Dodger Prospect 1B Andrew Locke - #48

Third in a series on the top 50 Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best. Player ratings will be published Monday through Friday each week. Today we highlight #48, OF Drew Locke.

1B Drew Locke
6-1 223 BR TR
Born-February 23, 1983, Boston, MA
Selected in 19th round in 2005 draft

It wasn't as if Andrew "Drew" Locke had not performed well during his three-year professional career. Drafted in the 19th round of the June 2005 draft out of Boston College where he had distinguished himself, he had hit .292 while playing for Ogden, Columbus, Vero Beach and Inland Empire 2005-07.

But the best was yet to come.

After hitting .284 in April and May while playing first base in his second season at Inland Empire in the California League, things changed. He had collected only 12 extra base hits and 13 RBI over the first two months before he caught fire.

The solid 6-1, 205-pound infielder hit .316 in June, then bettered that with a .357 July and finished the season by hitting .308 in August and September as the 66ers beat Lake Elsinore to earn the Wild Card berth in the Southern Division. However, they lost the division title to Lancaster.

The Dodgers lost catcher Carlos Santana in the trade for third baseman Casey Blake. Santana was having such a great season he was selected as the Player of the Year in the California League, and Locke's accomplishments were seemingly lost along with Santana's big bat.

But the hard-hitting first baseman hit .323 after the all-star break, smacking 10 of his 11 home runs and driving in 54 runs down the stretch.

He finished with a .311 record (seventh in the league), 81 runs (fifth), 146 hits (fifth), 37 doubled (second), 11 home runs (10th), 85 runs batted in (fifth), a .365 on-base percentage (sixth), a .477 slugging mark (sixth) and an 841 on-base plus slugging total of .841 (seventh). The runs, hits, doubles, triples and RBI were all personal best marks.

He led Ogden in home runs (13) and slugging percentage (.556) in his first professional season. In his Class A debut with Columbus and hit .325 with eight homers and a career high 50 RBIs in 62 games and was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week in May and a Mid-Season All-Star. Promoted to Class A-Advanced Vero Beach on June 22, he batted .286 with seven homers and 39 RBIs in 61 games. In 2007 at Inland Empire he hit .280 with seven homers and 30 RBI.

He has quick wrists to drive the ball solidly with some juice. He's more than adequate in the field. although his arm is only average.

As a college graduate, he is a bit older than many of his teammates and must maintain his excellent numbers and keep moving up the franchise since he will be 26 years old in 2009. He will probably be playing for Chattanooga, the Dodgers new Double-A club, in 2009.