Julio Urias, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson among top 11 prospects (FanGraphs.com).

Julio Urias

Julio Urias, 18, is fourth on FanGraphs’ list of the top 200 prospects in baseball. (Associated Press photo)

Julio Urias, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson continue to lay waste to the 2015 prospect rankings.

In the latest glorified opinion, Urias is fourth, Seager is sixth, and Pederson 11th on FanGraphs’ Top 200 prospect list. Right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes, the Dodgers’ first-round pick out of high school last year, is 89th. Andrew Heaney, whom the Dodgers traded to the Angels to acquire Howie Kendrick, is 50th.

Pitcher Chris Anderson and outfielder Alex Verdugo also made the list but were not ranked (players 143-200 were not assigned a specific numerical ranking).

For Urias, Seager and Pederson, it’s time to play baseball. The Sporting News, Baseball Prospectus and MLB.com all ranked the three prospects similarly high on their lists. (BaseballAmerica.com, we’re waiting.) All of this makes their arrival in major-league camp one of the top storylines of spring training — which I wrote about over the weekend.

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Corey Seager tops list of top 10 Dodgers prospects (DodgersDigest.com).

We’ve read enough prospect-ranking lists lately to declare late January/early February its own “season.”

Prospect ranking season.

This might be the end of prospect ranking season. At the very least, we’re close.

DodgersDigest.com released its list of the organization’s top 10 prospects. Click on over for the details; here’s the list of 10:

10. Darnell Sweeney
9. Scott Schebler
8. Zach Lee
7. Alex Verdugo
6. Jose De Leon
5. Chris Anderson
4. Grant Holmes
3. Joc Pederson
2. Julio Urias
1. Corey Seager

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Update: 27 Dodgers prospects will participate in winter development camp.

Jarret Martin

Twenty-seven prospects will invade Dodger Stadium this week for the club’s annual winter development camp. (Associated Press photo)

Eighteen-year-old pitching prospect Julio Urias, who was invited to his first major league spring training last week, will take part in the Dodgers’ winter development camp for prospects this week at Dodger Stadium.

Urias is one of 27 prospects who will take part in this year’s camp, up from 15 a year ago. Earlier today we posted a partial list of four prospects who will take part in the eighth annual camp (Grant Holmes, Jose De Leon, Cody Bellinger, Ryan Scott).

The other 23 participants include pitcher Zach Lee, who also took part in last year’s camp and spent all season at Triple-A. Pitchers Carlos Frias and Daniel Coulombe, who earned their first major league call-ups last September, have also been invited. Another pitcher of note is Ross Stripling, who underwent Tommy John surgery in spring training of last year.

Catcher Austin Barnes, who was acquired in the trade that sent Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Miami Marlins, will take part in the camp. So will outfielders Scott Schebler and Darnell Sweeney, who will be in the Dodgers’ major league spring training camp.

Urias isn’t even the youngest invitee. That would be Michael Medina, an outfielder from the Dominican Republic who is 12 days younger than Urias. He finished last season with the Rookie-league AZL Dodgers.

Shortstop prospect Corey Seager, 20, was invited to spring training but was not invited to the camp.

Here’s the full list, via DodgerInsider.com:
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Julio Urias, Corey Seager headline list of Dodgers’ 17 non-roster invitees to spring training.

Julio Urias

Prospect Julio Urias, 18, pitched one Cactus League inning for the Dodgers in 2014 and did not allow a runner to reach base. (Associated Press photo)

Eighteen-year-old pitching prospect Julio Urias has earned a non-roster invitation to the Dodgers’ 2015 spring training camp. He and top shortstop prospect Corey Seager headline a list of 17 non-roster invitees to the Dodgers’ spring training camp announced Friday.

Shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena, who was designated for assignment nine days ago with four years remaining on his $25 million contract, is also in that group.

Here is the full list:
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Daily Distractions: On close calls on the basepaths, has Yasiel Puig run out of luck?

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig has been thrown out on the bases seven times this season. (Getty Images)

The Dodgers have seen 15 runners thrown out on the basepaths this season. That’s two fewer than the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals in a statistical category that no team wants to lead.

Yasiel Puig is single-handedly responsible for seven of those misfortunes, tied with Pittsburgh’s Starling Marte for the MLB lead. Puig was doubled off first base in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader in Minnesota. Umpire Tim Welke had a good look at the play from his vantage point at second base. Welke had an even better look at this play in the night game (from Yahoo.com):

With one out, Puig beat out a chopper up the middle that second baseman Brian Dozier threw in the dirt to first base. Chris Colabello couldn’t pick it and the ball hopped past him, with catcher Yosmil Pinto backing up the play. After he ran through the bag, Puig sharply turned his head to the right to check for the ball’s location. It was evident from Puig’s body language that Puig wanted to take an extra base, but when he saw Pinto with the ball, he applied the brakes. If Puig’s left shoulder began to dip toward second, the rest of his body actually leaned right. He never left the baseline, never crossed the foul line. He stopped, turned around clockwise (that’s away from second base), and started walking back to the bag like an innocent man who just had hit an infield single.

When Pinto tagged Puig, Welke signaled that Puig was out. Was that the right call? Judge for yourself.

The Yahoo! article suggested that Welke “seemed to be looking for a reason to call Puig out.” Without interviewing Welke, a veteran of 29 major-league seasons and the crew chief last night, it’s impossible to know that for sure.

Psychology tells us that there might have been a very real phenomenon at work. It’s called the confirmation bias and we’re all susceptible to it at some point, on some level. Reading further into the well-sourced Wikipedia entry on the topic, “even if people gather and interpret evidence in a neutral manner, they may still remember it selectively to reinforce their expectations.”

A player who’s already been thrown out on the basepaths six times in a month (Puig) can be reasonably expected to make the same mistake again. Puig’s mistake in the first game might have reinforced that expectation for everyone in the ballpark, including the second-base umpire. Given a split second to make his call at first base in the second game, Welke could easily have fallen prey to confirmation bias. That’s not an opinion — that’s a real possibility, reinforced repeatedly in scientifically valid experiments. Welke might not have been aware of a possible confirmation bias at work in his own mind. Even if reporters were given the chance to interview him after the game, the interview might not have cleared up the question.

Here’s what we do know: The more outs he runs into, the more Puig hurts his chances of getting the benefit of the doubt in situations like the one Thursday night in Minnesota.

Thursday was still a good day for Puig on the whole. The Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN) said that Puig is the first Dodgers player to reach base eight times in a doubleheader since Bill Buckner against the Giants in 1976.

Some bullet points for a Baby Day:
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