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Dodger Baseball

It’s Feeling A Bit Drafty

I’m not sure why, but every year I get excited about the MLB baseball draft (albeit less so as I grow older).  The selection of young players is something akin to bringing home a new puppy from the animal shelter.   You’re in love with the selection, but you’re never quite sure what you’re getting with that pup.  You may bring home that special pet that becomes a member of the family for years to come.  On the other hand, you may wind a yapping dog that, no matter how much training you provide, never stops peeing on the carpet.

I have had a love for amateur baseball for a very long time.  Having coached for so long, and then having the joy of watching sons play college ball, I’ve naturally followed high school and college teams and players and the many friends and acquaintances that I encountered over the years.  For me, that has added an additional level of my fandom as I watch these young players compete and chase their dream of playing in “the show.”  Frankly, I enjoy watching amateur baseball as much, if not more, than the pro-game.  It’s hard to beat the excitement of the college playoffs for the College World Series.  Perhaps that is why the MLB Draft has some fascination for me.

This year, the MLB Draft will be held July 17 through July 19, 2022.  It will be held in Los Angeles in conjunction with the All-Star game and festivities.  The first two rounds and supplemental rounds will take place on Sunday, July 17th.  Rounds 3-10 will take place on July 18th, and Rounds 11-20 are set for July 19th.  In the first 10 rounds, the Dodgers will pick at Nos. 40, 105, 135, 165, 195, 225, 255 and 315.  They’ll have the 30th pick thereafter for the remaining 10 rounds.  The Dodgers’ bonus pool is $4.2 million, which happens to be the lowest among all 30 teams.  Bonus pools are calculated by adding the slot values of every pick through the first 10 rounds. The slot values for the Dodgers picks are:

  • Pick 40: $1,950,900.
  • Pick 105: $582,400.
  • Pick 135: $435,000.
  • Pick 165: $325,200.
  • Pick 195: $253,200.
  • Pick 225: $199,700.
  • Pick 255: $169,000.
  • Pick 285: $156,500 and
  • Pick 315: $149,500.

I have no idea how slot values are determined.  Players from high schools, junior colleges, 4-year colleges or other amateur clubs in the United States and its territories and Canada are eligible to be selected in the Draft.

Because the Dodgers blew past the competitive balance tax threshold in 2021 they suffered not only financial penalties, the Dodgers first round pick dropped from 30th to 40th overall.  They forfeited their second round pick for signing Freddie Freeman.  They gained a compensatory pick after the second round for losing Corey Seager, but again, because they paid the luxury tax last year, that pick was dropped to after the fourth round, which they then promptly forfeited when they signed Freeman.  The Dodgers 3rd round pick, 4th round pick and the 5th through 20th round picks are in their normal position.

For the second year, the MLB draft is taking place during the all-star break.  For years before, the Draft was always held in June, but last year MLB made the change to July, The change was made, ostensibly,  to spice up the all-star ratings and not conflict with the College World Series.  Most college coaches, however, don’t like the later July date because it creates far too much uncertainty for them with respect to what players they will have on their team.  Moreover, because the Draft is later in the summer, it leaves college coaches with far less time to fill holes on a roster that inevitably happen due to players lost to the draft.  It places their roster-building plans on hold, and then there is a mad dash to fill those holes through the transfer portal.  Frankly, the MLB draft is not going to be spiced up until such time as the teams are allowed to trade draft picks.  In my opinion, adding that element to the draft would make it far more interesting and potentially beneficial to the lesser teams.  Being able to trade, for example, a second round pick for a minor leaguer who has an established track record, may be more enticing to a team in need of more immediate infusion of talent.

MLB, like some other pro leagues, now also holds a draft combine.  The draft combine is an opportunity for the 300 prospects to impress further and interact with scouting directors and team general managers.  This year it was held June 14th through June 20th at Petco Park, San Diego.  In the past, it was not unusual to have players flown into LA for private workouts at Dodger Stadium.  I assume those workouts will still happen, but teams are very tight lipped about who they bring into town for these workouts.

Every year, teams invest millions of dollars to identify and select the top amateur talent through the draft. Teams devote money and resources to scout amateur talent in order to find the players that will be able to make an impact at the Major League level.  On average, it takes draftees 3 years to earn a promotion to the Major Leagues, which demonstrates that there is a great deal of randomness contributing to the success or failure of baseball players selected in the draft.  Typically, less than one in five drafted players make it to the show.

