All Stars In Waiting

Dodger Chatter: All-Stars in Waiting – Position Players

 

By now you all know I am a huge fan of minor league baseball. Naturally in following the Dodgers minor league system I have favorite players that may not be highly rated prospects or all-stars. However, they put in all of the same hard work as the more highly rated players and are battling much greater odds than the more gifted players.

 

So with that preamble, I have compiled a list of Dodger minor leaguers that make up my all-star team. It is composed of players that are not on the Dodgers Top 30 Prospect List and mainly from the lower levels of the system, all below the AAA level. The main difficulty is that it must be limited by numbers.

 

Catcher: Hunter Feduccia (Loons)

Feduccia was selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Louisiana State University. That was a relatively high selection in that he was coming off of a bit of a disappointing 2018 college season complicated by having broken a bone in both of his hands during the season. After a slow start with the Loons he kicked it into high gear at the plate hitting .315 in August with a .381 OBP and a .360 average with runners in scoring position. Behind the plate he had 310 total chances while committing but one error and allowing no passed balls. He threw out 28 per cent of would be base stealers.

 

First Base: Jared Walker (Quakes)

It was a toss-up between Walker and Dillon Paulson of the Ogden Raptors with Walker getting the nod. He was a 5th round selection by the Dodgers in the 2014 draft out of McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia. He was in his fifth minor league season in 2018 yet is still 22 years of age while Paulson is 21 in his first year of professional baseball. On the season between Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga Walker hit .255 with an OBP of .365 along with 25 home runs and 75 runs batted in. His .980 OPS with the Quakes would have been league leading if he had enough at bats to qualify. At one point with the Quakes he homered in five consecutive games. Initially a third baseman, Walker has transitioned primarily to first base where he posted a .990 fielding percentage in 2018.

 

Second Base: Jeremy Arocho (Raptors)

.This time the youngster gets the nod. Arocho is 19 years of age and was selected by the Dodgers in the 27th round of the 2017 Amateur Draft out of Old Mill High School in Millersville, Maryland. The switch hitter hit better in 2018 from the left side in many more at bats. He hit equally well in each half of the season and especially well in August. On the season he hit .313 with an OBP of .401 along with 12 stolen bases and .316 with RISP.  He struck out 31 times and walked 29 times.

 

Third Base – Miguel Vargas (Loons)

The toss up this time is between 21-year-old Jefrey Souffront and 19-year-old Miguel Vargas.  On the season their statistics are quite similar although Vargas pushed the .400 mark with the Raptors  in 22 games. He was promoted to the Loons in early August but did not find the going as easy as he did in Ogden. On the season over three levels he hit a combined .330 with an OBP of .404. The native of La Habana, Cuba drove in 30 runs over 53 games while striking out 36 times and walking 23 times.

 

Shortstop –  Deacon Liput (Loons)

The decision here is between Liput and teammate Jacob Amaya who split his season between the Raptors and Loons. It is a bit more challenging – actually very challenging – as Liput had a short season with the Loons after being selected in the 10h round of the June Draft out of the University of Florida. He played in 42 games while Amaya played in 59, 27 of them with the Loons after his promotion from Ogden. Amaya played the entire season as a 19-year-old while Liput was 22. My take is a bit slanted as I tuned in to so many Loons games with Liput playing. In the leadoff spot he was a catalyst and a grubber in the infield. On the season he hit .280 with an OBP of .332.  At 5’10”/185-pounds he will not be a power hitter but did hit five home runs in 2018 along with 21 runs batted in. The Yankees has previously selected him in the 29th round in 2015.

 

Left Field – Zach Reks (Drillers)

Reks was selected by the Dodgers in the 10th round of the 2017 June Draft out of the University of Kentucky. He made three stops during the 2017 season – Ogden, Midland, Rancho Cucamonga – posting a .317 batting average across the three levels. He started the 2018 season with the Quakes but moved on to the Drillers after 10 games in which he hit .405. With the Drillers he posted a. 288 batting average and a .368 OBP. Over 78 games he hit .328 with RISP and had three hits in six at bats with the bases loaded.

 

Center Field- Brayan Morales (Loons)

Morales was selected by the Dodgers in the 15th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Hillsborough Community College. In his second full year of professional baseball Morales was limited to 86 games due to a hamate bone injury during the third week of July. His speed was missed by the Loons in the play-off run and may well have been the difference in advancing to the championship round.  On the season he hit .273 with an OBP of .338. He stole 46 bases, just three behind the eventual league leader.

