LaRoche Tops L.A. Farm System in Runs Created

It was no particular surprise that third baseman Andy LaRoche led the Dodger minor league system by creating 77.8 runs during the 2005 season while playing at both Vero Beach and Jacksonville. And young Dodger outfielders show promise for the future.

The 20-year-old LaRoche was a much wanted man during the offseason, with many clubs anxious if not to say eager, to trade for what may be the shiniest stone in a crowded crown of Dodger minor league talent.

Runs created is an estimate of the number of team runs that would result from the player's offensive statistics. The formula includes hits plus walks times total bases and divided by plate appearances.

And while the system is deep in outstanding infield prospects, outfielders Ruggiano (4th), Kemp (5th) and Raglani (6th) indicate that help in the garden area is on its way.

Second baseman Travis Denker, splitting time between Columbus and Vero, was a strong second (72.7), followed by veteran outfielder Brian Myrow (71.1), Justin Ruggiano (67.3), who performed in both Vero and Jacksonville and Matt Kemp, Vero's powerhouse (65.3) fill out the top five.

The second five included outfielder Anthony Raglani of Vero Beach, shortstop Joel Guzman and first baseman James Loney of Jacksonville, Blake DeWitt, who played in Columbus and Vero. and recently departed Todd Donovan.

For those who have felt that James Loney has not progressed as expected, note that he finished seventh, five-tenths of a run behind shortstop Joel Guzman.

It is apparent that while Jacksonville boasted the best minor league team in the country, Vero Beach was only a tick behind them and could have been even better had LaRoche, Ruggiano and Tony Abreu not been promoted to the Suns during the season.

Listed below are the top 20 players ranked by runs created; the top two players at each defensive position as well as the leaders of each of the full season clubs.

Top 20

RC - player 77.8 - Andy LaRoche 3b - VB/J
72.7 - Travis Denker 2b - C/VB
71.2 - Brian Myrow 1b - LV
67.3 - Justin Ruggiano of - VB/Jx
65.3 - Matt Kemp of - VB

64.4 - Anthony Raglani of - VB
61.2 - Joel Guzman ss - Jx
60.8 - James Loney 1b Jx
60.4 - Blake DeWitt 3b - C/VB
59.7 - Jon Weber of - Jx

59.6 - Russ Martin c - Jx
56.8 - Cody Ross of - LV
56.1 - Tony Abreu 2b - VB/J
55.5 - Tydus Meadows of - Jx
54.4 - Delwyn Young 2b - J/LV

54.3 - Chin-Lung Hu ss - VB
53.0 - Cory Dunlap 1b - VB
52.2 - Jamie Hoffmann of - C/VB
49.7 - Willie Aybar, 2b
47.9 - Willie Aybar 3b - LV

By position

Catcher
59.6 - Russell Martin, Jx
28.6 - Ed Bellorin. VB

First base
71.1 - Brian Myrow, LV
70.8 - James Loney, Jx

Second base
72.7 - Travis Denker, C/VB
56.1 - Tony Abreu, VB/Jx

Third base
77.8 - Andy LaRoche, VB/Jx
60.4 - Blake DeWitt, C/VB

Shortstop
61.2 - Joel Guzman, Jx
54.3 - Chin-Lung Hu, VB

Outfield
67.3 - Justin Ruggiano, VB/Jx
65.3 - Matt Kemp, VB
64.4 - Anthony Raglani, VB
59.7 - Jon Weber, Jx

By Team
Las Vegas
71.1 -- Brian Myrow 1b
56.8 -- Cody Ross of
47.9 -- Willie Aybar 3b
28.3 -- Dioner Navarro c
23.3 -- Nick Theodorou of

Jacksonville
61.3 -- Joel Guzman ss
60.8 -- James Loney 1b
59.7 -- Jon Weber of
59.6 -- Russ Martin c
55.5 -- Tydus Meadows of
50.7 -- Delwyn Young 2b
32.5 -- Andy LaRoche 3b
27.7 -- Justin Ruggiano of
21.8 -- Sergio Garcia ss
20.8 -- Brian Sprout 3b

Vero Beach
65.3 -- Matt Kemp of
64.4 -- Anthony Raglani of
54.3 -- Chin-Lung Hu ss
53.0 -- Cory Dunlap 1b
48.8 -- Tony Abreu 2b
43.0 -- Andy LaRoche 3b
39.5 -- Justin Ruggiano of
36.6 -- Xavier Paul of
28.6 -- Ed Bellorin c
22.6 -- Jimmy Rohan inf

Columbus
77.1 -- Ryan Carter of
66.8 -- Travis Denker 2b
54.7 -- Blake DeWitt 3b
45.7 -- Dan Batz 1b
41.1 -- Ryan Russ of
37.3 -- Luke May ss
27.6 -- Dave Nicholson of
24.6 -- Chris Westervelt c
24.1 -- Gabe Gutierrez c
21.3 -- Sergio Pedroza of

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