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Dodgers name their minor league player, pitcher of the year; they don't figure to be playing at Dodger Stadium soon

The Dodgers’ farm system.

Not the cavalry to the coming 2011 Dodgers. Next season the Dodgers will need plenty of improvement to return to championship caliber, but it doesn’t figure to come from the kids.

The lower levels have their share of intriguing prospects, but there is no one at triple-A Albuquerque whose talent is pounding at the Dodgers’ door and demanding entrance.

It’s conceivable there won’t be a single player who spent the bulk of last season at Albuquerque who makes the Dodgers next year.

As if to confirm the situation, the Dodgers announced their minor league pitcher and player of the year Thursday, and neither has had a sniff of triple A.

Outfielder Jerry Sands was named their minor league player of the year. He split his 2010 between the Class-A Great Lakes Loons and the double-A Chattanooga Lookouts.

Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, their minor league pitcher of the year, did the same.

Sands, 22, took a giant leap this year. In his combined season he hit 35 home runs (tied for third in all of the minors), with 93  runs batted in and a .301 batting average.

He’s headed to the Arizona Fall League to learn to play third base.

De La Rosa, 21, went a combined 7-2 with six saves and a 2.73 earned-run average. He spent the first half as a reliever and was switched to starter at the break.

In the past 11 years, the only winner of their minor league pitcher of the year who stuck with the Dodgers was Chad Billingsley (a two-time winner). The only player of the year in the past 13 years who became a Dodgers regular was James Loney.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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Isn't America wonderful!! Here we have two non-descript (lacking in distinct qualities) persons, Frank and Jamie, who were just parking cars in a Boston parking lot and with the aid of the steroid commissioner, have gotten the media notoriety they craved while in LA.

I sat right behind the plate in Chattanooga on Tommy Lasorda bobblehead night, Aug 6, where Tommy strangely and solemnly asked the crowd to pray for the Dodgers (and you're gonna hafta guess why, he didn't say, but this was just before the divorce trial), and watched De La Rosa give up one hard-hit single, one unearned run, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, 7 innings, ND. He clearly dominated Seattle's West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, their bats unable to catch up. Looked by far the best player on the field. In the minors, there are usually 1 or 2 players who really stand out in each game and look like they're way above and beyond everyone else there, and that was Rubby De La Rosa.

On the post-game on Chattanooga radio i heard them talking about how De La Rosa needs another pitch, which is maybe why he may not see LA soon. But he may see Glendale in March.

Sands in right did nothing memorable, hit a double, 1 for 7, in the extra-inning loss. Dee Gordon at SS was that other superior-looking player at bat, stealing over 60 bases for the season, but looked shaky at short and only hit .277 for the year, which was still 7 pts higher than Sands.

Offensively, double-A looks a lot like the big club. Little there.

Congratulations to Sands and de la Rosa. Too bad we'll never see you in a Dodgers uniform, but I'm sure there's a broken down vet or two out there next trade deadline with Ned's name written all over them.
And I also feel compelled to issue a hearty, "Well done Ned." You've totally depleted the farm system for worthless vets over the course of the last several seasons. With three games left you're probably still looking to buy. Second only though to you're wonderful judge of talent in the free agent market, especially when Frank actually DID spend the money. Can't wait to see the magic you bring to the table this winter.

I don't recall who Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa are.

I would like to see the names of the prospects Ned has "given away" so far. Where are they and what have they done? Stop complaining about Colletti draining the farm system if you can't offer specific examples. It is McCourt who cut spending on player development and stopped scouting in Latin America. Do you REALLY think any GM would have done that unilaterally? A dead fish stinks from the top. Frank McCourt has destroyed this franchise, from the farm system to the majors.
Colletti wasn't always right (Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones, etc.), but he was right more than he was wrong. I wonder who could have done better when player development money went to haircuts, lawyers and homes instead.