 

Right Field – Cody Thomas (Quakes)

Thomas almost seems to be the invisible man despite his prolific year in 2018. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2016 Amateur Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He hit well in 2016 with the Raptors but struggled with the Loons in 2017 although he did hit with good power with 20 home runs. His power surge continued with the Quakes in 2018 with 19 home runs and 35 doubles. His 87 runs batted in were second most in the league sandwiched in between teammates Christian Santana and Omar Estevez. Thomas led the league in total bases with 248 while finishing second with 82 runs. On the year he hit .285 with an OBP of .355.

 

Designated Hitter – Jacob Scavuzzo (Drillers)

Scavuzzo also seems to be an invisible man. Selected in the 21st round of the 2012 June Draft out of Villa Park High School he has been in the Dodgers system for seven years which should make him eligible for minor league free agency. During the past season he hit .266 with an OBP of .317. His 24 home runs were second only to teammates DJ Peters while his 79 runs batted in were fifth most in the league. His .550 slugging percentage led the league.

 

Dodger Chatter: All-Stars in Waiting – Pitchers

 

Right-Hand Starter: Alfredo Tavarez (Loons)

Tavarez was signed as an international free agent by the Dodgers in 2016 and came stateside in 2017. He slowed down a bit towards of end of the season, his second stint with the Loons, but posted good numbers for a 20-year-old in the Midwest League pitching against many college players. His final numbers included a 3.33 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. With a few more innings he would have been included in the top five with his ERA. Over 95.1 innings he struck out 67 and did have some control issues walking 67. On May 28 he tossed five hitless innings.

 

Left-Hand Starter: Ben Holmes (Drillers)

Holmes was signed by the Dodgers in early July after he had been released by the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Advanced A Florida State League. He had initially been selected by the Miami Marlins in the ninth round of the 2014 Amateur Draft.  The now 27-year-old left-hander had pitched only 7.2 innings above the Class-A+ level in his five years in the Marlins organization. After a stop with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in which he posted a 1.06 ERA over 17 innings he was assigned to the Tulsa Drillers and became a significant piece in their championship run. With the Drillers he pitched 38.1 innings with an ERA of 2.82 and a WHIP of 0.97. He also had two solid starts in the play-offs posting a 2.53 ERA. Holmes took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his Drillers debut finishing with one hit over seven innings. Leo Crawford who fell off the Dodgers Top 30 charts re-established himself with the Quakes posting a 2.77 ERA along with a WHIP of 1.14 over 68.1 innings and causing a coin toss for left-handed starter.

 

Right-Hand Relief: Andre Scrubb (Drillers)

Scrubb – 6’4”/265-pounds – was selected by the Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of High Point University. He has had smooth sailing except for his time with the Great Lakes Loons during the 2018 season.  Once he was moved up to the Quakes and the Drillers he became pretty much unhittable. On the season he posted a 2.86 ERA along with a 1.25 WHIP. He struck out 72 in 63 innings pitched while walking 32.  It was difficult to not include Shea Spitzbarth, the Drillers relief workhorse, but Scrubb was chosen because of his progress during the season.

 

Left-Hand Relief: Logan Salow (Quakes)

Logan Salow was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the sixth round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft. He was acquired by the Dodgers on April 25th in a trade that sent right-hander Wilmer Font to the Athletics. After a slow start to his season he settled in with the Quakes posting a 2.82 ERA and a WHIP of 1.19 over 44.2 innings. He struck out 56 and walked 12. Salow made four appearances in the Quakes championship run holding opponents to  a .077 batting average.

 

Closer: Melvin Jimenez

I think this was a time for Melvin Jimenez to get things straightened out and that relief will not be part of his near future. After an almost disastrous start to his season the 19-year-old right-hander returned to Arizona for some fine tuning. He returned to the Loons in late May in a relief role morphing into a closer role as the season wound down. As a reliever he posted a 2.61 ERA and a WHIP of 0.94 over 41.1 innings while striking out 45 and walking 16. Over his last nine appearances in 9.2 innings he allowed but two hits and no runs.

 

This article has 64 Comments

  1. Nice All Star list, thank u!

    Now, the season/playoffs/road to October/whatever you want to call it starts today! Cards Cubs at 11am. I”ll be pounding water and doing pushups all day to remain calm.

    I feel we’re getting in, I just don’t know how…

  2. Who’s ready for a game 163 for the NL West in LA on Monday, followed by a trip to StL for a wild card play in game on Tuesday, followed by a trip to Milwaukee for a wild card game on Wednesday, followed by a trip to Chicago for the NLDS on Thursday????

