2016 Dodgers Draft Status

I listened to the Kyle Glazer (BA) podcast on the state of the Dodger prospects a couple of times last week.  Besides some excellent information on few of the Dodger prospects (Lux, Ruiz, Smith, May, Verdugo…), he had some commentary on the 2016 draft by LAD.  Recognizing where the Dodgers drafted he was more than complimentary on the draft and stated that it may be one of the very best organizational drafts in several years.  While nothing will compare to the historic 1968 Dodgers draft, the 2016 is shaping up to be quite good.

It is estimated that somewhere around 12% of players drafted ever get to the ML much less contribute.

In 2016, the Dodgers drafted 42 players, including a supplemental 1stround and a compensatory pick for not signing Kyle Funkhouser in the 2015 draft.  Of the 42, 9 did not sign.  Since 2016, of those that signed 8 have been released:

  • Kevin Lachance (Round 10)
  • Darrien Tubbs (Round 16)
  • James Carter (Round 21)
  • Jeff Paschke (Round 22)
  • Saige Jenco (Round 24)
  • Austin French (Round 27)
  • Conor Costello (Round 32)
  • Joel Toribio (Round 34)

In addition, one player signed but never pitched professionally (Chandler Eden – Round 25), and one pitched 1 inning in 1 game and then retired (Jake Perkins – Round 28).

The hope is for your drafted prospects to someday make your ML roster or be very helpful in acquiring ML players in a trade.  The 2016 draft produced four such players:

  • AJ Alexy (Round 11) traded to Rangers in Yu Darvish trade
  • Dean Kremer (Round 14) traded to Orioles in Manny Machado trade
  • Devin Smeltzer (Round 5) traded to Twins in Brian Dozier trade
  • Luke Raley (Round 7) traded to Twins in Brian Dozier trade

Three of those four are on their new team’s top 30 prospects:

  • Dean Kremer #16 Orioles prospect
  • Luke Raley #19 Twins prospect
  • AJ Alexy #20 Rangers prospect

That leaves 19 young men drafted by LAD in 2016 who are still in the organization.  Five players were drafted in rounds 30 to 38.

  • Ramon Rodriguez– 20 (C) (Round 30) – Ramon, a RHH catcher, looked to be on a fast track after finding some success at Ogden as an 18-year-old in 2017.  He started 2018 as a 19-year-old in full season A ball at Great Lakes but had some problems. After 33 games and a slash line of .209/.269/.273/.542, Ramon was assigned back to Ogden.  He was not as productive at Ogden as he was the year before, but being sent down undoubtedly shook his confidence.  He should get another shot at full season A ball at Great Lakes in 2019.
  • Steve Berman– 24 (C) Round 31 – Steve is one of DC’s favorites.  The RHH catcher started the year at RC and remained with the Quakes for all of 2018.  He was placed on the DL 4 times last year and only participated in 33 games and 96 AB.  But in that short sample size, Berman slashed .302/.442/.500/.942.  10 of his 29 hits were for extra bases.  He is considered a very cerebral catcher.  He should start back at RC again in 2019.  Where Connor Wong starts out will dictate how much playing time Berman will get.  Hunter Feduccia is not far behind and will push Berman for playing time this year.
  • Zach McKinstry– 24 (2B) (Round 33) – Started season in Great Lakes. On May 31, Zach was promoted to RC, and then to Tulsa on July 24.  He was fairly productive at both Great Lakes and RC but seemed at bit overwhelmed at Tulsa.  He should start out at Tulsa as he has proven himself at Rancho.
  • Nick Yarnall– 24 (1B) (round 35) – The left hand hitting 1B started at Great Lakes and was promoted to RC on May 10.  He had two different stints on the DL while at RC.  In 42 games and 141 AB, Nick hit .241/.327/.461/.788, with 7 HR and 48K. Those are fairly pedestrian numbers but should get Nick a start back at RC. 
  • Kevin Malisheski– 21 (RHP) (Round 38) – Kevin signed for $248,500 out of Wauconda High School (IL).  He is being brought along slowly.  Last year at Rookie level Ogden, he pitched 64.1 innings after pitching 14 innings (2016) and 37.2 innings (2017).  The Dodgers still have faith in him and will probably start him out at Great Lakes where DC will watch over him.

TheDodgers still have two of the players drafted in rounds 20-29.

