An organization once built on the foundation of their farm system, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ crop of Minor League talent was depleted under previous owner Frank McCourt.
With Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten leading the charge, the Guggenheim group steered the franchise back down the path of developing young players.
Kasten’s efforts have been furthered by team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, with the two often mentioning the organization sustaining itself with home-grown talent.
The Dodgers have avoided trading any of their top prospects while using the draft and international free-agent market to re-establish a deep farm system.
With Joc Pederson and Corey Seager now in the Majors, Julio Urias headlines the group of prospects still in the Minors. Urias was ranked the top left-handed Minor-League pitcher by Jim Callis of MLBPipeline.com.
Callis ranked Jose De Leon the fifth-best right-handed pitcher in the Minors. The Dodgers added another prospect to Callis’ position-by-position rankings with Cody Bellinger checking in as the sixth-best Minor-League first baseman:
6. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
The son of former big leaguer Clay Bellinger switched from a line-drive approach and emphasized power last year, resulting in 30 homers and California League-leading totals of 97 runs and 103 RBIs. Bellinger’s lanky frame still has room to add a lot of strength, and he’s the best athlete and defender on this list.
Bellinger was selected by the Dodgers out of Hamilton High School (Chandler, Ariz.) in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in 47 games for the Arizona League Dodgers that year, batting .210/.340/.358 with one home run, nine doubles and 30 RBIs.
Bellinger then spent the 2014 season with the AZL Dodgers and Rookie-Level Ogden Raptors, hitting a combined .312/.352/.474 with three home runs, six triples, 14 doubles and 34 RBIs in 51 games.
Last year the 20-year-old first baseman spent the entire season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Bellinger hit .264/.336/.538 with 30 home runs, 33 doubles and 103 RBIs. He led the California League in RBIs, finished second in home runs and his .873 OPS ranked eighth.