Dodgers send down five
Dodgers sent two of their top prospects along with three other players from major league camp to minor league camp and each of them could be back at some point.
Alex Verdugo – Verdugo played for Mexico in the WBC and while playing RF could have made the catch that kept Mexico in the tournament but the ball glanced off his glove when he dove for it. It did hit his glove so he had a legitimate chance to end the Mexican nightmarish 9th inning. Verdugo should be ticketed for AAA after spending all of 2016 in AA. He just turned 21 and you have to search a while to find a top prospect spend more than one year in AAA. With Andre down, Toles now has the job in LF on the left side of the batters box, but if Toles stumbles, and Bellinger is not deemed ready, Alex Verdugo may get his shot this year. I doubt he’s ready for that but his gun in LF would be fun to watch. He’s the Dodgers top outfield prospect if you count Bellinger as a 1st baseman. We can expect Verdugo to join the team in Sept. If he is still a Dodger. How well Toles handles LF might determine if Verdugo is a Dodger or a trade chip.
Willie Calhoun – Willie spent most of the camp relearning how to play 2nd base. Why this wasn’t done during the same time that the AFL is happening or in Sept is a question I’d like to ask the front office. Everyone and I mean everyone says he can’t play 2nd base. So I just assume that means he’s going to be a second baseman because I’ve never trusted that everyone person. Willie should also show back up this Sept if he is still a Dodger. With Forsythe signed he’s got two years to learn to play 2nd base well enough to be a major leaguer. With all the work they did this spring they should know by June if that is going to be a possibility. If not, have to imagine he’s destined for the AL.
Brett Eibner – The Dodges acquired Eibner in January from Oakland to provide RH outfield depth. He looked very good this spring, he can run well, play defense, and has some pop. Brett was caught in a numbers game with Gutierrez, Thompson, SVS, Hernandez, and even Segedin ahead of him. Despite all those names, I think we see him sometime this summer.
Jose Fernandez – It was nice to get a look at the Cuban infielder even with all the rust on him. I didn’t know what to make of him when they signed him and I still don’t. I don’t know how he looked defensively at 2nd or 3rd and I’m not sure it would have mattered given how rusty he has to have been having not played in several years. Is he going to play 2nd or 3rd in AAA is what I’m curious about?
Darnell Sweeney – I don’t think we will see Darnell Sweeney on the Dodgers. As a utility infielder/outfielder, he’s hampered by the fact he plays multiple positions but none of them very well. He does have good speed, and he’s a switch hitter but I think he’s stuck behind Taylor/Culberson/Hernandez/Fernandez. I’m not even sure where he’s going to play at AAA. He’s good to have for depth, but his career would be better off with another organization.
When all the cuts are made it would seem that Segedin or SVS, Dickson, Calhoun, Fernandez, Sweeney, Culberson would be the bulk of the AAA infield along with either Taylor or Hernandez. Where the Dodgers deploy these infielders will be interesting.
The only real prospect here is Willie Calhoun so I have to imagine they will give him the most burn at 2nd base to get as many repetitions there as possible. Everyone else is just hoping to become a major league bench player or a starting SS for the Padres.
Possible AAA Infield depending on who gets sent to AAA:
1st – Dickson or SVS or Segedin
2nd – Calhoun or Fernandez or Sweeney or Culberson or Taylor or Hernandez
SS – Culberson or Taylor or Hernandez
3rd – Segedin or Fernandez or Sweeney or Culberson or Hernandez