Dodgers Sign Scott Van Slyke

The Dodgers, who seem to have made something of a fetish of gathering in sons of former major leaguers this year, have signed another as Scott Van Slyke inked a contract and promptly reported to the Gulf Coast League affiliate.

With the GCL Dodgers, Scott, the son of former major league outfield star Andy, joins Ivan DeJesus, Jr., son of Ivan, Sr., former big league infielder; and righthander Steve Johnson, whose dad Dave pitched in the big leagues. In fact, Dave and Andy were teammates with the Pirates.

Scott is a 6-5, 200-pound right-handed hitting outfielder who dropped to the 14th round because most teams felt he was bound for college ball at the University of Mississippi where he had accepted a scholarship. The Dodgers were able to sign him away from that committment by offering far more money than the slot called for.

"I'm just glad it's over and we could come to terms," said Scott. "I really liked Ole Miss and the facilities there but I'm anxious to play pro ball."

In high school in St. Louis he hit "about .500", he says with seven home runs. "I drew a lot of walks," he adds, agreeing that he was pitched around a lot.

He has an ideal frame to add muscle and power, a fact noted by Dodger director of amateur scouting Logan White. "He can hit and can run and has a strong arm," White commented. "He didn't play in the toughest high school league in the world so I'm not sure how he'll start out. Don't expect him to hit .300 or something like that but I believe that two or three years down the road, he'll be quite a player."

Not surprisingly, Scott grew up a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals, a team his dad not only starred for in his playing days but one he now serves as host of a post-game show. Scott is the second son of Andy to sign this summer as his older brother A. J., who played at the University of Kansas, joined the Cardinals organization after being chosen in the 23rd round.

Van Slyke's signing means the Dodgers have now signed 14 of their first 16 choices.

Meanwhile, negotiations are expected to resume shortly at the Colorado home of L.A.'s first pick, righthander Luke Hochever, who has just received an additional honor by being selected for the Roger Clemens Award, given to the top collegiate pitcher. Hochever pitched for the University of Tennessee.

On the injury front, righthander Jose "Jumbo" Diaz made his first appearance in almost a year, throwing one inning for the Gulf Coast team. Diaz, who underwent Tommy John surgery, was clocked at 96 mph.