2017 Draft Update and Mid-Year Top Prospect List


The 2017 MLB Draft is in the books, and the signing deadline has come and now gone.  The Dodgers had 40 draft picks, and signed 33.  Each of the first 13 picks signed, and 19 of the first 20 signed.  8 signed from picks 21-30, and 6 signed from picks 31-40.  For comparison purposes, the Dodgers drafted 42 in 2015 and 2016, and signed 36 and 33 respectively.  If 5 of the 33 draftees make it to the ML, that would be a pretty good draft (15%).  Breaking it down:

RHP                        18

LFP                           3

C                               1

2B                             1

3B                             1

SS                             4

CF                             2

OF                            3

OF                            3


Division I College                               24         RHP (13); LHP (3); C (1); 3B (1); SS (2); CF (1); OF (3)

Division II College                                 2          RHP (2)

Community College                            4          RHP (2); CF (1); 2B (1)

High School                                             3          RHP (1); SS (2)


Right Hand Bat Position Players                9

Left Hand Bat Position Players                    2

Switch Hitting Position Players                   1


Assigned to AZL Dodgers  (12)

Riley Ottesen                     (5)

Wills Montgomery           (6)

Andre Jackson                   (12)        (60 day DL)

Marcus Chiu                       (15)

Evy Riubal                            (16)

Max Gamboa                     (18)        (60 Day DL)

Zach Willeman                  (19)        (60 Day DL)

Preston Grand Pre          (24)

Jeremy Arocho                 (27)

Chris Roller                         (30)

Dan Jagiello                        (34)

Colby Nealy                        (35)


Assigned to Ogden Raptors  (6)

Rylan Bannon                    (8)

Justin Hoyt                          (22)

Connor Heady                   (23)

Devin Hemmerich           (26)

Justin Lewis                        (28)

Tyler Adkison                     (32)


Assigned to Great Lakes Loons  (1)

Zach Reks                            (10)


Not Yet Assigned  (14)


Jeren Kendall                     (1)

Morgan Cooper                (2)

Connor Wong                    (3)

James Marinan                 (4)

Zachary Pop                       (7)

Connor Strain                    (9)

Jacob Amaya                      (11)

Marshall Kasowski         (13)

Nathan Witt                       (17)

Donovan Casey                 (20)

Mark Washington            (25)

Brett de Geus                    (33)

Riley Richert                       (36)

Corey Merrill                      (37)



Baseball Prospectus recently published their mid-year top 50 prospects.  Once again the Dodgers are one of the top teams with 3 of the top 28 players:  Walker Buehler (19), Alex Verdugo (27), and Yadier Alveraz (28).

Teams with 5 players  (1)     Atlanta Braves

Teams with 4 players  (3)     Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies

Teams with 3 players  (2)     Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees

Teams with 2 players  (10)   Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, Washington National Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros, San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays

Teams with 1 players  (7)     Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Oakland A’s, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles

Teams with 0 players  (7)     San Francisco Giants, Arizona DBacks, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins



Not a great day for the Dodger farm teams.  The teams combined for a 1-6 record.


OKC lost 5-2 to New Orleans (Marlins)– David Hale started and went 6 innings, allowing 5 runs, 9 hits, 0 walks, 1 strikeout and took the loss.  Joe Broussard and Josh Ravin each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.  Drew Maggi hit his 5thHR.  Recently promoted Edwin Rios went 1-4 in his AAA debut.  Box, just for you, Verdugo 0-3 with a HBP.


Tulsa lost 6-3 to Frisco Roughriders (Texas)– Frisco broke a 1-1 tie with a 5 run 9thinning.  All of the runs were scored off of Shea Spitzbarth.  Of the 5 runs, 4 were unearned due to his throwing error.  Andy Sopko started and went 6 innings.  He allowed 1 run on 4 hits, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 1 HR.  Andy is turning his season around.  Offensively, Henry Ramos remained on fire.  Since coming off the DL on June 20, Henry is batting .552/.563/1.034/1.597.  Henry accounted for all three runs with 2 HRs.


RC Quakes lost 5-4 to Inland Empire Batters (Angels) in 10 innings– Adam Bray started and went 7 innings – 1 run, 5 hits, 0 walks, and 7 strikeouts.  Danny Corcino came on in the 8thand allowed 3 runs without getting an out turning a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 losing score.  RC scored 2 runs in the 9thto tie the score at 4-4, before Jose Rojas hit a walk off double to score the winning run.  Johan Mieses continues to show he is very comfortable at RC with three more hits.  Drew Jackson and Zach McKinstry each had two hits.  DJ Peters (19) and Ibandel Isabel (17) each had a HR.  They continue to be #1 and #2 in HRs in the Cal League.