    1. Since we have basically two different lineups we can run out there, maybe we can just play two split-squad games on Tuesday instead 🙂 #40manrosterproblems

      1. yes, the WC game would be pushed back a day. And we’re not factoring in rain in any of these cities (including LA, where rain is expected next week)

    2. We aren’t quite KOed from the division yet. Thusly I’m still hoping to sweep Giants and Nats get 2 of three. Better yet is Nats sweep!

  3. If anyone is, then it’s you Bobby.
    Sure you can find business to do in each of those places on successive days.

    Golf is good.
    Go Europe!! (Good to be European sometimes )

  4. DC – thanks for the informative post. Nice to think about the future as we watch the present evaporate before our eyes. Couple of players that I might have added are: Donovan Casey – he was derailed by injuries, but I think he has tremendous potential. I also like Stephen Kolek as a pitcher and it appears he has some good potential as well.
    .
    Thanks again for all the information you and AC provide on the minor league players. I enjoy following them, however, my work doesn’t allow me the time to go as in depth as you and AC go.

    1. Yeah, at these low levels it’s crazy how hard it is to separate the wheat from the chaff. For example, in 2017 Starling Heredia and Caleb Ferguson were both at Single A [CB in A+ and SH in A-]. Look at their divergent paths since.

    2. Kolek is one of my absolute favorites. I could only pick one RH reliever. Casey, as you say, was derailed by injury. With the Loons I also really like left-handers Austin Drury and Bryan Warzek.

  5. It’s down to the last 3 games, and Bumgarner missed his start on Wednesday so he can pitch against the Dodgers tonight. The Dodgers know what they must do, let’s see if they can.

      1. We can’t leave Puig out of the line up, against Bumgarner!

        Even if Puig doesn’t get a hit tonight, just his presence in the line up, will make Bumgarner become unhinged.

  6. I just had a thought. For those of you think Roberts overmanages during a regular game, just imagine what he might do in a single-game play-in situation!

  7. cubs already up 2-0 on STL
    *
    nice insurance policy to fall back on
    *
    sorry if this has been answered before, but if LA/COL finish with the same record and it’s better than STL’s, would the division and WC spots just be handed out based on head-to-head OR would we still play a play-in. i seem to recall a situation like this [with SD?] where we finished tied but they took the division. this was before the single-game play-in.

    1. If the Dodgers and Rox are tied they would play a single game tie breaker in LA since the Dodgers took the season series 12 -7.

  8. In a must win game… this is the lineup I’d like to see tonight.

    Kike (2B)
    JT
    Freeze (1B)
    Manny
    Bellinger (CF)
    Puig (RF)
    Grandal
    Verdugo (LF)
    Ryu

    1. Val

      That isn’t a bad idea, since Kike’ isn’t good at getting hits, when runners are in scoring position.

      And Cody has had a hit off Bumgarner, each of the last couple years.

      Also, Cody and Puig can cover a lot of ground in that big park.

      And we know Verdugo’s biggest strength is against lefties, and we can’t say the same, about many of this team.

      1. Yeah… it’s not perfect, but I think it’s just the most balanced lineup we can send out there right now.

        I don’t think Kike is an ideal leadoff hitter, but I like his energy and I think he needs to be in there right now. He makes me a little nervous when he plays the outfield, but he’s been really solid at second and short all year.

        And I think you need to have your best outfielders playing from the start of the game… since runs might be hard to come by with Bum on the mound. So Puig and Belli for sure and either Verdugo or CT in left field. Taylor did not look comfortable at the plate the last two games… so I’d prefer it if he doesn’t start the game.

        I like Muncy and Kemp coming off the bench to pinch hit in key moments of the game, but I wouldn’t start them today.

    1. Me. The Dodgers have been entirely unpredictable in these circumstances all year. Bum usually pitches (and hits) well against The Blue and the Giants have nothing to lose and would love nothing more than to ruin LA’s season.

  9. To state the obvious, this is a critical weekend. But I just do not mean for this season. If the Dodgers continue to fall flat, what does that portend for next year? If you cannot get up for this series, then there is something wrong. The Rockies have thus far proven that they want the division. They swept AZ and Philly while the Dodgers went 3-3 against the Padres and DBacks. The Rockies did not just beat their competition, they dominated them. As a result, they now control the division. I do not see them struggling against Washington at home. Pure and simple, the Rockies want it. The Dodgers??? Who knows?
    .
    The Giants and the Dodgers are not two evenly matched teams. With a critical weekend series for the playoffs, the Dodgers should sweep the Giants. They are the better team, and we are no longer in the middle of a 162 game schedule. There is no longer any reason to rest anyone for October. Put the best 8 out there and win or lose with them. Tonight has to include Kike’. Maybe MadBum gets him tonight, but history shows that Kike’ owns Bumgarner. Puig instills some other kind of reactions from Bumgarner. Puig should be in there just to incite something stupid from Bumgarner. They should not need a bench clearing brawl to get them inspired, but I have no idea what will.
    .
    The Dodgers should play as if they believe the Rockies and Cardinals will win all three of their games this weekend, which means they need to win all three to get into the WC. I do not see the Rockies losing 2 to the Nats, and I do not see the Dodgers sweeping the Giants. But the Cubs should beat the Cardinals at least 2 games, and that should be enough to get them into a WC. But this year, who knows?

