Top Prospect Report – NL West

February 2, 2008 at 11:07 pm Leave a comment

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The NL West is probably the most competitive division from top to bottom. It looks like it’ll stay that way for a while. Every team in this division has at least two prospects that can be very good big leaguers. The most competitive division in the game isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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The Dodgers have a plethora of thirdbase prospects with Laroche being the best. The way the Dodgers have thrown him around is a joke. He could be putting up a .270/.360/.475 line right away with huge potential for more. This system is very deep with starting arms and Clayton Kershaw is the best left handed prospect in the game. He is a true ace. One to watch is Meloan. He has the potential to be a Rafael Betancourt type out of the pen starting this season. The Dodgers are in good shape with this system.

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The Rockies already promoted star SS Troy Tulowitzki and right hander Ubaldo Jimenez. They now have potential #1 Franklin Morales and reliever Casey Weathers both ready to step into key roles. Ian Stewart looks ready to take the 3B job and that is why the Rox have talked to teams about Garret Atkins. Same thing goes for Joe Koshanksy who is blocked by Todd Helton. This team has prospects that are ready now and these prospects aren’t your “C” level prospects either.

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This farm system excited me. They have future slugger Angel Villalona (only 17 years old) looking like a Miguel Cabrera clone. Wendell Fairley (whom I like a lot) has star potential but is a long long way away and not a sure thing. Tim Alderson and Madison Bumgarner both are future big league pitchers. Most of this system’s talent is at the low levels and it makes me wonder why Brian Sabean still has a job signing stupid contracts instead of rebuilding. They could be the #1 system once Tampa promotes all their top prospects in another year or two. If they can keep Cain and Lincecum and fire Sabean and build from within they can be contending in 4-5 years.

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Headley looks like a legit .300/.365/.480 hitter with potential for more. Antonelli is a guy I like a lot. He is a great athlete that has had a hard time with his infield defense and is athletic enough to handle CF. He should be an above average big league CFer in another year or two. The system has some good arms in the low minors and one of my favorite arms (some say he is overrated) is Will Inman. His command and control are plus-plus and his stuff is good enough to where he can be a very good pitcher, especially in PETCO. Be sure to keep your eye on 1B Kyle Banks. The kid can flat out hit!

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Jarrod Parker was my favorite high school pitcher in last year’s draft and I expect him to be a #1. He may be too “short” for some scouts but so was Pedro Martinez. Para is a ways away but he has 4-tool talent. Scherzer, better know for holding out, looks to be a very good big league reliever. This system lost a ton of it’s prospects in the Dan Haren trade but it was for good reason. Josh Byrnes knows what he is doing and he will contend at the big league level and build this system back up all at the same time.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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