After ranking the top 100 prospects in baseball, ESPN’s Keith Law has now started releasing lists of top-10 prospects for every organization. For the Los Angeles Dodgers, he placed first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger atop the list.
Bellinger is followed by outfielder Alex Verdugo, right-handed pitchers Walker Buehler and Yadier Alvarez, who were rated No. 3 and 4 respectively, outfielder Yusniel Diaz (No. 5), catcher/infielder Austin Barnes (6), shortstop Gavin Lux (7), second baseman/shortstop Omar Estevez (8), right-handed pitcher Mitchell White (9) and righty Jordan Sheffield (10).
Law placed second baseman Willie Calhoun and right-hander Brock Stewart just outside the Dodgers’ top-10 prospects, at Nos. 11 and 12, respectively.
Bellinger, who Law recently ranked the sixth-best prospect in all of baseball, hit .263/.359/.484 with 17 doubles, 23 home runs and 65 RBIs in 117 games with Double-A Tulsa.
He played first base (81 games), left field (13), center field (13) and right field (nine) for the Drillers. The 21-year-old was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City last September, and went 6-for-11 with three home runs and five RBIs in three regular-season games.
Bellinger was previously rated the organization’s top prospect by Baseball America and second-best by Baseball Prospectus.
Verdugo spent last season with the Drillers, playing above High-A for the first time in his career. Verdugo batted .273/.336/.407, setting career highs with 13 home runs, 63 RBIs and 44 walks in 126 games.
He joined Oklahoma City for the Pacific Coast League championship, and went 4-for-12 with three RBIs while appearing in four games.
Buehler was limited to pitching just five regular-season innings in 2016 after returning from Tommy John surgery. He did not allow a hit while striking out six and walking three between Low-A Great Lakes and the Arizona League. Buehler threw a combined five scoreless innings in two playoff starts.
The flame-throwing Alvarez pitched 59.1 innings at the same two levels as Buehler last season, yielding a combined 2.12 ERA while striking out 81 and walking 21.
Diaz appeared in 85 games in 2016, with all but three coming with the Quakes. He hit .272/.333/.418 with eight doubles, seven triples, eight home runs and 54 RBIs for the Quakes. Diaz turned 20 years old in October.
Barnes was the primary catcher for Oklahoma City last season and a third catcher and infielder for the Dodgers. His time in the Majors was limited to just 21 games, with the 27-year-old going 5-for-32 with one double and two RBIs.
Barnes batted .295/.380/.443 with 22 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 39 RBIs in 85 games with OKC. He’s expected to serve as the backup catcher to Yasmani Grandal this season.
Lux, who was the Dodgers’ first round-pick in the 2016 Draft, spent time with Rookie Level Arizona League Dodgers and Ogden. He hit a combined .296/.375/.399 with 21 RBIs and 41 runs scored in 56 games.
Estevez, an 18-year-old Cuban native, batted .255/.298/.389 with nine home runs and 61 RBIs in 122 games with the Loons in 2016.
White, the Dodgers’ second-round pick in 2016, pitched at three different levels last season and did not permit an earned run in 22 innings, while striking out 30 and walking six.
Sheffield, who is the club’s third 2016 draftee to make the list, was chosen 36th overall out of Vanderbilt. He allowed 11 hits and five runs in 12 innings in between the AZL Dodgers and Great Lakes.