  • Brock Carpenter– 23 (3B/1B) (Round 20) – Brock spent all season at Great Lakes where he slashed .244/.321/.420/.742.  That is a relatively pedestrian slash line for a 23-year-old RHH corner infielder at low A ball.  RC should have a number of quality 1B to start the season, so Brock could very well start back at Great Lakes, but needs to show improvement for a mid-season promotion to RC to keep his climb up the organizational ladder alive. 
  • Brandon Montgomery– 23 (2B) (Round 26) – Brandon is a favorite of mine, more on the round that he was drafted than any other reason.  But I do look to see what Brandon did each day and hope for the best. Brandon held his own at Great Lakes where he started the year but performed very well at RC after his August 1 promotion.  In 23 games and 85 AB’s, Brandon slashed .318/.362/.588/.950.  What was encouraging was that Brandon hit 13 HRs at his two stops.  Not bad for a 6’0” 180-pound 2B.  He should start off back at RC, but if he continues to hit, he could get the promotion to AA sometime next summer.  I will be pulling for Brandon to someday make his MLB debut.

The Dodgers have three players remaining in theorganization from draft rounds 10-19.

  • Cody Thomas– 24 (RF) (Round 13) – Cody is a LHH RF who has also played a fair amount in CF.  Cody hit a rather productive run producing season at RC.  He slashed .285/.355/.497/.852 in 12 games and 558 PA.  Cody was rewarded with a slot in the AFL.  Unfortunately, Cody has a problem with making consistent contact.  In his 558 PA he struck out 163 times (29+%).  Combined with Jeren Kendall’s nearly 32% K rate, the RC OF had a problem making contact on their way to the California League championship.
  • Brayan Morales– 23 (CF) Round 15 – Brayan is a fleet footed RHH CF.  Like Kendall, Morales is a superb defensive OF and very good baserunner.  Brayan slashed .273/.338/.383/.721 with a full year at Great Lakes.  He stole 46 bases (15 caught stealing).  But just like with Kendall, you cannot steal 1B.  Morales struck out at a near 29% rate in 367 PA. That is not productive for a 23 year old at low A ball.  He should start at RC, but he is going to need to show significant improvement in the hitter friendly California League to continue his quest up the ladder.
  • Chris Mathewson– 23 (RHP) (Round 19) – Chris spent more time on the DL last year than he did on the RC roster.  He totaled 20.1 innings pitched and did not show much at the A+ level.  Chris should get another shot at RC this year, but at 23, he is going to have a short leash and show that he belongs.

The Dodgers still have 9 players drafted in rounds 1 through 9, including a supplemental and compensatory pick.  Not only do they have 9 players remaining, at least 7 have a legit shot at producing at the ML level, and some maybe at an All-Star level.  We have discussed in great length about many of these players but here are the 9 players in that 1-9 group:

  • Round 9 –Tony Gonsolin– 24-year-old RHSP – I am very high on Tony, but I do not agree with Mark that he will have an impact in 2019.  I still see him starting at AA and getting a mid-season promotion to AAA. He does have good chance at getting a September callup, but I do not see one before then.  LAD has more than enough pitchers ahead of Tony that we can be patient and let him continue to succeed at MiLB for one more year.
  • Round 8 –Andre Scrubb– 24-year-old RHRP – Like Tony Gonsolin, Andre started at Great Lakes last year, and found his way to AA. He was not very good at GL but was unhittable at RC.  He pitched well enough at Tulsa to get a coveted slot in the AFL where he was seemingly over-matched.  However, the experience was invaluable.  Andre should start at AA and depending on how he pitches and how the AAA relievers pitch he may get a AAA promotion.  I do not see any way where Andre gets a September call. 
  • Round 6 –Errol Robinson– 24-year-old RHH SS – Errol has spent the last nearly two years at AA and should get that promotion to AAA to start the 2019 season.  Errol is an extremely gifted defensive SS.  However, Errol has not distinguished himself as a productive offensive player.  Errol is too gifted defensively to give up on, and he has been working some in CF.  Errol should become the next super utility player in the organization, and should start out as the SS at AAA, or 2B if Daniel Castro starts at SS.  They will both undoubtedly switch often to be ready if the call comes. 
  • Round 4 –DJ Peters– 23 year old RHH OF – DJ is an enigma to me.  He has outstanding power and is very gifted defensively.  But he has a real problem when it comes to making contact.  He struck out more than 34% of the time at AA, and as more than one talent evaluator has said, “it doesn’t get any easier from there”.  He has more than enough speed to turn hits in the gap into doubles if he were to make contact.  Last year he made one of his goals to cut down on his strike outs, and I was watching from Game 1, because I so much wanted a power hitting RHH OF making his way to Dodger Stadium.  But he did not cut down on his strike outs.  In fact they increased from 32.2% at RC in 2017.  DJ is good enough to start the year at OKC, but if he wants to be more than a power option on a ML bench, he is going to need to cut back on his Ks, even if that means a reduction in HRs.

