Dodger Middle Infield Prospect Upgrade

What a difference a couple of years makes when it comes to middle infield prospects for the LAD.  Prior to the 2015 amateur draft, there was one regular SS (Jimmie Rollins), one regular 2B (Howie Kendrick), one utility (Kike’ Hernandez), and one prospect (Corey Seager) at SS.  Chase Utley was added later in the year.  There really was no other prospect.  In the 2015 draft, Gasparino’s crew selected:


  • Willie Calhoun– 2B (4thround)
  • Brendon Davis– SS (5thround)
  • Chris Godinez– 2B (18thround)
  • Jordan Tarsovich– 2B (22ndround)
  • Nick Dean– SS (32ndround)


Calhoun and Davis were traded to the Rangers in the Yu Darvish trade; Jordan Tarsovich was traded to the A’s for Brett Eibner; Godinez and Dean were released in 2016.  Calhoun is on the Rangers MLB 25 man roster.  Davis is in High A, and Tarsovich is in AA still in the A’s organization.


The Dodgers were concentrating on other deficiencies in the draft; catching and pitching.


In the 2015-2016 International signing period, the Dodgers signed:

  • Ronny Brito– SS – Dominican Republic
  • Oneil Cruz– SS – Dominican Republic
  • Luis Rodriguez– SS – Venezuela
  • Aldo Espinoza– 2B – Nicaragua
  • Omar Estevez– 2B – Cuba


Brito (19) and Estevez (20) remain top Dodgers prospects.  Brito (#22 prospect) is having a breakout year at Ogden, while Estevez (#30 prospect), is having a solid year at Rancho Cucamonga.  It is his 2ndyear there and he is still one of the youngest in the California league.  Luis Rodriguez (19) was first assigned from DSL to AZL this year, and is now an emergency infielder at AA.  He should return to AZL soon.  Aldo Espinoza (19) is playing sparingly in DSL.  Oneil Cruz was traded to Pittsburgh in the Tony Watson trade, and is one of their top prospects (#5).


In July 2015, FAZ also used some of that International signing bonus money to purchaseTim Locastro(2B) and Chase De Jong (RHP) from Toronto.  Locastro is on the 40 man, but is playing more CF, and the transition to utility player looks to be complete.  De Jong was traded to Seattle forDrew Jackson, another middle infielder, in 2017.


In November 2015, not yet having that depth that FAZ covets, they signedCharlie Culbersonwho was a very important (if not much utilized) SS (and utility) player for LAD in 2016 and 2017.  In January 2016, FAZ traded former 1st round draftee RHSP, Zach Lee, for SSChris Taylor.  CT3 spent the last month of 2016 with the big club, but did not show what was about to be unleashed in 2017, albeit primarily as an OF.


With still the only long term prospect at SS being Corey Seager, FAZ needed sought some additional SS help in the 2016 amateur draft.


  • Gavin Lux– SS (1stround)
  • Errol Robinson– SS (6thround)
  • Kevin LaChance– SS (10thround)
  • Brandon Montgomery– 2B (26thround)
  • Zach McKinstry– SS (33rdround)


After a tremendous first four months at RC, Gavin was just promoted to AA, where he had a great debut (3-5 with a HR and 2 RBI).  He is now the teammate of Errol Robinson and Drew Jackson, and all three are in the top 30 Dodger prospects; Lux (#6), Jackson (#19), and Robinson (#20).


McKinstry is having a fine 2018, and also finds himself at AA, while one of my favorites, Brandon Montgomery, is at RC.  LaChance has been released.


In 2017, the Dodgers drafted a pair of young shortstops that could move through the organization, Jacob Amaya and Jeremy Arocho.  I have already talked quite a bit about Amaya who was an 11thround draft choice who the Dodgers bought out of a Cal St. Fullerton scholarship ($247,500 for an 11thround draft pick).


  • Jacob Amaya– SS (11thround)
  • Marcus Chiu– 2B (15thround)
  • Connor Heady– SS (23rdround)
  • Preston Grand Pre – SS (24thround)
  • Jeremy Arocho– SS (27thround)


Amaya is also enjoying a great start to the 2018 season and was just promoted to Great Lakes where he went 1-3 with a walk and RBI in his Pioneer League debut.  Chiu is getting more comfortable to being a professional baseball player playing in his first full season at Great Lakes.  Heady is on the Ogden roster and is Active but he is not playing.  He does not have an AB this year.  Grand Pre has been placed on the 60 day DL for the second straight year.  However, Jeremy Arocho continues to impress at Ogden, and should form quite a good middle infield combo with Ronny Brito.  They will undoubtedly continue to switch between 2B and SS.