Great Lakes lost 12-3 to Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa)– Imani Abdullah started and went 2.1 innings allowing 4 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout.  Chris Matthewson finished the final 5.2 innings and did not fare too well (we will leave it at that).  20 year old 3B Christian Santana remained blazing hot with 3 more hits.  His batting average is up to .481 since his promotion.  18 year old SS Oneil Cruz had two hits including his 6thHR and 6thdouble.


Ogden lost 7-4 to Idaho Falls Chukars (KC)– Rylan Bannon remained hot with 2 more hits.  His batting average is up to .438.  Romer Cuadrado, Brock Carpenter, and Connor Heady each had two hits.  Carpenter and Heady each had a double on the night.  We will not discuss the pitching in this game.


DSL1 beat DSL A’s 14-8– Marco Hernandez and Kiumel Bastardo had 3 hits each.  Luis Carlos Diaz and Kenneth Betancourt each had 2 hits.  Jose Rodulfo started and went 4 innings – 0 runs, 3 hits, 0 walks, 4 strikeouts, and ERA down to 1.16.  For the year, this 16 year old from Anaco, Venezuela has pitched 23.1 innings, 17 hits, 3 runs, 5 walks, and 18 strikeouts.  Joan Valdez finished the final 1.2 innings, allowing 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 walks, 1 strikeout, ERA down to 1.98.  This 18 year old pitcher from San Pedro de Macoris, DR, has gone 13.2 innings, 12 hits, 3 runs, 4 walks, and 11 strikeouts.


DSL2 lost 13-2 to DSL Rangers 1– Hector Martinez had two hits.  Frank Sanchez hit his 2ndHR.  No need to discuss the pitching.



This article has 40 Comments

  1. Nice breakdown of the new draft class. Thanks for your time and effort to keep the rest of us better informed.

    1. In MLB, all draft choices are sleepers. It is the most inexact and exasperating draft in all of the major sports.
      I don’t know if a second round is actually a sleeper, but I am really hopeful on THE Morgan Cooper. Something about 6’5″ pitchers from Texas. Cooper was one of the top pitchers in a tough conference. Good mid 90’s fastball, and a breaking ball he throws for strikes. If he can get his change to be a plus pitch, he becomes a kid rotation prospect. He has a high floor of long relief. He is projected to be between Ross Stripping (on the low side) and Brock Stewart (on the high side).
      4th round HS RHP – James Marinen – James received the highest above spot bonus from LAD; in excess of $420K. Was committed to Miami. Mid-90’s fastball as a HS senior with a good slider.
      7th round – Kentucky RHRP – Zachary Pop – Dropped in draft due to firearm injury during t the season. 94-96 with sink, that touches 98. Good slider in high 80’s. SEC pitcher.
      10th round Kentucky senior OF – Zach Reks – I am partial to college seniors. .352/.461/.471 in the SEC. More walks (42) than strikeouts (26). Good base running instinct. Stole 15 out of 18.
      11th round HS SS – Jacob Amaya – Tremendous defensive skills. But will he hit? Originally committed to Cal State Fullerton.
      24th round Cal infielder – Preston Grand Pre – Was out half the year with broken hand. Split time between SS and 2B. Also played 1st. Another in a long line of super utility players. I mention Preston because of the obvious FAZ trend with multi-position players and his name.
      26th round LHP Norfolk State – Devin Hemmerich – I always follow 26th round selections.

      1. I hate spell check. Not THE Morgan Cooper, but RHP Morgan Cooper. Not kid rotation but mid rotation.

        1. Thank you, AC.
          I like the name Morgan Cooper…a cross between a Morgan Roadster and a Mini Cooper.

  2. Very nice! Thanks for the Verdugo line, I see with the 0fer his average dropped down to .346.
    The churn on these minor league players must be huge. At least an entire team worth of players drafted each year. I guess a ton of minor league players are “one and done”?

    1. Yes. A lot of players are one and done. They sign, report, get their bonus checks, and finish a summer vacation. Time to get on with life, especially with the college players. Minor League ball is not nearly as much fun as college, and a lot harder life than expected. It is no longer a game, but now a job. That is why if teams get 5-6 from a draft it is good.

