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Los Angeles Dodgers 2018 MLB Draft Grades

Image credit: Devin Mann (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

BEST PURE HITTER: 2B Devin Mann (5) takes a high-contact approach with a short, compact load and clean, flat swing that sprays the ball around to all fields. He hit .303 at Louisville and was the only position player the Dodgers drafted in their first six picks.

BEST POWER: OF Niko Hulsizer (18) hit 44 home runs in three years at Morehead State and won the 2017 College Home Run Derby with 49 longballs at cavernous T.D. Ameritrade Park in Omaha. His toned body packs plus-plus raw power to all fields. 1B Meaux Landry (22) isn’t far behind in terms of raw power.

FASTEST RUNNER: OF Aldrich De Jongh (17) is a legitimate 80 runner who gets to top speed quickly with twitchy quickness and an explosive first step.

BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: OF James Outman (7) is an all-around defensive standout with plus speed that reaches plus-plus underway, superb athletic instincts and a plus arm. He’s exceptional in the corners and has a chance to plus defensively in center field.

BEST ATHLETE: Outman was an all-section middle linebacker in high school and routinely displays that same physical athleticism on the diamond.

BEST FASTBALL: RHP Michael Grove (2) was up to 96 mph with good carry through the upper third of the strike zone before Tommy John surgery wiped out his junior season at West Virginia. The Dodgers suspect he may throw even harder once he fully recovers.

BEST SECONDARY PITCH: LHP Bryan Warzek (6) has an 11-to-5, high-spin curveball that draws above-average grades and plays up with deception out of his lower arm slot and a slight pause in his delivery.

BEST PRO DEBUT: 2B/SS Deacon Liput (10) jumped straight to low Class A Great Lakes and hit .280/.322/.446 as the Loons leadoff hitter while ably playing both shortstop and second base.

MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: OF Jeremiah Vison (36) is 5-foot-4, 145 pounds. The tiny Golden West (Calif.) JC product is a plus-plus runner and a plus defender in center field.

CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: LHP John Rooney (3) is a polished lefthander up to 94 mph with two average secondaries and one of the best pickoff moves evaluators can remember. He projects to move fast as a lefty with command and weapons.

BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: LHP Austin Drury (34) pitches aggressively with fastball up to 92 mph and an average curveball. He fell in the draft due to control issues as a starter at North Florida but moved to relief after signing and logged a 1.21 ERA with 28 strikeouts and six walks in 29.2 innings.

ONE WHO GOT AWAY: RHP J.T. Ginn (1) didn’t sign as the 30th overall pick and went to Mississippi State. He should be one of the Bulldogs’ top starters right away with a fastball up to 99 mph and a plus breaking ball and will be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2020.

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