Unless he experiences a miraculous change in body type, this Dodgers prospect isn’t going to be a shortstop in the majors. Cal Ripken Jr. has been the only one Seager’s height to stay at the position, and Seager, who turns 21 in April, already has about 20 pounds on Ripken. Seager still has MVP-type upside at third base, where I expect him to be an above-average or better defender, just as his brother Kyle has become, but with a much stronger hit tool.
Seager’s swing isn’t textbook, but it’s very quiet, especially in light of the thunder it produces, producing strong contact rates as well as plus power. He loads his hands a little low and deep, but he gets to everything — velocity, spin, inside and outside pitches — and has the ability to drive the ball the other way with what seems like a flick of his wrists. He has been young at every level he has played in pro ball, even skipping the complex league in 2012 to go right to Ogden, and has been able to make significant adjustments, including killing the tendency to let his front side go soft that led to a brief struggle at the end of 2013. Kyle Seager has turned into one of the top 20 players in the majors, but even as good as he is, brother Corey has the potential to be much better.
The Dodgers also placed pitcher Julio Urias (9) and outfielder Joc Pederson (28) in Law’s top 50. ESPN.com will release numbers 51-100 tomorrow.
Their front three prospects are the strongest in the game, and their top 10 is still strong, but it thins out very quickly beyond their 10th or 11th guy. In terms of just guys with the potential to be stars, they rival the Cubs and Twins.
The Cubs took the top spot on Law’s list. The Twins ranked second.
As for the Dodgers’ top three prospects, the consensus trio is pitcher Julio Urias, outfielder Joc Pederson and shortstop Corey Seager (in some order). That’s true both inside the organization and outside.
Law ranked the Dodgers’ organization 22nd as recently as 2011.
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.
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.
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.
A photo posted by J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) on
One question was posed to me several times this week: Are the Dodgers done making moves?
No. Ask Andrew Friedman or Farhan Zaidi or any GM, and he’ll say his work is never finished. There’s always an intriguing minor-league free agent somewhere (see: Chin-Hui Tsao), an injury waiting to happen. Some person or event will inevitably shift a team’s needs. Baseball is a dynamic sport. The only constant is change.
OK, so the Dodgers have made a lot of moves recently and thrown around a lot of money in the process. But how much money, and where have all those moves left the 2015 club?
Here’s what got me thinking about this. Zaidi has already said that obtaining an eighth inning-type reliever is something the Dodgers will look at, either via trade or free agency. As I wrote yesterday, if the Dodgers have reason to be concerned with their roster, it might be what happens with the ninth inning if Kenley Jansen is hurt or sputtering.
Then I tried to figure out how adding a proven eighth-inning pitcher, someone who would cost more than your typical middle reliever, would impact the Dodgers’ current roster balance and payroll. That’s when this little thought exercise got messy. And complicated. Spreadsheets were needed. God help you if you’re a non-roster invitee trying to make this team out of spring training.
The Dodgers’ payroll is bursting at the seams because of pricey former players and potential 25-man roster guys. Still.
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.
The three players, widely regarded as the top three prospects in the organization, will all be at Dodger Stadium to be honored in a pregame ceremony tonight. Pederson will be in uniform because he was promoted to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster on Sept. 1.
Urias had been taking part in the Arizona Instructional League. The 18-year-old left-hander spent the entire season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and went 2-2 with a 2.36 ERA in 25 games (20 starts), and a 1.20 ERA (6 ER/45.0 IP) in 12 games (10 starts) after the All-Star break.
Seager, who turned 20 on April 27, was selected to Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star Team, batting a combined .349 with a minor league-best 50 doubles, five triples, 20 homers, the second-most extra-base hits in the minors (75) and 97 RBI in 118 games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga in his third professional season.
Pederson, 22, was also the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year in 2012. In his first full season at Triple-A, he produced the fourth 30-home run/30-stolen base campaign in Pacific Coast League history.
I’ve never had an 18-year-old that I’ve played with or managed with that kind of polish with four pitches. You watch him throw a bullpen [session], it’s special. You watch him attack hitters during a game, it’s special. There’s really not enough adjectives to explain or talk about his development this year because it just seems to continue to grow.
From where he started in April, with his struggles through May, as he continued to get better until now, like tonight, he just made it look really, really easy.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was a bit less verbose when asked if Urias had been discussed as a candidate for a September call-up.