Finally, someone new…

Last year, we mixed in some other front office personnel which makes this far more exciting for you guys. We’re going to do that again this year and our first post from someone other than me in quite some time comes from De Jon Watson, our new Director of Player Development. Chris Haydock, the Assistant Director of Player Development will also weigh in from time to time, but I know that a lot of people have asked for more minor league info, so here goes:

—De Jon Watson—

The first week of the season for me has been really exciting because our guys have all left Spring Training and they’re getting a chance to play games under the lights and getting acclimated to the ballparks and cities and weather where they’re going to play. It’s been especially interesting for the kids in the Great Lakes who have never seen snow before. It was a bit of shock at how cold it was and the fact that they’d have to play in that weather, but they’re learning mental toughness and seeing that the big leagers have to play in this weather, too.

My first trip to San Bernardino was a very good trip. I was fortunate enough to catch our club against Rancho Cucamonga and in that three-day trip we saw Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver. It was a great opportunity for our position players and our pitchers to see how big leaguers go about their business. It also allowed our hitters to see how they stack up against real big league pitchers. Young kids like Ivan DeJesus had quality at bats and hit the ball hard off Colon, going 3-for-4. Then they saw Jered Weaver, coming at them from a different arm slot and one of our young kids Jesus Castillo matched him pitch for pitch for five innings before getting into a little trouble. The entire bullpen is impressive down there with Ramon troncoso, Brent Leach, Jordan Pratt, Jacobo Meque and Cory Wade.

Lucas May is also off to a really good start. He hit two home runs the night before last and really is swinging the bat well and adjusting to his position change as a catcher. He’s an athletic kid that was drafted as a shortstop but now he’s a catcher. He’s got a tremendous throwing arm and his game calling is improving by the start.

Blake DeWitt was swinging the bat well and the results are not there, but he hit two balls hard off Colon and he’s playing solid defense. Ivan DeJesus is playing really solid at short and having very quality at-bats and using the entire field to hit so it’s been fun watching him. We’ve got another kid, Russell Mitchell, who is coming off a hyperextended knee that’s also swinging the bat well.

Jared Hoffman got off to a good start. He’s a big, strong kid who runs well and is getting more confident by the day.

I can also tell you that it’s been great having a club that’s less than 80 miles from the parent club in case we have to send someone out on a rehab assignment. We just received Yhency Brazoban and he’ll be starting for us today in San Bernardino. It’s just easier for our training staff to keep an eye on him that way and it’s a huge benefit. The fans are very supportive and there seems to be a ton of Dodger fans in the park wearing their blue.

Last night I was at Dodger Stadium for the Jackie Robinson celebration and now i’m in Las Vegas to watch our Triple-A club. We’ll have more for you in a week or two.

If you want to ask questions for De Jon, he’ll be hosting a live chat on April 24 at 2 p.m. on

Here’s tonight’s big league lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Betemit, 3B

Penny, P



    The comments on the minor affiliates are very interesting. I have a tendency to concentrate on the big club, so this will give me a better picture of what is going on in the organization.
    It’s true that JP has not looked real good to this point, but in spite of this we are winning. I’m in favor of some patience as far as he’s concerned. He’s got to be a better player than he’s shown to this point and when he settles in the Dodgers will be really fun to watch. Kind of like a track meet.

    Glad to see a big night for Ethier. It’s got to do him some good. I’d like to see one for Betemit tonight.


    Thanks De Jon, it’s great to hear about the kids and our Dodger future. I couldn’t agree more, having a team back in San Bernardino is GREAT !!! Going to a minor league game is almost better then watching the major league team. It’s still about baseball down there, not the money !!! The kids who really want to succeed play their hearts out. Russell Martin is a great example of that.

    GO Dodgers !!!


    Starting the year winning all 4 series against the NL West will be huge and send a nice message.
    Andre broke out of it last night, Pierre and Betemit tonight!

    Go Blue!


    thanks de jon, and as for last nights game, it could not have been done any better. I was there and it was amazing. btw, does anyone have any additional information on the ball boy that was injured?



    Thanks for the update on the San Bernardino club! I went to the Quakes/66ers game in which Jared Weaver pitched and I agree, 66ers starter Jesus Castillo was looking fantastic considering he was going up against a major league caliber pitcher.

    I am surprised to see DeWitt at A ball; I figured he would start at AA. I imagine it will not be long before he gets moved up.


    garysmith: “Thanks De Jon, it’s great to hear about the kids and our Dodger future. I couldn’t agree more, having a team back in San Bernardino is GREAT !!”

    I agree 100%. When I was in college I used to go to a lot of San Bernardino Spirit games whenever the Bakersfield Dodgers would come to town. I saw a lot of future Dodger players (in addition to Ken Griffey Jr. who was with SB for a half season).

    Now I take my kids to RC Quakes games with the added benefit of seeing future Dodgers!


    Looks like there’s a lot of interest in/hunger for Dodger minor league news. I like to follow it too. Two years ago you could see these guys named Kemp and Martin developing, along with the better advertised Loney/Guzman/LaRoche. My advice, John and De Jon: Don’t ever think people are bored by how the kids are doing. Everybody likes to dream.


    i just heard that Derek Lowe was named team captain. When was this announced?.. where the heck was I on that one?



    De Jon – love the kids. Check the four Dodger minor league box scores every day. All six once the rookie teams get playing in June. Any chance the Dodgers can sign Alex White from last year’s draft?


    andy laroche just went yard. I think its time to scrap betemit. He’s awfull.


  11. Ever

    I still haven’t recieved an email about my “Rewards” program. Have I missed something? I thought that those of us who earned points we going to be getting an email soon.


    Great to see what Pierre can do for this team! He was responsible for our first run with his stolen base and coming around on the Nomar double. Also, he smartly went to third base on Kent’s grounder to 3rd knowing Tracy had to back up to throw Kent out which led to Pierre scoring on the wild pitch. Two runs which most likely would not have scored had anybody else but Pierre been on the bases. Betemit is close to breaking out of this very early slump. Ethier is looking like Ethier. Penny pitched a very good seven innings. And finally it was great to see Nomar pop one in the seats! Go Dodgers!


    Let’s not forget the great D that was played today also. Great all around game for the whole team.


    Which team has the best record in baseball?

    Hint: They’re from LA. And their name doesn’t rhyme with “Flangels.”


    Complete team effort what a beaut!! Weak arm in the outfield … run a few more steps with your speed and then use your SS Cannon to gun em down at the Brick wall That lives at Home Plate… Classic Dodger Play.Can’t find the holes to drop hits in Hit it Deep score the Guy from 3rd.Can’t Hit for avg… Walk steal second adv on the flyball steal home on the wild pitch….Gotta love all the aspects of small ball when they are executed properly and when the team is working together like a ….TEAM!!!!

    Go Blue 2007!!!

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