Lindsey powers Dodgers affiliates

First baseman wins PCL batting crown before Majors callup

John Lindsey hit 25 homers and plated 97 runs in 107 PCL games. (Danny Wild/

By Ashley Marshall / Special to | November 12, 2010 5:00 AM

This offseason, will be honoring the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in their organization. We're taking a look at each team to determine the outstanding seasons in Minor League baseball. Select a team from the dropdown below.

This was a successful year for affiliates in the Dodgers organization, despite an absence of silverware. Three of their five teams posted winning records, and two clubs made it to the finals of their respective divisions. Ogden was swept in the Finals after winning both halves of the Pioneer League South Division. In addition, Great Lakes had the best overall record in the Midwest League (90-47), but lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual champion Lake County.

Dodgers organizational All-Stars

Catcher -- J.T. Wise, Great Lakes (86 games): Former fifth-round Draft pick Wise may have split time behind the plate with Gorman Erickson, but he was still the most productive backstop in the organization. He slugged 12 homers and hit .309 in 86 games, and he drove in more runs (62) than any other member of the Loons' infield. The Oklahoma native wore out left-handed pitchers (.362), hit .400 after the All-Star break and finished the regular season batting .500 (13-for-26) over the final week, earning him Player of the Week honors.

"J.T. had a good season," said Loons manager Juan Bustabad. "He swung the bat really well for us, and he had some home runs. He had an injury during the season, but he came back and he's been working hard on his catching.

"His offense is his big strength, but he needs to work on blocking balls, throwing and calling a game. That is the big part of his game where he needs to improve.

"Erickson is a good defensive catcher, so they both have to play, and it is important for the organization that we develop both guys."

First Base -- John Lindsey, AZL (one game), Albuquerque (107 games): Lindsey did it all for the 'Topes this season -- he hit for power, hit for average and hit with men in scoring position. His 97 RBIs were the most among the Dodgers' Minor League affiliates, and his .353 average -- the best across Triple-A -- won him the Pacific Coast League's batting title. He also led the PCL in extra-base hits (70) and slugging percentage (.657), and his 41 doubles were second only to teammate Trent Oeltjen. Lindsey was named to the Mid- and Postseason All-Star teams, and his seven homers and .415 clip in May earned him the Player of the Month award. After 16 years in the Minors, Lindsey was called up to "The Show" on Sept. 6.

"He is unbelievable for our young guys," Dodgers farm director De Jon Watson told "He shows what it takes to persevere in this game. He's just a quality human being with a great work ethic and integrity. You want those type of people around your young guys that are on their way to the big leagues, so they don't forget what this game really takes, what kind of character it really takes, what kind of resolve it takes to come in every single day and keep grinding away."

Second Base -- Ivan De Jesus, Albuquerque (130 games): De Jesus edged out Great Lakes' speedy Rafael Ynoa at second base. De Jesus ranked fifth in the PCL with 158 hits, and he set career highs in RBIs (70) and doubles (33). The Puerto Rican native batted .296 over 130 games, and he slugged seven homers and scored 89 runs out of the No. 2 hole. De Jesus, who recorded four four-hit games, also hit .348 with runners in scoring position with two outs.

Third Base -- Russ Mitchell, Albuquerque (127 games): Mitchell was not only the best third baseman within the Dodgers' system in 2010, but he was also one of the best corner infielders in the Pacific Coast League. He hit .315 over 127 games, and he ranked in the top five in the PCL in runs scored (97, second), doubles (38, fourth), hits (159, fourth) and extra-base hits (63, fifth). He also drove in 87 runs -- third-most in the LA organization -- and after being named to the Postseason All-Star team, he was called up to the Major Leagues for 15 games in September and October.

Shortstop -- Jake Lemmerman, Ogden (66 games): The Dodgers were stacked at shortstop in 2010, and there are solid arguments for Christian Lara, Justin Sellars or Dee Gordon. However, it was the rookie Lemmerman who stood out from the crowd. In just 66 games in the short-season Pioneer League, the Duke University product hit .363 with 12 homers and a league-leading 24 doubles. The 21-year-old rookie ranked second in extra-base hits (38) and third in slugging percentage (.610) and on-base percentage (.434), and along with being a Postseason All-Star, he also was named as the league's Most Valuable Player.

Outfield -- Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Great Lakes (121 games): A 2009 12th-rounder, Cavazos-Galvez tore up the Midwest League this season. He led the league in doubles (43) and total bases (255), and his .318 batting average ranked second only to Mike Trout. The Postseason All-Star's .520 slugging percentage was also the second-highest mark in the league, and the versatile slugger launched 16 homers and swiped 43 bases, all while putting together a league-best 24-game hitting streak. In the playoffs, Cavazos-Galvez plates eight runs, second in the league.

"He had a tremendous year," Bustabad added, "almost like the MVP. Brian was there the whole year, he stole over 40 bases, hit more than 35 doubles, had double figures in home runs and batted .318, I believe. Those are some big numbers, and he's had two impressive years back to back.

