Dodgers Select 40 in First-Year Player Draft

The Dodgers bowed out of the selection process after 39 rounds (40 players), and Midland, Texas Highschooler Chris Withrow was the Dodgers first selection. LADugout Minor League Editor Bill Shelley has provided a thumbnail of each choice made and you can read them all right here..

Second Day Action

No. 7 Justin Miller, Johnson Co, KS CC
The Dodgers went right back to pitching when the draft resumed Friday, selecting righthander Justin Miller from Johnson County, Kan, Community College. A relief pitcher, Miller was one of the top-rated junior college pitchers in the country, although he suffered a tender arm that limited his appearances. His fast ball has been clocked as high as 94 mph and generally sits in the low 90's. He played right field when he didn't pitch and is very raw on the mound without much of a breaking ball. He had an 0.43 ERA and is considered very promsing.

No. 8 RHP Danny Danielson, Russell Co. HS, AL
They stayed with pitching in the seventh round also, selecting righthander Danny Danielson from Russell County High in Alabama. He came on very well as a senior, pitching his team to the state championship including a one-hitter in the semifinals. He has thrown in the low 90's and is developing quickly. He's big- 6-4, 220.

No. 9 C Alex Garbidian, College of Charleston SC
The first catcher taken is Alex Garabidian from the College of Charleston, S. C. He's a muscular player who is considered more advanced with the bat than with his defense. A onetime player for the University of Miami, who transferred, he does have a good arm. From Miami, he was drafted by the Yankees in the seventh round in 2004.

No. 10 SS Jaime Pedroza, UC Riverside
In the ninth round, they went for shortstop Jaime Pedroza from UC Riverside who is the younger brother of Sergio Pedroza, formerly in the system who was traded to the Devil Rays last year. Jaime has a smooth, quick swing and was a strong hitter for the Highlanders. He's considered below par as a defender at short. Speaking of short, he's only 5-8.

No. 11 OF Erik Kanaby, Texas
Speed is the game for outfielder Erik Kanaby from Lamar University in Texas. He is a top-of-the-order type who gained attention this spring when he hit .406 to finish with a .381 career average, a school record. He included a 25-game hitting streak along the way.

No. 12 RHP Paul Kloss, USC
Righthander Paul Kloss was a senior at Souhern California where he used a superior slider to great advantage. He also throws an 89-91 fast ball but sometimes has control problems with it.

No. 13 C Jessie Fausto Mier, Lewis & Clark State
In the 12th round the choice was Jessie Fausto Mier, a dependable catcher for NAIA powerhouse Lewis & Clark State. A California native from Pomona, he played junior college ball at Irvine Valley before matriculating north. He hit .350 with power - seven home runs.

No. 14 RHP Bobbie Blevins, LeMoyne State College
They stuck with college seniors in the 13th round, going to LeMoyne College in New York state for righthander Bobby Blevins. He throws an 88-91 fast ball plus a cutter and has a strong slider. He's regarded as very competitive and posted a 9-2, 2.77 record this spring.

No. 15 RHP Devin Miller, Arizona
The 14th round choice, righthander Devin Miller was perhaps the best high school pitcher in Arizona. A football linebacker of note previously, he came on as a senior throwing at times, a 94 mph fastball using a slurve as his breaking pitch. He's 6-3, 230 and, while he's crude on the mound, has a solid upside if he can be lured away from a committment to Arizona State.

No. 16 RHP Cal Stenke, U of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
They stayed with righthanders in the 15th round as well, choosing Cal Stenke from the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh, which fielded a strong team. Stenke didn't pitch all that much- just 34 innings in nine games, both as a starter and in relief but he did very well when he got to the mound. He was 3-0 with 1.32 ERA, striking out 35 in the time he worked.

No. 17 RHP Andre Santiago, Colegio del Sol
They kept piling up righthanded pitching. The latest is Andre Santiago, a 6-2, 200-pound power pitcher from Colegio del Sol.

No. 18 1B Franklin Jacobs, Glenn HS, Kernersville, NC
The initial first baseman chosen came in the 17th round. Franklin Jacobs is huge, 6-5, 260, and hits the ball a long, long way when he connects. He's from Robert B. Glenn High in Kernersville, N.C.

No. 19 RHP Given Kutz, University of Portland
The 18th round choice is Given Kutz, still another righthander; this time from the Uinversity of Portland He's got average to above stuff and works the plate very well.

No. 20 OF Jeris Bert, Frank Phillips JC, Texas
The 19th round choice, outfielder Jeris Bert is a first- perhaps for any team -because he's from France. He wasn't drafted from there but rather from Frank Phillips Junior College in Texas where he played center field. But, yes, he's from France originally- a town called Val de Ravel, to be precise, and came over here to play a game virtually unknown to his countrymen. He's only 5-9 and is quite quick.

No. 21 RHP Sean Koechler, Palm Beach Gardens HS, FL
One more righthander here- Sean Koechler, who's from Palm Beach Gardens High in Florida. He's fallen down to this spot because of signability but they'll try to get him. He throws 94 mph but his fast ball doesn't have a lot of life due to his stiff mechanics. His breaking pitches are inconsistent.

