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Thread: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

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    10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    10 names to know in the Southern League
    Ambriz, Schafer, Samardzija among rising stars to watch
    By Jonathan Mayo / MLB.com

    The Southern League has 10 teams in it. Could we ask for a neater way to package this feature?

    The league has become terrific for top-flight prospects, and this year is no different as there are a number of exciting young players with big-league futures coming sooner than you think. Not to leave anyone out, we've listed one player per club (OK, we cheated on No. 7) for your perusal.

    1. Hector Ambriz, RHP
    Mobile BayBears (Arizona)

    The Diamondbacks' fifth-round pick out of UCLA in 2006, Ambriz had a terrific first full season in the hitter-friendly California League, throwing a total of 165 innings (including the playoffs) and finishing among the league leaders in ERA and strikeouts. The Southern League is more friendly for pitchers, but Ambriz will also face a better brand of hitter, which will test his three- or four-pitch mix (the changeup is a work in progress).

    2. Daniel Dorn, OF
    Chattanooga Lookouts (Cincinnati)

    Not everyone on this list has to be a "top prospect." It's good to root for the underdog. Dorn was a 32nd-round pick in 2006 and the Reds look like they got a bargain. The senior sign has hit .309 in his brief pro career with a .401 OBP and .524 SLG. He hit 20 homers last year, including eight in 26 games at this level (to go along with a .311 average). He'll be in Chattanooga from the get-go, but at the rate he's been going, don't expect this overachiever to be there too long.


    3. Clayton Kershaw, LHP
    Jacksonville Suns (Los Angeles)

    The only way Kershaw doesn't start the year here is if he's needed in the big leagues -- something that hadn't been completely ruled out as of this writing. If he is in Jacksonville, get a ticket early; the southpaw won't be there long. He's as legit as they come, a future ace with plus stuff and makeup. You'll want to say you saw him before he hit the big time ... unless he's there already.

    4. Matt LaPorta, OF
    Huntsville Stars (Milwaukee)

    Truth be told, there isn't a whole lot more LaPorta needs to do to get his bat ready. Making his full-season debut all the way up in Double-A should allow him to see better breaking stuff. He's a smart hitter and the more he sees, the faster he'll make the necessary adjustments. He needs reps in the outfield, still a new position to him, but you won't head to Huntsville to watch him shag flies. You want to see the long ball? He's the guy to buy a ticket to watch swing the stick.

    5. Cameron Maybin, OF
    Carolina Mudcats (Florida)

    This is not a guy many thought would be here to start the 2008 season, but Southern League fans should consider themselves lucky. He's one of the more electrifying talents in the Minors, and he's just scratching the surface. He can hit, he's got power, he can flat-out fly and he is a tremendous pure center fielder. He'll get to play a few hours from home, a bonus for him. So is the fact that the Marlins don't hesitate to call up guys from Double-A, so don't expect him to call Zebulon home for long.

    6. Kyle McCulloch, RHP
    Birmingham Barons (Chicago White Sox)

    If you're looking for a guy who'll rear back and light up a radar gun, McCulloch isn't it. But the guy can pitch, and when he's on he's capable of putting on a little clinic. He's got a fastball, a killer changeup and a splitter that has a chance to be outstanding. He finished in Birmingham last year and didn't pitch well there, so he'll be looking to redeem himself.

    7. Jake McGee/Wade Davis, LHP/RHP
    Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay)

    These guys have to be used to being paired together by now, no? They were both drafted in 2004, two rounds apart. They were All-Stars together in the Midwest League (2006) and Florida State League (2007), and both made it to Montgomery last year. Davis beat McGee here, but it was McGee who pitched better in the postseason as the Biscuits won their second straight championship. McGee and Davis feed off each other in friendly competition, and with the depth in the organization they could be there long enough to help Montgomery clinch another playoff spot.

    8. Jeff Samardzija, RHP
    Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs)

    This could be excused as a "novelty pick." Go see the guy who could've been an NFL wide receiver.... Maybe that's what gets you to the ballpark the first time, but -- and those who saw him in one of his six Smokies starts late last year, back us up here -- you'll stay and come back for more because the guy knows how to pitch. And he's still figuring things out, in a hurry. It's all going to really start clicking for the right-hander this year, so don't miss out.

    9. Jordan Schafer, OF
    Mississippi Braves (Atlanta)

    The Braves think so highly of this young center fielder that there was talk for a while about giving him a shot to win the spot in Atlanta vacated by the departure of Andruw Jones, even though Schafer hasn't played above A ball. Mark Kotsay was brought in to fill that void and allow Schafer the proper time to develop. That's big for M-Braves fans, who should go out and see Schafer play. Just watching him roam in center is worth the price of admission, but he'll hit with some power and he can run, too. After a year in Mississippi -- and perhaps Richmond -- he'll be ready for Atlanta by 2009.