Of the above, I think Amaya will make it into the top 30 Dodger prospects at some point.  Unless he is totally overwhelmed at Great Lakes (which I doubt), he could start next year at RC.


In 2018 the Dodgers drafted versatility.


  • Devin Mann– 2B/SS (5thround)
  • Luke Heyer – 2B – (8thround)
  • Deacon Liput – 2B (10thround)


All three have been assigned to Great Lakes.  The one that draws my interest the most is Deacon Liput.  I will continue to follow him as he progresses.  While he was drafted as a 2B, he has been primarily playing SS.  Mann has been exclusive at 2B, while Heyer is almost exclusive at 3B (1 game at 1B).  But it is evident, that all three were drafted for the now #10 position on the Dodgers lineup roster…utility.


Since FAZ has taken over, the organization has gone from 1 middle infield prospect (Seager) to 5 (Lux, Jackson, Robinson, Brito, and Estevez).  All 5 are capable of getting to the Show, with Lux looking to be the most prominent.  While I like Lux, I would not look past Brito to make a ML impact as well.  Robinson is the most pure defensive SS, so he could stay there, but Jackson and Estevez will probably be utility depth on a ML roster if they make it.  In addition to the 5 top prospects, they have several good prospects throughout the organization that can either make a run with LAD or become logical trade package inclusions.


Tulsa – Lux, Robinson, Jackson, McKinstry

Rancho – Estevez, Montgomery

Great Lakes – Amaya, Liput, Mann, Heyer, Chiu

Ogden – Brito, Arocho


The Dodgers will continue to fill in with organizational depth via trade and minor league contracts especially at the upper levels (OKC – Solano, Mora, Peter).  But their current future ML middle infielders will come from the last three year’s draft and international signings.


While their prospects continue to flourish in the minors, for now the Dodgers are blessed to have Manny Machado at SS (although at a steep price), Brian Dozier at 2B, Kike’ and CT3 more than capable SS (and 2B), and Muncy and Utley capable 2B (and 1B).  Back up catcher Barnes is also a viable 2B reserve.  Seager should be ready to resume his role in 2019.  I am going to pencil him at SS until proven otherwise.  Who joins him is still a chapter unwritten.



This article has 84 Comments

  1. Ity’s almost cliche, but the depth FAZ is building is astounding!

    I could see Dozier and Machadi with LA next year, or the could be gone. A lot depends upon what else happens: Grandal, Kershaw, Puig, et al. They only have $130 million on the books not counting arbitration. Wood, Pederson, Kike, Corey and CT3 should all get big raises, which could add up to $35+ million. Dozier and Machado could command upward of $50 million a year combined, so you can see there are a lot of issues to be decided.

    1. I think dozier is far more likely to stay. With machado we need to get in line. Hes a bonafide superstar and has to be among the top five marketable talents in the sport. He will command a kings ransom. I’m enjoying him while hes here and so is he.

    2. If Matt Kemp ends the season batting around .300, I suspect the FO will sell high. This will free up money and begin to alleviate the log jam in the outfield.

    3. Oh the DEPTH!!!!! I don’t like to think about it, ’cause I get the vapors:-). Depth, depth, depth, said
      the former fan of the .550 2nd-place team. What it really is (see Kike give away a game ’cause there’s
      no one on this DEEP roster, among the position guys, who can throw anything but BP) is breadth.

      A billion bucks, give or take loose change, will buy you lotsa BREADTH!

  2. That is a great summary of the middle infield project. Thanks.
    I too like guys like McKinstry and Mongomery who are not big names but give big time efforts.

    1. I know nothing about mckinstry, nor that he was with tulsa. Scouting report? Same for Montgomery. Thanks

        1. You got it. Lux alone breaking out upgrades our MIF profile considerably. If one of brito or amaya or ??? Breaks out next year we could be in great shape.
          While I was tapping this, brandon dixon of CIN just homered (his 2nd of career). I forgot he was the third guy in the infamous schebler/peraza trade. I have no problem using prospects as capital. Some guys pan out down the road and that’s actually good for us. You want the guys you trade to do well.

