Dodgers sign Second Round Pick Jason Wall

LA Dugout has learned that the Dodgers have signed one of the two top draft choices that had been considered difficult to land as Josh Wall, a righthander from Louisiana, has agreed to terms and is reporting to the Gulf Coast League entry Tuesday.

The 6-6, 190-pound Wall was chosen in the second round of the recently completed draft with the Dodgers own pick. Ivan DeJesus, Jr., also was a second-round choice taken with the pick obtained from the Seattle Mariners for signing Adrian Beltre. DeJesus, who has already signed, is currently with the Gulf Coast team.

Wall compiled a 14-1 record with an 0.93 earned run average for Walker Private School in Baton Rouge, La. He struck out 138 batters in 83 innings while walking only 26. This earned him second-team high school All-American honors as chosen by Baseball America.

He features a fast ball that has been clocked as high as 93 and usually rides in the 88-91 range. He also throws a sharp curve. He's considered extremely projectable for it is felt that he can easily pack more weight on his lanky frame. By signing, he turned his back on a scholarship to Louisiana State .

Wall's signing means the Dodgers now have under contract 12 of the first 14 players selected. Negotiations continue slowly with Luke Hochesaver from the University of Tennesse, their top choice as a supplemental pick at the end of the first round.

Along with Wall's signing, a general movement of outfielders upward was the result of the broken wrist suffered by J.D. Drew for L.A. Chin-Feng Chen was sent from Las Vegas to L.A. with Todd Donovan being promoted from Jacksonville to Vegas to fill that spot. Donovan, obtained from Cleveland in a late spring trade, was hitting .284-8-26 batting leadoff for the Suns. His 44 stolen bases leads the organization.

To replace Donovan, Justin Ruggiano was moved up from Vero Beach to the Suns. He was bating .307-9-35 for Vero and had 15 stolen bases. Jamie Hoffmann, who was hitting .308-1-24 with nine triples at Columbus, goes up to Vero.

Hoffmann's slot at Columbus was filled with the promotion of Jeremy Brown from the Gulf Coast squad. Brown was batting .286 after signing as a draft-and-follow out of Pratt, Kan., Community College.

Meanwhile, lefthander Greg Miller took another long stride down the road back by reporting no pain after his second outing, an impressive three-inning stint with the Gulf Coast team in which he allowed no hits while striking out six.

"I feel as good as I ever have, " he declared. Miller, who reached 94 mph on the speed gun, has been mixing in a three-quarters delivery along with his normal over-the-top approach to ease the strain on his surgically repaired left shoulder.

"That 94 reading was probably when I threw over the top but if I keep getting the movement and location on my pitches from three-quarters like I did this time, I'll keep right on using it, he declared.

As for the prognosis, Greg says, "I plan to pitch again on Saturday. After that (organizational pitching coordinator) Rick Honeycutt will be in town Monday and we'll talk about the next move. "