For all the money the Dodgers have spent on their star-studded roster in Chavez Ravine, don't forget about their Minor League system.
A big reason behind the team's optimism for the future is top prospect Corey Seager, who's been tearing up the California League since returning from a hamstring injury. The 20-year-old shortstop has hit safely in 15 of his first 16 games since May 3 for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, boosting his slash line to .340/.394/.567 with five homers and 22 RBIs.
But the 18th overall pick in the 2012 Draft is taking his success in stride, despite the No. 1 prospect label.
"To be honest, I don't think about it much," Seager said of the high expectations. "One good piece of advice my brother [Kyle] gave me was make every league your big leagues. I don't really look forward. I just kind of play where I am."
The Seagers are a name to know in baseball. Kyle, 26, has been Seattle's everyday third baseman since 2012, while middle brother Justin, 22, was a 12th-round selection by the Mariners last year and is currently with Clinton in the Class A Midwest League.
"I talk to both of my brothers almost every night just to see how they're doing," Seager said. "When we're struggling, kind of tell them what's going on and they might have a little quick fix. I have good relationships with my brothers."
But Seager doesn't like talking about his own success much.
Seager homered in the final three contests of a recent series against Lancaster, including Sunday's wild 10-inning win. With his continued defensive development, many believe Seager has five-tool potential.
He's also benefitted from a continued relationship with Quakes hitting coach Mike Eylward, who was with him at Class A Great Lakes last year.
"I've just been working hard with my coaches and been able to put some good at-bats together," Seager said.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Seager has been a defensive force at shortstop, though many believe he may be best suited for third base in the long run. He's averaged a career-best 4.62 assists/putouts through 34 contests to begin the year, showing off his range and strong arm.
But the humble Seager doesn't take much credit for the defensive activity, attributing it to a pitching staff that features 17-year-old and No. 3 prospect Julio Urias (0-1, 4.91 ERA, 1.44 WHIP), No. 5 prospect Chris Anderson (2-3, 5.31 ERA, 1.67 WHIP) and No. 7 Tom Windle (4-2, 4.40 ERA, 1.36 WHIP).
"We've got a bunch of good arms, they keep it down in the zone, and we just do our job, " Seager said. "They definitely help with putouts. We've got a lot of talent all-around."
Can't top Kemp: Lancaster second baseman Anthony Kemp, the Astros' fifth-round pick in 2013, is already drawing comparisons to big leaguer Jose Altuve. Listed at 5-foot-6, Kemp notched 11 multi-hit games in his first 17 contests in May, driving his average up to a league-best .356.
Dueling staffs: Through 45 games, Visalia leads the league with a 3.38 team ERA on the strength of starters Spencer Arroyo (4-1, 2.45 ERA) and Brandon Sinnery (5-2, 2.86). Lake Elsinore isn't far behind at 3.52, led by reigning Pitcher of the Week Bryan Rodriguez (0-3, 2.54) and 2011 first-rounder Joe Ross (4-2, 2.57).
Guerrero goes off: No. 10 Mariners prospect Gabriel Guerrero went 5-for-5 on Saturday night in a 9-4 High Desert win over Inland Empire. The 20-year-old outfielder, a nephew of 2004 A.L. MVP Vladimir Guerrero, is batting .335/.380/.480 with five homers and 31 RBIs through 42 contests.