Monday, December 13, 2004

Departed Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft

Major League

Marcos Carvajal: High-ceiling pick. Dominated low-A Columbus with good stuff; his K rate was exceptional and he only allowed 2 home runs in 72 IP. Has control problems, though, with a lot of walks and wild pitches. This pick was a gamble by the Rockies by proxy of the Brewers; with the Rockies' needing to use a lot of pitchers per game, it's doubtful he'll stick on the active roster. That being said, with his stuff he could really pick it up and be a solid or eventually dominant reliever.

Matt Merricks: Acquired in the Tom Martin salary dump, Merricks is a lefty starter who does everything pretty well but doesn't excel in any particular area. He was pretty good with high-A Myrtle Beach in 2004, but his shrunken K rate in his brief stay with Vero Beach wasn't very encouraging to the Dodgers. He's probably a better bet to stay with the Rockies than Carvajal, but he doesn't look to have a very high ceiling.

Shane Victorino: Plucked in the Rule 5 draft for the second time, Victorino has an okay shot at sticking around with the Phillies if, as expected, they dump Marlon Byrd. If he hits like he did in Jacksonville, he's ready to be a major league backup, and could eventually develop into an average major league outfielder. If he hits like he did at Las Vegas, he'll be offered back to the Dodgers. I don't think this is much of a loss for the Dodgers; they protected three better fourth/fifth outfielder candidates in Henri Stanley, Chin-Feng Chen, and Jason Repko, and Repko offers has more long-term value than Victorino. The Dodgers don't have that much organizational depth in the outfield, but Victorino's loss isn't really impactful.

AAA

Arturo Lopez: His K numbers improved repeating low-A in 2004, and that's the most he really has going for him. Could eventually develop into a useful LOOGY; probably won't.

Brennan King: Third baseman drafted in the 2nd round back in 1999 who spent the last three years in Jacksonville. Finally flashed a little bit of power in 2004, but at the expense of plate discipline. I don't think he's likely to ever make the majors, and he'll never be a starter.

Alejandro de Aza: He's got good plate discipline. Aside from that and decent speed, not much, although his youth and a left-handed bat could propel him to eventually being a role-player. Hit .255/.346/.352 at Columbus.

Brett Wayne: Shortstop from St. Mary's College who didn't hit in the GCL in 2002 or the SAL in 2003. Converted to a reliever in 2004 and fared well in Columbus, but he'll be 25 next season. Doesn't have a high enough ceiling to be of any concern to LA.

AA

Jared Price: 7th round pick in 2000. A catcher with decent power and walks who strikes out way too much for those skills to be worthwhile. Hit .241/.303/.418 in 192 PA with Columbus at age 22 in 2004; that's his best season yet.

Steve Langone: Boston College grad soon to be 26 had an excellent season with Jacksonville. I'm somewhat surprised the Dodgers didn't protect him, not at all surprised the Red Sox grabbed him. Has never been a priority in the Dodgers system despite producing excellently throughout his professional career. He certainly fits better with the Boston organization than with LA. Wouldn't expect him to be more than an eventual September call-up, but it wouldn't really surprise me if he could toss some league average innings in the bigs eventually. I have no idea what the scouts think about this guy.

Comments:
Steven Langone - In a world where some minor leaguers have 5 tools but can't use any of them, Langone is the anti-thesis........By scouting standards he is not the prototypical pitcher, yet has the most important tool....A MIND and innate competitive fire, which has allowed him to win at every level he's ever played.
Have watched him play since he was a JR in high school, through HS, College, College Summer Leagues, and into PROS......and there is simply one word to define him: WINNER. He is absolutely fearless, has an outstanding mound presence, and has an innate understanding of how to work hitters. If he is given an opportunity he will stick in the majors barring injury.
 
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