Get your FanFest autograph access in advance

LAD_12-DS-FanFest-RED-SF (2)By Cary Osborne

Among the already announced happenings at this year’s Dodgers FanFest is a big list of Dodger players and legends who will be appearing and signing autographs. The full autograph schedule is here.

A limited number of autograph session tickets will be available for sale online at www.dodgers.com/fanfest Friday at 10 a.m. PST for $20. All autograph session ticket proceeds will benefit the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation. Donations will support LADF programs and provide assistance to community efforts in the area of education and literacy, health and wellness and sports and recreation.

As part of Dodger season ticket holders’ year-long benefits, a presale of autograph session tickets will be held for fans that hold Dodger season seats from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., also via www.dodgers.com/fanfest. An autograph session ticket is required to get autographs at FanFest.

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Baseball America rates top 10 Dodger prospects

By Jon Weisman

In Baseball America’s new assessment of the Dodger farm system, the triumvirate of Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Julio Urias rates up top, in that order, followed by top 2014 draft picks Grant Holmes and Alex Verdugo.

Jose De Leon has leaped to the No. 6 spot, outfielder Scott Schebler to No. 9 and catcher Julian Leon to No. 10, with pitchers Chris Anderson and Chris Reed returning from 2014’s list. (Here’s the 2013 list for reference as well.)

“Aside from the Cubs, the Dodgers’ top three prospects are as strong as any other organization’s in basebal,” writes BA’s Ben Badler.  “After the vaunted trio, the Dodgers farm system is in a better place than it was a year ago because of the emergence of depth beyond them. Their top 2014 draft picks—first-round righthander Grant Holmes and outfielder Alex Verdugo—both had strong debuts and look like potential impact talents.”

Video: The Dodger way, 2015 (continued)


In this video, hear Gabe Kapler talk more about the Dodgers’ developmental focus to MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds (with this Dodger Insider article as a launching point) and then detail the difference between my hometown of Woodland Hills and his hometown of Reseda.

Ken Gurnick also has a piece on the process at MLB.com.

— Jon Weisman

Brett Anderson, Clayton Kershaw share 10-year history

For an update on Brett Anderson’s offseason progress, read Ken Gurnick’s story at MLB.com.

By Jon Weisman

So, 2015 won’t be the first time that Brett Anderson and Clayton Kershaw are teammates.

Turn the clock back about 10 years, and the new Dodger lefty and the standout Dodger lefty found themselves on the Team USA 18-and-under squad.

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Julio Urias named top LHP prospect in baseball

JulioIMG_7951

By Cary Osborne

The top left-handed pitching prospect in the game is the Dodgers’ Julio Urias — that according to the staff at MLBpipeline.com.

Here’s an even bigger compliment by MLB.com prospect guru Jim Callis, who along with Jonathan Mayo compiles this list:

“I can’t remember a guy with that kind of stuff (at age) 18 in all my years covering prospects,” Callis said.

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¡Ajjjuuuuuaaa! Adrian Gonzalez and mariachis in ESPN story

ESPN Mag A Gon

ESPN Music Issue AGonBy Yvonne Carrasco

Mariachis and the Dodgers play significant roles in Los Angeles culture. What do you get when you put mariachis and Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez together? An awesome representation of L.A. life and the Dodgers.

“El Campeon Del Mariachi,” a story by Stacey Pressman, appears in ESPN The Magazine’s February 2 Music Issue. Gonzalez was paired with Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. This renowned mariachi ensemble, created in 1897 by Gaspar Vargas, has been under the artistic guidance of Ruben Fuentes since 1950, and the group’s musical direction has been led by Don Jose “Pepe” Martinez since 1975. Several members of the group live in the mariachi capital of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, and others live in Mariachi Vargas’ official home base in Mexico City.

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April schedule offers test for Dodgers

April sked

By Jon Weisman

A fast start isn’t essential for winning the World Series, but it does correlate with success.

Since the Dodgers’ last World Series title in 1988, only three Fall Classic champions have been below .500 at the end of April, none since 2003 and none by more than two games.

The Dodgers’ don’t have an easy path in April. They play six ’nuf said games against the defending champs from San Francisco, six more against the Padres that will be fraught with tension, and three at home against the Mariners, who according to Fangraphs project to have the best record in the American League.

Their remaining six April games are against the rebuilding Diamondbacks and Rockies, the latter three at home.

Below are charts showing how World Series champions have fared at various stages of the season since 1988, and the Dodgers’ performance in that time.

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Vin Scully and Co. celebrate baseball

By Jon Weisman

The video above captures the flavor of celebration at Saturday’s Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation dinner in Century City, with Vin Scully, Chan Ho Park, Peter O’Malley, Dusty Baker and Tommy Lasorda among the interviewees.

Next is a less Dodger-centric snapshot, with more focus on the transition between retiring MLB commisioner Bud Selig and his successor, Rob Manfred:

Below, filmed at the same event, Stan Kasten and Charley Steiner talk about the Dodgers’ offseason changes …

 

In case you missed it: Yasiel Puig asks, ‘Did you see?’

Do you see ? He was safe because he hit the cutoff men haha #baseball #mlb #littleleaguer #niceday #goodtime

A video posted by @yasielpuig (@yasielpuig) on

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers avoided salary arbitration hearings this year, making deals with A.J. Ellis, Chris Heisey, Kenley Jansen, Juan Nicasio and Justin Turner. The team hasn’t had a salary-arbitration hearing since Joe Beimel’s in 2007 and hasn’t lost one since Terry Adams in 2001.

Elsewhere … (more…)

Through the eyes of the prospects

By Matthew Mesa

Take a glimpse into this year’s Winter Development Program through the social media accounts of the Dodger minor leaguers that attended.

Arrivals:

Winter Development Program

A photo posted by Jose De Leon (@j.dele87) on

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