The Dodger Dozen Report

The minor league season has reached about the half way mark and it is past time to check out our "Dodger Dozen" prospects as listed in the 2008 Prospect Guide. Four of them are playing in The Show and we have designated each one, with a * in front of their names.

*1. LHP Clayton Kershaw --The just-turned 20 youngster has had a remarkable season already and in all likelihood, the best is yet to come. He pitched very well at Jacksonville, posting a 2.34 earned run average yet was unable to win a game due to sub-par run support. Originally brought up to be a fifth starter, he's advanced to #3 on the staff after injuries to Brad Penny ad Hiroki Kuroda. Worked four scoreless innings in Detroit before a long rain delay led the Dodger brass to decided he should pack it in for the night and he received another no decision.

*2. Inf Andy LaRoche --The hard-luck LaRoche (24) was poised to grab the starting third base job before his hand injury and when he recovered found wonderkind Blake DeWitt shooting out the lights at third base in Los Angeles. He's since adapted to first and second base in addition to his native third base spot and presently is playing against lefthanded starters and perhaps with an eye toward second base next season.

3. LHP Scott Elbert --The lefthanded power pitcher (22) didn't get back into action after an off-season operation until the last week or so but is pitching his way back into his old form and could be getting some starts in the final month of the season. After five relief appearances is is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and his holding opposing batters to a .179 average.

*4. OF Delwyn Young --It's taken six seasons of +.300 hitting for someone to recognize that this guy can really hit. Used mostly as a pinch-hitter, a rare spot for a 26-year-old, he has done the job when given a chance. Can play second, third and in the outfield well enough to someday become a regular ... but probably not with the Dodgers.

5. RHP James McDonald --Slowed early in the season by a "tired arm", McDonald (23) has begun to perform as he did in 2007 and has been discussed as a possible callup to fill in a starting spot in the injury-prone L.A. rotation. Is leading Jacksonville with 75 strikeouts and with 9.33 strikeouts per nine innings.

6. SS Chin-Lung Hu --Because of the rash of injuries on the infield, Hu (24) started the season with the Dodgers but was pretty much overwhelmed at bat. He has a major league glove, that everyone admits, but a .159 batting average with three extra bases in 107 at-bats cancels that out. He's back in Las Vegas now, trying to put his offense back in order.

7. Inf Tony Abreu --Injured when the season started and still on the disabled list, Abreu (23) is a talented performer when healthy.

8. RHP Jon Meloan --In 13 starts for Las Vegas, Meloan (23) has a 4-5 record and a 4.13 earned run average, not all that bad for the hit-happy Pacific Coast League. Has shown flashes of excellence.

*9. 3b Blake DeWitt --The headline story of the 2008 season so far, DeWitt (22) was a last-resort choice to play third base with Los Angeles and considered a stop-gap until LaRoche or Garciaparra healed up. But he grabbed the job in both of his strong hands and has carved a niche for himself at the position, hitting near .300 with some power and displaying a strong glove at third.

10. 3B Josh Bell -- A bad knee hobbled Bell (21) trough the early part of the season and after 43 games he underwent surgery. A legitimate power hitter, he smacked 17 home runs between Great Lakes and Inland Empire and was on a pace to equal or better that number this season (six in 51 games) before going down.

11. RHP Bryan Morris --Morris (21) missed the entire 2007 season with an injury and has worked his way back into action and is pitching at Great Lakes. After nine starts he is 0-3 with a 4.25 ERA.

12. SS Ivan De Jesus -- At a tender age (21), De Jesus is handling AA pitching at Jacksonville without a hitch. hitting an even .300 after 67 games. He leads the Suns with 71 hits and with a sparkling .419 on-base percentage.

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