  3. Can’t help but think how things would have been different if Houston had gotten Darvish and us Verlander. Verlander wanted to be a dodger. So Verlander essentially beat us without their best players altuve and Correa. They should have just brought Verlander, springer, and a catcher. I know we won game 6 I was there but a missed opportunity for sure.

  4. The Astros had the first pick in the draft in 2012 (Carlos Correa), 2013 (Mark Appel) and 2014 (Brady Aiken), but Correa is the only player still in the Houston organization.

  5. I was a big proponent of getting Manny, and so far his stats show he’s doing well in LA. But he came here with some really impressive numbers in clutch situations and late game situations. But so far in the 15 or so games he’s been here, I haven’t seen 1 clutch hit. Please correct me if I’m wrong. His 9th inning HR was in a 5-0 game, so it was meaningless. But he needs to step up and play like a superstar.

    All I’m seeing is strikeout or weak out when it’s a pressure situation for him.

    1. Off the top of my head, it seems like players take awhile to get their mojo back when they switch leagues mid-season.

    2. Totally agree. Only batting .250 with the dodgers now and batted .259 with the orioles last year. He was supposedly a guy who did not strikeout but 30% or more with the dodgers. When strawberry came to the dodgers and slumped Lasorda said does a guy just forget how to hit. He is no doubt a great player but don’t slump now! We need some guys to get hot and if history matters dozier could be one so play him please.

    3. I have noted that over the years, whenever I got the chance to see him,
      and in spite of all the gaudy stats, this is who he was most of the time.
      (hardly seen him at all this year, when his stats say he’s been awesome
      before the trade).

  6. The Dodgers didn’t let Verlander beat them. Their bullpen wound up being the difference as I remember. There should not have been a game 7.

    1. No but Verlander could have won it for us if he started for dodgers instead of Darvish.

      1. haha, I’ll chime in as well. If our ace does job and holds a 4-0 lead OR a 7-4 lead in game 5, we don’t need to worry about Yu and game 7

        1. That is true but we knew that would happen with Kershaw. He cannot be trusted to win in the playoffs. Jansen was a surprise. That is why if we make the playoffs who can we count on? We can’t matchup with Verlander etc unless somebody surprises us.

          1. I recall someone who wishes to remain anonymous posting BEFORE that game
            that Clayton/Kenley was no lock, especially against the Stro lineup.

            Foresight is 20-10!!!

    1. True. My point was Verlander wanted to be a dodger and we went for Darvish. I believe had we got him we would have been world champions. Obviously, that is just my opinion. We would certainly have won if our guys performed but they didn’t. To try to give us a better chance and to guard against a Kershaw meltdown the front office got Darvish while Houston got Verlander on the last day, minute possible. Even if Verlander didn’t win he saved their bullpen and he put Houston in a position to win by great performances. Does anybody think we would have won with Verlander?

        1. Maybe if the Yankees sign Harper they will trade Stanton to the Dodgers. That’s been batted around among variousblogs.

    2. Bobby

      I whole heartedly agree with you, about game 5.

      Verlander pitched six innings in his first start, and he gave up 3 runs.

      And Verlander in his last start, pitched 6 innings, and gave up 2 runs.

      Kershaw pitched 6 innings in his first start, and he gave up 1 run.

      And in Kershaw’s last start, he pitched 4.2 innings, and gave up 6 runs.

  7. Things never work out the way you plan them but I could see several scenarios playing out next year and the future. For 2019 I have to put Turner at 3b and Seager at ss. I like the idea of dozier at 2b (if the price is right) but failing that I could see a taylor/mincy job share, which could be great. Even with the trade of Diaz it still feels like next year could see an OF logjam. Assuming bellinger returns to 1b and Taylor stays in the infield, we still have Kemp. Puig. Joc, toles. And verdugo. I’m telling you: verdugo can play cf. Machado is the wild card. I see him as a ss predominantly, so Seager would gave to move. Considering pitchers recover from TJ, I dont see why he cant too. He can slide to 3b when turners time is up. The best thing about all this depth is it gives our minor leaguers time to develop.

