Scott Elbert Is Dodgers' First Pick

High School lefthander Scott Elbert from Missouri was taken by the Dodgers in the first round of the 2004 amateur draft. We will have continual draft updates to keep you up to speed on the players the Dodgers have selected and in which round. Los Angeles had their own pick -- the 17th pick in the first round -- plus the 28th and 33rd overall from the Yankees for signing Paul Quantrill. Minor League Editor Bill Shelley will provide Dodger selections and include details on each player chosen.

Draft Day, 2004

Dodger draft picks will be continuously updated as they occur. Logan White, Director of Amateur Scouting, and a battery of Los Angeles officials are working out of draft headquarters in Dodger Stadium, selecting the best available player as Dodger picks have included:

Pick #1- (17th overall) --LHP Scott Elbert, Missiouri HS. Elbert was 6-2 with a miniscule 0.52 ERA, working 54 innings and remarkably allowing only 13 hits, he struck out 114 while walking only 14.

Pick #2 - (28th) --SS Blake DeWitt, Missouri HS. DeWitt hit .544 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI. He is a 6-0, 175 pound righthander who hits left.

Any questions that the Dodgers would change course from the one established by amateur scouting director Logan White during his tenure were quickly put to rest as they followed his pattern of the previous two years by choosing two high school players in the first round of the 2004 amateur draft.

Interestingly both choices -- the Dodgers' own and the one they inherited as compensation for the Yankees signing Type A free agent Paul Quantrill -- come from Missouri. With the 17th selection, LA went for lefthander Scott Elbert from Seneca High, then with the 28th choice, opted for shortstop Blake DeWitt from Sikeston.

Going into the draft Elbert had been rated the top high school lefthander in the country and had been expected to be chosen sooner, some even predicting that he'd go in the top 10. He throws 90-93 consistently from a 3/4 motion and also throws a polished slider that reached the mid-80s. In addition, he's a strong hitter, ranking among the state's leaders in home runs.

An excellent athlete he was the top running back in Missouri as a junior, rushing for 2,449 yards and 36 touchdowns but gave up that sport as a senior to concentrate on baseball.

DeWitt, who hits from the left side, was ranked by Baseball America as the best pure hitter in the high school players ranks. Although he began pressing a bit when teams consistently pitched around him, he still hit .544 with 11 home runs. Although he possesses arm strength and athleticism, he's not expected to remain at short with the Dodgers listing him as a second baseman when they announced his selection.

Pick # 3 - (33rd)--RHP Justin Orenduff, Virginia Commonwealth. The first college player chosen was 4-5 with a 2.53 ERA.

Pick # 4 -(2nd round) --RHP Blake Johnson, Baton Rouge HS. Johnson, 6-4 and 190, was 8-3 with a 1.31 ERA. Pitching in 12 games he worked 64 innings, allowing 39 hits.

Pick # 5- (3rd round) - Cory Dunlap, Contra Costa CC (Cal).

With a further compensation pick for the Yanks' signing of Paul Quantrill, the Dodgers used the 33rd pick in the draft for their first college player, righthander Justin Orenduff from Virginia Commonwealth. Orenduff, who has a heavy 89-93 mph sinker along with an excellent slider and change, pitched last summer for Team USA where he started two of the team's four shutouts, striking out 40 batters in 41 innings. This spring he had 123 strikeouts while walking only 31 in 94 innings. He's 6-4, 220.

It was back to the high school ranks, though sticking with pitchers, in the second round where the choice was righthander Blake Johnson from Parkview Baptist in Baton Rouge, La At 6-4, 193, he keeps his fast ball consistently in the 89-93 range and complements that with a hard curve. Equipped with an easy, loose motion, he struck out 116 in 64 innings.

The third round selectee was Cory Dunlap, a 6-2, 205-pound first baseman from California's Contra Costa Community College. Dunlap, who sprays the ball to all fields, has power potential and led all California juco hitters with a .523 average.

Pick # 6 (4th round) - RHP Javier Garcia, Denton HS, Texas

Pick # 7- (5th round) OF John Raglani, George Washington University

Pick # 8- (6th round)- 1B Daniel Batz, Rhode Island University

The Dodgers stayed with high school pitching for its fourth round choice, going for righthander Javier Garcia from Ryan High in Denton. At 6-2, 180, Garcia has an unorthodox delivery that propels him across the mound to often deliver the ball from in front of the rubber, enough to make some wonder if it will be legal in pro ball. But it generates 93-95 mph heat. He also has a plus curve and change.

Outfielder John Raglani from George Washington University became the team's first-ever selection from the District of Columbia when he was chosen in the fifth round. A star in the Cape Cod League last summer, Raglani posted a .611 slugging percentage this spring despite playing with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. With a short stroke, he projects power although a below-average arm limits him to left field.

Sixth-round pick Daniel Batz lives up to his last name for he holds most of Rhode Island University's batting records. He's a 6-1, 190-pound first baseman who oozes plate potential.

Pick # 9 - (7th round) - OF Barry Richmond, Spartanburg JC SC.

Pick # 10 - (8th round) - C Carlos Medero-Stullz, Goleman HS, Hialeah, FL

Pick # 11 - (9th round) - 3B David Nicholson, Uni of California

Pick # 12 - (10th round) - RHP Corey Wade, Kentucky Wesleyan.

Pick # 13 (11th round) - C Chris Westervelt, Stetson U, FL.

Pick # 14 - (12th round) - OF Sam Steidl, Unversity of Minnesota.

Pick # 15 - (13th round) - 1B-OF Jeff Larish, Arizona State.

Pick # 16 - (14th round) - RF Brian Akin, Davidson.

Pick # 17 - (15th round) - LHP Joe Savery, Texas, High.

The seventh-round pick was Barry Richmond, an outfielder from Spartanburg Methodist J. C. followed in the eighth by high school catcher Carlos Madero-Stullz, who's a line drive hitter at the plate and who defensively is reputed to have a great arm and blocks low pitches very well.

Then came a run of college players, Dave Nicholson, who plays both second and third and who led Cal-Berkeley in hitting, was the ninth-rounder with Cory Wade, a righthander from Kentucky Wesleyan, being selected in the 10th. Chris Westervelt, a catcher who recovered from an ankle injury to hit .380 for Steson University, was grabbed in the 11th with outfielder Sam Steidl, a contact hiiter with gap power from the Unversity of Minnesota in the 12th.

Before the season, Jeff Larish, who plays both first base and the outfield for Arizona State, was considered one of the premier collegiate hitters but suffered a long slump which made him available to the Dodgers in the 13th round. He's always been considered to have big league hitting ability but, beware, he's a Scott Boras client so will be a difficult, if not impossible, sign.

After taking Davidson College righthander Brian Akin in the 14th round, L.A. went for another difficult sign, lefthander Joe Savery from Lamar, Texas, High, who went 11-0, 0.77 this spring. He's also regarded highly as a lefthanded hitting outfielder but is reportedly headed for Rice.
Pick # 18 - (16th round) - RHP Chase Dardar, Delgado CC, Louisiana

Pick # 19 - (17th round) - LHP Danny Forrer, Chipola JC, Florida

Pick #20 - (18th round) - 2b Matt Paul, Southern Uni., Louisiana

A left-handed pitcher from Chipola Junior College (the same school from which the Dodgers drafted catcher Russ Martin two years ago), Dan Forrer failed to sign with the Twins for whom he was a draft-and -follow. He has a loose arm and depends heavily on his curve ball.

The 18th and final round of the draft's first day found the Dodgers going for second baseball Matthew Paul of Southern University, the older brother of outfield prospect Xavier Paul.

End of First Round

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