Dodger Prospect Willie Aybar

43rd in a series as we count down among the top Dodger prospects.

Position- Infielder
Residence- Bani, D.R.
DOB- March 9, 1983
04 Club- Jacksonville (AA)

Willie Aybar made a major position switch quite successfully in 2004 while advancing at the plate at the same time. All this while moving up a notch in classification.

Aybar was moved from third to second this past season, not in any way because he didn't handle the former well for he has the quickness, hands and power arm that are desired. At the same time he certainly added to his desirability for he mastered second quite well, too, learning to make the double play with style.

The move was made in part because it was thought that he might not have the power required of a third baseman but he disabused that as well with 16 home runs, a personal best, plus 27 doubles to drive in 77 runs while batting .276.

He's been touted ever since receiving over $ 1 million to sign at age 16 in 2000. His progress forward has been steady, a classification each season. A switch-hitter, he is quicker with the bat from the right side but not at all outclassed from the left where he drives the ball to all fields. He's a battler at the plate although he still needs more pitch recognition.

He should open the season in AAA and could get a call-up before the year ends, depending on the circumstances.