- May – FAZ
- Sheffield – FAZ
- Alvarez – FAZ
- Peters -FAZ
- Estevez – FAZ
- Marinan – FAZ
- Cooper – FAZ
- Wong – FAZ
- Brito – FAZ
- Ferguson – Colletti/White
- Rios – FAZ
- Jackson – FAZ
- Beaty – FAZ
- Robinson – FAZ
- Raley – FAZ
I did include Lux and Kendall but I am not a big fan of either one, however most ratings have them in the Top 10 or 15. In three years, the farm system has only 3 draft picks by Colletti and White left. The Other Top 22 are from Friedman and Zaidi. In the interest of full disclosure, the three that are left are pretty dang good.
Next Pitching Coach
This week, the Dodgers continued to strengthen their system as they signed Mark Prior, who has garnered immense respect around the baseball community. This was a guy who had Hall-of-Fame written all over him. He was a phenom who went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA and finished 3rd in Cy Young voting. He was the Golden Boy, marching to the Hall-of-Fame. He soon had arm problems and never regained that form. He tried to comeback, over and over and over and over and finally retired after 2013.
Here’s the deal: Mark Prior has been to the mountaintop. He has been to the Penthouse and he has been to the Outhouse! He had elite ability and lost it, tried to come back repeatedly and failed. Mark Prior understands any possible struggle a pitcher can go through. He knows how to pitch and he knows what failure feels like. Mark Prior is uniquely qualified to be the Dodgers Pitching Coach and will likely replace Rick Honeycutt in 2019 or 2020 as just that! If Honey wants, he will move to a Front Office Position or retire.
It has been a Cold Hot Stove League this winter. The Hot Stove League has been colder than a well digger’s butt so far. Some Dodger fans have been complaining about it. What has FAZ done lately?
- Traded Gonzalez, McCarthy, Kazmir and Culberson for Matt Kemp in order to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold
- Signed Dylan Baker, Tom Koehlor and Henry Owens; and
- Traded for Scott Alexander.
MLB Radio on the Scott Alexander trade:
“This is another excellent trade. You don’t know much about Alexander now… BUT YOU WILL. This is another example of how Friedman and Zaidi are smarter than anyone else.!
Most of these moves have been met with contempt from morons (not on this board). Maybe there is more to come. Maybe this is it. I’m ready for Spring Training either way… after all, this is the best organization in baseball.
I’m ready for Spring Training to begin…
Bye, Bye Trevor Oaks – I wish you nothing but the best… unless you are pitching against the Dodgers. I hated to see Trevor go, but he was just insurance. He had no chance in LA. Hopefully, he can start in KC.