      1. Thanks for the reply. What exactly does a team get for the bonus checks? For instance, if Kendall reports and decides after a season, this is too hard. Does he get to keep the whole bonus check? Or if after a season the Dodgers cut him, does he keep the whole bonus check? You have previously told us about the lousy pay, but I assume everybody gets paid in addition to bonus checks?

        1. The bonuses are guaranteed. I cannot remember which one, but there was a recent Dodger draftee who signed, reported, and retired after his first game. This is certainly not common, but many of the kids I knew lasted maybe three seasons, and many were 2nd and 3rd rounds selections.
          There is “salary” in addition to bonus, but the “salary” is what turns most players away.

  3. AC,

    Thank you for your thoughtful perspective on the draft and our minor league prospects. You are the perfect Ying to Mark’s yang. This blog has become so very informative! It’s a daily stop for me.

    Couple of the lower drafted players I’m looking forward to seeing perform are Donovan Casey (who appears to be a sleeper) and Marshall Kasowski (what a story he has). Rylan Bannon is also off to a nice start, though it’s hard to get a good read on what statistics actually mean in the thin air of Ogden.
    Also, what is your take on Christian Santana? Is he the real deal?
    Like Rudy Byrd, I would be interested in reading some of the in depth thoughts you have on the players selected by the Dodgers in the draft.
    Thanks again to you and Mark for all the work you and Mark put in to make this blog an enjoyable read!

    1. It is hard not to like what Cristian Santana has done. He is a 20 year old from the DR who is on a great streak. He shot through rookie ball, and is now feasting on more advanced pitching at full season A Ball. I do expect him to at least get tested at High A before the season is over. It is hard to know if anyone excelling at A Ball is the real deal, but his ability to barrel up is intriguing. He would not have been moved as quickly as he was to Great Lakes if LAD were not watching.
      I responded to Rudy above, but not in any great detail. I will start to look at players a little more in depth when they start to play. Rylan Bannon is off to a good start. I think one of the reasons Santana was moved as quickly as he was, was so both 3B could play regularly. Bannon will get a good look because of the need for 3B.
      Tyler Adkison is another who has gotten off to a good start. Zack Reks is more than holding his own at Great Lakes. He is currently the draftee assigned to the highest league.

  4. In addition to the Edwin Rios promotion to AAA, Yaisel Sierra was also promoted to AAA.

  5. I thought Stewart looked good last night. He has only pitched I believe since the Dodgers drafted him. He was a position player. Orel has many good things to say about Stewart.

    If McCarthy has a good game tonight and can go seven, I will be very happy. Our starters pitchers are starting to find their wings.

    Mark and AC, you guys do a great job. All of the posts are interesting. Almost all of the posters are kind to one another. We can disagree and do it without hurting people. Love it. Great time to be a Dodger.

    1. AL, that is true and refreshing and they are also not morons! Over the past two years there were 5 or 6 people whose every post (another site) was for the purpose of denigrating FAZ. At first blush they criticized and mocked every single thing. It has now reached the point where they just have to stick their heads back up you know where and smell the roses. Bitter old men, all!

    1. Wasn’t it Groucho Marx who said he would never belong to a club that would have him as a member?

  6. I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. Groucho Marx

    You got it pretty close Rudy.

    I am proud to be a member Mark. Keep up the great work. Also, Thanks to AC for bringing us up to speed on the minors and everyone else for having a take and not sucking.

  7. Nice post AC, you put a lot of time into that. I was glad to see all of the late signings come in. Let’s recap what Faz has proven to be good at:
    Scouting: Gasperino has remade the staff-International, HS and College and the other teams rosters.
    Drafting: Projecting talent and signability are considered, they work the slot system well.
    Waiver Wire; Scooping up others rejects for a cheap look, discarding what they don’t like.
    Working the 25 man and 40 man rosters: This expands the bench, rotation and bullpen.
    10 Day DL: They must be doing something right if other teams complain, but they are within the rules.
    Free agents and trades: Not every one will work out but enough have that other teams are wary of being fleeced.
    Sabermetrics: Yes they platoon a lot and pull starters early but it has been effective.
    Rebuilding while still winning: The payroll is steadily coming down and the farm stocked while still winning.
    Picking Roberts: Probably the single best move they have made so far. There is no quit in this team.

