Los Angeles Dodgers 2019 MLB Draft Report Card
Every year at the conclusion of the regular season, Baseball America revisits each teams' most recent draft class. Each class has its no-doubt, high-profile names to keep an eye on, but our annual draft report cards highlight the best tools, best debuts, late-round steals and more. Here are the names you need to know from every organization's 2019 draft.
Best Pure Hitter: The Dodgers felt 2B Michael Busch (1) had the best pure swing in the draft and consider him a future plus hitter. Busch controls the strike zone, has excellent hand-eye coordination and frequently barrels balls with a pure, line-drive stroke.
Best Power: 3B Brandon Lewis (4) hit some of the nation's longest home runs in college last spring and showcased plus-plus power into his pro debut. He is a physical, strong hitter with the loose hands, bat speed and torque to project 30 or more home runs annually.
Fastest Runner: OF Justin Washington (35) is a long, lean runner who covers a lot of ground quickly with his plus speed and stride length. His speed ticks up to double-plus underway in the outfield, but he is still learning to get the most from his speed on the base paths.
Best Defensive Player: 3B Kody Hoese (1) drew middling reviews at third base at Tulane. The Dodgers, however, see Hoese as a potential plus defensive third baseman who has plus hands, reads hops well, picks the ball up off the bat and has an above-average arm.
Best Athlete: OF Joe Vranesh (15) was a standout linebacker in high school at famed De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) High. He combines the speed and strength of football player as a powerful, plus runner at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds.
Best Fastball: RHP Nick Robertson (7) sits 94-96 mph and his fastball gets on hitters quickly with his plus deception. Robertson hides the ball well behind his 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame, preventing hitters from picking the ball up until it’s too late.
Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Ryan Pepiot (3) had arguably the best changeup in the draft. The Dodgers consider it a double-plus pitch at 83-85 mph with hard, late movement in the strike zone down and in.
Best Pro Debut: RHP Mitchell Tyranski (12) struck out 40 of the 77 batters he faced in the Rookie-level Arizona and Pioneer leagues. His curveball was his swing-and-miss pitch in relief and is the best breaking ball in the Dodgers’ draft class.
Most Intriguing Background: LHP Jeff Belge (18) is legally blind in his right eye. He was skipping stones with a cousin at age nine when a stone slipped from his cousin’s hand and shattered Belge’s cornea. He needed two surgeries just to keep his right eye. Then, Belge’s eye ruptured again at 16 when a high school teammate accidentally stuck his finger in the same eye while he and Belge were wrestling, requiring another surgery.
Closest To The Majors: Hoese’s feel for hitting, above-average power, average speed and solid defense makes him a well-rounded player with few weaknesses. The Dodgers believe that will allow him to conquer the minors quickly.
Best Late-Round Pick: Belge flashed a 93-95 mph fastball and a plus curveball in relief after signing. His 6-foot-5 frame, promising lefthanded stuff and ability to overcome adversity made him a quick favorite of the Dodgers’ player development staff.
The One Who Got Away: The Dodgers were optimistic about signing RHP Andrew Baker (16) and OF/1B Trey LaFleur (21), but Baker landed at Auburn and LaFleur stuck to his Ole Miss commitment. Baker projects well as a reliever and LaFleur has a chance to be a high draft pick in three years with his loose swing, easy actions and projectable body.