To help you get a clearer picture of how much of a crap shoot the draft can be, I want to first show you the players that were chosen in the past 5 drafts at the positions the Dodgers draft this year:

 

Pick       2021        2020      2019      2018        2017
40 Jud Fabian** Dax Fulton Seth Johnson Kris Bubic Michael Mercado
105 E. Rodriguez-Cruz Christian Chamberlain Jake Sanford Kingston Liniak Harrison Bader
135 Tanner Kolhepp Will Klein Jake Agnos Adam Wolf Keegan Thompson
165 Austin Murr no selection Ken Waldichuck Hugh Smith Erich Uelmen
195 Brant Hurter no selection Hayden Wesneski Eric De La Rosa Nelson Velasquez
225 Jordan Marks no selection Nick Paciorek Jeremiah Burks Jeremiah Estrada
255 Garrett Burhenn no selection Zach Green Tarik Skubal Austin Filliere
285 Austin Schultz no selection Spencer Henson Brock Deatherage Chris Carrier
315 Josh Crouch no selection Mitch Spence Kacey Murphy Brian Glowicki

** did not sign

 

As you can see, not too many household names.  Of the 37 players listed, 4 have reached the majors (Thompson, Bader, Bubic, Velasquez), 7 have cracked their teams top 30 prospect list (Fulton, Kolhepp, Hurter, Chamberlain, Klein, Wesneski, and Johnson) and the rest are still trying or they have given up and headed on to other means to make a living.

In the past 5 years, the Dodger have made the following selections in proximity to where they are selecting this year:

 

Pick        2021      2020       2019       2018        2017
40 Maddux Bruns (29) Bobby Miller (29) Michael Busch (31) J.T. Ginn (30) Morgan Cooper (62)
105 Peter Heubeck (101) Jake Vogel (100) Ryan Pepiot (102) John Rooney (104) Connor Wong (100)
135 Nick Nastrini (131) Carson Taylor (130) Brandon Lewis (131) Braydon Fisher (134) James Marinan (130)
165 Ben Casparius (162) Gavin Stone (159) Jack Little (161) Devin Mann (164) Riley Otteson (160)
195 Emmet Sheehan (192) no pick Aaron Ochsenbein (191) Bryan Warzek (194) Wills Montgomerie (190)
225 Ryan Sublette (222) no pick Nick Robertson (221) James Outman (224) Zach Pop (220)
255 Ben Harris (252) no pick Ryan Ward (251) Luke Heyer (254) Rylan Bannon (250)
285 Lael Lockhart (282) no pick Alec Gamboa (281) Josh McLain (284) Connor Strain (280)
315 Michael Hobbs (312) no pick Zac Ching (311) Deacon Liput (314) Zach Reks (310)

 

Of the 39 players selected, the Dodgers have 9 players listed in their top 30 prospects (Miller, Busch, Pepiot, Bruns, Nastrini, Stone Heubeck, Taylor and Vogel), one of which (Pepiot) has made it to the majors, albeit on a shuttle train between OKC and Dodger Stadium.  One did not sign (Ginn).  5 have been traded (Wong, Marinan, Reks, Pop, and Bannon), the jury is still out on 6 of them (Sheehan, Robertson, Outman, Lewis, Fisher, and Mann), two are injured (Little and Ching), two are on the restricted list (Montgomerie and Liput); 5 are no longer with the organization (Cooper, Otteson, Strain, Heyer and McLain) and I’m not sure where Warzek is pitching, though he is still listed as being with the organization.

In connection with the draft, many sports publications enjoy making mock drafts.  I’ve never understood the fascination with that activity, but there some (e.g. Mel Kiper in the NFL) who are experts with a bit of celebrity status, because they guess what someone else might do.  Often, these guesses are based on player rankings/ratings that are put out by the same publications.  The player rankings/ratings are determined, mostly, by individuals who have not played the sport.  Nevertheless, they give themselves the title of expert and many flock to read their predictions.   Because the Dodgers don’t have a selection in the first (the 40th pick falls out of the regular first round) or second round, there haven’t been too many mock drafts predicting their selections.  Baseball America has the Dodgers selecting Dalton Rushing, a catcher out of Louisville University; ESPN has them selecting Eric Brown, a shortstop from Coastal Carolina University; and Prospects Live has them selecting Ian “JR” Ritchie, a high school pitcher from Bainbridge, Washington.  Other than being a fun exercise, mock drafts are by and large meaningless in that other than perhaps the first 4 or 5 selections of the first round, most mock drafts don’t come close to being correct. But then, mock drafts cause no harm and they do give us something to read and talk about, as we wait for the actual selections to occur.  So, despite what I’ve just written, I’ll join in the meaningless endeavor and make some wild ass guesses as to whom I would pick if I was in Billy Gasparino’s shoes.

