Along with a flurry of international signings, the Los Angeles Dodgers recently added to their farm system by acquiring prospects Micah Johnson, Frankie Montas and Trayce Thompson in a three-team trade with the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds.
The trio of prospects joined a Dodgers farm system that’s headline by Corey Seager, and includes Cody Bellinger, Jose De Leon and Julio Urias, among several others.
Seager is rated the top prospect in baseball across several lists, and Urias is considered a top-10 prospect by the same publications.
Additionally, De Leon was named the fifth-best right-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com.
De Leon, along with a handful of other young players, were extended a non-roster invitation to big league camp with the Dodgers this spring. Infielder Brandon Hicks was the latest added to the group, brining the number of non-roster invitees to 21.
While the Dodgers have assembled a deep collection of prospects under team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, their farm system trails the Atlanta Braves for best in baseball, according to ESPN’s Keith Law:
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
2015 rank: 10
Players in Top 100 (2016): 7
You can say that they bought this farm-system ranking, and you’d be right, and I don’t think they’d particularly care. However, that doesn’t do justice to the successful draft picks in 2013 and 2014 that line their top 10 around the various high-dollar Cuban signings (and that one Mexican lefty named Urias).
Much of the Dodgers’ prospect depth lies in pitching. The club focused on pitchers in last year’s draft and during the current international signing period. Should the season go well for De Leon and Urias, it’s not beyond reason to believe they both will make their Major League debut in 2016.