Mailbag: Should LA trade Young?
Beat reporter Ken Gurnick answers fans' questions
If Delwyn Young is not in the Dodgers' plans, will they trade him?
-- Danny S., Chicago
Anybody in his third season at Triple-A clearly is not in the plans. Not that he hasn't deserved a chance, because he's hit throughout his Minor League career and has been tearing it up this year. He's also turned himself into a respectable defensive outfielder, capable of spectacular leaping catches at the wall. But with Juan Pierre signed for five years, Andre Ethier in his second season and Matt Kemp apparently locked in for the long-term, at best Young would be a switch-hitting utility-type extra outfielder for the Dodgers. He needs a change of scenery and an organization willing to give him Major League at-bats. If he's lucky, he'll get the kind of chance the Marlins have given former Dodgers Minor Leaguer Cody Ross.Phillies All-Star second baseman Chase Utley was a high draft choice of the Dodgers, but he didn't sign. How did they let him get away?
-- Steve S., Sacramento, Calif. Here's Utley's explanation: "I wanted to go to college and experience college life, start some of my education. If baseball was in my future, it would still be there after college. It was a difficult decision. At one point, I really thought I was going to sign, but I didn't want to pass up college. I got as close as you can get without signing. My parents left it up to me, but they were in favor of my going to college. It was UCLA, and it might have been different if it was somewhere else, but it was an opportunity to go there on a scholarship. It was a tough decision, but I'm glad I made it. College was the best time of my life." How are the Dodgers responding to hitting coach Bill Mueller?
-- Micah E., Fresno, Calif. From the time Mueller took over for Eddie Murray as the hitting coach on June 15 until the All-Star break, the Dodgers were first in the Major Leagues with 250 hits and second in average (.299) and on-base percentage (.368). Of course, Mueller has had a different lineup to work with than Murray, as James Loney has played regularly at first base and Matt Kemp has seen considerable playing time in the outfield. But the early returns are nonetheless impressive and if Mueller (and Manny Mota) can turn around Wilson Betemit, that alone would indicate the move worked. Can you give an update on how the Dodgers' top prospects have done halfway through the season?
-- Terry R., Cincinnati
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Baseball America ranked the Dodgers' top five prospects this year as third baseman Andy La Roche, left-hander Clayton Kershaw, left-hander Scott Elbert, Loney and infielder Tony Abreu.
La Roche hasn't hit as expected and has been troubled by a sore shoulder. Kershaw is on the fast track to the Major Leagues. Elbert is out for the year with shoulder surgery. Loney and, to a lesser extent, Abreu have made an impact with the big-league club. Getting two of the top five to contribute on the big-league level is a credit to the organization's player development system. Kemp was not eligible to make the list because he is no longer a rookie. If he had been, he probably would have ranked first or second.Did Rudy Seanez only sign a one-year deal before this season, or is there an option year?
-- Steven Wright, Los Angeles The 38-year-old Seanez signed a one-year, Minor League contract for $700,000 with another $500,000 possible through incentives for appearances. The first incentive kicks in at 45 games. He currently has 41 appearances and at his current pace, he will receive the entire $500,000.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.