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Starting spots for Dodgers' Top 30 Prospects

@JimCallisMLB
April 4, 2019

With the 2019 Minor League Baseball season getting underway, here's a look at where the Dodgers' Top 30 prospects are starting the year. We also identify the prospect who just missed the Top 30 list, a player who didn't make the big league Opening Day roster but should make an

With the 2019 Minor League Baseball season getting underway, here's a look at where the Dodgers' Top 30 prospects are starting the year. We also identify the prospect who just missed the Top 30 list, a player who didn't make the big league Opening Day roster but should make an impact this year, a prospect who is ready to break out in 2019 and the team's best defensive prospect.

1) Alex Verdugo (MLB No. 34), OF -- Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB)
2) Keibert Ruiz (MLB No. 35), C -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
3) Dustin May (MLB No. 68), RHP -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
4) Gavin Lux (MLB No. 69), SS/2B -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
5) Tony Gonsolin, RHP -- Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
6) Will Smith, C/3B -- Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
7) Dennis Santana, RHP -- Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
8) Jeter Downs, 2B/SS -- Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A Adv)
9) Mitchell White, RHP -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
10) Diego Cartaya, C -- Dominican Summer League
11) D.J. Peters, OF -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
12) Jacob Amaya, SS/2B -- Great Lakes Loons (A)
13) Edwin Rios, 3B/1B/OF -- Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
14) Connor Wong, C/2B -- Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A Adv)
15) Michael Grove, RHP -- Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A Adv)
16) Jeren Kendall, OF -- Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A Adv)
17) Yadier Alvarez, RHP -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
18) Josiah Gray, RHP -- Great Lakes Loons (A)
19) Gerardo Carrillo, RHP -- Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A Adv)
20) Omar Estevez, SS/2B -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
21) Edwin Uceta, RHP -- Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A Adv)
22) Leonel Valera, SS/3B -- Great Lakes Loons (A)
23) Braydon Fisher, RHP -- Extended spring training
24) John Rooney, LHP -- Extended spring training
25) Robinson Ortiz, LHP -- Extended spring training
26) Marshall Kasowski, RHP -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
27) Cristian Santana, 3B/1B -- Tulsa Drillers (AA)
28) Miguel Vargas, 3B/1B -- Great Lakes Loons (A)
29) Zach Willeman, RHP -- Extended spring training
30) Matt Beaty, 1B/3B -- Oklahoma City Dodgers (AAA)
Complete list »

Starting spots for all team Top 30 prospects
AL East BAL, BOS, NYY, TB, TOR
NL East ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI, WSH
AL Central CLE, CWS, DET, KC, MIN
NL Central CHC, CIN, MIL, PIT, STL
AL West HOU, LAA, OAK, SEA, TEX
NL West ARI, COL, LAD, SD, SF
Division Team
Top 100 starting spots

Just missed Top 30: Carlos Rincon
Part of the Dodgers' record $166.9 million spending spree in 2015-16, Rincon signed for $350,000 out of the Dominican Republic. Raw power is his carrying tool and he showed it off with 15 homers in his final 28 games last year, finishing at .254/.358/.485 with 22 homers in 110 games between two Class A stops.

On the shelf
All of the Dodgers' Top 30 prospects are healthy to start the season. Right-handers John Rooney and Zach Willeman are in extended spring training but should join full-season affiliates as starters in the near future.

Impact prospect: Keibert Ruiz
The switch-hitter is one of the best all-around catchers in the game. The Dodgers have Austin Barnes and veteran Russell Martin in the big leagues and it’s not difficult to imagine Ruiz being better, especially offensively, than either of them by midseason.

Breakout prospect: Michael Grove
Grove, the Dodgers' second-round pick in 2018, missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. When healthy, the right-hander has a pair of plus pitches -- a fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90s and a high-spin-rate slider with tremendous depth. Grove's control improved during his time at West Virginia, but there is still room for improvement as he continues to develop. Grove has yet to make his professional debut and will be coming off Tommy John, so it's unlikely the Dodgers are super aggressive with him, but the 2019 season could be a big one for Grove.

Best defensive prospect: Will Smith
An outstanding athlete for a catcher, Smith has already shown that he's capable of playing third base and filling in at second. He has very soft hands and impressive agility, making him a fine receiver and framer, and he has a solid arm that plays better than that because of his fast footwork.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.