  8. When FAZ passed on Verlander last year, they probably knew that they were going to try and stay below the CBT threshhold. They probably didn’t know that they were going to get there with a deal for Kemp (or maybe they did), but you can rest assured that they were looking for ways to offload the expensive dead weight they were carrying.

    In whatever decisions FAZ is going to make for next year, you can bet they’re also throwing into the equation the cost of Seager, Bellinger, etc. in the years beyond 2019.

    It looks to me that Manny is trying too hard, and as a result is over-swinging. Hopefully he will get comfortable enough to relax, and we’ll begin to see the Manny we expected. Even superstars are human.

    Maybe Max Muncy is just in a slump, and will come out of it. Or maybe he’s been exposed and the league has got him figured out. I still remember Delwyn Young looking like a hitting machine at the end of 2007, and looking totally vulnerable to breaking balls and offspeed stuff the following year. I’m not giving up on Muncy (adjustments sometimes take a while), but I do admit that I have grown skeptical. Prove me wrong Max.

  9. Andre Ethier is one of my all time favorites. I know last night was a tribute to Dre and if I still lived in LA I would have been at the game. If anyone on this site (Bobby?) was at the game, how was Dre received by the crowd? Was it a good ceremony? He was always known as Captain Clutch, and he will always remember his last PA was a fun scoring single in Game 7 of the 2017 WS. It sure would be nice to have his clutch bat in the lineup, but Father Time calls on all of it us.

    1. About 6:30ish, Andre came out and joined the SportsNet LA pregame show group (Alana Rizzo, Hairston, Ned Colletti) for an interview. The crowd that was there noticed him and cheered loudly, and Andre waived back several times.
      Closer to 6:50, as the stadium was filling up a bit more (but Friday night crowds always get in late) they had his family seated on the grass by the pitchers mound, and showed a video tribute of Andre’s career highlights. It was great to relive his career and I was reminded several times of how successful he was for us.

      Actor Jason Bateman was the MC, and interviewed Andre about what ‘s doing now, his favorite moments, etc. On the video scoreboard, Ned Colletti and then Joe Torre gave some great tributes of what Andre meant to them and to the Dodgers. After the video tribute, Kenley, Kershaw, and Kemp spoke. You could see they were all pretty good friends. Andre spoke at the end and thanked the Dodger fans for accepting him into the Dodger family. The crowd was very loud in cheering for Andre for most of the ceremony, and I saw many many Ethier shirts/jerseys in the crowd.

      All in all, it was nice. He’s not a hall of fame type player, but he was a great Dodger and is in the top 10 of many Dodger records.

      1. Thanks Bobby. I would have worn my #16 jersey. You are correct…he is not HOF, but he is in my top 5 all time Dodgers. I know he was not drafted by LAD, but he played his entire ML career with the Dodgers, and that means a lot.

        1. He’ll always be the AA Texas league MVP to me 😉
          Seriously though. I was very happy when we got him for milton Bradley (and Antonio perez–had to look that part up). Just another sweet swinging lefty from Arizona. We seem to specialize in those . . .

          1. During the spring of 2013 I spent nine days in Phoenix for Dodger ST. I got many autographs and one from Andre. He looked directly at me when signing and I told him I had traveled from Nova Scotia to attend ST. He told me he had visited Prince Edward Island and planned to visit Nova Scotia at some point. The next day he passed by again and when he came to me I told him I very much appreciated the autograph (on a AE card) he had given me the day before and didn’t seek another. He thanked me for that. It was a nice moment to be thanked by a major league baseball player.

            He too was one of my favorite Dodgers and I think at times he was under appreciated.

  10. I hate to break the news, but the Dodgers got Darvish, not Verlander for two reasons:

    1. The Luxury Tax – The Dodgers wanted to be under it in 2018 and if they signed Verlander, they could not do that; and

    2. At the time, most baseball people thought Darvish was the best choice. Verlander looked to be on the down-slide. It turned out the opposite. The Yankees passed on Verlander too, and signed Sonny Gray (whom many Dodger fans adored) and that necessitated making more trades and signings.

    Why the Dodgers did not take on Verlander goes back to (Some of you are going to hate this) THE TRADE. They were paying Crawfish and Gonzo and that caused them to sign risky pitchers too. Delete THE TRADE and Verlander may have been a Dodger… but I digress!

