2009 Draft Review Selections No. 27-31

The Dodgers Class of 2009, numbering 31 in all, will again be rated highly among the last several years. We will explain how each of the signees fared during the season and an estimate of where they will play in 2010. We number them as they were selected, instead of the exact round they were taken.

Players taken this low in the draft --Chris Handke was the 1,237th player picked, caught the attention of a scout who felt the player could develop. How far they develop is up to the player himself because, along with competent coaching, all that is guaranteed is a chance.

Many selected after the 30th round see only limited action and spend much of their first professional season working out under the eyes of a number of coaches. As it was for the final five players the Dodgers drafted.

No. 27 C Steve Cilladi, a 5-9, 82 pound catcher out of Kansas Wesleyan University. He played four years with the Coyotes and batted .267 with 76 hits in 121 career games. The team advanced to the Opening Round of the NAIA National Baseball Championships before losing to Campbellsville University.

Cilladi was the backup catcher for the Dodgers entry in the Arizona Rookie League and only played in 14 games, hitting .122 (5-for-41) with a triple and three runs batted in.

STEVE CILLADI  5-9  182  tr  br
Born- March 15, 1987
School- Kansas Western University

team		  ave  obp  gm  ab  r  h  2b 3b hr bi  sb
AZ Rook		.122  .319  14  41  0  5   0  1  0  3   0
No. 28. RHP Justin Dignelli, 6-4, 220-pound right-hander out of George Washington University in the District of Columbia, appeared in eight games for the Colonials and finished the season 0-2 with a 14.46 ERA after missing the entire 2007 season with an injury.

In high school he recorded 94 strikeouts in 54 innings as a senior and also led team in batting average, ERA and strikeouts as a junior.

Working in the Arizona Rookie League, he got into 11 games, all in relief, and finished 1-1 with a 7.71 earned run average and one save. He had one tough outing in which he allowed seven runs in 2/3 of an inning, which kicked his era from 4.06 to 7.71. pitched allowed 11 hits in 14 innings, while striking out 18. Although he did walk 11, it was not a bad first season.

JUSTIN DIGNELLIi   6-4  220  br  tr
Born- February 26, 1987
School- George Washington University, DC

Team	        w-l  era  gm  gs  sv  in    h   bb  so  ave  
AZ Rook		1-1  7.71  11  0   1  14.0  11  11  18  .216 
29. 2B David Iden, 5-9 and 170 pounds, was signed out of California Lutheran University. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico but resides in Thousand Oaks, California.

He played 32 games for Ogden and hit .239 with five runs batted in and five stolen bases.

DAVID IDEN  5-9  170  br  tr
Born- March 4, 1987
School- California Lutheran University

team		 ave   obp  gm  ab   r   h 2b 3b hr  bi sb
Ogden		.239  .327  32  92  11  22  3  0  0  5  5
30. RHP Kevin Childs, a 6-3, 195-pound junior out of Culver-Stockton College in California, pitched out of the bullpen for the Wildcats. He appeared in nine games, striking out 10 in 8.1 innings and allowing a .194 average against him.

Like most of the others, he didn't see a great deal of action in the Arizona Rookie League, working in 11 games out of the bullpen and allowing a 6.14 ERA, although he allowed five of his 10 earned runs in one game and without that blip he would have had a 3.66 ERA. He allowed 17 hits in 14/2 innings and struck out 13.

KEVIN CHILDS  6-3 195  br tr
Born- April 21, 1987
School- Culver-Stockton University, CA

Team	        w-l  era  gm  gs   in   h  bb  so  ave
AZ Rook		0-0  6.14  11  0  14.2  17  5  13  .298
31. RHP Chris Handke is a work in progress but the Dodgers saw so much potential that they overlooked his relative lack of experience. The 6-10, 235-pounder had great numbers during his junior year at Division III Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa -- but they were in basketball.

Over the past three seasons, Handke has led the team in rebounding, blocked shots and field-goal percentage while earning all-conference honors.

In baseball, it was a different matter. Over 10.2 innings for the Rams he has a 0-1 record and a 15.19 earned run average, walking 12 and striking out eight.

But the Dodgers wanted a closer look at him after he had taken a couple of pitching lessons. "After I did that, my velocity came up from about 80 to where I was hitting around 93 and it was suggested that I might want to come to a national predraft showcase."

"I've never been very refined as a pitcher, and in the lessons I learned how to use my hips and midsection as I pitched instead of just trying to throw with my arms and upper body like I had all my life," Handke said. "It's made a great deal of difference." He caught the eye of a number of teams but it was the Dodgers who nailed him down.

He should have no trouble learning. He's biochemistry and molecular biology major who is conducting research into Lou Gehrig's disease this summer at Cornell and originally he Handke was unsure if he would sign right away with the Dodgers.

"The Dodgers picked a great kid," Cornell basketball coach Mike DeGeorge said. "He's only going to get better."

Most of the work he did during the summer was on the sideline and he got into only two games late in the season, and struggled, as was expected.

He worked a combined 1.1 innings, allowed three hits, walked one, hit a pair of batters and threw a wild pitch while posting a 13.50 ERA.

It's common knowledge that a big kid will take longer to master the art of pitching, but the Dodgers know that and are willing to wait, with visions of a budding Randy Johnson flashing across their eyes. At about the same age he allowed 29 hits and 24 walks in 27 innings back in 1985, three years before Handke was born.

CHRIS HANDKE  6-10  235  br  tr
Born- March 19, 1988
School- Cornell College, NY

Team	        w-l   era  gm  gs  in  h  bb so  ave
AZ Rookie	0-0  13.50  2   0  1.1  3  1  0  .429