Legends On Deck

LOD’s 2018 Prospects: Los Angeles Dodgers – Second Base

During the 2017-2018 offseason, we here at LOD are putting together a different kind of prospect list than you’re used to seeing. As opposed to typical prospect rankings, we are going position by position to give you the names to look out for in each organization in the upcoming season. You can view previous articles in this series here: Pitcher, Catcher, First Base,

Part four in our Los Angeles Dodgers prospect series takes us to our first middle infield spot, second base. This is kind of a tricky position on the list because most big leaguers don’t come up through their respective systems playing second base, they typically split time around the infield, especially at the lower levels. However, we found a good one for you today and it is a guy that we project to be a second baseman in the long run.

Second Base – Omar Estevez – 2017 Team: Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (Advanced-A)

2017 Statistics: .256/.309/.348, .657 OPS, 4 HR, 47 RBI

The Dodgers shelled out a pretty penny to sign then 17 year old Omar Estevez. They agreed to sign the youngster for $6 million and had to pay an overage tax for exceeding their signing pool bonus. Estevez ended up being a $12 million investment for the Dodgers.

Before defecting from Cuba, the Matanzas native was impressing both at home and internationally. He played in the Serie Nactional, Cuba’s top League, when he was just 16 and also put up good numbers with Team Cuba at the COPABE 18U Pan American Championships where he really put himself on the map.

Estevez now has two full seasons of affiliated ball under his belt as he began his career with Single-A Great Lakes in 2016. While a member of the Loons, he slashed .255/.298/.389 with nine homers. Contact and pitch recognition against the best pitching he had seen in his young baseball career were the struggles for Estevez during his first season in the States. He struck out 23.8% of the time while walking in just 5.1% of his plate appearances.
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Despite a lackluster season at the plate, the Dodgers elected to give Estevez a shot in Advanced-A with Rancho Cucamonga. The average and OBP were very similar to his 2016 campaign over almost the exact same sample size, but it looks like Estevez gave up a little power to minimize his strikeouts. The strikeout rate dropped to 19.3% and the walk rate went up to 6.6%, both trending in the right direction, but he lost 41 points on his slugging percentage. The home runs went from nine in 2016 to four in 2017 and the total number of extra base hits dropped by 12.

Listed at 5’10 168 pounds, Estevez is one of the most fundamentally sound infielders you will find in the Dodgers system. He doesn’t make every flashy play defensively, but he is a smart fielder with an exceptional glove and good arm for the right side of the infield. He has a narrow stance at the plate with some movement in the hands before the pitch. He takes a pretty decent sized leg kick and keeps his hands high before exploding through the zone with above average bat speed.

While he may not be the most exceptional athlete on the field, he more than makes up for it with his consistent glove and his willingness to adjust at the plate. Keep in mind, in both of his professional seasons, Estevez has been more than three and half years younger than the average player in his league. As he continues to grow in the affiliated game, I have high hopes for his development.

Check back tomorrow where we will discuss a bright young name manning the hot corner in the Dodgers system.

Featured Image Courtesy of: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

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