@ 58,
There are three guys traded from the farm that are playing in the majors (probably ahead of schedule) for players not contributing to the Dodgers. Santana, Bell and McDonald, are all on Major league rosters and although Bell is struggling and Santana is hurt, they are doing no worse than Sherrill and Blake. Do we even need to discuss the McDonald for Dotel trade. No doubt that prospects must be traded to get immediate help, but you trade from your strength positions not players that you will need to fill your own holes. Catcher, SP and 3B were all areas that were going to have to be addressed within a short period from when these prospects were dealt.

No argument that McCourt sucks as an owner and killed the development chain, but Ned is shouldn't receive a pass on his own track record.

Some of the minor leaguers Ned's traded or otherwise gotten rid of...
Edwin Jackson
Dioner Navarro
Andy LaRoche
Tony Abreu
Cody Ross
Jayson Werth
Jason Repko
Joel Guzman
Willie Aybar
Delwyn Young
Jonathan Meloan
Carlos Santana
Lucas May
James McDonald
Blake DeWitt
Andruw Lambo
Or how about some of the illustrious FAs?
Andruw Jones (had to have been a fat tub of lard when he signed him. Didn't get that way overnight, nor the golf ball sized wart behind his knee)
Juan Pierre (as one dimensional as you can get and a terrible CFer)
Jason Schmidt (knew he was hurt before he signed him)
Nomar II (knew he was fragile)
Brett Tomko (c'mon)
Loaiza (see Tomko)
Casey Blake (harder to forsee the drop off, but jeez, the guy WAS 36)
Manny II
Bill Mueller (knew he had bad knees)
Gary Bennett (sorry, I just had to mention this one)
How 'bout some of the trades:
Jay Sao
Mark Hendrikson
Dennys Baez
Scott Proctor
Wilson Betemit
Julio Lugo
Scott Posednik
The Roach Dotel
Ryan Theriot
(was it Toby?) Hall
Yes, Ned is something.
Not to mention the greats:
The Ortizi twins
Claudio Vargas
Aaron Sele
Scott Erikson
David Wells
Maddux II
Milton the Toaster
Juan Castro
Angel Beroa
Jose Cruz
Mark Sweeney
Garret Anderson
Brady Clark
(Add your favorite name here)
Now let's look at the ones that worked out:
Andre Ethier (I still think that Beane believed he was pulling one over on Ned and it backfired.)
Manny (monumental steriod-driven half season)
Nomar I
Kenny Lofton
Furcal (eh, this one could go either way)
Other than Manny I, no props to any half-season acquisitions.

These are just he ones I can think of. I rest my case.

I do however agree that the disease starts from the top down, and Frank is responsible not only for hiring Ned in the first place, but for all the other mess as well. However, I do think you could spit and hit better ballplayers than Ned finds.

Another Ned success - Orlando Hudson.
Thanks West Coast - was thinking Bell and put down DeWitt.

Labeldude is right on in his assessment of the mess ned has created since coming from the Giants. Great listing of ned's failed moves.

Since '58 is a clearly a shill for ned, stubbornly one dimensional in posts spewing vitriol for the McCourts, yet absolving ned of any wrongdoing supposedly because his hands were tied and continue to be tied.

I guess the Giants came west in '58 too.

"Some of the minor leaguers Ned's traded or otherwise gotten rid of...
Edwin Jackson
Dioner Navarro
Andy LaRoche
Tony Abreu
Cody Ross
Jayson Werth
Jason Repko
Joel Guzman
Willie Aybar
Delwyn Young
Jonathan Meloan
Carlos Santana
Lucas May
James McDonald
Blake DeWitt
Andruw Lambo


Posted by: Labeldude | 10/01/2010 at 12:04 PM "

Labeldude, I'm as big a fan of the Dodgers using their prospects as anyone that regularly comments on the board. That said the list you provided is essentially every prospect (outside of Bryan Morris in the Manny deal) that Ned has traded and as a sum it's rather unimpressive.

