A Graphic Look at the Window to Win: Los Angeles Dodgers

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Just in time for prospect season, we take a look at the idea of "windows" and a team's prime time to win. Inspired by what seems to be a once every three years rebuild for the Oakland Athletics, is there going to be a time where all their premier prospects hit and they'll have the best chance to win? Here we present the pleasures of trying to maximize production during one's service time.

28th in the series, we look at the Los Angeles Dodgers. We have a team ranked 22th overall by John Sickels with no A-rated prospects, but 10 B-rated prospects. Their system varies across all three rankings we looked at; 19th in Kevin Goldstein rankings and 12th in Keith Law's 2012 organizational rankings. With his more generous ranking, Law sees some optimism about the system:

If pitching wins championships, the Dodgers are in pretty good shape going forward, as their system is loaded with power arms but is relatively light on position players.

The news of the new ownership is long overdue and should signal a new renewed commitment to winning. Hopefully with some magic in mind, when is the window opening for the Dodgers again in a tough NL West?

Last year's Dodger team won a respectable 82 games, and while they haven't done much to improve the roster, they might not make it back to that win total this season. Yesterday, Jason Brannon from Baseball Nation compiled projected 2012 standings from PECOTA (Baseball Prospectus), Marcel (Tom Tango), CAIRO (Replacement Level Yankees Weblog), and Clay Davenport. Here's how the compiled projections sees the NL West:

San Francisco 85
Arizona 84
Colorado 83
Los Angeles 77
San Diego 76

Personally, I think their win total lies somewhere closer to 80 games, but who am I to argue with algorithms?

Here's what the Dodgers roster projects to be in 2012:

*New acquisition, Current roster info from MLB Depth Charts

Starting Lineup
1 SS Dee Gordon
2 2B Mark Ellis
3 CF Matt Kemp
4 RF Andre Ethier
5 LF Juan Rivera
6 1B James Loney
7 3B Juan Uribe
8 C A.J. Ellis

Bench
C Matt Treanor
IF Adam Kennedy
IF Justin Sellers
IF/OF Jerry Hairston, Jr.
OF Tony Gwynn, Jr.

Starting Rotation
1 LHP Clayton Kershaw
2 RHP Chad Billingsley
3 LHP Ted Lilly
4 RHP Aaron Harang
5 LHP Chris Capuano

Bullpen
CL RHP Javy Guerra
SU RHP Kenley Jansen
SU RHP Matt Guerrier
MID LHP Scott Elbert
MID RHP Mike MacDougal
MID RHP Todd Coffey
LR RHP Jamey Wright

The bulk of the rotation is locked up through 2014 with the exception of P Ted Lilly. At the end of this season, they'll have to make some decisions on whether they should re-sign both OF Andre Ethier and 1B James Loney. As USA Today noted in their Dodgers preview, this season's success rests on both Ethier and Loney. Hopefully while both being on their contract years, they'll both play for an extension.

They have their top pitching prospects coming up in the next 3 years: Evaldi (2012), Webster (2013), and Lee (2014). John Sickels says it best in his Dodgers prospect list:

The Dodgers farm system isn't in terrific condition, but it's not bad, either. They have good strength in right-handed starting pitching: Lee, Eovaldi, Webster, Gould, Sanchez, and Withrow could all develop into workhorse starters and perhaps more.

The Dodgers have a daunting task at hand with the Giants and newly revived Diamondbacks in the same division. It doesn't look like they'll be competing for the NL West crown this year, or maybe even next, but with new ownership, it's likely that they'll be back sooner than later. The window for the Dodgers will be open again hopefully as soon as 2014.

See the previous graphics in this series: Mariners | Athletics | Astros | Cubs | Pirates | Royals | Twins | Indians | Padres | Diamondbacks | Rays | Jays | Braves | Nationals | Mets | Marlins | Phillies | Red Sox | Orioles | Yankees | White Sox | Tigers | Cardinals | Reds | Rangers | Angels | Brewers

Check out FUNGraphs.info or Follow @cobradave

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