Dodger Prospect #34 - RHP Josh Wall

Traditional baseball lore has it that taller pitchers take longer to develop, longer to get their mechanics in order to replicate motion and when you are 6-foot-6 and weigh 192, as Josh Wall is, that is what is holding back the the soon-to-be 22 year old.

br tr 6-6 192
Born-January 21, 1987 at Baton Rouge, LA
Obtained- Selected in second round, 2005
2008 rating #30

Wall was selected in the second round of the 2005 after running up 14-1 record with an 0.93 ERA at Walker Private School in Baton Rouge, La. He struck out 138 batters in 83 innings -- just shy of 15 per nine innings -- while walking only 26. This earned him second-team high school All-American honors as chosen by Baseball America.

In high school the big guy was also 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 so successfully with James Loney.

Between his junior and senior years in high school he participated in some showcase events 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 assumed 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 95 and usually rides in the 88-91 range and throws a sweeping curve that makes him effective against right-handed hitters plus he has a good straight change.

He signed late in 2005, due to the scholarship offer, and was assigned 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 was 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.

He was inconsistent, with some games impressive, some not so. 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 about 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.

His 2008 season was pretty much the same thing, although he had a pre-all-star game ERA of 5.37 and slid to a 7.26 over the second half to end up at 6.42. However, he battled and came up with a 9-6 won-lost record despite allowing opposing hitters a .297 average.

He had trouble pitching out of the stretch, allowing a 1.31 ERA with the bases loaded in double figures with men on base. His control is still not where he wants it, having walked 63 and struck out 101.

Blessed with great natural talent, the Dodgers are certain he will develop as he gets older.

Depending on his work spring training, he could start in either Inland Empire again or move up to Chattanooga.

His record:

Josh Wall

year	team   		w-l   era    gm   gs   in    h   bb    so
2005	GCLeague   	1-3   3.86    5    4   14   13    8     5
2006	Ogden		3-5   5.86   14   14   66   80   33    41
2008	GLakes  	6-10  4.18   26   24  129  136   48   103	
2008    InEmpire		9-6   6.28   27   25  129  152   63   101

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories