3B Andy LaRoche -- Prospect #2

Latest in a series on the top Dodger prospects as we count down among the very best. LaRoche is our William Schweppe Award winner as the 2005 Player of the Year.

Residence- Fort Scott, Kan.
DOB- Sept. 13, 1983
Ht- 6-1
Wt- 200
B/T- R/R
05 Clubs- Vero Beach (High A), Jacksonville (AA)

LaRoche has made quite an impression in his two-plus professional seasons. It took a $1 million bonus to sign him after he rocked the Cape Cod Summer League in 2003, and he's shown why as he was the winner of the Guy Wellman award as the organization's Rookie of the Year in 2004 when he ripped 23 home runs between Columbus and Vero Beach.

Returned to Vero to start 2005, he appeared likely to break not only the club but the Florida State League record for home runs when he reached mid-point with 21.

He left the club mark for Matt Kemp to conquer for he was promoted to Jacksonville where the power production tapered off as pitchers stayed away from his zone.

He wound up hitting nine more with his total of 30 and 94 RBI led the organization. This gained him the Bill Schweppe award as the Player of the Year.

Solidly built, LaRoche oozes power, hitting line drives that trail smoke as they leave the park. This past season he also learned a lot about taking the ball to right more since he tends to be a dead-pull man if given the opportunity.

At Jacksonville he did that well enough that there was no serious decline in his average, hitting .273 there after compiling a .333 mark at Vero. He's been something of an impatient hacker at times but he's also adjusting that as he reads pitches better.

Son of former big league pitcher Dave and brother of Atlanta's Adam, he 's a never-satisfied player, working hard to improve his game.

His arm at third is outstanding and he has more than enough quickness for the position, having played shortstop as an amateur.

Speed's not his game so he's no base-stealing threat. Now on the 40-man roster, he'll go to Las Vegas as another who's just about ready for prime time.