Now we are down to the first five drafted in 2016. We have certainly talked in great lengths on all five of these guys:

  • Round 3 – 21-year-old RHSP –Dustin May– Dustin will start in Tulsa but could find his way to OKC by June, and could find his way into the rotation in 2020.  He has grown into an untouchable at this point as he is seen as a #2 or #3 SP.  He still has some physical maturing into his 6’6” frame.
  • Round 2 – 24-year-old RHSP –Mitchell White– Mitchell had somewhat of a setback last year, partially due to injury.  But there is no mistaking his pitching ability.  He has two plus pitches and potentially a third.  He has top of the rotation ability, and hopefully this is the year that he makes it all come together. However, he is not the untouchable May is because of his inconsistent play.  With 105.1 IP last year at AA, he should start the 2019 season at OKC.
  • Compensation Pick for Kyle Funkhouser – 23-year-old RHP –Jordan Sheffield– Jordan has struggled mightily as a starting pitcher as a professional.  But in his late season transition to relief, he became a pitcher to watch.  He has three potentially plus pitches that could work well in a multiple inning relief role or a late inning high leverage role.  He also earned one of the coveted relief roles in the AFL and performed very well.  Jordan should start at Tulsa and could be on the move quickly.  
  • Supplemental 1stRound – Soon to be 24-year-old C –Will D. Smith– Will is a top-level defensive catcher prospect who is ML ready now as a catcher.  He has potential pop but is lacking consistent bat to ball skills.  His floor is a ML backup catcher and utility infielder.  Most expect Will to make his ML debut sometime this summer.
  • Round 1 – 21-year-old SS/2B –Gavin Lux– Lux has gone from potential bust to prospective starting 2B in 2020.  Much has been written about Gavin, and I cannot wait to see what he does this ST.  I still see him starting at Tulsa and getting a summer promotion to OKC.  I see Gavin getting a September promotion so that he can experience a ML clubhouse.  Corey Seager should go from being the student to the mentor.

The top 9 rounds of the 2016 draft may generate potentially 7 ML significant performers with potential multiple All Stars.  That was a special draft.  In addition, three draftees were included in trades that acquired needed help at the trade deadline. Billy Gasparino and crew deserve huge kudos for this. I look forward to monitoring 2017 and later drafts as well.  I am hopeful that in the upcoming draft, a top bat can be uncovered. The Dodgers pick #25 in the June draft.  Ten years ago a CF by the name of Mike Trout was the 25thoverall pick.  Can lightning strike twice for pick #25?

This article has 80 Comments

  1. I was hoping for the improvement in DJ Peters SO’s. This is one feature that is disconcerting in a good hitter like DJ. He has power and could really add a great bat to the mix IF the SO’s decline. Reminds me of Taylor and his SO problem. This is why Taylor cannot be a leadoff man until he has proven that his SO days have been minimized. Let’s hope for their sakes that this doesn’t interfere with their MLB careers.

    1. It’s not just Taylor, overall, as a team, the Dodgers need to cut down their strikeout rate…. much like Houston did 2 years ago. Hopefully, Peters can do that too, but right about now when I see DJ Peters I don’t see Jayson Werth – I see Kyle Russell!

      1. And… the Dodgers are doing something about it. From Baseball America:

        There is an imbalance in baseball. For the first time in major league history, there were more strikeouts than hits in 2018.

        President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman wants to do something about this.

        “Since I can remember, being around the advance (scouting) process in the major leagues and player development at the major league level, the advancements on the run-prevention side have dwarfed what has gone on on the run-scoring side,” he said.

        “But I do think there’s an opportunity—we’re setting records for strikeouts as an industry. Let’s think about this differently. Let’s ask different questions. Let’s be open-minded to ways we can possibly combat that.”

        … and they went out and changed everything on the hitting side. How it works remains to be seen.