    10. Michael Saunders, OF
    West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (Seattle)

    You can't have a list without a Canadian, right? In all seriousness, head to Pringles Park not just to support our neighbors to the north, but to see a five-tool talent about ready to bust out. Sanders hit 15 homers to go with 29 stolen bases last year and was named to the Futures Game. He made it up to Double-A and got a taste of what it will take to succeed at the higher levels. He's just 21 and you get the feeling that if he can cut down on the strikeouts just a bit, he could be ready for a huge season.

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/n...milb&fext=.jsp

    Plus another tidbit:

    Chattanooga Lookouts
    2007 Results: 67-73
    2008 Manager: Mike Goff
    Things to look forward to: Considering the Lookouts have not won a Southern League title since 1988, the longest drought in the league, it's a shame top prospect Jay Bruce moved up the ranks so quickly -- he played in only 16 games in Chattanooga a year ago and will begin 2008 in Triple-A. A few prospects are there however, who could help the club put together a bounce-back year. ... Third baseman Adam Rosales hit .286 with 18 homers, 41 doubles and 79 RBIs between Class A Advanced Sarasota and Double-A Chattanooga in 2007. The 25-year-old also turned heads with a strong showing as a non-roster invitee at camp this spring and should provide plenty of offense. ... Right-handed closer Josh Roenicke led the organization with 24 saves last season, 16 for Sarasota and eight for the Lookouts, and could continue to hone his craft with Chattanooga this year.

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/n...milb&fext=.jsp

    Is this guy misinformed or is Rosales really going to start in Chattanooga?

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    I think he is misinformed.... hopefully.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Finally, somebody gives Dorn some cred'.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    Finally, somebody gives Dorn some cred'.
    Who hasn't given him credit?

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Who hasn't given him credit?
    You and I may be the exceptions. Dorn is under so much radar. So many on this sight rave about Stubbs, forgeting Dorn and Stubbs were teamates at Billings, yet Dorn ended his season at AA, and may soon be at AAA. If I were a GM somewhere else talking trade, Dorn would be on my list of players I would want to include in any possible trade. To me, he is more desirable than a Stubbs. (Dorn would have been a much higher Draft choice, if it weren't for his injury in College).

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    You and I may be the exceptions. Dorn is under so much radar. So many on this sight rave about Stubbs, forgeting Dorn and Stubbs were teamates at Billings, yet Dorn ended his season at AA, and may soon be at AAA. If I were a GM somewhere else talking trade, Dorn would be on my list of players I would want to include in any possible trade. To me, he is more desirable than a Stubbs. (Dorn would have been a much higher Draft choice, if it weren't for his injury in College).
    I don't really think Dorn is a better prospect than Stubbs. He certainly has his flaws of his own, just like Stubbs. There are a ton of people on this site who give Dorn his credit.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I don't really think Dorn is a better prospect than Stubbs. He certainly has his flaws of his own, just like Stubbs. There are a ton of people on this site who give Dorn his credit.
    Yeah. You, me,,,,, who else? He is hardly mentioned on Sun Deck. But then again, I don't have access to the elite level so I rarely check it out. But I have noticed you do. If I'm ignorant, here's your chance to educate me, sir.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Who hasn't given him credit?
    The Redszone community, and myself. Honestly, before the Redszone prospect voting I had heard of him, but really didn't know his past, his statistics, or how much potential he had. He was voted 12th in your prospect voting. That puts him way behind Stubbs, who IMO is at most an even prospect with Dorn. If Dorn performs like he has the past two years, I think he could be a darkhorse for one of the spots on the Reds top prospects list next year.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoReds33 View Post
    The Redszone community, and myself. Honestly, before the Redszone prospect voting I had heard of him, but really didn't know his past, his statistics, or how much potential he had. He was voted 12th in your prospect voting. That puts him way behind Stubbs, who IMO is at most an even prospect with Dorn. If Dorn performs like he has the past two years, I think he could be a darkhorse for one of the spots on the Reds top prospects list next year.
    Yeah, and if Dorn were in most other systems, he probably would have been voted as a top 7 prospect. The Reds just have a fairly deep system as they had 5 BA Top 100 prospects (Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Votto and Stubbs).

