Although it shouldn’t come as a surprised to anyone, ThinkBlueLA has learned that top Dodgers pitching prospects Chris Anderson, Lindsey Caughel, Julio Urias and Tom Windle have been named as the starting rotation for the Advanced Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, who open their 2014 season one week from today against the San Jose Giants at LoanMart Field.
Chris Anderson (21), who was selected by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft (18th overall pick) out of Jacksonville University, appeared in 12 games with the Low Single-A Great Lakes Loons in 2013, finishing with a 3-0 record and a stellar 1.96 ERA. The 6′ 4″ 215-pound right-hander struck out 50 while walking 24 in 46 innings of work. Anderson appeared in one major league spring training game with the Dodgers allowing two runs on one with two walks in 1.1 innings of work.
Lindsey Caughel (23), selected by the Dodgers in the 23rd round of the 2012 First Year Player Draft out of Stetson University (DeLand, FL), split the 2013 season between Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga, finishing the season with a combined 4-10 record and 3.63 ERA. The 6′ 3″ 205-pound hard-throwing right-hander struck out 138 while walking only 23 for an outstanding K/9 ratio of 8.6 in 143.2 innings pitched. Needless to say, Caughel is a workhorse with excellent control and figures to be one of the first to be promoted to Double-A Chattanooga this season.
Julio Urias, who will pitch nearly all of the 2014 season as a 17-year-old, was signed by the Dodgers on August 23, 2012 out of Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico shortly after his 16th birthday. The 5′ 11″ 160-pound (and growing) left-hander appeared in 18 games with the Loons in 2013, ending with a 2-0 record and 2.48 ERA. His win-loss record would have been much better but because he was on a very strict innings limit, he rarely went the requisite 5 innings to earn the win. In his 54.1 innings pitched, Urias struck out 67 and walked 16 for a Kershaw-like K/9 ratio of 11.1. Urias made one spring training start for the Dodgers striking out two of the three batters he face on 14 total pitches without allowing a hit. Urias showed confidence and poise well beyond his years and many, including some of his peers, say that he is already MLB-ready. Legendary Dodgers scout Mike Brito, who discovered and signed the young phenom, has said numerous times that he believes that Urias will be pitching in the major leagues as an 18-year-old.
Tom Windle (22), selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Minnesota, also spent the 2013 season at Great Lakes, where he was 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA. The 6′ 4″ 215-pound left-hander struck out 51 while walking 20 in his 53.2 innings of work. Windle also made one spring training appearance with the Dodgers going two innings allowing no runs on one hit while striking out one and walking one to pick up his first-ever save.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed yet, sources told ThinkBlueLA that Anderson will most likely get the opening day start for the Quakes.
With two lefties and two righties, new Quakes manager P.J. Forbes and returning pitching coach Matt Herges have a well-balanced starting rotation that figures to be very very good.