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One uninspiring view of the Dodgers' next crop of young players

February 12, 2010 |  9:33 pm

The next wave of young players to have a potential impact on the Dodgers isn’t impressing USA Today.

In USA Today Sports Weekly’s annual baseball ranking of the 100 Names You Need to Know for the coming season, only two Dodgers appear and none until No.71.

The list doesn’t necessarily represent the best prospects, but focuses on young players who spent more time last year in the minors and who could have the most impact in the majors this season.

Rangers’ right-hander Neftali Feliz was ranked No.1. The 21-year-old had a 1.74 ERA last year for Texas in 20 relief appearances and is a candidate for the Rangers rotation this spring.

But the publication doesn't exactly see another core like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney, Russell Martin, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton on the Dodgers' horizon.

Dodgers left-hander Scott Elbert was ranked No.71 and listed as a candidate to secure the team’s fifth spot in the rotation.

USA Today hasn’t given up on shortstop Chin-lung Hu, which it lists two spots lower at No.73. It does note, however, that ``his window of opportunity to seize an everyday job seems to be closing.’’

-- Steve Dilbeck