Dodgers Have Three Lookouts-Bound Players In MLB.com'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.

-------- Source: MLB.com

Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

Pigeon Forge Wins Second A-AA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN – Pigeon Forge won the Class A-AA State Duals title for the second straight year as they beat the Hixson Wildcats in the final, 36-23. Hixson had finished in third place the last four years and Wildcat coach Garrick Hall was happy to not finish there again, but he would have liked a better result than the runner-up finish. The Tigers bolted to a 17-0 lead with a pin, ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Finishes Fourth In A-AA After Loss To Alcoa

FRANKLIN -- Notre Dame's wrestling team came to the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center ready to fight Saturday morning and it took all of 32 minutes to eliminate Martin Luther King by a lopsided 70-12 final score. It took just a little bit longer in the second round, but the Fighting Irish prevailed in that one as well with a 47-27 win over Greeneville, setting ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

1 Dies In House Fire In Rhea County

Rhea County Fire Department officials said one person died in an early-morning house fire on Saturday. The call came at about 6:30 a.m. The brick residence is on Fisher Road. S tate arson investigators were on their way. (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)