    1. Agree with number 1 for sure. Number 2 is arguable, baseball people probably weren’t high on Verlander, but Darvish appeared to be more hype than good in recent days. I was pleasantly surprised with how he performed prior to the World Series. I think the front office did their best in getting Darvish. I don’t think anyone expected Verlander to be as good as he was and is. I was just stating that I believe we would be world champions if we had obtained Verlander instead of Darvish. I wish Houston had jumped in on Darvish and wrestled him from us. Hindsight is 20-20 or better and maybe the front office couldn’t get Verlander, maybe they didn’t want him, that would have been a high risk play. Oh well if we had Verlander he probably would have pulled a hamstring lol

    2. I agree with #2. And I shared the skepticism about JV, big time. Thought
      the Ds were better off with Yu, though I wasn’t thrilled. And it must be
      remembered that Yu made real contributions to the run, prior to the
      champ round.

      JV was simply huge for the Stros…

  11. I agree Mark, at the time everybody thought we made the smart move by getting Darvish over an aging Verlander, as did I. If Darvish would have continued to pitch in the play-offs the way he did during the season, we are not having this conversation. But that’s baseball, you are not going to get it right all the time. Look at what Hamels did for the Cubs in his first start. Some older players get energized by a change of scenery and rediscover themselves. I still think that last year, with all the information they had available to them at the time,, FAZ would have made the same trade for Darvish.

    1. There’s been a lot of revisionist history on here regarding Darvish and Verlander. Verlander had an ERA of almost 5 during early July. He was owned a ton of money and the Tigers were asking for 3 Top prospects. Trading for him would have put them in luxury tax hell for this season. A few people on here were calling for Verlander like AC I believe but most were not and like Roger said most thought Darvish was the correct move and it was until the World Series. All these people claiming either they knew Verlander was the difference maker are full of ****. His career WS numbers are 0-4 with a horrific ERA. He was 0-1 last year with a 3.75.

      1. I was pushing for Verlander. Last year was a great opportunity, and with JV’s post season history vs. Darvish’s I believed the team would be better served with the more experienced vet and future HOF. I am a baseball fan first, and I do not work for LAD, so the luxury tax did not concern me as much. I never thought that FAZ would get under the threshold this year, and yet they did. The Tigers are paying $8MM per year to the Astros. Forsythe did not need to have his option exercised…whatever. FAZ are smart and if they found the Braves deal to get under the threshold, they could have figured it out with JV. In addition, I really do not expect them to go over the threshold next year so if they did go over this year, they weren’t going to next year.
        All that said, I do not blame Darvish for the WS loss. Just like it was a team that won 104 games, it was a team that lost the WS. Now it is time to win it all this year.

        1. Verlander should have won the Cy Young the year before, so he had been pitching pretty good, the last couple years, before the Astros got him.

          He lost the Cy Young, because of another pitcher’s won, and lost record.

          I was glad we got Darvish, because I didn’t think this front office would try to get either pitcher, because of the price of the deal.

      2. Hawkeye

        The Tigers had a terrible bullpen in those days that Verlander pitched, in the post season.

        But Verlander and Max both pitched well, during that time.

        Remember how we felt about the bullpen, when Kershaw use to have to pitch most of a game, in the post season, back when?

        The Tigers bullpen was worse.

        1. Just saying hindsight is undefeated and not acquiring him isn’t the sole reason the Dodgers lost.

          1. Hawkeye

            It wasn’t just on him, because I, and everyone, expects more from Kershaw then any player or pitcher, on this team.

            And Darvish did pitch the best in the post season, before that.

            And that is why it was so hard to see his starts in the World Series.

            I thought he would be that difference.

  12. It’s crazy to think that Andre was part of our 08/09 NLCS teams with Kemp, Loney, Broxton, Bills, Martin, Manny, etc (seems so long ago) and then he was part of the last 5 NL West winners as well. 12 years is a long time!

  13. I periodically (okay more than periodically) check in on the Bowie Baysox to see how the four former Dodgers are performing. Last night was a good night for the former Dodger farm hands. Dean Kremer started and pitched 5 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits and 3 walks, with 6 Ks, to get the win. Zach Pop pitched the final two innings allowing 1 unearned run on 1 hit and 1 HBP, with 3 Ks. Yusniel Diaz went 2-3 with 2 doubles, 1 RBI, and 1 SB. Rylan Bannon went 1-3 with a RBI single.

