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Dodgers Super Prospects & Call-Ups

Joc Pederson and Alex Guerrero were recalled on September 1st by the Dodgers when the rosters expanded to 40 MLB players. Both guys are top MLB prospects in Los Angeles’ farm system, and are expected to be big parts of the Dodgers' future success.

With that in mind, although they've started 2 (Pederson) and 1 (Guerrero) games already, they likely will not be getting consistent playing time during this stay in the big leagues.

 

Joc Pederson's 2014 Outlook

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Joc_Pederson.jpgPederson, a talented young outfielder, will be behind the four-man outfield team of Puig, Kemp, Eithier and Crawford, along with Scott Van Slyke. That makes him sixth on the depth chart. Surprisingly, he's managed to start two straight games, replacing Puig on Tuesday and Kemp on Wednesday as they received regular rest.

Don Mattingly has already had a rough time this year managing his four big-name outfielders to receive even playing time. Meanwhile, Van Slyke has done nice as a backup outfielder, hitting .257 with 9 HR, 19 RBI and a .869 OPS in 167 ABs. Pederson, in the meantime, was phenomenal in AAA. He hit a ridiculous .301 with 32 HR, 73 RBI, 29 SBs and 1.019 OPS in 114 games, leading to him winning the 2014 Pacific Coast League MVP awart.

It seems that Mattingly recognizes what he has with Pederson, as he's gotten the nod over Van Slyke the past couple of nights, and it should be noted that Pederson is the best defensive center fielder of the entire group.

All that said, I don’t see him taking considerable time away from the four-headed monster that has been playing every day in most scenarios. You should, however, keep a very close eye on him - with hits in each of his first two games, it's possible that his defense keeps him in the lineup more often than not - as long as his bat produces on a satisfactory level.

 

Alex Guerrero's 2014 Outlook

Guerrero, who is a second basemen by trade, but also fantasy eligible at shortstop, will not be taking any playing time away from Dee Gordon or Hanley Ramirez, who recently came off the disabled list. Even though he was not playing as good as Pederson in AAA, Guerrero’s call up was not without reason.

First, he's an elite MLB prospect. Second, the Dodgers have plenty of roster room now that September 1st has come.  Third, Guerrero has destroyed the minors: in 58 games, he's actually hit for a higher average than Pederson at .318, along with 12 HR, 38 RBI and 4 SB.

The downside of Guerrero’s promotion, however, has been no fault of his own. Dee Gordon has surprised all fantasy owners with a .289 AVG, 70 Runs and a MLB leading 57 stolen bases. This makes him, according to Yahoo, the most productive SS eligible player this year in fantasy baseball, and 4th among 2B.

Justin Turner, Miguel Rojas and Juan Uribe (once activated from the DL) will also be taking at-bats away from Guerrero, although Ramirez may move to third base once in a while which would allow Guerrero to play shortstop. Guerrero will be one of our favorite 2015 fantasy baseball sleeper / breakout candidates, but for now he's not much more than a utility bat that shouldn't be owned in redraft leagues.

 

Outlook For The Dodgers

The Dodgers are in a playoff race, which does hurt their recently called-up top prospects in terms of playing time. When you’re on a losing team like the Red Sox or Cubs this season, there is no problem in letting youngsters take a few innings away from stars while looking towards the future.

Yet in a situation like the Dodgers, their first concern is winning today, and tomorrow can take a back seat. Unless you're in a keeper league / dynasty league, these super prospects don't hold much fantasy value for the remainder of 2014. It will however, be interesting to see if any of the nine names I listed above will be traded at some point to shorten up the depth charts. Anything's possible...

 





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