        1. I’m sure the SO virus didn’t go unnoticed by the FO. I’m also very curious to see the outcome of the new hitting coaches. It should show itself during ST, don’t you think? This should be the first place that gets the new teachings.

    1. Agree. Well done piece, AC.
      Just focusing on Michell White for a minute: he’s a guy you have too see with your own eyes to appreciate. He has a near-ideal pitcher’s frame: large, sturdy, loose. It is easy to see a MLB in there even if his stuff doesn’t develop too much. Aside from command. He needs to stay on the field this year. If he does, people will see why we haven’t given up on him or thrown him into a trade. Rooting hard for this guy.

      1. Mitch White has the stuff… he just has difficulty maintaining his release point and repeating his delivery… in addition to being injured. He may drop a pitch or two and end up in the pen.

  2. I think I agree with Mark on Gonsolin. We will see him this year in a power-pitching reliever audition. I’d prefer if Sheffield gets the call first.

    1. Bowden has Gonsolin at #132:

      Gonsolin went flying up the Dodgers’ prospect list after a stellar 2018 that included 155 strikeouts in only 128 innings of work, with an impressive 2.60 ERA. He’s got three plus pitches including his fastball, curve and split-fingered changeup, and he carries himself well on the mound, with a good feel for how to best utilize his repertoire.

      1. Because he jumped up so fast, I dont think we’ll be afraid to give him a taste. It’s not like we’ve been slowly developing him for years.

  3. Jim Bowden on Alex Verdugo:

    Verdugo has a short, quick stroke from the left side with the ability to spread line drives all over the outfield. His smooth but level swing accounts for his power barely grading out at average, and he’ll have to learn to improve his launch angle if he wants to belt 20 or more homers. If you squint, you might be able to call his running speed “average” — which makes him profile best in left field rather than center or right, despite the fact he does have a plus-plus right fielder’s arm.

    Maybe the Dodgers see him in LF instead of RF, which is why Cody is heading there. That leaves Joc and Kike as subs. Could this be the lineup Doc envisions?

    1. Pollock CF
    2. Seager SS
    3. Turner 3B
    4. Bellinger RF
    5. Muncy 1B
    6. Taylor 2B
    7. Verdugo LF
    8. Martin and Barnes C

    1. Watching Verdugo carefully, last season when he got PT, I saw an enthusiastic and energetic fielder, with a good arm, and an alert and quick on base guy. He seemed to have above average speed, but not fast. I cannot yet tell if he is a good hitter at the MLB level. I saw some nice hits, but I also saw quiet periods that concerned me. As some of the posters mentioned, I think he is one of the players that will have to have a good ST and show that he belongs. Competition for starting jobs is a healthy thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like Toles played himself into a starting job, but the FO history with him doesn’t bode well. They seem uncommitted. He showed some great promise when he first made it on to the team 2-3 years ago for a spell. Injury has not been kind to him.

    2. MT, do you really think Verdugo will beat out Pederson for LF? I see Joc as a guy that took a step forward last year. Oh yeah, he also OPS’d about 150 points higher than Verdugo and Verdugo has a similar splits problem. Nice lineup. I see that you finally moved Taylor back to 2B and Muncy to 1B. Also, you can start referring to our catcher as Marnes.

      1. I have no clue. If Verdugo hits, I think he has to play. There are so many possibilities that I am content to watch them play out. I don’t particularly like Taylor at 2B, but his and everyone else’s production may dictate it.

        1. CT3 was a 6 DRS in half a season at SS. Common sense says a good glove shortstop will be just fine at 2B. You can’t talk about “Small Sample Size” and then discount it entirely when it come to fielding.

          Let’s dig a little deeper into the numbers. Look at his fielding numbers at 2B and you’ll notice that he had a perfect fielding percentage last year, but somehow DRS gives him a -1. Then go back to 2017, when he played the most 2B in his career (still only 166 innings) and he had a 2 DRS which translates to a 15 for a full season. A 15 DRS would have put him as the 3rd best 2B last year right behind LeMehue. In 2017 the best DRS for a 2B was LeMehue at 8.

          I think you will be pleasantly surprised with Taylor at 2B if they give him the full-time job and stop moving everyone around like musical chairs.

      1. I would have Taylor bat leadoff and put Pollock in between Bellinger and Muncy.

        1. Taylor 2B
        2. Seager SS
        3. Turner 3B
        4. Bellinger RF
        5. Pollock CF
        6. Muncy 1B
        7. Kike Pederson LF
        8. Marnes C

        But, Dave Roberts is never gonna have the same lineup 3 days in a row, so what’s the point?

