Dodger scouting director Logan White had his eyes on Mattingly himself and an ace up his sleeve. Actually, what was us his sleeve was an earlier pick, #31 to be exact, and he used it leaving the two American League powers watching helplessly.
Mattingly told Bill Shelley the story of the phone calls as he prepared for practice with the Gulf Coast Dodgers in his rookie season. Asked if it felt strange, Mattingly replied, "Not really." Leave it for others to think that.
Mattingly, who played for Evansville, Ind. High, was selected as an first team infielder on the all-star squad. He hit .467 with three home runs in 39 RBI in 33 games there. He also stole 22 bases in 23 attempts. And he completed a clean sweep of all-state honors, being named in football and basketball as well as baseball.
One might think that the son of a Yankee coach would have spent his summers on a diamond but Preston's from Indiana where basketball is king, Colts in the Super Bowl or no.
Scout Marty Lamb spotted his potential early and scouting director Logan White agreed with his assessment and the decision was made.
With so little playing time on the diamond, the Dodgers didn't expect all that much from Mattingly right away but he surprised them with his offensive output.
He was among the league leaders for some time until a coach decided to make a pull hitter of him and messed up his swing. He abandoned that in time to finish at .290 with one home run and 29 runs batted in over 22 games for the Coasties.
As you might expect, the pitchers were throwing him curves which he'll learn to lay off with more playing time. At best he's a line drive hitter who sprays the ball around, not one who should be gunning for the fences. He's fairly quick on the bases paths as well.
Baseball America rated him the 10th best prospect in the system. They also said he was the best athlete, best pure hitter, and fastest runner in the 2006 draft class. Baseball Prospectus said he was #7.
That was all heady stuff but 2007 was not kind to the 19-year-old. Pioneer League pitching held him to a .210 average and a .251 on base percentage. He was switched from shortstop to second base to cut down on his errors, with 30 rung up over the season at Ogden.
He still had trouble with the curve, hitting but .192 against righthanders. He hit .296 in June, boosting his average to .265 at the all-star break, but over the final two months of the season he hit over .157.
He well might spend another summer at Ogden.
Preston Michael Mattingly br tr 6-3 205 Born-August 28, 1987 in Englewood, IN Obtained- Selected in supplemental first round 2006 year team ave obp gm ab r h 2b 3b hr bi sb 2006 GCL .290 .322 47 186 22 54 12 3 1 29 12 2007 Ogden .210 .251 107 404 42 85 12 7 3 40 11