Outside of Carlos Santana and possible Josh Bell, you can pretty safely say that the jury has come back on the players that Ned has gotten rid of and the fact is that the only ones that have had a fair amount of success in the majors were either position blocked by better players at the time (i.e. Cody Ross, Jayson Werth) or had mental/personality makeup issues (i.e. Edwin Jackson, James McDonald).

At the end of the day, I'm sure that Ned is consulting Logan White (the Dodgers head of player development) on who the Dodgers should keep and for the most part they've made the right decisions.

If you want to point your finger somewhere, point it at the obvious and that's Frank and Jamie McCourt.

Steve, I gotta say shame on you as well with your assumption that Jerry Sands and Rubby De la rosa won't be playing with the Dodgers in 2011. It screams of negativity and was a sign that you didn't put any effort into researching that statement.

With respect to the Dodgers recent history, you could make a very strong case that AAA is a non-factor for the Dodgers best prospects.

Look at the following players
Clayton Kershaw - went from AA (pitched 13 games) directly to the Majors in 2008.
Matt Kemp - went from AA directly to the Majors in 2006. Note: After a bit he was shuttled between AAA and the Majors for the rest of the year.
Russell Martin - went to the Majors in 2006 after a few weeks in AAA. Note: Played the entire season in AA in 2005.
Chad Billingsley - went to the Majors in 2006 after 13 starts in AAA. Note: Pitched the entire season in AA in 2005.
Jonathan Broxton - went to the Majors in 2006 after 11 games in AAA. Note: Pitched the entire season in AA in 2005.
Kenley Jansen - promoted to the Majors in 2010 after splitting the season between High A and Double AA.
Blake DeWitt - was the Dodgers Opening Day third baseman in 2008. Spent the enitre 2007 season in AA.

Kuroda I think falls in the Furcal catagory. Generally OK, but doesn't usually stay healthy so he's hard to give a thumbs up or down to.

The real mind blower acquisitions came during this years "stretch run", headed by Scott Pathednik. We needed power and he trades for this guy? What the hell's that, especially if they were going to call-up Gibbons anyway? He dumped Pierre in the offseason, then goes out and gets Juan Pierre Lite to head the offense down the stretch?
Then he gets Lilly, which worked out great for a few starts, then not so great, then OK. Who does that sound like? - Wolf. IF Ned had acquired Lilly at the beginning of the season he may have made some difference, but he's no ace down the stretch.
Theriot. 'Nuf said.
Dotel? Dotel? When the Pirates don't want someone that ought to be a clue, but to give up McDonald and Lambo to get him? Idiocy. Besides that, he didn't resign Mota during the off season. Dotel and Mota are about the same pitcher. If you didn't want one, why'd you want the other?

It boggles the mind. Sorry folks, Ned's every bit as big the architect of the mess as Frank. Frank's clueless. Supposedly Ned is not.

Haven't had a chance to respond to the vitriol I seem to have stirred up, but it looks like Steele Here has done a great job in my stead. He's right, those are just about every minor AND major leaguer the Dodgers have had under Colletti's administration. I, for one, am not convinced we let one get away in the person of either McDonald, Jackson, Delwyn Young, Meloan, Santana, LaRoche, Aybar, or any of the others you hold so highly in esteem. Is Dionner Navarro even in the majors anymore? Werth was let go because of an injured wrist and didn't re-blossom for two more seasons. The Phils were the only team willing to take a chance with him. Cody Ross? Yeah, we really are missing him. From the sound of things this season, I'm sure there would be plenty of you who would have had Colletti trade away Ethier, Kemp and Loney for "prospects." Then who would be whining next season about Colletti trading away our future Hall of Famers. Give me a break. And I am certainly NOT Colletti shill. I am nobody's shill. What stake do I have in this? I truly resent personal attacks and name calling. I haven't sunk that low. I will call stuff into question. But no matter how idiotic some of this stuff sounds to me, I don't call anybody names. I even said Ned's made his share of mistakes. All I am saying is we shouldn't lay all the blame at his feet. The highly respected White and Watson haven't struck gold every time out. Wonder why they were rejected by the Desperate-Backs? They ain't that smart. They ain't that stupid, either. They made their share of mistakes, just like Ned did. When he first got here, he was under pressure from Frank and many Dodger fans to "win now." He tried and screwed up. Big time. But he didn't single handedly destroy this franchise. I believe that honor goes to somebody else. So why don't you save your wrath for him.