  4. Bowden also has Ruiz as his #33 Prospect:

    I have Ruiz as the best prospect in the Dodgers organization, over Verdugo. Ruiz is an above-average defensive catcher with an average arm that is enhanced by his quick release. He has soft hands, quick feet and plays with energy and enthusiasm. At the plate, he’s a switch hitter with line-drive gap power and he makes contact and puts the ball in play. There is no doubt he’s the Dodgers’ future catcher. The only question left is, will it happen this September or sometime next year?

    Bowden has Gavin Lux at number 55:

    Lux made a huge leap with his development last year by reaching Double A at the age of 20. He has a quick, level stroke and makes consistent sweet-spot contact, spreading the ball all over the infield. His direct and clean approach allows him to avoid slumps, allowing him to lead all minor league shortstops in batting last year. He has surprising 15-18 home run power and is a smart base runner who can be a threat to steal. His stock is rising fast.

  5. Good article AC. I love to hear about our farm kids. I did not realize these kids came out of one draft. The way to build a major league team is with the farm kids.

    I find it hard to believe the free agents have not signed. They must not be getting what they want for dollars and years. Some thing may fall into the Dodgers lap.

    1. What is really amazing is that for the 2016 draft, the Dodgers selected in the 20th spot. It is a lot easier to get this type of draft when selecting in the top 5. But at 20, that takes a lot of good scouting and some good luck.
      Compare the potential of 2016 with that tremendous 2009 draft where the Dodgers did not have a #1 but got two compensatory picks for the loss of Derek Lowe to the Braves. They got #36 (LHP Aaron Miller) and #56 (RHP Blake Smith). Of the 31 Dodger draft picks signed, exactly ONE made it to The Show…17th rounder Steven Ames. Ames pitched all of four innings at the ML level (for Miami), but was a part of the trade that brought Ricky Nolasco to the Dodgers in 2013, who pitched above his head for the team that started the NL West championship string now at 6.
      Draft position for LAD from 2000 – 2018:
      2018 – #30 (J T Ginn – DNS)
      2017 – #23 (Jeren Kendall)
      2016 – #20 (Gavin Lux)
      2015 – #24 (Walker Buehler)
      2014 – #22 (Grant Holmes)
      2013 – #18 (Chris Anderson)
      2012 – #18 (Corey Seager)
      2011 – #16 (Chris Reed) – What a waste in this draft. Great draft in MLB. Mookie Betts was selected in 5th round. I am now working on something about this 2011 overall MLB draft.
      2010 – #28 (Zach Lee)
      2009 – #16 (No 1st round) – Another horrendous Dodgers draft.
      2008 – #15 (Ethan Martin)
      2007 – #20 (Chris Withrow)
      2006 – #7 (Clayton Kershaw)
      2005 – #26 (No 1st round)
      2004 – #28 (Justin Orenduff)
      2003 – #24 (Chad Billingsley)
      2002 – #19 (James Loney)
      2001 – #17 (No 1st round pick)
      2000 – #17 (Benjamin Diggins)
      During those 19 years, the Dodgers have had one top ten pick which they did not miss on (Clayton Kershaw #7 overall 2006). They had one other top 15 pick (Ethan Martin #15 overall 2008). They had six other draft slots #16-#19. Picking where they pick, they have to gamble on #1, and have been fortunate on some, but not so much on others.
      With no #1 pick in 2009, Zach Lee in 2010, Chris Reed in 2011, and Chris Anderson in 2013, is it any wonder that FAZ found themselves in need of players…any players even if not top quality AS types. I am shocked that they actually selected Corey Seager in 2012. Thus they gambled on the International group, and Walker Buehler as their first #1 draft pick. They certainly hit pay dirt with Buehler. But with the dearth of potential MLB players due to poor drafts leading up to 2015, and wanting to stay relevant, they had no choice but to get multiple gambles.
      Jeren Kendall was also a huge gamble, but still has time to make good on that pick. If he learns to hit, he can sit in CF at Dodger Stadium for a long time. You cannot teach speed or defensive instinct which he has an abundance of.

    1. Add Muncy and Taylor to that competition as the best bats between those five will find positions somewhere on the diamond.

