Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was ranked No. 1 by MLB Pipeline on their top 100 prospects list entering the 2016 season. MLB Network anointed Seager with the honor on its Top 50 Prospects show Friday night.
Seager supplanted Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, who was ranked MLB Pipeline’s top prospect entering the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The Dodgers shortstop placed second last season and 13th in 2014.
Overall, the Dodgers have five prospects in the top 100 this year. Julio Urias, previously rated the top left-handed pitcher in the Minors, was ranked No. 4 among all prospects.
Jose De Leon at No. 24, Grant Holmes ranked No. 62 and Frankie Montas at No. 95 round out the Dodgers’ presence in the top 100.
Urias moved up from last year’s No. 4 ranking, De Leon wasn’t on the 2015 list, Holmes is up 33 spots, but Montas dropped a bit as he ranked 91st as a Chicago White Sox prospect last year.
De Leon was recently ranked the fifth-best right-handed prospect. Additionally, MLB Pipeline listed Seager as the top Minor-League shortstop. Seager (No. 1), Urias (No. 6), De Leon (No. 28) and Holmes (No. 40) were part of the six Dodgers who appeared on Baseball Prospectus’ top 101 prospects for 2016.
In 27 regular-season games with the Dodgers last season, Seager hit .337/.425/.561 with four home runs, eight doubles, 17 RBIs, a .421 wOBA and 175 wRC+.
Urias opened 2015 with Double-A Tulsa and went 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA, 2.57 FIP and 0.94 WHIP in seven starts prior to undergoing elective eye surgery.
Opponents hit .194/.246/.318 over that stretch, and Urias averaged 11.50 strikeouts per nine innings, plus struck out 33 percent of batters faced. Overall in Double-A the lefty was 3-4 with a 2.77 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 13 starts.
After the elective eye surgery, Urias made two rehab starts with the Arizona League Dodgers and one for High-A Rancho Cucamonga. His final appearances on the season came with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where Urias was 0-1 with a 18.69 ERA and 3.92 WHIP in 4.1 innings pitched over two starts.
De Leon began the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, where he went 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and averaged 13.9 strikeouts per nine innings over seven starts (37.2 innings). The 24th-round selection from the 2013 draft then joined the Drillers, making his debut on May 22.
In 16 Double-A starts, De Leon was 2-6 with a 4.11 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. His strikeouts per nine innings dropped a bit, but remained an impressive 12.3 over 76.2 innings pitched.
Holmes, taken 22nd overall in the 2014 draft, went 6-4 with a 4.01 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 24 starts with Low-A Great Lakes last season. He threw 103.1 innings after tossing a combined 48.1 innings with Rookie Level Ogden and the Arizona League Dodgers in 2014.
Los Angeles acquired Montas as part of a prospect-laden, three-team trade with the Cincinnati Reds and White Sox last December. He finished 5-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 23 starts with Double-A Birmingham last season.
Montas also appeared in seven games (two starts) with the White Sox over the final month of the regular season, going 0-2 with a 4.80 ERA, 20 strikeouts and nine walks in 15 innings.