Shortstop Dee Gordon remained atop Baseball America’s list of top 10 Dodger prospects despite a so-so season at Double-A Chattanooga in 2010.
Gordon hit .277 and stole 53 bases, but he also made 37 errors and was caught stealing 20 times.
Still, the son of former Major League pitcher Tom Gordon held onto the No. 1 spot, though it seems likely he will repeat Double-A rather than join the Isotopes to start the 2011 campaign.
Five other players who ranked in the top 10 a year ago are back, including No. 4 Chris Withrow (No. 2 last year), No. 5 Allen Webster (No. 10), No. 7 Scott Elbert (No. 6), No. 9 Ethan Martin (No. 4) and No. 10 Trayvon Robinson (No. 9).
Moving up in the rankings are No. 6 Jerry Sands (No. 25) and No. 8 Kenley Jansen (No. 14).
New to the list are No. 2 Zach Lee, who was drafted in June, and No. 3 Rubby de la Rosa, the Dodgers’ minor-league pitcher of the year for 2010.
Out of the group, Sands, Elbert and Robinson are expected to open the season with the Isotopes. Jansen will almost certainly be in the Dodgers’ bullpen to start the year, while Withrow will join Gordon in repeating Double-A.
De la Rosa and Martin are also expected to report to Chattanooga.
Sands belted 35 home runs between Chattanooga and Single-A Great Lakes (Midland, Mich.) last summer. He is expected to start in a corner outfield spot for the Isotopes, though he could also see time at first base.
Elbert was 1-1 with a 4.98 ERA in nine starts for the Isotopes last year, but left the team for undisclosed reasons in June. He will be converted to a full-time reliever this season and has an outside chance to break camp with the Dodgers, who only have one other lefty, Hong-Chih Kuo, penciled into the bullpen at present.
Robinson hit .300 with 38 stolen bases for Chattanooga last year. He projects as the Isotopes’ center fielder and leadoff hitter.
Withrow (4-9, 5.97 ERA) and De la Rosa will open in the Lookouts’ rotation. Both could be promoted to Albuquerque during the season if Withrow performs better and De la Rosa accumulates more experience — he has just 51 innings above Single-A in his career.
Around the farm
- The Dodgers’ fan blog Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness gives at look at two other Dodgers’ top prospects lists. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus ranks Lee at No. 1 and Gordon at No. 3. John Sickels agrees with Baseball America, making Gordon his No. 1 prospect as well.
- The Dodgers released their list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training last weekend. The group of 15 includes returning Isotopes such as catcher J.D. Closser, outfielder Trent Oeltjen, shortstop Justin Sellers and infielder Juan Castro. Potential Isotopes for the upcoming season include catcher Damaso Espino, infielder Eugenio Velez, Sands, left-handers Dana Eveland and Wilkin de la Rosa, and right-handers Roman Colon, Jon Huber, Tim Redding and Oscar Villarreal. Gordon and Rubby de la Rosa, who is not related to Wilkin, round out the list.
- Redding and Colon both joined the Dodgers’ organization this month after spending time in Korea last year. Colon went 8-7 with a 3.91 ERA for the KIA Tigers while Redding joined the Samsung Lions late in the season and went 1-3 with a 5.09 ERA. Redding went 8-5 with a 2.89 ERA for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) and Colorado Springs (Rockies) before joining the Lions. Colon has gone 8-10 with a 5.12 ERA in 121 big-league games with the Braves, Tigers and Royals from 2004 to 2010. Redding has 144 big-league starts to his credit and has gone 37-57 with a 4.95 ERA from 2001 to 2009 with the Astros, Padres, Yankees, Nationals and Mets.
- The Isotopes will play host to a meeting of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) at Isotopes Park on Jan. 29. The meeting will enable SABR members and non-members to gather and discuss the possibility of creating a New Mexico chapter of SABR. For more information, click here.