      1. I am interested in seeing how some hitters that did well with Turner Ward, will do with our new hitting coaches.

        But other then Turner and Corey, everyone else, are going to have to do better when runners are in scoring position.

        Because that is what makes a team’s offense more consistent throughout the year, and show up in the post too.

        A lot of our twenty HR guys, got a lot of cheap solo HRs, after a game was over after the fourth inning.

        That is why our run differential was so deceiving.

    2. Kike lifetime OPS against LHP = 847
      Pederson lifetime OPS agaist RHP = 842
      I would be pleasantly surprised if Verdugo or Toles can match that production.
      It seems like a stretch to add Muncy and Taylor to that equation when they’re already going to be the starting 1B and 2B. It would be fantabulous if Rios goes beast mode and puts Muncy in LF. Weirdly enough, looking at Muncy’s fielding stats, he’s logged nearly 500 innings as an outfielder including MLB and Minors without an error!

  6. For all of those who were somewhat critical of FAZ trading away Willie Calhoun…“Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun entered last year, his first full season with the organization, as Baseball America’s 36th-ranked prospect. Despite the hype, Calhoun fell flat at the Triple-A level and in the majors, leading GM Jon Daniels and then-manager Jeff Banister to tell him he needed to change his work ethic and lifestyle in the offseason, per Levi Weaver of The Athletic (subscription required). The meeting “humbled” Calhoun, who’s treating last season as a wake-up call and has since lost 24 pounds (the Rangers requested he drop 20). Calhoun admitted to Weaver he was “stubborn coming up with the Dodgers,” who traded him to the Rangers for Yu Darvish in 2017, as well as during his first year and a half in the Texas organization. Now in better physical and mental states, Calhoun is attempting to win a season-opening spot with the Rangers, but as Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram notes, he’ll have to beat out veteran pickup Hunter Pence.”
    Interesting admission that he was stubborn while coming up with the Dodgers. Perhaps that stubbornness had something to do with his availability. There are a lot of things that go on behind the scenes with a trade.

      1. The Farmer trade will take awhile to judge as the Reds will win the trade this season but all 3 big pieces are FA in 2020. If Pollock replaces Puig’s production AND Verdugo earns his keep then it was a worthy venture, plus the prospects they got back have potential. Puig, Kemp and Wood could all have good 1st halves but the latter 2 have a history of tailing off in the second half.

  7. I think that we are soon going to see several prospects that Friedman traded away become good players on the MLB level. I see that as a good thing because some GM’s might be hesitant to trade with him. You are going to trade away some good prospects… especially low level prospects, like Oneil Cruz, Yordan Alvarez and prospects that he paid for Manny Machado.

    1. That’s a worthy goal for Ryu but almost laughable. What is his ML high so far, 14? It’s also hard to win 20 if you struggle pitching on the road, especially all the games at Chase and Coors. The one who could win 20 if everything breaks right is Buehler, but probably not this year.

  8. Dodgers.com has some video of Corey fielding. He says he feels great. He is slimmer, which is probably good.

    You can talk Machado all you want, but I would not trade a healthy Seager for him. Not even close.

    Here’s another one: I would not trade Cory for Harper… so why overpay for the guy?

    1. I said that all last year when Manny was being lauded by many and hoped to be signed to a long term LAD deal and move Seager to 2B.

  9. So far, most of us have anointed Gavin Lux as the starting 2b in 2020, if not later this year. But it will be interesting to watch Jeter Downs as well. If Downs progresses nicely this year, we could have 2 2b’s of the future. Downs is also a right handed hitter, which is well needed in our leftie heavy lineup.

    Can’t wait until the first game next Sat!

