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Los Angeles Dodgers 2022 MLB Draft Report Card

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Best Pure Hitter: The Dodgers are one of the best organizations in terms of developing hitters and they drafted 16 of them in 2022. SS Alex Freeland (3) has been a standout pure hitter dating back to his prep days and combines excellent strike zone awareness with good hand-eye coordination and bat-to-ball skills. C Dalton Rushing (2) was an in-season riser during the 2022 season with Louisville and hit over .300 as a junior with the program after hitting .314 in the Cape Cod League during the 2021 summer. Both players had excellent pro debuts.

Best Power Hitter: Rushing (2) would be an obvious choice here after hitting 23 homers with Louisville and then going to Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and hitting eight more in his pro debut. Rushing also posted the best 90th percentile exit velocity numbers (105 mph) of the Dodgers’ draft class this year in pro ball. But the Dodgers are also high on the power potential of 6-foot-4, 200-pound OF Kyle Nevin (11), who signed a $400,000 bonus on the third day of the draft.

Fastest Runner: SS Sean McLain (5) is an above-average runner who has the versatility and range to play a number of up-the-middle positions—though the Dodgers employed him exclusively at shortstop during his pro debut.

Best Defensive Player: Most of this draft class is built of bat-first players—at least on paper—but the Dodgers are most excited about the defensive ability of SS Jose Izarra (14), who logged innings at shortstop, third base and second base during the Arizona Complex League in his pro debut.

Best Fastball: RHP Jacob Meador (12) was just the second pitcher the Dodgers drafted in 2022, and after sitting in the 92-94 mph range with Dallas Baptist during the spring, showed similar velocity in his pro debut, with above-average carry—nearly 19 inches of induced vertical break.

Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Jared Karros (16) is a bit of a wild card who hasn’t pitched since 2021 due to back injuries, but when he was healthy with UCLA, he threw a high-usage changeup in the upper 70s and low 80s with impressive tumbling action that missed plenty of barrels.

Best Pro Debut: Rushing (2) was exceptional in his pro debut. He managed a 225 wRC+ with Low-A Rancho Cucamonga while slashing .424/.539/.778 with eight home runs, 11 doubles and as many walks (21) as strikeouts (21). 

Best Athlete: OF Nick Biddison (4) has played all over the baseball field for Virginia Tech—he played seven positions in 2022—and is an above-average runner with an above-average arm. He mostly played third base in his pro debut, but also got time at first base, center field and right field.

Most Intriguing Background: RHP Payton Martin (16) was an unheralded high school prospect committed to East Carolina who didn’t rank on the BA 500. He was pitching in the lower 90s this spring and has plenty of projection on a 6-foot, 170-pound frame, and also looks like a good athlete and mover on the mound, with a quick arm. He’ll be an intriguing projection prospect to follow in this class as the sole high school pitcher the team drafted.

Closest To The Majors: Rushing (2) has the hurdle of being a catcher, which is a heavy load in the pro game, but he has the offensive skill set and physicality to move through the system and handle a professional workload.

Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): The Dodgers are excited about Martin (16) and hopeful they found a sleeper with upside.

The One Who Got Away: SS Carter McCulley (20) was the only player the Dodgers didn’t sign in this draft class, but he’s headed to Pensacola (Fla.) JC and will be an eligible draft-and-follow prospect under the new rules—so the Dodgers still have a chance to sign him.

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