    Another nice game by Puig last night and hats off to Utley with his 1000th RBI. Maeda bounced back nicely but was pulled early. McCarthy should be good for 6 today and the Dodgers have owned Kennedy in the past. There is a chance for yet another sweep with Kershaw going tomorrow.

  8. Agree with everything you wrote.
    I meant to ask the other day how you did at Santa Anita on closing day. In a past life I spent countless days there as well as at Hollywood Park and Del Mar when I was a handicapper for Today’s Racing Digest.

    1. Thanks Rudy! I love the Racing Digest and it helped us to hit a couple trifectas and doubles and several exactas. There were 5 turf races which is my specialty so that helped, I didn’t hit the 8th when a 25 to 1 and 40 to 1 ran 1 and 2 for a real monster exacta and trifecta. The superfecta was over $20,000 in that race. Santa Anita is my favorite track and then Del Mar as I grew up in the LA area.

      1. Sounds like you had a great day at The Great Race Place.
        The downhill turf races at about 6 1/2 furlongs are my favorite ones to watch. So many twists and turns, along with the transfer from turf to dirt and back to turf makes for some exciting finishes.
        I used to love Del Mar until they revamped it and it became way overcrowded…but you can’t beat the location.

  9. I forgot to mention the minor league player development, coaching and teaching and the fast promotions up the levels. There are a lot of players who will make the majors, not all with the Dodgers. Adding an extra coach who speaks Spanish on all minor league teams was a good move and helps the manager. They are pretty good on the salary cap too, and are in good shape next year with Crawford, Ethier and Guerrero dropping off the books. All of the current starters plus Kazmir are either signed or arbitration next year. The team may want to buy out Wood and Puig’s arb years and do an extension, Grandal too.

  10. AC

    Good job as always AC!

    Vegas that is funny you brought up Alex Guerrero, I saw some of his stats in the Japanese League, and he has hit 22 HRs, 50 RBIs and hitting 279 in about 270 at bats.

  11. Thank god for airline wifi. Perfect way to pass time by listening to the game while 30,000 feet in the air and catching up on this thread

  12. Pedro Baez was baptized today at the Church of Christ Taylor!!!!!

    Who will be next???

  13. Mark, I’m changing my name back now, lol, right when I thought Baez had joined the congregation

  14. Another great come from behind win for the Blue today (#23!) They keep figuring out new ways to win!

    2 negatives:
    Another meltdown by the pen
    Another passed ball by Grandal leading to a run scored by KC

    Both things a problem

    1. Meltdown? I would hardly call it a meltdown. Pitchers and hitters go through good streaks and bad streaks. The two pitchers who each gave up a run, have 1.93 and 1.43 ERA’s respectively. You are chasing an ambulance when there is no accident.

      The bullpen is going to give up runs, but today hardly qualifies as a meltdown.

      Then the hitters picked them up.

      Grandal will lead the league in PB because he leads in framing which causes him to try and catch the ball on the edge of the mitt. He gets a lot of balls called strikes and he gets some passed balls. It’s about a 10-1 ratio so I can live with it. It’s “live by the sword – die by the sword.”

      I see stuff that happens, but I don’t see a problem.

      1. Electronic balls and strikes is the answer.

        Grandal is the primary catcher on a team that has the best record in baseball and is the best pitching team in baseball. As the President says:

        This is fake news!

      2. I pointed out that the ‘pen had an ERA of about 4.5 after the D-Backs series in July and a WHIP of almost 1.4 in July after having much better months earlier in the season, and June was the worst previous month (that is before July). It’s just a trend. McCarthy had a win going and then the ‘pen gave up the lead, just like it did in 2 games against the Snakes. It’s just a trend.

        1. Mark is right about players and streaks…and streaks can become a trend.
          I have been very high on the services provided by Morrow…but do have a little concern about his most recent trend. He has gone from lights out to being on the verge of lit up. I am wondering if a flaw has crept into his delivery as he seems just a tad out of sync. He went from perfection to can’t get out of an inning without help it seems.
          Hoping that someone is taking a hard look at video to see is there is something that can be fixed so he can get back on a good streak.

  15. Just watched Posey have a passed ball go right through his legs to let a run score. It happens to all catchers at some point

  16. Back from AK with fish in the box and 4-1 Blue record while I’m gone… Life is good!!! Grandal’s lateral movement is not very good, but he hits like hell and I’ll take it every day… Did Puig ever show up after the double switch pouting session at the end of the bench??? Lets sweep em today!!!

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