The Dodgers selected Baylor University Junior Aaron Miller, a 6-3, 200 pounder who bats and throws left-handed. The two-way player much like James Loney hit well (.350 with 11 homers and 43 RBIs in 46 games) and also moved back to the pitching mound in 2009 and impressed scouts. The Dodgers drafted him as a pitcher.
Miller hadn't pitched regularly since high school, but has repeatedly shown a 91-94 mph fastball and a nasty 82-83 mph slider. His command is spotty, since he has mainly been an outfielder during his college career, but the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder has the athleticism to improve with more experience.
He went 3-3 with a 5.48 ERA in 12 games, with 59 strikeouts in 48 innings.
Highly regarded as a pitching prospect coming out of high school he preferred to play the outfield his freshman year at Baylor and pitched in only eight games his sophomore season.
Vice president Logan White has taken a pitcher with his first pick in the previous six Drafts. The only position player he's taken first since he's run the Dodgers' Draft was Loney, a two-way high school star, in 2002.
As a Junior, he played in every game, hitting .310 with 12 home runs and 47 runs batted in with a .417 on-base percentage. He also appeared in 13 games on the mound, starting six of them and ha a 5.12 earned run average, striking out 65 in 59 innings and allowing only 49 hits.
Miller first emerged as a top pitching prospect when he threw 90-91 mph as a high school sophomore, but entering his senior year he was more highly regarded as a right fielder in the mold of Paul O'Neill. Miller didn't want to pitch as a freshman for Baylor and made just six mound appearances in 2008. He started in right field for the Bears when he's not pitching, and ranks second on the club in all three triple-crown stats at .354-11-43. But it's clear now that his future will be on the mound.
He attended Channelview [Texas] High School where he pitched and played first base and outfield. He led Channelview to first state tournament appearance in 2006 and earned all-tournament honors. He was named third-team All-America by Baseball America as a senior after hitting .581 with 14 home runs, 49 RBI, 11 doubles, two triples, 54 runs and 20 stolen bases.
As a freshman at Baylor, he started each of Baylor's first 39 games in right field before sustaining a broken right arm when hit by a pitch. Despite missing season's final 23 games, tied for third on team with 35 RBI, finished third on team in triples (4) and slugging percentage (.511) and hit .348 with runners on base. He was never held hitless in consecutive games all season.
As a Sophomore he continued to hit the ball hard and deep. He made 57 starts, 49 in right field. He hit .296 (62-for-210) with 12 home runs and 45 RBI, leading the team in home runs, doubles (18), extra-base hits (31), slugging percentage (.562), walks (34), on base percentage (.425) and times reached base (111). He played 13 games for the Chatham A's of the Cape Cod League (wood bats) but surgery on right (non-throwing) shoulder cut summer season short.
Career honors include: •2009 Baylor Captain •2009 Wallace Award Watch List •2009 Baseball America No. 62 MLB Draft Prospect (college) •2008 First-Team ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Academic All-District VI •2008 First-Team Academic All-Big 12 Conference •2008 QTI Baylor Classic MVP •2006 MLB Draft Pick (Colorado Rockies, 11th round) •Five-time Big 12 Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll.
#2 OF/P Blake Smith
Blake Smith, a Junior at Cal Berkley, was selected second by the Dodgers and #56 overall. Smith, who bats left and throws right, was drafted as an outfielder, but his effectiveness as a reliever might be considered. He was chosen to the Wallace Award Watch list as a potential player of the year candidate.
Over his first three years at Cal Berkley he compiled a .312 bating average with 28 homers and 111 runs batted in. On the mound he had a 4.63 average over 41 games, three of them starts and struck out 85 in 62.2 innings. He has an outstanding arm, throwing in the low 90s with a fastball and a curve, and is a talented left-handed hitter.
