Rick Scuteri/USA Today

Updating the Los Angeles Dodgers' Top Prospects at AA Tulsa.

Here's a look at the Dodgers' top AA Prospects.

The Drillers have hit upon some rough times this past week, losing five in a row and six of seven.  For the second half, they sit at 16-16 in the second half and 53-48 overall. Here is a look at some key prospects currently at work in Tulsa.



Player

Season

Past Week

Comment

Cody Bellinger, 1B/OF

PA: 316

.252/.345/.434

12 HR

wRC+ 124

BB% 12% K% 22

BABIP .292

PA:  37

.156/.243/.281

1 HR

wRC+ 50

BB% 11  K% 22

BABIP .167

Bellinger has put up a solid season thus far in his first season of AA ball. His name continues to be among the most desired Dodger prospects (after Urias and De Leon) as we hit the stretch run towards the trade deadline.  That being said, he’s definitely hit a slump this past week, although his peripherals remain essentially the same, so we’re likely not looking at a sudden lack of patience at the plate. His .167 BABIP also suggests he’s run into some bad luck on batted balls as well. It will be interesting to see how long it takes him to adjust to what AA pitchers have started doing to him thus far into the season, but he remains at the top of position player prospects who haven’t actually been promoted to Los Angeles this year.

. Alex Verdugo, CF

PA: 373

.291/.351/.448

11 HR

wRC+ 126

BB% 8%

K% 22%

BABIP .309

PA:  32

.207/.250/.276

0 HR

wRC+ 47

BB% 6.3

K% 6.3

BABIP .214

The Dodger Lefty outfielder has handled in-season promotion very well, and at 20 years and 2 months is on a solid pace of progression up the Dodger system.  At 6’ 200 LBS he’s shown some decent pop with his 11 home runs, and for context his .291 average is fifth-best in the Texas League.  

Verdugo has spent the last week in a bit of a tailspin like Bellinger.  He has drastically reduced his K% over the past seven days, so he’s not getting overwhelmed by AA pitching suddenly.  Like Bellinger, his .214 BABIP suggest some bad luck rather than him hitting some wall.  It’s hard to project a place for him in the big club’s outfield, but barring an absolute collapse to close out this year he’s earned a spot in the mix for AAA in 2017.

Willie Calhoun, 2B

PA:  403

.263/.326/.499

HR: 22

wRC+: 132

BB% 8

K % 13.2

BABIP .251

PA: 38

.324/.368/.794

5 HR

wRC+: 220

BB% 5.3

K%: 13.2

BABIP: .240

Calhoun has emerged has an extremely interesting prospect in 2016.  You don’t get a lot of middle infielders leading the Texas League in homers, but 22 HR’s in 403 PA’s is impossible to ignore, regardless of position. Even better, he’s doing it without the benefit of any batted ball luck whatsoever.  Calhoun could certainly improve on his 6.3% walk rate, which isn’t likely to sustain the numbers he’s putting up now at the major league level,should he get there.  However, at 21 years and 8 months, there’s no pressing concern about plate discipline, certainly with the power surge he’s putting on this year. A 13.2% K Rate is also more than acceptable from a player slugging .499 on the year.

Calhoun has been hot this week, and that’s with a .240 BABIP. With Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick an unlikely part of the Dodger plans beyond 2017, Calhoun would certainly seem a decent bet to start next season at AAA, where he’d be looking up at Micah  Johnson and possibly Austin Barnes.  However, with no certainty that Utley will be back in 2017 and Kendrick signed only for 2017, there’s  a path for Calhoun to a position of need at the MLB level should he maintain the hitting profile he’s shown.

Chase De Jong, RHP

19 G 19 GS

111 IP

8.11 K/9

2.59 ERA 3.83 FIP

1.14 HR/9

.210 BABIP

100/30 K/BB

0.94 WHIP

1 G 1 GS

9 IP (CG)

1 ER 2 H

7 K

2 BB

De Jong’s profile is solid, though there needs to be some BABIP caution here. His sub-1 WHIP certainly thanks batted ball luck for his troubles.  He’s not missing bats at the same rates of a Urias or a De Leon, but his ERA, WHIP, and innings pitched lead the Texas League, and his 100 K’s are fifth. At 6’4” 185 there seems like there’s some room for him to add weight as he looks to jump to AAA in 2017.

Scott Barlow, RHP

17 G 17 GS

88.1 IP

6.93 K/9

4.18 ERA 4.22 FIP

.82 HR/9

.299 BABIP

1.44 WHIP

68/36 BB

1 G 1 GS

5 IP 1 ER 3 H

5 K 4 BB

Command has been the major issue for Barlow in his time in AA this year.  After earning a cup of coffee (3.2 IP) at the end of last year in AAA, Barlow has been in Tulsa all season this year and his start this past week is a good indicator of where his game is at. None of the prospects above him have K/BB below 2/1, which is where Barlow sits right now. His 5 K and 4 BB in his last start pretty much sums it up:  to move forward, he needs to miss more bats and establish some more command.

Kyle Farmer, C/3B

155 PA’s

.296/.342/.465

3 HR

128 wRC+

6.5%BB 11.6% K

.317 BABIP

18 PA

.294/.333/.647

2 HR

156 wRC+

5.6% BB

5.6% K

.214 BABIP

Farmer made a class jump from rookie ball to AA, and his numbers so far warrant the promotion. He’s been getting some batted ball luck, and his BB rate likely needs to improve for him to make a legit MLB candidate, but as a catcher, he’s not going to need to hit that well to advance.  

He’s been hot this week, hammering two of his three home runs with no batted ball luck whatsoever. Considering he’s an 8th round pick, the Dodgers are getting a real value if he’s able to maintain his production and get himself to AAA in 2017.





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