Dodger Prospect Profile: Darnell Sweeney

Putting the spotlight on Dodgers' shortstop prospect Darnell Sweeney.

With the 13th pick of the 2012 MLB Draft the Los Angeles Dodgers selected a shortstop out of the University of Central Florida.

And much like his speed Darnell Sweeney has made a fast impression to the Dodgers minor league system.

"He's brought a lot of things to the team, but what he's brought the most of is his style of play," said hitting coach Razor Shines. "He's played hard from day one."

Sweeney has shown he has what it takes to excel at the top of the lineup.

He is hitting for a high average, he has speed and most of all he is patient.

"I know being a leadoff hitter you have to be patient," Sweeney said. "I know me seeing as many pitches in at-bat will help my team whether I get on base or not; I can go back to the dugout and have a little scouting report."

By being patient he sets himself up to look for his pitch and he hasn't had trouble finding that pitch.

Sweeney is batting .385 for the Class-A Great Lakes Loons with two doubles, a triple and three RBIs in just seven games. While In Ogden he batted .303 with a double, two triples and 10 RBIs in 16 games.

"He goes to the plate with a good approach," Shines said. "He's always going to have an opportunity to hit because of his solid approach."

He has also dazzled fans in Midland, Mich with his solid and at times flashy defense. He brought the fans to their feet in his first game at Dow Diamond by making two barehanded grabs that he turned for double plays.

Sweeney has impressed with his feet too, he's stolen 13 bases in the minors at an average of .765 and he's turned many singles into doubles and doubles into triples.

"The game is faster, but I try to slow the game down for me personally," Sweeney said. "I know once I do that everything is better."

Sweeney was drafted in 2009 in the 41st round by the Florida Marlins after his senior year at American Senior High School, but he turned down the contract and played three seasons with the Golden Knights.

At UCF he started all 178 games he appeared in and batted .301 with 40 doubles, eight triples and six home runs. He also had 560 assists and turned 115 double plays defensively.

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