2009 MLB Preview: #10 Los Angeles Dodgers

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Offseason Movement: The Dodgers were mostly quiet this offseason outside of adding Orlando Hudson, Guillermo Mota and Randy Wolf. Oh yeah, and after 4,958 days of painful back and forth negotiating, L.A. GM Ned Colleti was able to re-sign outfielder Manny Ramirez to a two-year deal.

Top Prospect: James McDonald, RHP
The Dodgers have a couple of top prospects, including OF/1B Andrew Lambo and INF Ivan DeJesus Jr., but McDonald is the closest to making the big league roster. The club has been in search for a fifth starter all spring and they could tab McDonald for the role if he continues to pitch well in exhibition games. McDonald doesn’t overpower hitters (his fastball only tops out at 92 mph), but he has a nasty curveball and his command is solid as well. It’ll be interesting to see if L.A. gives the 24-year old the fifth spot in the rotation or sends him down to Triple-A for more seasoning.

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2009 MLB Preview: #11 Atlanta Braves

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Offseason Movement: The Braves brought in former Dodgers’ starter Derek Lowe, as well as a quality (albeit aging) bat in Garret Anderson, formerly of the Angels. The club also traded for pitcher Boone Logan and signed Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami.

Top Prospect: Tommy Hanson, RHP
Some consider outfielder Jason Heyward the Braves’ top prospect – and for good reason. But he’s only 19 and has a couple years to go before reaching the big leagues and therefore Hanson gets the nod here. Hanson has the opportunity to crack the Opening Day roster this season, although Tom Glavine would probably have to start the year on the DL for that to happen. Hanson dominated Class-A, Double-A and Arizona Fall League hitters and so far has looked decent in spring training. He probably isn’t a future ace, but Hanson appears to be a solid No. 2 in the making.

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