Monday, March 17, 2014

Dodgers Third in MLB Future Power

Not this future power, however.'s Keith Law (along with colleagues Buster Olney and Jim Bowden) says the Dodgers are only behind media darlings Boston and St. Louis as having the best chance of success over the next five years (link insider only):

The Overview

There may come a time in a few years where the Dodgers' financial power might not be able to make up for a lack of minor league depth, but right now they have a number of star players in their prime, some solid prospects on the horizon, and enough financial clout to stay atop the NL West for the forseeable future. -- Buster Olney

The Dilemma

This one is obvious: How do you handle four outfielders who are all paid like superstars? For now, it's Yasiel Puig in right, Andre Ethier in center, Carl Crawford in left, and Matt Kemp on the DL. This will get tricky once Kemp is healthy, particularly if the other three are playing well. And let's not forget top prospect Joc Pederson, an athletic center fielder who could be ready this year. -- Jim Bowden

Make-or-break year (Law's top 10 Dodgers prospects)

Pedro Baez is entering his second full year as a pitcher, showing the arm strength but not the feel or command last year to be a major league reliever; this should be the year he takes that step, and the bullpen is one of the only places where there might be room for a prospect in L.A. this year.

There is some quantitative "science" to this by ranking the Dodgers along five 30-point criteria. scored the Dodgers accordingly:

  • MAJORS (full weight): Quality of current big league roster: 26
  • MINORS (full weight): Quality and quantity of prospects in their farm system: 20
  • FINANCE (2/3 weight): How much money do they have to spend?: 30
  • MANAGEMENT (2/3 weight): Value and stability of ownership, front office and coaching staff: 17
  • MOBILITY (1/3 weight): Do they have a lot of young, cheap players, or old, immovable guys?: 21

Interestingly, the low-ranking "management" score of 17 is the second-lowest management score among all of the top ten teams (only behind #6 Washington). So management can't get much worse, at least among top teams.

The NL West ranks pretty weakly: Padres are 18th, Giants are 19th, Diamondbacks are 20th, and Rockies are 25th. The Marlins are unsurprisingly dead last. So this NL West should be ours for the taking over the next five years, right?