Dodgers Have Three Lookouts-Bound Players In's Top 100 Prospects

Outfielders Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson, RHP Zach Lee Expected To Open Season In Chattanooga

Friday, February 1, 2013
Zach Lee
Zach Lee
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Dodgers scouts love Yasiel Puig's light-tower power swing and athletic actions. Teammates and opponents have questioned his maturity. Club officials acknowledge Puig is rough around the edges, having missed the 2011 season when he was suspended by Cuba for a failed defection attempt. He projects as a corner outfielder and will open the season with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts if he shows in Spring Training that he's ready. Puig, a Cuban defector who landed a staggering seven-year, $42 million deal despite a sketchy professional background on the island nation, is 76th on the Top 100.

Zach Lee, 78th on the Top 100, might lack Puig's high ceiling but makes up for it with all the intangibles Puig lacks. Lee, paid $5.25 million to abandon a career as a quarterback at LSU, has off-the-charts makeup, competitiveness and aptitude.

What he doesn't have that you'd want in a top pitching prospect is an overpowering pitch. His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he's learning how to miss the zone effectively and already has a full repertoire of pitches that he knows how to mix.

Lee is athletic with a prototype pitcher's frame, and even if he isn't a right-handed Clayton Kershaw, he's the most likely arm in the system to join Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the rotation long term. He spent part of last year with the Lookouts and will probably return there, as he's only 21.

Joc Pederson, ranked No. 85 on the Top 100, has moved up the Dodgers' ladder off a 2012 season at Class A Rancho Cucamonga in which he was named the organization's position player of the year, rebounding from a disastrous 2011, when the 11th-round pick was demoted from low Class A to the Rookie League. The 20-year-old son of former Dodgers player Stu Pederson, the outfielder had to overcome a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder as a junior in high school, rehabbing without surgery.

Pederson is a grinder, a solid all-around player with no exceptional skill other than baseball instincts, and he will need to continue his improvement while tested with Chattanooga this year.

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Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

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