After shocking the world with two hitters on Day 1, the Dodgers mixed upside with low risk. One of the more interesting draft picks came from the Dodgers in the third round, which I'll discuss shortly. Now, onto Day 2.
The Dodgers began with, not a bang, but a sputter. Steven Rodriguez, a lefty reliever out of the University of Florida, doesn't have the flash or upside of your prototypical early picks. He may have the size and stuff to start, but this seems like more of a signability pick. Perhaps to funnel money to Corey Seager or...
It could be used to lock up the Dodgers' third round pick, Onelkis Garcia. The Dodgers were apparently ready to draft Garcia with their first round pick last year before MLB revoked his eligibility. Coming into the 2012 draft, Onelkis was rumored to be seeking $7 million. That won't happen, but the Dodgers could shift some money around to make room for him in their budget. The Cuban lefty has two potential plus pitches in his low 90s fastball and 12-6 curve and, reportedly 22, is still young enough to develop.
The Dodgers' 4th rounder is one hell of a power prospect. With a hell of a name. Justin Chigbogu, a prep defensive end and power forward, reminds me of Ryan Howard at the plate. And I know what you're thinking. He's big, he's black, he's left-handed, so it's a lazy comp. And I'm reluctant to make it for those reasons. But watching him swings, he doesn't extend his right arm, very similarly to Howard, which is why I feel compelled to make the comparison. He's raw and is likely going to spend 2-3 years in the low minors, but if everything comes together, watch out.
In the 5th round, the Dodgers took a college senior, seemingly as a signability pick. However, Texas A&M Ross Stripling has some value and could move quickly as a reliever. However, he has the stuff and size to start. He sits around 90 with his fastball and his changeup is a plus, though his curve is just average. His delivery creates natural deception. Here's an interview that was conducted last year:
Other notable draftees:
-The Dodgers took a pair of outfielders with their 6th and 7th round picks. Joey Curletta is a hulking power hitter who may eventually end up at first base. That would waste his arm, which has led to low to mid 90s velocity on the mound. Theo Alexander, a lithe 17 year old from Washington, has some potential with the bat but not much else in other tools.
-In the 8th and 14th rounds, the Dodgers took a pair of arms with some pen potential. Scott Griggs closed for UCLA this spring and put up gaudy strikeout numbers, but also walked nearly a batter an inning. Matt Reckling, a 5th year senior from Rice, put up excellent numbers as a starter but may fit better as a reliever. His fastball has touched 97mph in short stints and his delivery isn't conducive to starting.
-Reckling's teammate, Jeremy Rathjen, was picked in the 11th round and offers a decent amount of upside. A lanky 6'6 and 195 lbs, Rathjen tore his ACL last year and decided to return for his red-shirt junior season. He posted strong numbers, leading the team in home runs and doubles. Prior to the injury, he was playing center field and should have the speed to start his pro career there. It's difficult to find guys with 5 tool potential, especially in the 11th round, but that's what the Dodgers have in Rathjen.
-The club selected a double play combination in the 10th and 13th rounds. Zach Babitt has had something of a journey since high school, electing to go to SDSU before transferring to Sierra College and ending up at the Academy of the Arts near his hometown of Richmond. Just 5'6, Babitt offers plenty of speed and some on-base skills to profile as a rabbit at the top of the order. Similarly, UCF junior Darnell Sweeney profiles as a speedster at the top of the lineup as a switch-hitting shortstop. He didn't hit much this spring, but drew some walks and could be an asset on offense if the average goes up.
The draft concludes tomorrow. 25 picks left. Highlights will be posted tomorrow night.
Dodgers Draft: Day 2 Review
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