With the 2017 baseball season now entering the second half, Baseball America recently released their midseason top 100 prospects list, which featured four Los Angeles Dodgers prospects in Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Yadier Alvarez and Willie Calhoun.
The Dodgers have one less prospect in the top 100 than the previous update, due to Cody Bellinger graduating from prospect status. In the latest update, Buehler saw a significant jump as he went from No. 77 to 17.
Verdugo also saw a jump from No. 53 to 35, while Alvarez dropped from No. 26 to 60, and Calhoun rose from No. 86 to 74.
Buehler is in the midst of the first full season of his professional career, after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He began the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and has since been promoted to Double-A Tulsa.
He’s a combined 2-2 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in 15 starts. Buehler has struck out 83 batters and walked 17 in 61.2 innings of work.
In 10 starts with Tulsa, Buehler has yielded a 2.98 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, further proving he is capable of climbing the Minor League ranks at a quick pace. The Dodgers selected Buehler with their first round pick (No. 24 overall) in the 2015 Draft.
Verdugo may be the most Major-League ready prospect in the Dodgers farm system at this time. He hit .346/.416/.463 with 18 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 42 RBIs while appearing in 79 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City through the first half of the season.
Verdugo has been the subject of recent trade speculation, with the San Diego Padres reportedly asking for the 21-year-old to be included in a trade for reliever Brad Hand.
Alvarez, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba in 2015, has struggled a bit this season, which led to him dropping in Baseball America’s rankings. The right-hander has appeared in 13 games (10 starts) for Rancho Cucamonga, going 2-4 with a 5.37 ERA and 1.43 WHIP while striking out 56 and walking 23 in 55.1 innings.
The 21-year-old has an electric fastball, but has to work on his command if he wants to evolve into the projection of a top-of-the-rotation starter in the Majors.
Like Verdugo, the 22-year-old Calhoun is close to being ready for a promotion from Oklahoma City. In 82 games with the Dodgers’ top affiliate, Calhoun is hitting .302/.343/.575 with 20 doubles, 19 home runs and 59 RBIs. A natural second baseman, Calhoun has recently begun playing left field for Oklahoma City.
Baseball Prospectus also released a midseason prospects list, ranking the top 50, which has Buehler at 19th, Verdugo 27th and Alvarez 28th.