  14. DC–ethier’s career numbers compare favorably to karros’s and that seems like a decent generational comparison. Each was charismatic, productive. And enjoyed a length dodger tenure. Additionally, each declined toward the end of his contract and drew criticism. I consider ethier the superior player based on being a more complete player and I always felt karros put up a lot of his numbers in meaningless spots. Ethier wa DC definitely more intense. Karros probably has him on hair.

  15. The Los Angeles Dodgers today placed LHP Alex Wood on the 10-day disabled list with a left adductor tendonitis and reinstated LHP Zac Rosscup from the 10-day disabled list

    Bill Plunkett reports Ross Stripling will join the Dodgers on the road trip and replace Wood in the rotation

    1. I am glad he goes on the dL I believe he could use a break. Hopefully, this is getting ahead of a more serious injury. Stripling definitely needed a break. Now if they could get kemp and Muncy on the dL for a 10 day break. They needed the all star break to reset but couldn’t they now need to be re-energized. So going into the last 2 months our sp should be good to go: Kershaw, ryu, strip, Maeda, Buehler, hill, all have had a limited workload. Our starting 8 have had plenty of rest with the help of our depth although I worry about Grandal. we have had a ton of moving parts in the bullpen so our depth there has helped keep guys fresh. This should be a rested team ready to finish strong.

  16. Roberts has 71 homeruns on the bench tonight. I would have like to have seen joc in there. But, he hit a homer last night for our only run So let’s bench him tonight.

    1. This lineup is stupid. I get McCullers numbers but when you go 9 righties it just allows a guy to get comfortable. I can’t get behind Kike at 1st. I hope he proves me wrong.

  17. Kemp and Muncy are lost right now, swinging 3 and 0 come on Kemp, what is the downside of puting them on the DL and getting up Verdugo and Toles? Kemp’s unwillingness to take a walk and babip was bound to catch up with him and Muncy may be regressing to who he was the last few years. Or maybe they are tired, either way at least one or both should sit for a week and half.

    1. Hawkeye

      Did you find out why you had trouble?

      Because you have one post with HawkeyeColt, but maybe you noticed that, since you have posted since then.

  18. I think I mentioned this before: andrew romine batting for seattle in critical game. His season–53 games .211/.260/.233 0 hr 1 rbi

  19. Maeda is a 5 inning pitcher about 70 pitches his max but for some reason Roberts continues to try to extend him. For the second game in a row Roberts has left him in to let the game get away. Adam as far as the 3-0 count they been doing it all year. The analytics must say swing 3-0. That’s where a manager has to be more in control but I guess he believes it is the right thing to do. Houston started the night with 5 guys in the lineup hitting .250 or worse and we can’t get them out. I guess if Correa and Altuve were here they would score at will. Bedtime

  20. Mark are you preparing a write up? I will need some positivity in the morning as we face Cole and attempt to avoid the sweep. Kemp to the dL with right wrist or toe inflammation, Verdugo up.

  21. How about let Rosscup pitch the ninth and waive him right after the game and get Verdugo on the first flight out of Oklahoma City.. If Verdugo has not been down 10 days then dL Rosscup again for toe inflammation.

  22. Your in a pennant race and playing the world champs at home. What do you do? Play Kike, Barnes, and Kemp while benching the team’s hottest hitters.

  23. The lineups continue to be inscrutable. At least for this fan of 65 years…

    And I LIKE imagination in lineup construction:-).

  24. Dodgers K 28 times in 2 game while scoring 1 run. They need someone who makes contact. They need to play a lineup that makes sense. They still need relief pitchers. I thought that was their biggest need before the deadline and The Axe and The Cup aren’t the answer.

  25. I wonder how long we’re gonna stay in 2nd place in the division. I don’t think the team quite buys into the lineup constructions. I hate baseball at the moment.

  26. Judge should sentence the law firm of Axford and Rosscup to the farm for contempt of court.
    CF Pederson
    RF Puig
    3B Turner
    SS Machado
    1B Bellinger
    2B Taylor
    LF Toles
    C Grandal/Barnes (not a platoon but share time to keep fresh in the dog days of summer)
    Give Kemp a 10 day vacation

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