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Future Isotope leads Dodgers top 10 prospects list

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Barring a trade, it seems very likely that the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect will don an Albuquerque Isotopes uniform in 2014.

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Outfielder Joc Pederson heads Baseball America's list of Dodgers top 10 prospects that was officially released on the website Monday (it is also available in the current print edition).

Pederson, 21, is coming off a big year at Double-A Chattanooga, where he was the only plus hitter after Yasiel Puig rocketed off to the big leagues in June. Playing most center field, Pederson hit .278/.381/.497 with 22 home runs, 58 RBI and 31 stolen bases.

Due to the logjam of outfielders in Los Angeles, however, Pederson has been the subject of much trade speculation this offseason, so there is always a chance he is dealt long before setting foot at Isotopes Park.

While Pederson could be the big name with Albuquerque in April, there are others who could end up here, including two pitchers who appeared briefly as Isotopes this past season.

Right-hander Chris Withrow, No. 6 on the list, pitched well (4-0, 1.71 ERA) in 25 games en route to Los Angeles, where he continued to throw the ball well (3-0, 2.60, 1 save) with the Dodgers. Withrow is all but a lock for the big-league bullpen in the spring.

Left-hander Onelki Garcia, No. 7, was an Isotope for 10 games this past season, going 0-1 with a 3.72 ERA. He appeared in three games with the Dodgers and has an outside shot at their bullpen, though he recently underwent minor elbow surgery. If he is fully healthy, he could be a key cog in the Isotopes' relief corps to start the season.

Neither shortstop Corey Seager (No. 2) or left-hander Julio Urias (No. 3) will make the jump to Triple-A after they finished 2013 at High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Low-A Great Lakes, respectively.

Right-hander Zach Lee (No. 4) could move up to the Isotopes after a good-but-not-great season (10-10, 3.32) at Double-A Chattanooga, though the Dodgers may be unwilling to expose a player they spent $5 million on to the thin air of Albuquerque.

Another right-hander, Chris Anderson (No. 5), was just drafted last year and is far from being Triple-A ready. Second baseman Alexander Guerrero (No. 7) was signed out of Cuba to a major-league contract and barring a terrible spring, he should open at the keystone for the Dodgers.

Both lefty Chris Reed (No. 8) and right-hander Ross Stripling (No. 10) could join the Isotopes after solid years at Chattanooga. Reed, the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2011, put up average numbers (4-11, 3.86) for the Lookouts, though 63 walks and just 106 strikeouts in 138 innings are a reason for concern. Stripling looked better (6-4, 2.78) with Chattanooga, where he pitched 21 of his 27 games this past season.

Full scouting reports on the Dodgers' top 10 are available to Baseball America subscribers.



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