Dodger Prospect # 30 - RHP Josh Wall

Some prized prospects in the organization push ahead rapidly. The Dodgers et them have some success at one level, then quickly challenge them at the next. With some others though, the pace is not as swift and that may well be the case with Josh Wall.

Baseball folklore has hit that big players develop more slowly and Wall, 6-6, 192-pound righthander, is certainly big but he has the look of someone very special.

He was selected in the second round of the 2005 after running up 14-1 record with an 0.93 earned run average at Walker Private School in Baton Rouge, La. Wall 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.

In high school he was a power hitter with 19 home runs as a senior but there's no thought of turning him into a first baseman, as they did with James Loney.

Between his junior and senior years in high school he participated in some showcases and reached 95 on the gun at one, the scouts were all taking notice and he was projected to be a first-round draft choice the next year.

However, his velocity began dropping off in his season year and it was rumor he would attend hometown LSU. The Dodgers, though, stuck with him, made him a second-round choice and signed him for close to $500,000.

The selection was the Dodgers own pick. Ivan DeJesus, also was a second-round choice taken with the pick obtained from the Seattle Mariners for signing third baseman Adrian Beltré.

He features a fast ball that has been clocked as high as 93 and usually rides in the 88-91 range and throws a sweeping curve that makes him effective against right-handed hitters and he has a good straight change.

He signed late, due to the scholarship offer and was signed to the Gulf Coast League Dodgers, where he went 1-3, 3.86, with only five strikeouts in 14 innings. Pitching in tough luck he had a one-hitter for five innings only to lose, was bothered by a aching arm and shut down.

Over the winter he worked hard to get into form, and reached 96 mph on the gun but the soreness returned and drove him to the sidelines.

He rehabbed in extended camp and threw the ball extremely well. There was talk of pushing him up to Columbus but, instead, he was sent to Ogden.

HJe was inconsistent, with some games impressive, some. He finished 3-5, 5.86 and was bothered by location problems, walking 33 while striking out 41 in 66 innings. Opposing hitters banged him around for a .305 average.

Still only 20, he was boosted up to Great Lakes and finished 6-10, 4,18, fanning 103 and walking 48 over 24 starts and 129.1 innings. Opponents tagged him for a .269 average.

Among starters in the system, he was seventh in ERA and starts, ninth in strikeouts, strikeouts per nine innings and hits per nine innings, and ninth in walks and hits per nine innings.

The Dodgers feel as he matures he'll learn more about keeping an even tempo and how to handle adversity. That he'll have to do in order to take advantage of the physical talent that he undoubtedly has.

Depending on his improvement during spring training, he could start in either Great Lakes again or move up to Inland Empire.

His record:
Josh Wall     br  tr  6-6  192
Born-January 21, 1987 at Baton Rouge, LA
Obtained- Selected in second round, 2005

year	team   	w-l   era    gm   gs    in     h   bb    so
2005	GCL   	1-3   3.86    5    4   14.2   13    8     5
2006	Ogden	3-5   5.86   14   14   66.0   80   33    41
2008	GLakes  6-10  4.18   26   24  129.1  136   48   103	

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