    1. A lot of people were casting aspersions on the two “lower level” prospects received in the Farmer trade. I love prospects and I believed that both Jeter Downs and Josiah Gray are potential ML regulars. They were not just throw in lottery picks. The scouting department did their due diligence on them, now it is up to both Downs and Gray to show LAD what they can do. So many criticize the Dodger front office for being “cheap” when it comes to FA. But most teams know that a team is built through the draft, and no team spends more on scouting than the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  10. Wonderful post AC! For someone who struggles coming up with new ideas for posts, you do an amazing job!
    After reading your post, I read over the last 10 years of Dodger drafts. It is indeed a small percentage of drafted players who make it to the major leagues. I wonder how that compares to international players signed outside the draft.
    Outside of the top 6, a few of my favorites are Cody Thomas, Chris Mathewson (I always root for Dirtbags and Trojans) and Steve Berman (seems on track to become a manager some day).
    Part of the fun of being a Dodger fan is following the kids as they work their way through the minors. It’s a tough life, but I always root for them to succeed whether chose in the 1st round or the 38th round (here’s to you , Caleb Ferguson!) They are pursuing a life long dream at a profession that does not offer that many opportunities. How can you not wish them well. We all know young men who would have done anything for the opportunity, but for one reason or another it all ended for them after HS or college. Certainly might have been easier to get a job with the gas company after high school. That’s why I hope they all succeed.
    Mark, I too read the article on Willie Calhoun. Very insightful. It’s a side of the young players we don’t often get to see. On a side note, anyone who has not yet signed up for the Athletic, I would encourage you to do so. There articles are truly worth the read. Amazing writers.
    Finally, I hold out hope for the 2018 draft as well. While maybe not quite as strong as the 2016 draft, I believe it will produce some very good players who were drafted in rounds from the lower rounds. I’m going to be interested to see how players like Liput, Kolek, Feduccia, Mann, Outman, Landry and Drury perform this year. I’m also curious to see what we have in Grove. I’m also holding out hope for Morgan Cooper (2017), but I’m afraid the train may have left the station and left him behind.

    1. Morgan Cooper was one of my favorite 2017 draft picks. Something about big Texas pitchers. Not all will become Clayton Kershaw or Roger Clemens, but one can hope. I too have been very disappointed that he has been unable to pitch professionally.
      This is a big year for both Cody Thomas and Chris Mathewson. Will they become prospects or organizational depth. Cody very well could start out in Tulsa, but Mathewson will probably have to go back to RC to begin the season. If he can dominate at the Cal League, he will get a quick promotion and then be back on track. I think his best hope to stay with LAD is to move to the bullpen. There are way too many ahead and behind him that are probably more realistic starters.
      Steve Berman is a DC favorite. He also believes that Steve will someday make a great manager.

  11. I agree AC. You build your team through the draft. The position I was always concerned was catching. Now we have at least four who are thought of highly. Fill in with FA and trades as needed.

    1. Al, it is always fun to latch onto a dark horse candidate, and my one to watch is catcher Hunter Feduccia. Hunter was a 12th round pick out of LSU. He has zero power, but is considered a good to very good defensive catcher. I have no idea if he will ever make it to ML (how can any of us know), but I will watch him climb the organizational ladder as far as he can.
      Another catcher nobody should give up on is 20 year old Ramon Rodriguez. I will also be pulling for him. Something about catchers that I like.

    1. Bobby

      I just checked Ken Rosenthal and John Heyman, and Heyman said it has intensified with Harper and Phillies, but he said there is no word yet, yet he said it would be a long contract.

      1. It sounds stupid now guys, but if they sign harper they will sign trout to when he’s a free agent, he is from the east coast and his favorite football team is philly!! Doesn’t sound stupid now does it

      1. If I were to place a bet it would be on Harper to PA and Machado to SD but I would not be surprised if Machado is signed by SD and Harper is signed by SF.

        1. I guess he can rotate in and out to give guys rest. All five will need it. Urias is the guy who might be a little compromised. We need him for the postseason.

  12. Moustakas back with the Brewers on a one year deal. That is a good signing for the Brewers. He played well for them. Back to back one year deals. Why Scott Boras is still his agent I have no idea.

  13. If the Phillies sign Harper and then double back for Keuchel or Kimbrel which they would certainly have the money for, this would be the list of their off-season additions: McCutchen, Cano, Segura, Robertson, Realmuto, Harper, Kimbrel/Keuchel. That would have to be one of the biggest hauls in any off season ever in terms of talent. Of course, they haven’t signed the last two yet, but even without those guys they’ve done very well.

    1. Robby Cano was traded to the Mets along with Diaz. But agree that all of the other additions make for a very good offseason.

  14. Last year the Dodgers protected Keibert Ruiz, Edwin Rios, Josh Sborz, Yadier Alvarez and Matt Beaty from the Rule 5 draft. Going into the 2019 season, it might be fun to follow some of the guys who will become eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time (16):
    Will D. Smith
    Mitchell White
    Tony Gonsolin
    Jordan Sheffield
    DJ Peters
    Jesus Vargas
    Andre Scrubb
    Parker Curry
    Cody Thomas
    Carlos Rincon
    Starling Heredia
    Brayan Morales
    Errol Robinson
    Leonel Valera
    Zach McKinstry
    Nick Yarnall
    There are a lot of potentials, but the first five seem to be pretty secure.

