The Baseball America top 100 prospects list for 2018 was unveiled Monday, and the Los Angeles Dodgers placed four in the publication’s rankings, led by right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler at No. 13 overall.
Dodgers who joined Buehler in Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list are outfielder Alex Verdugo at No. 37, catcher Keibert Ruiz at No. 40 and right-handed pitcher Mitchell White at No. 69. Yadier Alvarez, who was ranked as high as No. 26 in last year’s rankings, has fallen completely out of the top 100.
Buehler made his MLB debut for the Dodgers in 2017 in what was his first full season since coming back from Tommy John surgery. In 28 Minor League games (19 starts) across three levels in 2017, Buehler yielded a 3.35 ERA and 1.11 WHIP while striking out 125 and walking 31 in 88.2 innings.
He struggled a bit after being called up as a reliever in September, as he gave up 11 hits and eight runs in 9.1 innings (7.71 ERA) while striking out 12 and walking eight. He possesses a power arm and is expected to be a top-of-the-rotation starter for the Dodgers for many years to come.
Like Buehler, Verdugo also made his MLB debut as a September call-up in 2017, after a strong season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He slashed .314/.389/.436 with six home runs and 62 RBIs while also stealing nine bases in 12 attempts in 117 games.
He too did not find much success in the big leagues, hitting just .174/.240/.304 with one home run in 15 games.
While they both might start this season in the Minors, Buehler and Verdugo are expected to make a bigger impact at the Major League level in 2018.
Ruiz, a 19-year-old out of Venezuela, spent the 2017 season with Low-A Great Lakes and High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He hit a combined .316/.361/.452 slashline with eight home runs and 51 RBIs in 101 games.
Ruiz is also known to be one of the better defensive catching prospects in baseball, so while he may still be a couple years away from being the Majors, he is certainly a name to watch for in the future.
A for White, a second-round pick of the Dodgers in 2016 out of Santa Clara, he spent time last season with the Quakes, Arizona League Dodgers and Double-A Tulsa. In 19 starts he went 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.03 WHIP while striking out 88 and walking 31 in 73.2 innings of work.