Not to let Frank and Jamie off the hook, but when they have allowed Ned to spend big money he has routinely failed. I'm not sure anyone can point to a single big dollar signing that was a glowing success. That being said, why would you let him spend your money? If I were Frank I would think that he was irresponsible with my money so I have to limit the damage he can do.

Or I would do the smart thing and fire him!!!!

labeldude and steele here - excellent lists, thanks for doing the work, you're great fans

Preface: I'm no fan of Ned, want him gone, don't believe in his ability, think he's over-rated

After taking in these lists: I don't see any potential Hall of Famers Ned let go from the farm, or even perennial all-stars. All-Star game appearances, yes, there'll probably be some of those - but not perennial stars. MLB players, yes he let go of some. You have to in order to trade.

On Ned's hands tied: You darned tooten he's had his hands tied. Nobody argues that - its painfully obvious. Anybody sesriously heard of Brian Cashman before he owned a checkbook signed by Steinbrenner. Think Epstein in Boston would be as good without the bucks to back him? Ned might look like the maestro if somebody of wealth owned the team (think Broad).

Ned's free pass: I don't give him one. Ned knows what he has to work with from McCourt, and what he doesn't - which is greater than what he does. Therefore, he's got a responsibility over the entire franchise - not just the MLB club, but also players in the farm system. He can't let it dry up, no matter whether he can sign a journeyman player at the July 31 deadline, or a free agent in the offseason, or anyone else any other time. That's on Ned's watch - the players in the entire system with Dodger Stadium futures. Right now, that doesn't look good and that's why I'm not in his corner.

While I'm highly unqualified for an opinion on what we have and don't have on the farm, the talking heads, analysts and people who do judge that are in a concensus that the Dodgers don't have prospects to offer or coming through to Dodger Stadium. This was prevalent this past July, and if I recall it was the label we carried last July as well.

I give Ned and the staff credit for not letting go of the young core that came through. Busting them up in 2006, 2007, 2008 or since would have hurt our chances to outclass the NL West the last two seasons. This year, performance deems that we are what our record says we are - a team trying to reach .500, far from championship caliber.

But our farm is not deep, our owner has not and is not likely in the future to spend, and that responsibility to have players ready to come through and not have to rely completely on offseason acquisitions lies at Ned's feet. With no spending money, the acquisitions will be on the cheap - have to be. It was last offseason and we played too much of this season with too many questions that couldn't be overcome. Ned has to set us up better.

Maybe Ned figures a way to make it work. I think it'll be like this season in watching a house of cards to see if remains majestic and wonderful or simply flutters to the floor. Well, we never were too majestic and wonderful April 1. That's a stretch. Sorry.

But if Ned wants to win my vote, figure a way to get us in the race in 2011 while also having players ready to come up and compete from the farm. Make no mistake - he's GM of my team and I need for him to succeed. But there's a lot he's responsible for - he accepted the challenge, now he's got to succeed. Certain clubs need certain GMs - haves, have nots and those in between. Ned has to play with the variables as they are and make it work.