Smith was a Louisville Slugger second-team preseason All-American utility player in both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and was instrumental in the USA Baseball National (Collegiate) Team capturing the gold medal at the IV FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championship in the Czech Republic this past summer.
He helped Team USA to an undefeated 24-0 record and was the team's leading hitter with a .327 average (18-for-55) with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 13 RBI in 20 games.
He was also one of the national team's top relievers, sporting a 1-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and two saves, striking out 11 batters with only three hits and three walks in 9.0 innings.
Smith was named Team USA's seventh best prospect in Baseball America...a multi-talented player who is a key contributor for the Bears, either at the plate, in the field or on the mound.
As a Junior at Cal Berkley batted .319 (67-for-210, team-leading .330 vs. Pac-10) with 14 doubles (10th in Pac-10), 10 home runs (10th in Pac-10) and 38 RBI. He threw two runners out at the plate from right field and was 0-1 with a 5.85 ERA and two saves in nine appearances and three starts.
Smith's career stats:
Outfield/1b Year ave gm ab r h 2b 3b hr bi sb 2007 .320 51 178 31 57 12 1 6 30 3 2008 .296 54 199 36 59 11 1 2 43 6 2009 .319 53 210 43 67 14 0 10 38 3 Total .312 158 587 110 183 37 3 28 111 12 Pitching Year w-l era gm gs sv in h bb so 2007 1-0 4.22 16 0 1 21.1 15 9 23 2008 3-0 3.80 16 0 0 21.1 20 11 36 2009 0-1 5.85 9 3 2 20.0 17 20 26 Total 4-1 4.63 41 3 3 62.2 52 40 85#3 RHP Garrett Gould
Gould was the Kansas 6-A pitcher of the year in 2008, when he broke big leaguer Nate Robertson's Maize High record with 95 strikeouts in 57 innings and many projected him as a first round pick.
In the quarterfinals of the World Wood Bat Association championship last October, he allowed just one hit and one walk while fanning 18 in eight shutout innings.
Gould has improved his fastball from 88-91 mph in 2008 to 91-94 mph and scouts agree that his best pitch is his curve, a sharp breaker that is delivered from a high three-quarters arm slot. He also perfecting a changeup.
Some scouts are divided about his mechanics, some worry about the effort and others rave about how he extends his 6-4, 200-pound frame to get good extension.
Gould was a quality quarterback in football and as a forward in basketball before deciding to consentrate on baseball as a senior. He plays the outfield when he's not pitching and has enough righthanded power that Wichita State has invited him to play college ball.
#4 P/INF Brett Wallach Logan White surprised the field with the Dodgers' selection of Brett Wallach in third round. Brett is the son of former Dodger Tim Wallach (1993-96) and current AAA Albuquerque manager in the Dodgers system. He is also the brother of Great Lakes catcher Matt Wallach.
But lest you suspect nepotism, consider that Wallach was was named the 2009 Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year, as voted on by the conference coaches.
The Pirates finished the season 334-13 and won the California Junior College title.
OCC is a perennial Southern California JC power as well as a strong producer of Division I and professional talent. Pirate alums who have played in the bigs include Dan Quisenberry and Damon Berryhill.
This year's squad contains also contained Josh Berryhill (son of Damon).
Brett Wallach, 6-2, 185 pound right-hander hit .352 while playing in the infield and behind the bat, and also led the team on the mound with nine wins, 25 appearances, 102 strikeouts (in 96.2 innings) and was second in saves. He held opposing batters to a .211 average.
His 2009 statistics:
Batting Year ave gm ab r h 2b 3b hr bi sb 2009 .352 42 162 29 57 7 1 3 46 1-1 Pitching Year w-l era gm gs sv in h bb so 2009 9-1 2.23 19 13 3 96.2 76 36 102MLB Network broadcast the first round from its Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., and those 32 selections also will be simulcast live on MLB.com. Beginning with the 33rd pick, coverage shifted to MLB.com.
Teams completed the first three rounds on the first night.