Jared Massey: Thanks for taking the time, Frankie. We might as well start at the top. The Dodgers' first pick was Corey Seager. The team is leaving him at shortstop for the time being. Can he handle short? How does he profile as a prospect if he has to move to third?
Frankie Piliere: I think it's totally dependent on the body and how he matures. He has outstanding defensive tools and right now shortstop is easy for him. But, I think the expectation, including from me, is that he's going to get bigger and just outgrow the position. When that happens, he'll move over and be a superb defender at third. But, I have no problem with them just playing things out.
JM: The Dodgers' supplemental first rounder, Jesmuel Valentin, will also play shortstop in the pros. Will he be able to stick there? Does he have enough bat for second base?
FP: Again, I think the body comes into question for shortstop a little bit. I see him more at second or third long term and the bat should profile well. He's got some pop and I've seen him very consistent against premium arms. I'm a big believer in his bat.
JM: Perhaps one of the most interesting picks of the entire draft was the Dodgers' third rounder, Onelkis Garcia. What can you tell us about him? Is he a starter or reliever long term? How close to the bigs is he?
FP: His stock actually seemed much higher last year. From what I understand he'll live 90-93 with his fastball and he commands it pretty well. I've heard the secondaries are pretty solid too. But, everything around him is still pretty vague so I think we have to wait and see. It sounds like he has enough to be a starter. I'm not sure he's a guy that's as a close as people want him to be though, considering his age.
JM: The team also took some power prospects out of the prep ranks, with the likes of Justin Chigbogu, Joey Curletta and Theo Alexander all being selected in the top 10 rounds. Who do they compare to? Who has the highest upside?
FP: Chigbogu has a ton of power potential but I think as far as upside that title might go to Curletta. Big, rangy frame and he really looks like a big leaguer. I think the cliched comparison of Chigbogu to Ryan Howard is surprisingly not that far off.
JM: One of my personal favorites in this Dodgers' class is Jeremy Rathjen, a senior from Rice. He's drawn comparisons to Corey Hart. Does he have that type of potential?
FP: I think that's his absolute ceiling and I might have him half a notch below that as far his as his OFP, but I agree with you, there's a lot to like. He's got some good lift in his swing and I've seen him do it with the wood bat.
JM: Who would you say was the Dodgers' biggest reach in the draft? The biggest steal?
FP: They may have gotten a guy like Chigbogu a little later but it's hard to know that. They may have known another team was about to grab him. I think Steven Rodriguez is a steal. He's a plus stuff lefty that I think could pitch in the big leagues within a couple months. Getting that beyond the first round, to me, is always a steal.
JM: The team's 39th round pick, Korey Dunbar, has already stated that he won't sign and will attend North Carolina. How good a prospect is he? Should the Dodgers try to lure him away from UNC?
FP: He's pretty solid. Good frame and the bat plays. But, I had him slotted as guy I expected to go to school prior to the draft so I'd suspect that's what will happen.
JM: Any late round picks that Dodger fans should pay attention to?
FP: Glad you asked. Josh Henderson. I did a scouting report on him last summer and i wrote him up fully expecting that he'd be a top 2 round guy this June. You'll see how much I raved about him in my report. He's a home school kid so maybe that hurt him and he must not have performed this spring. To me, he has a chance to be a premium bat.
JM: Finally, if you could give the Dodgers' draft class a letter grade, what would it be?
FP: I thought they had one of the best classes of anyone. It's a solid A. Nice mix of near big league ready talent and huge upside.
JM: Thanks for sharing your input, Frankie!
Dodger Draft Q&A: Frankie Piliere
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