LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers placed four players on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list that was announced Thursday night on MLB Network, led by shortstop Corey Seager at No. 34.
Outfielder Joc Pederson ranked 36th and pitchers Zach Lee and Julio Urias were Nos. 63 and 64, respectively. The four prospects gave the Dodgers 207 prospect points, ranking seventh among the 30 clubs. Prospect points are assigned to each ranked player as follows: 100 for No. 1, 99 for No. 2, 98 for No. 3, etc.
The annual ranking of baseball's biggest and brightest young talent is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Watch, only includes players with rookie status in 2014.
The list does not include international signing Alexander Guerrero because players who are least 23 years of age and have played as a professional in a league recognized by the Commissioner's Office for a minimum of five seasons are not eligible for consideration. The Dodgers committed $28 million to sign the 26-year-old Cuban, who is the leading candidate to start at second base for the Major League club this year.
Last year, the Dodgers had three representatives on the Top 100 list -- Yasiel Puig (76), Lee (78) and Pederson (85).
Seager, the club's top Draft pick in 2012, didn't make the list last year, but he has emerged as the top prospect in the system, based on these results. The 19-year-old shortstop has a third baseman's body (6-foot-4, 215 pounds), considerably bigger than older brother Kyle, Seattle's starting third baseman.
According to MLB.com's scouting expert Bernie Pleskoff, Seager "has very good balance and superb hitting mechanics at the plate. He has gap power at the moment, with the potential to hit plenty of home runs as he develops further and learns to hit high quality pitching. Seager's hands are quick through the ball, and he has a short, measured swing that allows him to use the entire field and drive the ball up the middle consistently. Quiet at the plate, there is very little movement in his hitting mechanics."
Pederson was the top-rated Dodgers prospect at this time a year ago and management remains high on the left-handed hitter, who likely advances from Double-A to Triple-A this year. Pederson can play all three outfield positions and was under consideration for a big league promotion last season but was passed by Puig.
Lee has continued his steady, if unspectacular, advancement through the system in a third full season after being bought out of a college football career for $5.25 million. Lee now projects as a middle-of-the-rotation starter because he lacks any one overpowering pitch, but he has four solid pitches and the makeup to reach the Major Leagues as soon as this season.
Urias might have the highest ceiling of any Dodgers prospect because he's still only 17, he's been overpowering ever since signing two years ago and he's still growing. Complementing a fastball in the low-90s, he's got a changeup and the feel to throw it. He's likely to move quickly, despite his young age.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.