"Even after his 24-game hitting streak finished, he went on a 12-game hitting streak, so he actually hit safely in 36 of 37 games. The thing about him was that he was hitting around .240 at the All-Star break, but after that he just turned it into another gear and hit 75 or 78 points higher.

"It was just unbelievable. I think he hit .400 for the month of July, and I think he was close to .400 again in August. He made the adjustments."

Outfield -- Nick Akins, AZL (20 games), Ogden (47 games): Akins won the MiLB Short-Season Round-Tripper award in 2010, slugging 15 homers in 47 Pioneer League contests. After batting .400 in 20 Arizona League games, Akins moved up to Ogden, where he went deep once every 11.8 at-bats, the lowest ratio in the league. Across the two levels, Akins set career highs in RBIs (70) and runs (58), and he won Player of the Week honors Aug. 9 after batting .429 (12-for-28) with three homers and seven RBIs. On July 26, Akins went 3-for-4, missing the cycle by a single.

Outfield -- Trayvon Robinson, Chattanooga (120 games): Southern League Midseason All-Star Robinson combined power and speed to terrorize defenses in 2010. He slugged nine homers and swiped 38 bases -- third-most in the league -- all while drawing a career-high 73 walks and maintaining a .300 batting average in his first full season in Double-A. His 80 runs and 37 extra-base hits ranked second on the Lookouts, and he put together 29- and 28-game on-base streaks.

Chattanooga manager Carlos Subero said, "Robinson has all the tools, but the last couple years, he has refined these tools. His plate discipline has been one of his biggest improvements, and he is a line-drive hitter gap to gap.

"He covers good ground in center field -- he could also play left field -- he has the potential to steal 30 bases in the big leagues year to year, and he has also matured as a team player."

Utility -- Jerry Sands, Great Lakes (69 games)/Chattanooga (68 games): Sands brought the thunder this season, launching 35 homers, third-most in all of the Minor Leagues. Sands, a three-time Midwest League Player of the Week and All-Star Game MVP, hit 18 homers, batted .333 and stole 14 bases in 69 Midwest League games. Following his June promotion to Double-A Chattanooga, the 6-foot-4 slugger hit 17 more longballs, scoring 54 times and plating 47 runs. His 17 homers ranked fourth in the Southern League, and only Mike Stanton hit more in fewer games. The Dodgers named him Branch Rickey Minor League Player of the Year.

"He would have put up some unbelievable numbers in the Midwest League if he was there the whole year," said Bustabad. "He played right field, played left field, played a couple times in center and a lot of time at first base. He played all four positions well.

"He had 18 home runs before he got promoted, and he was just having a great year. He was a great leader, and we really missed him a lot."

Right-handed Starting Pitcher -- Allen Webster, Great Lakes (26 games): Rubby De La Rosa was a serious contender here, but the fact that he started the season as a reliever and only played half the season as a starter made it difficult to choose him. Webster's 12 wins tied for the lead in the Midwest League as well as in the Dodgers' organization, and his 2.88 ERA was the best among all qualifying pitchers. The former 18th-round pick was also named a Midseason All-Star, largely due to not allowing more than one earned run in each of his first seven starts.

"Webster is only 20 years old, but he won 12 games," Bustabad said. "Here's a kid that made the All-Star team, tops out at 94 mph, and he has a real good sinker and a breaking ball. He's so young, but winning 12 games at his first full season at [Class A] is impressive."

Left-handed Starting Pitcher -- Greg Wilborn, Ogden (eight games)/Great Lakes (seven games): Wilborn went 8-2 with a 2.62 ERA over two levels this season, fanning 107 batters in a combined 82 1/3 innings. The 23-year-old went 4-0 in the Pioneer League, striking out 58 while walking only eight. In the more challenging Midwest League, Wilborn was 4-2 in seven starts with the Loons. He struck out three times as many as he walked (49 to 16), and he allowed just one homer in 38 2/3 frames.

Relief Pitcher -- Kenley Jansen, Inland Empire (11 games)/Chattanooga (22 games): Jansen sparked in 2010, both before and after his stint with the Lookouts. The 6-foot-6 switch-hitting pitcher appeared in 11 games in relief for LA's Class A Advanced affiliate before being promoted to Chattanooga in mid-May. Jansen converted all eight of his save opportunities, and he posted a 4-0 record and 1.67 ERA in 22 appearances. He held opponents to a .151 batting average, and he struck out 50 batters while walking 17. Jansen was rewarded with a callup to the Dodgers in July, where he went 1-0 with four saves, allowing just two runs over 27 innings in 25 appearances.

Subero said, "Jansen has all the potential to be a good closer in the big leagues. He has a good power fastball with a hard slider, great makeup and presence for the role.

"His intangibles, as well, are very good. He pays attention to the details of the game and asks good questions."

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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