  • Pick No. 40:   Peyton Pallette, RHP Arkansas University. This choice just has AF/Gasparino written all over it.   Pallette did not pitch in 2022, because he had Tommy John surgery before the season (think Walker Buehler folks).  He’s made to order for the Dodgers. Apparently, according to some of the rankings/ratings people, he has first round stuff when he’s healthy.  I’m not necessarily sure what first round stuff means (does that refer to Mark Appel or Clayton Kershaw?)  Other prospects I would consider with this pick are: Connor Prielipp, Eric Brown, Brock Jones, Cade Horton, Landon Sims or Jacob Misiorowski.  I think they select college here and hope to be able to save some money by going below slot.
  • Pick No. 105:   Michael Knorr, RHP Coastal Carolina.  He’s a big righthander, that transferred from Cal State Fullerton.  He’s a strike thrower with some decent velocity (Think a slightly lesser version of Landon Knack).  I would also consider Gabriel Rincones or Ivan Melendez at this position.
  • Pick No. 135: Trey Lipscomb, 3b, University of Tennessee.  We need to add to the 3B base prospect pool.  Lipscomb is an average defender, but he has some pop in his bat.  He also appears to be an easy sign because he doesn’t have the leverage of returning to school.  Others I would consider here are: Noah Dean, or high school pitcher Austin Charles.
  • Pick No. 165:   Malachi Witherspoon, RHP, Fletcher HS, Florida.   He’s young, new to pitching and has lot’s of potential.  At this point on in the draft, I was too lazy to evaluate other players to make any additional guesses.
  • Pick No. 195:   Tyresse Turner, 2B, USC.  This one’s for Jeff.  We have to select a Trojan!!
  • Pick No. 225:  Austin Henry, RHP, Dell Rapids (S.D.) HS.   Apparently, he’s a master at spinning the ball.
  • Pick No. 255:  Alex Iadisernia, OF, Elon University.   My wife is of French Basque decent, and Iadisernia is a Basque sounding name.  Whether he is of Basque decent or not, I’m going to select him here.
  • Pick No. 285:  Alex Rao, RHP, Notre Dame.  Strictly a relief pitcher and we always need those.
  • Pick No. 315:  Eric Reyzelman, RHP, LSU.  I really want him to return to LSU, as I think they are going to have a special team that could go all the way.  So, I’ll help my friend Jay Johnson out, by selecting Eric, and then sacrifice the slot value to have him return to school.

There you have it.  None of the above players will actually be chosen by the Dodgers, but now you can jump in and tell us who you would select, and why.

I haven’t done a song for the day for quite awhile, so I thought I would return to one I’ve used before, with some updates. So with apologies to Phil Ochs (who I consider to be one of the most underrated acoustic singers of the 1960s), I break out my version of the Draft Dodger Rag:

Oh, I’m just a typical American boy from a typical American town

I’d play baseball from the early morn until when the sun goes down

I would throw and hit until my fingers bled

But when it came to drafting me, buddy, this is what I said:

Coach, I’m only eighteen, I got an arm so mean,

And I can spot that ball on a dime

I got eyes like a hawk, I run like a deer, and my strength is off the charts

Yes, think of my career with the Dodgers dear, and how I could be throwing darts,

But keep in mind, I ain’t no fool, I can go back to school,

Unless you pay me what I’m worth! 

I’ve got power to spare and no park can hold me in

I’m hitting machine and all I do is slug

I hardly strike out and I know how to take a walk

You’ll never catch me taking drugs.

Coach, I’m only eighteen, I got an arm so mean,

And I can spot it on a dime

I got eyes like a hawk, I run like a deer, and my strength is off the charts

Yes, think of my career with the Dodgers dear, and how I could be throwing darts,

But keep in mind, I ain’t no fool, I can go back to school,

Unless you pay me what I’m worth! 

