Any discussion of the first basemen in the Dodger system begins with someone asking, "How's James Loney hitting?" for certainly he's been the designated heir apparent at that position virtually since he signed as a first round draft choice in 2002. The answer seems to be, "Well, maybe not as bad as it appears."
Certainly, the figures aren't impressive -- .211 with five home runs and 17 runs batted in. However, Loney, himself, isn't discouraged for he says, " I'm seeing the ball well and I'm hitting it well. It's just been going right at somebody. But if I keep hitting the ball like this, they'll start falling in sooner or later."
It also should be noted that home run number five, hit Tuesday night, tops the total that he hit in 104 games last season. His season's best is seven, stroked at Vero Beach in 2003 so this might be an indication that he's developing the power that many feel he'll produce down the road. He also has six doubles thus far.
As for the others, Brian Myrow at Las Vegas hasn't been doing much at the plate, either -- .222-2-16 although he has picked it up lately. Myrow, though, is regarded as a possible major league fill-in at best.
On the other hand, Cory Dunlap, who made an impressive debut at Ogden in 2004 with a .351-7-53 season, is doing nothing to discourage the notion that he's a hitting prospect to be considered. Playing at Vero, he's currently at .328-2-23 with 11 two-base knocks.
And at Columbus, Dan Batz, who has been moved from the outfield where he was stationed last year at Ogden back to his amateur position, has notched his game up at well. Going 4-for-4 Tuesday, he now is hitting .305 although he has yet to display the desired power for the position with only one shot out of the park.