Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall saw his dreams come true tonight as he became a 1st round Major League Baseball draft when the Los Angeles Dodgers selected the All-SEC 1st teamer with the 23rd overall pick.
The LA Dodgers are making a habit of drafting VandyBoys. Two years ago. the Dodgers selected former Vanderbilt pitchers Walker Buehler in the 1st round and Phillip Pfeifer (eventually traded to Atlanta) in the 3rd. Last year, they selected Jordan Sheffield with the 36th overall pick. Now Kendall joins his former Commodore players in the Dodgers organization with hopes of one day playing together in Los Angeles.
Kendall had an up down junior season after being picked preseason to possibly be drafted within the top five picks overall. He led the Commodores in home runs (15), doubles (15) and stolen bases (19) but also led the team in strikeouts (73) as well.
The Vanderbilt junior outfielder struggled this season at plate with his eye discipline and desire to pull the ball looking for home runs. That approach led Kendall to striking out more often than not and that is a big reason why he fell in the 1st round. He was still widely considered a 1st round talent regardless due to his five tool talents and potential in the big leagues.
Kendall is a great athlete with outstanding speed. That alone gives him a big jump to the pro's because his speed translates but if he can find his bat and willingness to hit to all fields, the sky is the limit.
The Commodores had two players selected in the 1st round tonight for the 5th time in 10 years after Kendall went to the Dodgers. He joins Kyle Wright as the next pair of VandyBoys selected in the 1st round under the coaching and teaching of head coach Tim Corbin