Ooh, I hate those Giants and I hope they finish last,

And I can help you make that come to be

So if someone’s gotta to shut them down

I hope that someone’s me

So I wish you well, Coach, just make me your selection,

And pay me a million or so,

But if you’re to cheap to pay, then I won’t play

I’ll be the first to let you know

Coach, I’m only eighteen, but I’ve got an arm so mean,

And I can spot it on a dime

I got eyes like a hawk, I run like a deer, and my strength is off the charts

Yes, think of my career with the Dodgers dear, and how I could be throwing darts,

But keep in mind, I ain’t no fool, I can go back to school,

Unless you pay me what I’m worth! 

 

 

 

 

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Jeff Dominique

Rob, great summary for the upcoming draft. Extremely informative.

The Dodgers have such a low bonus slot, that the chances of them drafting and signing a HS player with the 40th pick are not likely. Most HS players in that bonus slot range will be honoring their commitment. So a lottery pick college arm or bat seem best suited for LAD at #40.

I like the high risk high reward type pitchers for where the Dodgers pick. That is why I was disappointed when LAD selected Maddux Bruns over Jaden Hill (recovering from TJ Surgery) who ended up being a 2nd round pick of the Rockies. He has just been cleared to pitch. I understand the Bruns pick, and it certainly brings very high risk and okay return. I thought they could have done better. I actually thought that Bruns was a JT Ginn type pick who would not sign. 

Your pick of Peyton Paulette is a good one, and one I think the Dodgers might be able to select. I am not sure that Paulette will be cleared for the College season until late in the year, making it a little more achievable. A bonus of 1.9MM – $2.0MM is realistic for Paulette.

My pick would be Landon Sims, RHP from Mississippi State, who has been comped with Craig Kimbrel Fastball/Slider combo both grade out at 70. Not being a successful starting pitcher, but more of a reliever pick makes his bonus slot very achievable. I just do not think you turn your back on a 70 fastball and 70 slider even with TJ. Once he is cleared, he could move quickly in the organization as high leverage bullpen choice. He does not figure to be cleared for the beginning of the college season either.

Others to watch:

Cayden Wallace – 6’1” 205 lb – 3B Arkansas might be available, and the bonus slot would be right.

Jake Bennett – 6’6” 234 lb – LHP – Oklahoma

Thomas Harrington – 6’2” 185 lb – RHP – Campbell – Project – Bonus fits

Cade Doughty – 6’1” 195 lb, – 2B/3B – LSU – Think RH Michael Busch

Peyton Graham – 6’4” 174 lb – 3B/SS – Oklahoma – Toolsy, very skinny. Project could pay dividends with right development team.

Some have mock drafted Louisville C, Dalton Rushing. If uber scout Marty Lamb gets a say, Rushing will be in the discussion. It worked with Will Smith. Another mock drafted Eric Brown, SS, Coastal Carolina. Seems unlikely, but an underslot bonus fits here.

Last edited 4 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Michael Norris

Jeff, did you give props to yourself for writing this or did Harlod write this? I have no clue who any of these guys are. I just do not follow that stuff too closely. But I have a question, Dino Ebel’s oldest boy is in the draft, would they pick him as a favor to dad??? Andruw Jones’s kid is in it too.

Rob Schelling

Dodgers will have no chance to draft Jones, as he’ll be one of the top 3 players chosen. As to Ebel’s son, I can see them drafting him.

Jeff Dominique

I did not know that Dino had a son who was draft age. I know he has a son who is a budding superstar as a Freshman at Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga. If he continues to improve, the Dodgers will not have a chance to draft him. He could be a high first round pick in three years. See article below.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/highschool/story/2022-04-24/freshman-brady-ebel-son-of-the-dodgers-dino-ebel-has-been-phenomenal-for-etiwanda

Rob Schelling

Brady Ebel is his oldest son and he won’t be eligible for the draft for another 3 years.

interesting takeaway from that article, apparently Albert Pujols was so appreciative of Dino Ebel that he bought him a brand new Corvette, Dodger blue in color.

Jeff Dominique

This was all Rob.

By the way, Rob. I appreciate the addition of a Trojan to be drafted, but did you have to include a guy from Notre Dame?

Last edited 4 months ago by Jeff Dominique
Fred Vogel

Well done Rob. Thanks for the great information.

Bumsrap

I am a lot more knowledgeable but the bar was low. Since it is so hard to know which players will be off the board by the time the Dodgers pick, it must be a little bit of a scramble to make their selection. Maybe some AI or modeling is involved.

Jeff Dominique

The 12 players are in both Baseball America and MLB are the same. Just slightly different order. The next 10 are little more spread out, but they will be gone when the Dodgers select #40.