No. 22 RHP Terry Doyle, Boston College
The list of righthanded pitching goes on with Terry Doyle from Boston College. He had been one of the top performers in the Cape Cod League last summer but this year had problems with a growth on his pitching hand that cut down his velocity and his effectiveness. He struggled to reach 88 on the gun while being used both as a closer and starter. His curve ball is sharp but his command sometimes isn't.

No. 23 C Matthew Wallach, Cal St. Fullerton
Catcher Matt Wallach is from Cal State Fullerton where his dad Tim starred before going on to big league fame with the Dodgers among other teams. Unlike dad he's a lefthanded swinger who lists the Dodgers as his favorite team.

No. 24 OF Nathan Carter, De La Sall HS
Nathan Carter is from De La Salle High in Chicago, one of Illinois' premier sports schools. He's not big at 5-11, 175 but is quick and has good bat speed as well.

No. 25 SS Parker Dalton, Texas A&M
Dalton Parker is the shortstop for Texas A & M which has reached the Super Regionals in its effort to make the College World Series. Parker is currently hitting .368 for the Aggies with five home runs. He's stolen 18 bases but has been caught 22 times.

No. 26 RHP Timothy Sexon, Miami Dade CC South
The team is now looking at players who are regarded as tough signs with an eye to perhaps snaring one or two before the Aug. 15 cutoff deadline. One such is Timothy Sexon who transferred from George Washington U. to Miami-Dade JC . The righthander drops down so much his knee scrapes the ground but he throws a fast ball in the low 90's with good movement. He also has developed an effective change. He'll go to Coastal Carolina if he doesn't sign.

No. 27 SS Taylor Cole, Bishop Gorman HS, NV
Here's still another righthander who might not sign. Taylor Cole is from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas and he's a Mormon. That means his parents would like him to go on his two-year mission but he's received permission to delay that to either sign or go to BYU. He gets his fast ball up to 95 and has both a slider and changeup. He's only 17 and also swings a good bat.

No. 28 LHP Robert Rasmussen, Polytech HS School
Rob Rasmussen was as succesful as just about any high school pitcher in Southern California. Pitching for Poly High in Pasadena, the lefthander who is listed variously as 5-10 or 5-11, throws his fast ball in the high 80's and low 90's to average over 15 strikeouts a game. His parents, though, are very college-minded and it will take a lot of money to change that direction.

No. 29 OF Nathan Woods, Xavier HS
Nathan Woods from Xavier High is a large (6-6) , very strong kid with a lot to learn but a lot of potential if he applies himself. He's another who may be college-bound, though.

No. 30 1B Chris Keefer, North Central Texas JC
Chris Keefer is a first baseman attending a junior college (North Central Texas) . He has plenty of pop and while in high school in Oklahoma, set the school record with 20 homers in a season.

No. 31 SS Justin Coates, Seminole St College
Justin Coats is a shortstop who has been redrafted. Originally taken last year out of high school in Texarkana, Tex, he attended Seminole State in Oklahoma . The Dodgers tried to sign him as a draft-and-follow this spring but couldn't come to terms. They'll try again now.

No. 32 OF Rafael Thomas, Lufkin HS TX
Rafael Thomas is a quick center fielder from Lufkin, Texas, High, a school noted more for its football prowess in the "Friday Night Lights" tradition.

No. 33 RHP Mathew Gardner, Oklahoma St OK
Matt Gardner is a righthander from Oklahoma State who didn't get all that much work for the Cowboys this season. He appeared in only nine game and, while he was a perfect 4-0, his ERA was a bloated 5.70.

No. 34 RHP Jonathan Gonzalez, Cardinal Hayes, NY
Jonathan Gonzalez played at Cardinal Hayes High in the Bronx, a school loaded with kids of Dominican descent. He was more of an outfielder there but the Dodgers like his chances as a righthanded pitcher better.

No. 35 1B Garrett Poe, Silver City HS NM
They began reaching for long-range high school projects in the 34th round , selecting first baseman Garrett Poe from Silver City, New Mexico, a solid 6-0, 210 who bats righthanded.

No. 36 LHP Ryan Christenson, Arnett HS OK
Next came Ryan Christensen, a lefthanded with possibilties who's from Arnett, Oklahoma High. He's 6-1, 185.

No. 37 RHP Timothy Jones, Redan HS, GA
The Dodgers reached into Georgia for the first time in this draft to choose righthander Timothy Jones fro Redan High located in Stone Mountain.

No. 38 2B Gabriel Casanova, Barry U FL
The first second baseman drafted is Gabriel Casanova, the leading hitter for Barry University in Miami. He hit .388 including seven home runs and drove in 62 runs in just 48 games.

No. 39 C Matthew Szczur, Lower Cape May Reg HS NJ
The next choice was another catcher, Matt Szczur , a rugged 6-1, 190- pound receiver from high school in Cape May, N.J.