Give Ned an open checkbook though and what does he come back with?
Schmidt $47 million
Pierre $44 million
Jones $36 million
Manny II $45 million
Nomar II $18 million

That's $190 million and the only one that was in his "prime" was Pierre. That's pathetic. There's Logan's Heroes and Ned's Zeros and that's about it. When Ned had the funds he squandered 190 million dollars. Tell me there's not an impact player in his prime in there somewhere. Tell me by not siging these stiffs there wouldn't have been money to sign draftees. Tell me between all of the prospects he's traded, where's the piece that put us over the top when we were actually an ace away from attaining it? Not to mention hiring in worthless vet after worthless vet to block the paths of the young guys.

If Frank's entire regime wasn't so dysfunctional, and if Frank himself knew one iota about baseball, Ned would've been fired after the Jones debacle.

This team has been run by the Three Stooges - Frank, Ned & Joe. My only hope is that Mattingly isn't Joe by proxy, but I don't hold out much hope there. Instead of Curly, he's probably Shemp.

And I'm not letting Frank off the hook either. As far as I'm concerned he's a blueblood wannbe tax-evading crook whose only concern is squeezing every last dime out of the team and its fans. IMO he ought to be tarred and feathered and sent back to Boston. The tar and feathers go for Selig too.

But there's more than adequate blame (shame?) to spread around for the team itself from Frank to Ned to Joe to the coaches to the players. Ned puts it together though, so if all he has is Egg Beaters rather than fresh eggs, the least he could do would be to make sure the Egg Beaters aren't expired.


I don't proclaim myself an expert on the Dodgers minor league system either but I do follow their top prospects regularly online. With that said, I'd note that the Dodgers system actually had a bounceback year and there is a decent amount of talent outside of AAA Albuquerque (which is horrible place for their minor league affliate because of it's Coors Field like altitude regardless of the Dodgers having a long history of fielding a AAA team there).

I'd keep the following players in mind going into the 2011 season as they're not that far away from the Majors (though Steve Dilbeck seems to think otherwise).

Jerry Sands - see above
Dee Gordon - Shortstop - Age 22, 2010 stats in AA: .277 avg. and 53 SB's (144 SB's in his 3 year minor league career). If it means anything, he's the son of Tom 'Flash' Gordon
Kyle Russell - Outfielder - Age 24, 2010 stats split between A and AA: .291 and 26 HR.
Trayvon Robinson - Outfielder - Age 23, 2010 stats in AA: 2010 stats: .300 avg, 8 HR and 38 SB's.

Rubby De la rosa - see above

Other players to keep an eye on (they'll probably start the year in AA Chattanooga)
Blake Smith - Outfielder
Brian Cavazos-Galvaz - Outfielder
Allen Webster - Pitcher

Recent first round picks (all pitchers)
Zach Lee - 2010
Aaron Miller - 2009
Ethan Martin - 2008
Chris Withrow - 2007

At least Shea Hillenbrand and Luis Gonzalez were awesome. Thanks, Ned.

Steele - thanks for the info and heads-up on players. Worth noting is it is now also about a half season beyond those 'talking heads' saying the Dodgers didn't have requisite prospects for trades this past July. In minor league years, a half season counts for a lot. For example, your earlier post on Bills doing 13 starts at AAA - that's about a half a season.

Not to pile on Ned anymore than necessary, but Labeldude also followed up with a good listing of a fivesome for $190 million that pretty well stinks in terms of value to the Dodgers' production after those signings. As for the Dodgers listing his acquisitions in midseason who have performed well, the only one who could be classified as "put the team over the top" was Manny in 2008 - and that was more Red Sox and Manny doing than anything Ned did. It fell in his lap.

Frankly, I think Ned would leave the Dodgers in a heartbeat and won't be surprised if does so this offseason.

I agree with alanw19. I believe Colletti is tired of being shacked by McCourt and will probably leave, given the chance. He'd be gone under new ownership, anyway. His squandering of $190 can't really be defended, except to say he felt pressure to "win now" and made some terrible decisions. His inexperience showed in the beginning, and he was in a no-win situation with Manny. Damned if he signed him, damned if he didn't.


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