    1. Ugh! Yeah… let’s hope he proves us wrong, but having Dozier in there doesn’t make any sense to me either.

      And not having Puig in there is yet again managerial / organizational malpractice.

      1. I had to look at Dozier’s numbers against Bumgarner, and he has one hit off Bumgarner this year.

        But Dozier is hitting 180 since he has been on the Dodgers.

  10. Damn, Taylor and Dozier in the same lineup. Where the hell is Puig? So tired of the sabermetric lineups. Go with #%#%# hot hand no matter if they are lefty or righty. Totally unimpressive lineup. Freese should be playing in all 3 games, as should Kike, they are hot. CT3 still averages 2 strike outs per game, totally unacceptable for play off baseball. So this is how we come charging out of the gate. Wow…..

    1. Whatever you do, don’t try to understand the logic behind FAZ and Doc’s lineups and/or in game decision making.

      I’ve tried it a few times before and it hurts my brain something awful.

  11. I feel like it is Dozier playing in place of Puig tonight. Kike is playing RF, but could be at 2nd with Puig in RF. This really disappoints me. I hope Dozier makes me feel better.

  12. Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated:

    Maybe not….

    I am back from Hawaii. Great vacation, but on the last day, my wife and I both came down with Type A Influenza. The two 11 hour flights were the most miserable hours of my life. We got in at 5 AM. Our son picked us up and we have been sleeping all day.

    I just woke up and got a cup of coffee and a piece of toast (my first food in two days), to get ready to watch the game tonight.

    This here, is what it is all about!

    1. Mark

      That had to be miserable for both of you on that plane, I’m sorry to hear that.

      Good thing your home now though!

  13. Nationals doing there best impression of the Dodgers tonight. Lots of traffic on the bases, loud outs, and no runs. Unlike the Phillies I believe they will compete all weekend though.

      1. And there goes the lead. Washington has had the bases full of people all game and blew a bunch of opportunities. Now Ross is getting shelled. Let’s hope Washington can come back.

    1. Kemp’s numbers are horrific vs Bumgarner. Having Dozier and Kemp in over Puig is stupid. Our manager is set with his platoon no matter what the players splits say or their matchup history.

  14. Getting ahead of myself, but in the event the Dodgers should happen to clinch a wildcard tomorrow, would they start Buehler on Sunday, or would they hold him back to start the wildcard game?

  15. I am sorry please explain Dozier and Kemp over Puig and Muncy/Bellinger in a must win?
    Failure to ever divert from platoons is why we are headed to Milwaukee in Tuesday instead of waiting for the wild card winner at home, resting up. Thx FAZ and Dummy

  16. Hopefully Buehler is held back if we somehow clinch by tomorrow. More faith in him then Hill, feel Hill is very homer prone right now and would not play well in Milwaukee.

    Resign Dozier 10 years 200 million, it so funny we chased him for years, got him and then this atrocity of hitting. Thx Dummy and FAZ.

  17. I’m thinking we have to know the overall makeup of a playoff roster, whether it’s vs Mil, Chicago, or Atl. And I can’t imagine any scenario where Dozier makes it. So why the F is he playing now in games that matter?

    Just admit this deal was a mistake, and move on. To keep playing him is moronic.

    1. I will say this, I guarantee Roberts didn’t make out this line up himself.

      He had help fom the guys in the front office too.

      I am sure there was a meeting between our bench coach, Roberts, and the guys in the front office.

  18. I am so tired of watching Alexander walk people. He has one slumping batter to face with a two run lead. He does the only thing you can’t do which is walk the guy.

  19. Alexander, wood and Ferguson are the three lefties in the pen. Jansen, maeda, floro, Baez. Stripling are the righties. Case closed. Maybe use urias In a play-in game. Fields too. Rosscup is out of luck.

  20. The more Cody does that, the better he will be. And I’m talking about the hit, although the stolen base wasn’t bad.

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