Signability is a key consideration for the Dodgers. They do not have much in the bonus pool, and they are going to need to draft players with under slot value. They do already have an idea what it will take to sign some of these players. Losing 10 spots in the first pick, losing the 2nd round, and losing the supplemental pick (for Seager) lost a lot of coin for LAD. They lost about $500,000 alone by dropping 10 spots in the first round. That is significant.

It is next to impossible to know who the Dodgers may be interested in. They are more tight lipped than any other team. But they have a board of selections and selection order. I do think they have a chance at two college pitchers who had TJ surgery this spring…Peyton Paulette and Landon Sims. They seem right up the Dodgers high risk/high reward wish list. It is doubtful that either will be recovered next year enough to be a significant part of the college team. The Dodgers could also entice them by pointing to Walker Buehler and how they were patient with him. Convince the pitchers it is the long game they should be concerned with, not going back to school and taking a chance at re-injuring or declining. If they are gone, I think it will be a below slot value college bat…Cayden Wallace, Cade Doughty, Peyton Graham. If there is a question as to which scout to trust most, it will be Marty Lamb, which could indicate Dalton Rushing, the Louisville catcher.

I would love to be in the LAD board room on draft day.

Jeff Dominique

Jazz Chisholm has a back issue and will not be playing in the All Star Game. Here are two batting lines:

.241/.336/.395/.731/ OPS+ of 114 or
.292/.369/.415/.785/ OPS+ of 119

The Commissioner’s office selected the first 2B replacement and chose to ignore the player having the better season.

The first player (and player added) is Jake Cronenworth, and the player slighted is Gavin Lux.

Badger

I don’t have a clue about drafting where the team sits. I’ll leave the guesses to those here who study such things. From what I’ve read, I’ll take the big lefty from Oklahoma.

from the Athletic on what it will take certain teams to land Soto. Only a few are in the running of course:

The offer: The Nationals send Soto and Strasburg to the Dodgers for Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot, Miguel Vargas, Andy Pages and James Outman.

That can’t be right. We take on over $100 million of likely dead money AND give up that much talent? What if Soto is one of those guys who peak before 25? We already have one of those.

Jeff Dominique

Jake Bennett could be a good one. He is probably a back end of the rotation starter, or maybe a high leverage reliever who he can get left handed batters out with his slider and right handed batters out with his change. He should be signable with the LAD bonus dollars. But something tells me he goes between 31-39 as a supplemental or competitive balance pick. He is a perfect #2 selection in the back end of the first round. His floor is pretty high.

Singing the Blue

Thanks for all the hard work, Rob. I know you enjoy this stuff, but it still must have taken a lot of your time.

I realize that teams tend to take “the best player on the board” but I would really like to see us go heavier on position players this year. We seem to have a huge amount of pitchers and catchers in the system, so how about stocking up on a few promising infielders and outfielders, maybe even college guys who might be ready in a year or two.

That said, I’ll bow to the wisdom of AF and Gasparino.

Bluto

Keith Law and someone from MLB Pipeline both associated Jacob Misiorowski with the Dodgers

Jeff Dominique

They are not the only ones. For the draft, he is truly a 2-pitch reliever (even though he started at JUCO). He is committed to LSU, and I have no idea what they plan on doing with him, but if they think about starting him, he could go to LSU for one year and improve his draft position for 2023. His bonus would be achievable for the Dodgers, but if he waits one year… And the Dodgers do have the positive track record of letting players try what they want. Sometimes it works (Tony Gonsolin) and sometimes it does not (Josh Sborz). This would be a typical LAD pick…huge risk/huge reward. I would prefer Landon Sims or Peyton Paulette, but Misiorowski would be a solid pick.

Singing the Blue

Any of you draft experts have a guess as to whether we’d draft Ben Joyce if he was still there on our 1st or 2nd pick?

For those, to whom the name isn’t familiar, he’s a reliever who throws 103 mph and is currently plying his trade at the U. of Tenn.

Rob Schelling

Maybe in the 3rd or 4th round. As they say you can’t teach speed. He’s thrown a pitch as high as 105 mph. I’ll take a chance on that.

Jeff Dominique

Freddie Freeman named NL All Star replacement for Starling Marte.

Bumsrap

Cartaya got the most compliments today. Miller got a few for his fastball.

Freeman an Allstar. Now need Smith to join him and for Kershaw to start.

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