Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Draft History And Projections
As we approach the 2018 MLB Draft on June 4, we’ll break down each major league team’s recent draft history, picking out tendencies where applicable, highlighting the team’s 2018 draft pool and also touching on the organization’s most successful recent draft picks.
Additionally, each team is listed with potential draft targets. These players either fit the typical modus operandi of the organization or are players who have been specifically linked or rumored as fits with a team throughout the spring. Baseball America will continue to add and subtract players from the potential draft target section as we continue to gather information in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Players are listed with a line of skinny to get a quick idea of who they are, but our full scouting reports will give a more complete picture of a player.
It’s also worth pointing out that while in some cases a team might appear to have a clear tendency with certain demographics (i.e., high school pitchers or college hitters), the sample we are looking at is small enough that teams could simply be following a best player available strategy and the results are showing something that’s not an overarching scouting philosophy. It’s more likely that tendencies can be discovered at the extremes, rather than slight apparent preferences in the last five years.
Here is a breakdown of the recent MLB Draft history of the Los Angeles Dodgers:
General Manager: Zaidi Farhan
Scouting Director: Billy Gasparino
2018 Bonus Pool (Rank): $5,288,200 (30th)
2018 MLB Draft Order:
1st Round: 30th
2nd Round: 68th
3rd Round: 104th
4th-40: 30th in each round.
First Round Picks Since 2013:
2017: Jeren Kendall (23rd)
2015: Walker Buehler (24th), Kyle Funkhouser (35th)
2014: Grant Holmes (22nd)
2013: Chris Anderson (18th)
Best Recent Pick (2010-2017 Drafts):
1B Cody Bellinger (fourth round, 2013) gets some thought for this honor after winning the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year and he gets bonus points for coming out of the fourth round, but SS Corey Seager (No. 18 overall, 2012) is too good to not be the pick. Seager, of course, won the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year award after hitting .308/.365/.512 with a 136 wRC+ while playing a much better shortstop than scouts would have guessed. He’s one of the premier young shortstops in the game that the Dodgers will be happy to have in the middle of their lineup for foreseeable future.
Recent Tendencies (Last Five Years/Top Five Rounds):
The Dodgers have leaned towards the college side in the top of the draft over the last five years, taking 20 players out of the college ranks compared to nine high school players.
They’ve also leaned towards pitchers over hitters, taking arms 58.6 percent of the time (10th highest percentage in the league) and bats 41.4 percent of the time.
Los Angeles is not afraid to draft out of the junior college ranks at the top of the draft, and have selected four JC players in the top five rounds since 2013—more than any other team. Righthander J.D. Underwood was selected in the fifth round of 2013, second baseman Willie Calhoun was taken in the fourth round in 2015 and the team doubled up on JC prospects with outfielder D.J. Peters and lefthander Devin Smeltzer in the fourth and fifth round in 2016.
In the first round and supplemental first round, scouting director Billy Gasparino has selected just one high school player—shortstop Gavin Lux in 2016—and five players from four-year universities.
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Lux's incendiary play at Double-A and Triple-A had helped answer questions by smoothing two rough edges to his game.
Potential Draft Targets:
RHP Jackson Kowar — Lean, wiry and with a good frame, Kowar has an above-average fastball and plus changeup
RHP Logan Gilbert — Gilbert has a heavy fastball that plays up with elite extension and more projection remaining than other college arms
LHP Ryan Rolison — A high-floor college lefthander, Rolison shows a three-pitch mix including a fastball up to 96 mph with good life
OF Connor Scott — A plus runner with good feel for the barrel, Scott is developing power and has a plus arm with good chance to stick in center field—aka toolsy
SS Jeremy Eierman — A tooled-up college shortstop with a plus arm, Eierman also possesses plus speed and plus power
RHP Sean Hjelle — A towering, 6-foot-11 righthander, Hjelle has a preternatural ability to throw strikes despite the length of his limbs
RHP Tristan Beck — Beck is a college righthander with four pitches that are above-average or better but a medical that could give teams some pause
OF Steele Walker — A high-floor college outfielder who has some of the best feel to hit of any player in the 2018 class but no carrying tool
OF Jake McCarthy — Injury has limited McCarthy for much of his junior year, but when healthy he is a plus runner who should stick in center with a track record of hitting
RHP Cole Wilcox — A projectable 6-foot-5 Georgia righty with a fastball up into the mid-90s and a sharp slider that has gotten sharper this spring
RHP J.T. Ginn — Ginn gets Sonny Gray comps regularly as a short righthander, but his fastball is harder and has more life than Gray's