No. 40 OF John Hay, Col of the Canyons
Although the draft is scheduled to go on for a possible 50 rounds, the Dodgers made their final selection of the day in the 39th round, right fielder Johnny Hay of College of the Canyons. He hit .315 with four homers and five triples for a .565 slugging percentage.



Scouting VP Logan White's Comments on First Days selections:

Chris Withrow, the Dodgers first pick: I'm excited. We thought the Phillies or a couple of other clubs that picked before us were on him so we didn't know until the last minute that he'd be there.

"He reminds me of John Smolz with a lean frame that will fill out. He has oustanding arm action, a clean delivery, the best I saw. He throws 92-93 with a plus curve ball. He has a lot of projection because he's still developing. "

Adkins-- "He was Tennessee's top starter with a lot of innings. He throws a really good curve with an average fast ball. He won't overpower but he's a good pitcher who'll be a starter. "

Watt-- "I'm really excited that we got him. He's a Randy Wolf type with a fast ball between 88 and 93 and a feel for a change. He's a tough kid with good arm action."

Gallagher-- "Austin is a monster. He's big physically with serious raw power. He can really drive the ball. "

Lambo-- "He's strong ; he's athletic. He's like James Loney was when we drafted him but more physical. He can play the outfield or first base. We drafted him as a right fielder because we want to get that bat into the system. He's a lefthanded hitter with a good stroke. We think he'll hit for power down the line. "

Blair-- "Kyle's going to be a tough sign. I love the kid but can't guarantee that he'll sign but we'll make a good run because he's a good kid with good makeup . He has ability so we rolled the dice . I have a good feeling about him and he'd be a tremendous sign if we can get him. "

The First Days selections:
1. Chris Withrow, RHP, Midland Texas HS That the Dodgers like high school pitching has become one of the draft's maxims so they didn't really surprise anybody when that's whom they went for in 2007 as the first player chosen. He's righthander Chris Withrow from Midland, Texas, Christian High.

Withrow has been rising up on the draft boards all spring and the Dodgers made him the 20th overall selection, using the slot they gained from the Red Sox when that club signed Type "A" free agent Julio Lugo.

Their choice is 6-3, 200 with a projectable body, just the kind of player the team has traditionally selected since Logan White took over as director of scouting in 2002. He throws a 94 mph fast ball and has a smooth delivery, a lot of that thanks to his father Mike, a former big league pitcher who is his pitching coach at Midland Christian.

Withrow's curve ball needs refinement but shows considerable promise. He has accepted a scholarship to Baylor but is considered signable.

It's the second year in a row that the Dodgers have gone for a Texas high school pitcher at No. 1. Last year, they took lefthander Clayton Kershaw from Highland Park.

No. 2. LHP James Adkins, University of Tennessee
The Dodgers' next choice came in the supplemental round -#39 overal- another choice obatied when the Red Sox signed Lugo.

It was something of a surprise as they went for 6-5 lefthander James Adkins of the University of Tennessee, who started the season strongly for the Vols, slumped in the middle of the year, then came on to nearly pitch a no-hitter in the SEC tournament.

He tends to pitch backwards, starting hitters off with his excellent slider, then going to his fast ball. He's always been a starter but some project him as a situational lefthander as a professional.

No. 3 LHP Michael Watt, Capaistrano Valley High, Mission Viejo, CA
In the second round, the Dodgers reverted to their normal slot for the first time, then went hunting for a sleeper pick who turned out to be the third pitcher and second lefthander they selected.

He's Michael Watt, who's 6-1 , 185, who pitched for Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo, Cal. He's got a lively fast ball with good movement but wasn't rated very highly going into the draft. Watt also has a good curve but his delivery seems to hold him back somewhat.

No. 4 3B Glenn Gallagher, Manhiem Township HS
The Dodgers chose their first position player in the third round- third baseman Austin Gallagher of Mannhein Township, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. He's big- 6-5, 220 - very strong with power potentail from the left side although his batting approach needs definite work.

He's a superior athlete who played basketball, quarterbacked his football team and was an undefeated pitcher with an 0.90 ERA when he wasn't playing third. He's the recepient of a scholarship to South Carolina so must receive enough money to forgo that.

No. 5 1B Andrew Lambo, Newbury Park, CA
In the fourth round LA went for an outfielder with power potential, Andrew Lambo from Newbury Park, Cal, who also plays first base. He's 6-3, 180, with a sweet lefthanded swing.

No. 6 RHP Kyle Blair, Los Gatos HS, CA
It was back to pitching in round five for Kyle Blair, a righthander who has been one of the more highly regarded in his area, throwing a perfect game in a successful season.

He's very projectable at 6-4, 200 with a fast ball that increased to 95 mph as the season went on. Mostly, though, he's been a curveballer with good bite on that pitch. He's an all-conference water polo player so he's an athlete. He has the kind of perserverance that coaches love.

The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is held every year in June by conference call among the 30 Major League Clubs. The Clubs take turns selecting players in reverse order of their won-lost records at the close of the previous regular season. The order of selection is without regard to League.

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