    1. Wow, talk about roster churn. We stand to lose at least a couple of guys again. Better make some trades this coming season.

      Still processing Bryce to the Phillies. I was holding out hope for a boss move, but alas, we’re not going big time just yet. We’re still running the team responsibly, not getting caught up in the advertising. As irritated as I am that he didn’t take a deal to come to the good guys, I would be sick to my stomach if I were a Nats fan. It’s just pitiful to me that Bryce passed on the team that brought him up for $10M more money. I hope the Nats kick the crap out of the Phillies all year and the Phils finish around 500 again. I guess he’s just a peacock after all. He’s dead to me now. I will go back to hating him and his stupid eye black smeared all over his face.

      It really doesn’t look like there’s any difference makers left to make our team better now. This is what we have and it’s still very good. It looks like we’re gonna need to make a trade at the deadline to clear up some room for the rule 5 guys.

      I can’t wait to watch my beloved team next weekend. It will be fun to watch the up and comers, prospects and projects competing for spots. If I could just get through next week without going postal.

      1. 59

        When I was googling something a page popped up, and said Joc could still be traded to the White Sox.

        It was in the Chicago Tribute, but I don’t think it is going to happen.

        I think it is just talk because as you know, the Dodgers and White Sox share the same facility in Arizona.

        I hate this weather, it is 47 here right now, and I think we just had a little hail storm or very hard rain, but it has stopped for now.

        1. Okay, I was going to respond on how I don’t think that’ll happen. But, this is Andrew Friedman we’re talking about. Did Muncy bring an outfielder’s glove into camp with him? Does he look so good at 2B that they’re willing to go with Taylor / Verdugo / Toles in LF? Are they targeting Abreu? This is at least enticing.

          It’s a brisk, windy and damp 60 degrees in Huntington Beach right now. The wind is coming right off the ocean and it’s blowing pretty fierce. Where are you at? 47 seems pretty cold.

  15. 2017 is still ripening in the bottle, but there are indicators of significant depth from that draft class as well:

    Kendell, Cooper, Wong, Marinan, Ottensen, Pop, Amaya, Donovan Casey and Kasowski.

  16. The Dodgers will have more draft pool money to work with this year, than they have in previous years. I expect we’ll see a few players fall down the draft board and and the Dodgers take a flyer at them. Be nice to have another Buehler type player fall into our lap.
    Bluto, – – – Donovan Casey is one of my favorites from the 2017 draft. He seems like a supreme athlete. Hope he makes a good showing this year and solidifies his status as a real prospect.

  17. Just found out that the Dodgers including players have been trying to get ahold of Andrew Toles but there has been no contact, his phone has been shut off, no one knows where he is at…… Let’s hope he is alright. I guess we find out tomorrow

  18. Yes, let’s hope Andrew is ok. Has anyone heard about any issues in past month or so ?
    My heart aches for the guy, seems like he has done whats been asked of him and has been a good trooper. I certainly hope he is well.

  19. Really good article in LA Times today about Zaidi and the Giants. He is already picking up a bunch of bargain bin guys to sift through and find his version of CT and Muncie. I really believe that him going to the hated ones is going to be good for us. Freidman is a competitive guy, and no way is he gonna let Zaidi sneak up on the Dodgers and beat us at our own game.(second level depth, strong farm system, players who can play multiple positions, working the 40 man roster, etc). This is going to be fun to watch. Let the games begin. Big question for Farhan. Do you trade your main chip at the poker table, Madbum, who is a free agent next year, for a boatload of prospects to fill up your train wreck of a farm system, and risk the Giant fans running your ass out of town with torches and pitchforks, or do you hang onto him, cross your fingers and hope you can resign him? Wouldn’t want to be in his chair for that decision.

    1. I live in the Bay Area so it isn’t fun to live here and have to listen to the local sports news about these idiots. I love it now that they are in the cellar. Hopefully AF was the true brains in the family and Z proves to be a total dud for the Gints.

  20. In an article by Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, posted just before 3:00 this afternoon, he wrote:
    “Freese and non-roster invitee Ezequiel Carrera were in camp Sunday, the last position players to arrive.”
    I guess that means Toles is now in camp.

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