Dodgers' assistant GM's Logan White and De Jon Watson, along with scouting director Tim Hallgren, fielded fans' questions during a live Web chat on Tuesday. The trio chatted about the status of many of the young, talented prospects in the Dodger farm system.
Buckner22: Do you strike a balance between need and talent when selecting prospects?
White: Our philosophy is to get the best available talent, but we're certainly aware of needs within the organization.
Hallgren: You always want to pick the best talent available. If the talent outweighs the need, you always take the talent.
26wsringz: What do you look for in a prospect catcher?
White: We look for a Russell Martin, that's what we look for.
White: We look for an athlete behind the plate. Everything in the scouting department, we look for athleticism first. We look for am athlete who can catch, receive, hit, and hit for power.
Buckner22: With Jeff Kent possibly retiring after this season, is there anyone within the system that is being looked at as a possible replacement?
Watson: Hu is versatile enough to play both sides of the bag. LaRoche has been playing in the middle infield. We do have some options. DeWitt played some second a few years ago. I think we do have some alternative in-house if we do choose to go that way.
Buckner22: Scouting would seem to be a 24-hour job. How much down time do get to take after the draft?
Hallgren: I don't get any downtime (laughs). We try to sign the players after the draft. Then we go into pro scouting. Then advance work. Then winter showcases in Florida. If there's any downtime, it's between the Winter Meetings and when Spring Training starts.
mlbammer5: A lot of clubs took relief pitchers in the first couple rounds, why is that becoming so trendy?
Hallgren: I don't think it's a trend. It's just the way this year's draft went.
markatt: How good is Andrew Lambo?
Hallgren: He is a natural-born hitter with a good stroke. He keeps doing the little things he's doing, and he has a chance to become a big league hitter.
Watson: He has one of the best hitting approaches in our system. He plays in the outfield, and can also play first base. His bat is advanced beyond his age.
markatt: Now that most of the dodgers prospects have been called up, would you still consider us to have one of the best farm systems? Who are our top prospects?
White: We have utilized our farm system, but we still have a quality farm system. There are a number of players who can come up and contribute to the big league club over the next three, four years.
Watson: We have Troncoso, Meloan, Orenduff, Miller in Triple-A. Elberts who is now healthy. Jesus Castillo who is throwing the ball well in Double-A. If you look at our system, we got guys on all sides, starters, relievers, and position players. We have a number of players who will be major leaguers in the future.
markatt: Mr. White, I am a huge fan of all of your accomplishments and I look up to what you have done with the young guys. My question is do you feel Andre Ethier is underrated? I feel like he always is treated the worst out of the young guys.
White: Thank you very much. I appreciate it. I get a lot of credit when it's my staff who should get credit. I have a great, great staff.
White: I don't think Andre is underrated in terms of how the Dodgers perceive him. We have good regard for Andre and his ability. How the rest of baseball perceives him, I don't have a good handle on. We're just really glad we were able to get him from the A's.
mlbammer5: How is Chris Withrow coming along this season?
Watson: He's healthy. He was in Extended Spring Training. He is now working with Charlie Hough. He had a strong second half in the GCL last year. We're looking forward to having him a strong summer.
joe_bost: What are the expectations for Greg Miller and Jon Meloan?
Watson: Miller is working out of the bullpen. We see him as an early or late lefty out of the 'pen. We're getting him to the point where he consistently dominates the strikezone. For Meloan, his secondary stuff has been very consistent. He's getting closer and closer. He's an option to be a starter at the major league level should there be a need.
fawnkyjunk: Whom do you forsee being the closest to the majors out of this draft?
White: It would be unfair to comment on other teams. For us, Josh Lindblom could be the guy to get to the Dodgers the quickest.
Hallgren: He's a college pitcher who has a chance to be close to big leagues because of his experience.
gilhodges8: Which draft picks have power or can develope it?
Hallgren: It's Kyle Russell. He led the nation in home runs last year. He is the University of Texas' all-time home run leader. And we did sign Kyle today.
ericmonson: The Dodgers are famous for changing positions. Is Lucas May a promising enough prospect to make the Dodgers consider moving Russell Martin to another position?
Watson: Lucas May definitely has the ability to be a catcher at the major league level. Having two solid everyday players at the same position gives us some versatility. Lucas has the leadership qualities to be a big league catcher. This kid is a year and a half away from possibly being a big league catcher, but that doesn't affect Russell.
White: Keep in mind Russell caught the All-Star Game last year.
White, Watson, Hallgren: Thank you again, everyone. We'll see you all next time.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.