    I don't think Dorn is really on par with Stubbs for several reasons.... 1, the tools. Stubbs has better tools across the board with maybe the exception of hitting for average (lets see what Stubbs does this year in Sarasota at the age Dorn was in Sarasota last year). 2, Position. Stubbs plays a position where he doesn't have to OPS more than .730 or .740 and he can be a positive contributor to a team. Dorn likely has to post an .850 OPS to be a positive contributor playing in LF.

    Thats not to say that Dorn isn't a good prospect but his bat is his calling card and its going to have to be really good given that his defense and arm are both fairly bad in LF which means at a position where heavy hitters gravitate he will really have to hit to make up for the lackluster defense.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    Yeah. You, me,,,,, who else? He is hardly mentioned on Sun Deck. But then again, I don't have access to the elite level so I rarely check it out. But I have noticed you do. If I'm ignorant, here's your chance to educate me, sir.
    Its all over this forum really. While he may be way under the radar by say Baseball America's standards (who ranked him 26th or 27th in the system) others weren't so tough on him. I ranked him 13th on my personal list and John Sickels ranked him #11 in the Reds system. Thats not really disrespect for a left field platoon player.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by GoReds33 View Post
    The Redszone community, and myself. Honestly, before the Redszone prospect voting I had heard of him, but really didn't know his past, his statistics, or how much potential he had. He was voted 12th in your prospect voting. That puts him way behind Stubbs, who IMO is at most an even prospect with Dorn. If Dorn performs like he has the past two years, I think he could be a darkhorse for one of the spots on the Reds top prospects list next year.
    Thank you for noticing. Dorn may well fall apart, but I would be surprised if so. That's the beauty of actually watching these prospects. For everyone that amounts to MLB there are many who fade. My point is simply, Dorn has advanced at a very impressive rate, yet he only rated a #12 in that poll. People tend to think "highly" of only high Draft choices. Many eventual major contributers in MLB, come from way down in the draft. Another guy to watch? Bartles. Too early to tell, but he got my attention. (I actually saw him play). I was impressed..............

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    Thank you for noticing. Dorn may well fall apart, but I would be surprised if so. That's the beauty of actually watching these prospects. For everyone that amounts to MLB there are many who fade. My point is simply, Dorn has advanced at a very impressive rate, yet he only rated a #12 in that poll. People tend to think "highly" of only high Draft choices. Many eventual major contributers in MLB, come from way down in the draft. Another guy to watch? Bartles. Too early to tell, but he got my attention. (I actually saw him play). I was impressed..............
    Generally the reason guys go high in the draft is because of their overall talent being more than the guys lower in the draft. That doesn't always translate to success in the majors of course, but more often than not it tends to work that way. I don't think Dorn is going to fall apart or anything, but he is what he is. Hes a poor fielding left fielder with a weak arm who can't hit lefties but absolutely kills righties. There is nothing wrong with that of course, but in the majors he is likely a guy that platoons in LF or maybe at 1B.

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Its all over this forum really. While he may be way under the radar by say Baseball America's standards (who ranked him 26th or 27th in the system) others weren't so tough on him. I ranked him 13th on my personal list and John Sickels ranked him #11 in the Reds system. Thats not really disrespect for a left field platoon player.
    Oh, thanks for the education, Sir. I have been all over the sight for some time now----obviously not as much as such a learned person as yourself--- and it seems much of the time, I'm one of very few who has given Dorn any cred'. Are you saying, he is at best another Dunn, Sir?

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Quote Originally Posted by gedred69 View Post
    Oh, thanks for the education, Sir. I have been all over the sight for some time now----obviously not as much as such a learned person as yourself--- and it seems much of the time, I'm one of very few who has given Dorn any cred'. Are you saying, he is at best another Dunn, Sir?
    If he were, at best another Dunn, he would likely be the #3 or #4 prospect in our system and a top 50 guy in baseball.

    Dunn and Dorn share a few things in common.... bad defense, being left handed and good plate discipline. Dorn however will never hit for the type of power that Dunn does and Dunn doesn't have much of an issue against lefties for his career (.842 OPS in the majors against them). Dorn on the flip side can't hit lefties to save his life (.577 OPS in Sarasota, and a .799 OPS in Billings).

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    Re: 10 names to know in the Southern League (Danny Dorn 2nd)

    Ive been pimping Dorn and Turner since the day they were drafted, you can search my posts. I watched CSF when they were in the NCAA tourney that year and fell in love with Dorn's approach to the game. He reminded me of Paul O'Neill everything he hit was a laser and the kid can run. Im more surprised Turner hasnt joined him step for step because he was the man when Call ST Fullerton was playing in the tourney that year.



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