Congrats to Jerry Sands on making the big leagues! All Dodger fans are rooting for him now.
What this means, though, is that a few players are flying under the radar.
Dee Gordon improved a bad start to the season into his regular looking stat line: .298/.333/.383. Of course, the focus on Dee isn’t offense, but defense, and it looks like he’s become pretty adept at making quick transfers from fielding the ball to throwing it.
In spring training
And in a game for the Dukes
Rough camera work on that second one, but you can see he’s doing the same motion he did in spring training. Transferability of skills from practice to games is a major plus.
Trayvon Robinson, likewise, has improved his average from a rough sub-.200 start to an average .278. His line so far is a nice even .278/.350/.500 with three extra base hits (one triple, two homers) in 40 PA.
There’s no current video of him in Albuquerque, so use your imagination.
It’s been a while since you’ve heard this name: Roman Colon. That’s right, the same one. The 31-year-old is dominating in the PCL and has given up one run on three hits and no walks in 5.2 innings. He’s the featured closer for the Dukes and although it’s a small sample size, it seems like he’d be the first person to be called up for bullpen help.
Rubby De La Rosa is the star. You’ve heard his name brought up once or twice, but now it seems his legend is growing. Here’s ESPN’s Keith Law’s report from 2009:
“The best stuff of the day belonged to Rubby de la Rosa of the Dodgers, who turned 20 earlier this month and has yet to pitch in a pro game in the United States. De la Rosa sat at 91-95 mph with a solid change-up from 84-86 that he turns over hard. His breaking ball was a slow curve in the mid-70s, although the harder he threw it the sharper the break became. He clearly has the arm speed to throw a good breaking ball and the laxity in his wrist to throw a curve, so it might just be a matter of development with better coaches as he moves up. The two red flags on de la Rosa were poor command Monday and the fact that his listed weight of 170 might be generous.”
And Keith Law just a couple of weeks ago:
Scout just texted me to say he saw Rubby de la Rosa hit 100 with “a wipeout slider”
That is to say, he was hitting 100 with the fastball and he also has a wipeout slider.
I’m working on getting video for this one, stay tuned.
Strangely, Nathan Eovaldi has been putting up the exact same numbers as Rubby: 10 innings pitched, 2 earned runs, on seven hits and four walks. Eovaldi has 12 strike outs to Rubby’s 13.
And Chris Withrow has started 2011 off with some issues: 10 innings pitched, 7 runs (all earned), 11 hits, 6 walks, and two home runs. Ouch. Here’s hoping it gets better.
A player who’s flying under the radar: OF Alfredo Silverio. Silverio is 24 and has had some success at every level he’s played in. He’s a bit on the older side, certainly, but this is what he’s putting up so far in 35 PAs: .313/.343/.719. Yes, that is an awfully high slugging percentage: 1 double, 3 triples, 2 homers. He’s never gotten many walks, and it may be too late for him, but you’ll probably hear about him in ABQ before the year is over (or maybe just next week, since Sands was promoted).
Kyle Russell was a bitter debate point last year. Russell had power and average in A+, but was 24 already. Starting in AA Chattanooga, he’s done well enough for himself in 43 PAs: .289/.372/.447.
In Rancho Cucamonga:
Jake Lemmerman (22yo SS) was a hot name at the end of last year and he was promoted from Rookie league Ogden to A+ Rancho this year. An impressive jump, but questions are still abound about whether or not his dominance last year in Ogden was simply because he was above his age group.
Well Lemmerman has done well early, but has struggled with contact in 53 PAs: .261/.340/.413. That’s four doubles and one homer. The contact drop probably has more to do with adjusting to A+ than anything, but we’ll keep an eye on Lemmerman as the year progresses.
So you can see a video of Lemmerman, here he is playing for Duke vs. UVA just before the 2010 draft:
Not a bad swing, let’s see how it plays out later.
In the mold of Kyle Russell, Blake Smith (23yo OF) was a decent power hitter playing above his age group in A Great Lakes last year. This year, Smith is in Rancho and the power and contact have weakened, though we’re only 55 PAs in: .250/.345/.417.
The three hot pitching names this year in Rancho are Allen Webster (21), Ethan Martin (22) and Matt Magill (21). Though Webster and Martin were the hotter names last year, it’s Magill who’s doing the showing off.
Magill: 12 IP, 7 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 0 home runs, 9 strike outs, 3 walks
Webster: 16.1 IP, 18 hits, 11 runs, 10 earned, 1 home run, 18 strike outs, 9 walks
Martin: 12 IP, 12 hits, 10 runs, 10 earned runs, 3 home runs, 10 strike outs, 4 walks
Important thing to note for Martin is that his walks are way down. This may be a reason why his numbers are spiked so high–he’s focusing way more on control than working on his stuff. Likewise, Webster may be focusing on something other than end results. This is pretty typical in the Dodgers system, though maybe Webster and Martin are just not doing as well against tougher competition.
In Great Lakes:
The big name so far on offense for the Loons is Jonathan Garcia, a toolsy 19-year-old OF who has only improved his line since our last post on him (in 51 PAs): .313/.353/.813, six homers, six doubles. He leads all of the league with six home runs, which is more than his number of walks (3). He’ll probably get a promotion to A+ soon.
Another name you may be familiar with via the 2010 draft is Leon Landry. Landry has struggled mightily out of the gate (50 PAs): .190/.286/.238 with one triple. We’ll keep an eye on him.
Zach Lee: 14.0 IP, 14 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 0 home runs, 7 walks, 21 Ks
Garrett Gould: 11.0 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs (both earned), 1 home run, 4 walks, 8 Ks
Gould’s numbers aren’t as gaudy, for sure, but he’s almost as effective. The coolest thing to note is Gould’s lack of hits against. Lee, meanwhile, has 21 Ks and a 3.0 K/BB ratio, which will likely improve as the season goes on–something for him to work on.