Dodgers highly represented among Top 100 Prospects
Seager leads way for LA at No. 7, followed by Urias at 8, Pederson at 13; Holmes joins list at 95
Led by shortstop Corey Seager, left-hander Julio Urias and outfielder Joc Pederson, the Dodgers placed four players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list that was unveiled Friday. It is the second straight year the Dodgers have four players in the rankings.
Seager, the club's top pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, is ranked seventh overall, checking in one spot ahead of Urias. Pederson ranks 13th and right-hander Grant Holmes, the club's first-round pick last June, is listed 95th.
The annual ranking of baseball's Top 100 Prospects 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 2015. Team-by-team Top 30 Prospects lists for 2015 will be unveiled in March.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton tops the rankings for the second year in a row. The Pirates lead all teams with seven representatives on the list, while the Dodgers are one of 14 teams with at least four players ranked.
Seager is the top-ranked Dodgers player for the second consecutive year. The 20-year-old began last season with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and was the starting shortstop for the U.S. Team in the All-Star Futures Game in July. A promotion to Double-A Chattanooga followed, making him the second-youngest position player in the Southern League.
In 118 games between the two levels, Seager hit .349/.402/.602 with 20 home runs. His bat has him streaking towards the Major Leagues, though his future as a shortstop is less certain. Listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Seager is bigger than his older brother, Kyle Seager, the Mariners' starting third baseman, and most Major League shortstops. His size leads some scouts to believe that he will eventually join his brother as a third baseman.
The Dodgers have challenged Urias aggressively since signing him out of Mexico in 2012. He made his American debut in the Class A Midwest League as a 16-year-old in 2013 and moved up to the California League for 2014. He was the youngest player in both leagues.
With the Dodgers keeping a close watch on his workload, Urias has flourished against the older competition. In 2014, he posted a 2.36 ERA and struck out 109 batters and walked 37 in 87 2/3 innings.
Before making his Major League debut in September, Pederson compiled one of the most impressive seasons of any Minor Leaguer. He hit .303/.435/.582 with 33 home runs and 30 stolen bases in 121 games with Triple-A Albuquerque. He was named the Pacific Coast League MVP and was the Minors' lone 30-30 player in 2014.
Pederson has now appeared on three consecutive Top 100 lists. This is expected to be his last, as the offseason trade of Matt Kemp should open a spot in the Dodgers' outfield for the 22-year-old.
The Dodgers selected Holmes with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 Draft, and he pitched well during his professional debut. The 18-year-old threw 48 1/3 innings for the Dodgers' Rookie-level affiliates, compiling a 3.72 ERA and a 58-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio.