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  1. #11
    Let the kids play ASUcruz's Avatar




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    #8 Josh Bell
    3B
    B-Switch
    T-R
    6-3 235

    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball America

    Background:

    Bell lost 30 pounds before the 2008 season and was playing well at high Class A Inland Empire until a knee problem shut him down in late May. Surgery revealed a small divot in the cartilage near his kneecap which, if left untreated, could have expanded and threatened his career.

    Strengths:

    Bell has the most raw power in the system and combines it with good leverage in his swing. He has a good approach at the plate, swinging mostly at strikes and using the whole field. He has an above-average arm at third base.

    Weaknesses:


    His noticeably improved dedication to his career does give Bell more of a chance to stay at the hot corner, but his lack of speed and range still may force a move. He has a thick lower half—earning the nickname "Baby Kemp" for his resemblance to Matt Kemp—and could wind up at first base or an outfield corner.

    The Future:

    Bell was scheduled to resume baseball activity in December and take part in a winter development program at Dodger Stadium in early January. He still has a high ceiling with the bat and should make his first trip to Double-A in 2009.
    Last edited by ASUcruz; March 29th, 2009 at 12:20 PM.

  2. #12
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    #9 Chris Withrow
    RHP
    B-R
    T-R
    6-3 195

    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball America

    Background:

    Withrow, whose father Mike pitched professionally and coached him in high school, signed for $1.35 million as the 20th overall pick in the 2007 draft. He has pitched just 13 innings since, however, missing most of 2008 with a tender elbow. He managed to get back on the mound for four innings in August and took part in instructional league.

    Strengths:

    Withrow hit 98 mph with his fastball in the 2007 Gulf Coast League championship game and sat at 92-94 mph in 2008. He has a power curveball and a clean delivery. He's a solid athlete who would have been a two-way player at Baylor if he hadn't turned pro.

    Weaknesses:

    Because he was away from pitching so long, Withrow needs to regain his command of the strike zone. While he has shown a feel for a changeup, it's not reliable yet. He hasn't had a serious injury, but his health has to be a concern.

    The Future:

    The Dodgers remain high on Withrow but also will continue to monitor his workload closely. They may have him open 2009 in Inland Empire so he can avoid the cold climate of the Midwest League. Getting in a full, healthy year would be a step in the right direction.
    Last edited by ASUcruz; March 29th, 2009 at 10:13 AM.

  3. #13
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    #10 Nathan Eovaldi
    RHP
    B-R
    T-R
    6-3 195

    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball America

    Background:

    After Tommy John surgery in May 2007, Eovaldi rushed back to pitch as a high school senior, returning to game action 11 months after surgery. Committed to Texas A&M, he scared clubs off with his signability. But area scout Chris Smith didn't give up, and the Dodgers signed Eovaldi in the 11th round for $250,000.

    Strengths:

    Eovaldi projects as a classic Texas power pitcher. His fastball already had climbed back to 91-93 mph in the spring, and in his final outing of the summer, he didn't throw a pitch under 94 and hit 96 mph 20 times. He has a strong body, a decent delivery with good downhill plane and an aggressive approach on the mound.

    Weaknesses:

    Eovaldi's hard breaking ball was inconsistent before he got hurt and he didn't try to throw it as a high school senior. The Dodgers helped him develop a tighter, sharper curveball in instructional league and think it can develop into a solid-average pitch in time. He has little experience using a changeup.

    The Future:

    While he will need innings to polish some rough edges, Eovaldi could move fast because of his live arm. He should open 2009 in the Great Lakes rotation, looking to grind through a full pro season. The development of his changeup will help determine if Eovaldi remains a starter long-term or moves to the bullpen.

  4. #14
    kjsdkjdf !! sarf's Avatar




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    Thanks for posting this ASU, wasn't expecting Gordon to already be up there...and I've never heard of this Eovaldi kid... somebody to really keep an eye on.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarf View Post
    Thanks for posting this ASU, wasn't expecting Gordon to already be up there...and I've never heard of this Eovaldi kid... somebody to really keep an eye on.
    Yea, we have a lot of guys from last year's draft in our top 30. It's partly due to the system thinning out because of trades and graduations, but last year's draft crop looks really promising.

    Eovaldi is a real sleeper, the Dodgers love his arm, there's buzz that he can crank it up to 100 MPH when his arm is right.

    Gordon is very toolsy, but he is really raw. His numbers last year are really impressive when you consider that he didn't play baseball because of an academic thing. So he was competing with college guys and high school guys who were playing all year and he was just sitting around.

    Both guys will be names we'll have to keep our eyes on this season.

  6. #16
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    #10 Nathan Eovaldi

    Here's some more info in Eovaldi.

    LOS ANGELES It took righthander Nate Eovaldi about half a year to go from an 11th-round draft pick to the 10th-rated prospect in the Dodgers system, though it wasn't quite as dramatic a leap as it appeared on paper.

    The fact is, Eovaldi blew scouts away with his stuff and his makeup, but signability worries caused him to fall in the draft.

    "I just think it was a great job done by our scouting staff as far as evaluating this young man," assistant general manager De Jon Watson said. "He is pretty impressive. He has tremendous poise on the mound and his work ethic between outings has been extremely mature for such a young kid."

    Eovaldi, 19, never flinched in his first summer of pro ball, posting a 1.13 ERA in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League before pitching 2 2⁄3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, in his lone appearance with Rookie-level Ogden.

    "I believe he was the youngest kid on our Gulf Coast League team," Watson said. "Once he got to Ogden, I know he was the youngest kid there."

    This sudden emergence came barely a year after Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery as a high school junior in Alvin, Texas. Considering he shares a hometown with Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, it figures that Eovaldi is a hard thrower.

    "His first day back, he was throwing 90-93 (mph)," Watson said. "By the end of that (senior) season, he was throwing 93-96. He had the makings of a curveball when he first came to us, and by the time he finished instructional league, he had a hard downer breaking ball he could command in the strike zone."

    Eovaldi has little experience with a changeup, so some think he could end up as a reliever. But the Dodgers will give him every opportunity to be a starter, and he'll likely open this season in the low Class A Great Lakes rotation.
    Last edited by ASUcruz; March 30th, 2009 at 08:40 AM.

  7. #17
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    #11 Austin Gallagher
    3B
    B-L
    T-R
    6-5 210

    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball America

    Background:


    Taking his size, makeup, and the fact he succeeded offensively in high class A at 19 into ccount, Gallagher has established himself as a potential middle-of-the-order bat. He comes from athletic bloodlines; his father Glen (Austin's actual first name is also Glenn) played football and baseball at Clemson and was the Blue Jays' third-round pick in 1981. He later became a Division II and Division III college baseball coach, and his son has some of the savvy that goes with growing up around the game.

    Strengths:

    Gallagher began 2008 in extended spring training but went to Inland Empire after Josh Bell got shut down in May with a knee injury. Despite long arms and a big build, he stays inside the ball and can drive the ball to the opposite field as well as pull it. His plate coverage and discipline are impressive for a large-body hitter. He has plus bat speed and could develop from a line-drive hitter into a power threat thanks to the leverage in his swing.

    Weaknesses:

    If the home-run power doesn't come, however, Gallagher may not fit the profile of an everyday major leaguer, since he isn't quick or agile and will probably have to move across the diamond when he grows too big to play third base.

    The Future:

    He's already played some first base and needs work at both infield corner spots to become an average defender. Despite his strong offensive season, he's likely headed back to high Class A to at least start 2009.
    Last edited by ASUcruz; March 31st, 2009 at 08:27 AM.

  8. #18
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    #3 Ethan Martin

    Here's a story on Martin from Baseball America. Sounds like a solid kid, love the fact that he watches other pitchers and isn't hesitant to ask them about their techniques.

    Dodgers Spring Notes: Martin’s Healthy And Ready To Learn



    GLENDALE, Ariz. — Ethan Martin, the Dodgers’ 2008 first-round pick who will make his pro debut in a few weeks, isn’t even trying to sugarcoat it.

    “I’ve got a long way to go,” Martin said Sunday at the Dodgers’ plush new spread at Camelback Ranch. “I feel that I’ve progressed since I’ve been here but I have a long way to go.”

    That’s not to say he is truly green.

    His right knee fully healed, Martin is spending his first spring training not only readying for a likely assignment to low Class A Great Lakes but also keeping an eye on pitchers elsewhere in camp, particularly the Double-A staff.

    And asking questions.

    And taking mental notes.

    “When they’re throwing bullpens and I’ve got nothing to do, I’ll go over and watch them,” said Martin, who turns 20 on June 6. “It’s small things that you see people doing. If they have good command of the fastball, it’s good to up and ask them about it.”

    Ask Dodgers coaches about Martin, and there is a collective sense of excitement. What was supposed to be an initial cameo last summer after Martin signed for $1.73 million instead never came about. He tore the meniscus in his right knee when he slipped covering first base during a fielding drill in the Dodgers’ postdraft minicamp.

    “Ethan’s got major league stuff,” Great Lakes pitching coach Danny Darwin said. “He’s got a decent changeup and a plus fastball. He’s just got to learn to keep it in the bottom of the zone.”

    Martin hopes to work on all of his pitches in what amounts to a learning season. Back home in Toccoa, Ga., he was the star athlete as the high school quarterback as well as a third baseman and pitcher, winning BA’s 2008 High School Player of the Year Award.

    Now he can concentrate full-time on pitching.

    “I’m going to try to get into my counts and not hitter’s counts and try to keep my pitch counts low,” Martin said. “I finished a couple of games in high school but I got in high pitch count games.

    “I’m also just trying to the concept of pitching and studying hitters. I think I’ve progressed a lot in the three months I’ve been here. I’m learning the game, from a pitching standpoint.”
    BaseballAmerica.com: Blog: Baseball America Prospects Blog Blog Archive Dodgers Spring Notes: Martin’s Healthy And Ready To Learn
    Last edited by ASUcruz; March 30th, 2009 at 08:41 AM.

  9. #19
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    Here's a Baseball America feature on Kyle Russell. Russell is an intriguing prospect, he doesn't look like a huge guy but he generates a ton of power. Unfortunately he strikes out a ton. Sounds like the Dodgers are tweaking his stance to try and solve some of those problems.

    Hopefully it works out, Russell's upside could be that of Shawn Green.


    Dodgers’ Russell Smooths Swing


    GLENDALE, Ariz. — The long days at the ballpark on the backfields of Camelback Ranch actually are pretty nice, to Kyle Russell anyway.

    The morning stretching, the fielding drills, batting practice are only half the day, with an hour break for lunch thrown in before a scheduled 1 p.m. exhibition. It’s usually 4 or 5 before he gets out of here.

    Then again, he could do without that alarm clock that startles him from his sleep every morning.

    “Yeah, you’re like, ‘Ahhhrg,” Russell was saying Sunday. “But once you get in that locker room, there are no worries in the world. As we say here, a bad day in baseball still beats a day sitting in a cubicle.”

    Of all the Dodgers’ recent draft picks experiencing their first spring training, no one could possibly be more enthusiastic than Russell, a former Texas Longhorn and one-time NCAA home run champ who hopes a slightly tweaked batting stance and swing will turn him from a free swinger to burgeoning slugger.

    His stance is now more upright and, though his hands remain stationed behind the right earhole of his helmet before he loads, Russell will attack pitches differently. That is, with a much more level swing as he tries to rid a worrisome uppercut.

    The change came last fall in instructional league shortly after the lefthanded hitting outfielder finished a tour at short-season Ogden with a line of .279/.365/.534 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles and 46 RBIs.

    “Kyle Russell’s made great strides,” Dodgers hitting coordinator Gene Clines said. “We worked on his swing plane because he was such an upper-cutter. We smoothed that out, and he’s using his legs more. His overall approach now is more balanced than when he signed.”

    Russell gained a reputation as a power hitter for the Longhorns in 2007 when he led the NCAA with 28 home runs as a draft-eligible sophomore. The Cardinals tried to sign him as a fourth-round pick that June, but he reportedly turned down a $800,000 offer.

    He then signed last June as a third-round pick for $410,000 after hitting 19 home runs in college and setting Texas’ career record (57).

    But last fall, following a whirlwind summer from college to the Pioneer League, Clines had Russell turn to an old standby: Hitting off a tee.

    It’s made a world of difference. Russell now looks much more polished, an encouraging sign as the 6-foot-5, 190-pound outfielder readies for his first full-season assignment with the low Class A Great Lakes Loons. His swing is much more fluid and authoritative.

    A morning BP session showed he still has a tendency to upper cut on pitches that he wants to crush over the fence. But mostly, his swing stayed level so that he wouldn’t let his left shoulder fly open and drag his bat through the zone.

    “I think with doing that (hitting off a tee), it shortened my swing up a little,” Russell said. “I’m hitting the ball real well. In college, I would swing and the ball would have a lot of top spin. I would get on top of balls and roll them over.”

    That Russell spoke of all this as he dropped in a few one-lines was notable. At one point, in explaining he won’t fear the Midwest League’s likely cold April weather, he said he might play the outfield with his back to the infield and his head tilted back.

    “I hope they don’t mind that,” he quipped.

    What a difference a year makes. Russell acknowledged that he tried to live up to unrealistic expectations early last season at Texas before Longhorns coach Augie Garrido pulled him into his office and told him not to think about baseball for a week.

    Experiencing a difficult stretch, Russell said, may have been a blessing in disguise. He experienced his failure—his words—before entering the minors and is optimistic that he will handle adversity through his first full year.

    “I think (struggling) was me trying to meet expectations and trying to live up to myself,” Russell said. “I was pretty much under a lot of pressure and then one day I was like, ‘Man, what am I doing?’ I do owe it to my teammates and coaches for helping me through that.

    “I still had a pretty good year. I hit 19 home runs. But, you know, I think I did need last year coming into pro ball. You are going to experience failures. In a way, it’s more gratifying.”

  10. #20
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    Here's a Baseball America feature on Kyle Russell. Russell is an intriguing prospect, he doesn't look like a huge guy but he generates a ton of power. Unfortunately he strikes out a ton. Sounds like the Dodgers are tweaking his stance to try and solve some of those problems.

    Hopefully it works out, Russell's upside could be that of Shawn Green.

    Dodgers’ Russell Smooths Swing


    GLENDALE, Ariz. — The long days at the ballpark on the backfields of Camelback Ranch actually are pretty nice, to Kyle Russell anyway.

    The morning stretching, the fielding drills, batting practice are only half the day, with an hour break for lunch thrown in before a scheduled 1 p.m. exhibition. It’s usually 4 or 5 before he gets out of here.

    Then again, he could do without that alarm clock that startles him from his sleep every morning.

    “Yeah, you’re like, ‘Ahhhrg,” Russell was saying Sunday. “But once you get in that locker room, there are no worries in the world. As we say here, a bad day in baseball still beats a day sitting in a cubicle.”

    Of all the Dodgers’ recent draft picks experiencing their first spring training, no one could possibly be more enthusiastic than Russell, a former Texas Longhorn and one-time NCAA home run champ who hopes a slightly tweaked batting stance and swing will turn him from a free swinger to burgeoning slugger.

    His stance is now more upright and, though his hands remain stationed behind the right earhole of his helmet before he loads, Russell will attack pitches differently. That is, with a much more level swing as he tries to rid a worrisome uppercut.

    The change came last fall in instructional league shortly after the lefthanded hitting outfielder finished a tour at short-season Ogden with a line of .279/.365/.534 with 11 home runs, 13 doubles and 46 RBIs.

    “Kyle Russell’s made great strides,” Dodgers hitting coordinator Gene Clines said. “We worked on his swing plane because he was such an upper-cutter. We smoothed that out, and he’s using his legs more. His overall approach now is more balanced than when he signed.”

    Russell gained a reputation as a power hitter for the Longhorns in 2007 when he led the NCAA with 28 home runs as a draft-eligible sophomore. The Cardinals tried to sign him as a fourth-round pick that June, but he reportedly turned down a $800,000 offer.

    He then signed last June as a third-round pick for $410,000 after hitting 19 home runs in college and setting Texas’ career record (57).

    But last fall, following a whirlwind summer from college to the Pioneer League, Clines had Russell turn to an old standby: Hitting off a tee.

    It’s made a world of difference. Russell now looks much more polished, an encouraging sign as the 6-foot-5, 190-pound outfielder readies for his first full-season assignment with the low Class A Great Lakes Loons. His swing is much more fluid and authoritative.

    A morning BP session showed he still has a tendency to upper cut on pitches that he wants to crush over the fence. But mostly, his swing stayed level so that he wouldn’t let his left shoulder fly open and drag his bat through the zone.

    “I think with doing that (hitting off a tee), it shortened my swing up a little,” Russell said. “I’m hitting the ball real well. In college, I would swing and the ball would have a lot of top spin. I would get on top of balls and roll them over.”

    That Russell spoke of all this as he dropped in a few one-lines was notable. At one point, in explaining he won’t fear the Midwest League’s likely cold April weather, he said he might play the outfield with his back to the infield and his head tilted back.

    “I hope they don’t mind that,” he quipped.

    What a difference a year makes. Russell acknowledged that he tried to live up to unrealistic expectations early last season at Texas before Longhorns coach Augie Garrido pulled him into his office and told him not to think about baseball for a week.

    Experiencing a difficult stretch, Russell said, may have been a blessing in disguise. He experienced his failure—his words—before entering the minors and is optimistic that he will handle adversity through his first full year.

    “I think (struggling) was me trying to meet expectations and trying to live up to myself,” Russell said. “I was pretty much under a lot of pressure and then one day I was like, ‘Man, what am I doing?’ I do owe it to my teammates and coaches for helping me through that.

    “I still had a pretty good year. I hit 19 home runs. But, you know, I think I did need last year coming into pro ball. You are going to experience failures. In a way, it’s more gratifying.”
    With BA doing a piece on Russell, I'll go out of order and post up Russell's handbook profile as well.

    #17 Kyle Russell
    OF
    B-L
    T-L
    6-5 190

    Quote Originally Posted by Baseball America

    Russell turned down a reported $800,000 offer from the Cardinals as a fourth-round pick in 2007, when he led NCAA Division I with 28 homers as a draft-eligible sophomore at Texas. He hit 19 homers as a junior, giving him the Longhorns career record of 57, and Los Angeles signed him for $410,000.

    Long, lean, and athletic, Russell is a high-risk, high-reward pick. He has long levers and generates tremendous raw power but has many holes in his swing. He had signficant struggles throughout his amateur career when using wood bats, from the Area Code Games in high school to summer college circuits such as the Cap Cod League (where he struck out in more than half his at-bats in 2006).

    He also gets pull-happy at times and will probably never hit for a high average. With a narrow build, he tends to use his quick hands and not his body, but more strength may come in the future. His swing is short despite his long arms and he nags in well against lefty pitching.

    Russell is already a major league-caliber defender in right field and can play center if needed, with good insticts in the outfield, an above-average arm and average speed. Russell should begin 2009 in low Class A.

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