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Prior AF LAD Drafts Series 1 of 3 (2015-2017)



Andrew Friedman’s first LAD draft pick was his best…Walker Buehler.  Buehler has 123 games with 114 starts.  He has a career 47-20 record with a 3.17 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 1.062 WHIP.  He is a 2-time All Star.  #3 in 2018 ROY.  He is a two time top 10 CY vote getter.  And he is a WS champion.  He has a reputation as a clutch playoff pitcher.  Unfortunately he hit the proverbial wall in September 2021 and was not really himself after August 2021.  He suffered his 2nd UCL tear in 2022, but delayed surgery until August 23, 2022.

Buehler returned May 6 for 8 starts that have not gone well.  Buehler is back on the IL.

Overall, the Dodgers drafted 42 players and signed 36 players.

  • RHP – 22 drafted (19 signed)
  • LHP – 3 drafted and signed
  • OF – 6 drafted (5 signed)
  • 2B – 2 drafted and signed
  • 3B – 3 drafted and signed
  • 1B – 2 drafted (1 signed)
  • C – 3 drafted (2 signed)
  • SS – 1 drafted and signed

Top ten picks (after Buehler):

Kyle Funkhouser – RHP – Scott Boras client, did not sign.  2016 draft in the 4th round by Detroit and signed.  85.2 MLB IP.  Not playing in 2024.

Mitchell Hansen – OF – Released by LAD in 2018, signed by NYY and released 2019.  2nd round pick, never reached past A Ball.  One of my biggest disappointments in all of the Dodgers drafted.

Josh Sborz – RHRP – 152.1 IP, 4.96 career ERA.  Tried to start with Dodgers, but went back to relief.  Was DFA by LAD in February 2021 and then traded to Texas for RHP Jhan Zambrano.  Currently on the Texas 15 day IL.

Phil Pfeifer – LHP – Traded with RHP Caleb Dirks to Atlanta for RHP Bud Norris, LF Dian Toscano, and PTBNL.  Never reached MLB.  Now out of affiliated baseball.

Willie Calhoun – 2B/OF – 1,247 PA, .245/.304/.403/.707.  He has 4.009 MLB Service time.  Currently with LAA.  Career -2.0 bWAR, and 88 OPS+.  Traded with 3B Brendon Davis and RHP AJ Alexy to Texas for Yu Darvish at the 2017 trade deadline.

Brendon Davis – 3B – 11 MLB PA (now 2-10).   Traded with 2B/OF Willie Calhoun and RHP AJ Alexy to Texas for Yu Darvish at the 2017 trade deadline.  Currently with Dodgers AA affiliate (Tulsa).

Edwin Ríos – 3B/1B – 325 MLB PA, .205/.292/.465/.758.  Elected free agency after term with LAD had expired.  He signed a MiLB contract with Cincinnati.

Andrew Sopko – RHP – Traded with SS Ronny Brito in January 2019 to Toronto for C Russell Martin and cash.  Released November 2020. Never reached MLB.

Tommy Bergjans – RHP – On 08/25/2016, traded with C AJ Ellis to Philadelphia for C Carlos Ruiz and cash.  Released March 2019 by Cincinnati.  Never reached MLB.

Kevin Brown – RHP – Released September 2017 by Rancho Cucamonga.  Did not re-sign.

Logan Landon – OF – Released by LAD 11/14/2019.  Signed MiLB contract with Philadelphia 06/22/2019 and released 07/31/2019.  Never reached MLB.

Two players outside of the top 10 picks reached MLB in reserve roles:

12th round 1B Matt Beaty – 675 PA, .247/.323/.394/.717.  Traded to San Diego March 28, 2022, for RHP River Ryan.

28th round OF Kyle Garlick – 347 PA, .225/.277/.438/.715. DFA by LAD February 10, 2020.  Traded to Philadelphia February 15, 2020 for LHP Tyler Gilbert.

Both Beaty and Garlick have signed MiLB contracts with Arizona.  Beaty is at AA and Garlick is at AAA.

8 LAD draft picks for 2015 reached MLB, 7 as LAD draft picks.  Kyle Funkhouser did not sign with LAD but signed after being drafted by Detroit.

  • Walker Buehler – RHP
  • Kyle Funkhouser – RHP
  • Josh Sborz – RHP
  • Willie Calhoun – OF
  • Brendon Davis – 3B
  • Edwin Rios – 3B
  • Matt Beaty – 1B/OF
  • Kyle Garlick – OF

Only Buehler is considered as a regular.



The first two picks reached MLB in 2019.  The second 1st round pick, catcher Will Smith, is the LAD regular every day catcher.  The first 1st round pick, SS/2B Gavin Lux was ticketed to be the regular SS, then 2B, and now he is a platoon 2B.

Will Smith was an All Star (added by MLB) in 2023.  He is the only LAD position player draft pick to be selected to an All Star team.  Smith has signed a $140MM 10 year extension through 2033, through his age 38 season.  He is the first (and only) LAD AF draft pick to sign such an extension.

This was undoubtedly AF’s best draft.  14 players drafted and signed by LAD reached MLB.  Three other LAD draft picks that did not sign, were subsequently drafted again, all reached MLB.  All three were pitchers; 2 RHP and one LHP.

12th round – RHP Graham Ashcraft – 6th round 2019 draft by Cincinnati

23rd round – RHP Bailey Ober – 12th round 2017 draft by Minnesota

36th round – LHP Cal Stevenson – 10th round 2018 draft by Toronto

The Dodgers drafted 42 players and signed 33 of them.

  • RHP – 21 drafted (15 signed)
  • LHP – 2 drafted and signed
  • OF – 8 drafted (6 signed)
  • 2B – 3 drafted (2 signed)
  • 3B – 1 drafted and signed
  • 1B – 1 drafted and signed
  • C – 3 drafted and signed
  • SS – 3 drafted and signed

Top ten rounds for LAD after Lux and Smith:

Jordan Sheffield – RHP – 31.1 IP, 3.16 ERA.  Was selected by Colorado in 2020 Rule 5 draft.  Was released October 2022 and remains unsigned.

Mitch White – RHP – 185 IP, 4-12 record, 5.25 ERA.  Traded with 2B/3B Alex De Jesus to Toronto for RHP Nick Frasso and LHP Moises Brito.  Was DFA by Milwaukee and outrighted to Milwaukee’s AAA affiliate.

Dustin May – RHP – 191.2 IP, 3.10 ERA, 12-9.  Dustin May has some of the best “stuff” in the organization, but he has had two season ending +++ elbow surgeries.  He had TJ surgery in 2021 and had flexor tendon surgery with TJ cleanup in 2023.  He is currently trying to make it back in the 2nd half of the 2024 season with LAD.  He was 5th in ROY voting in 2020.

DJ Peters – OF – 240 MLB PA, .197/.242/.422/.664.  He was DFA 07/29/2021 and claimed by Texas.  He spent time with Washington’s AAA affiliate, Korean Baseball, and is now back with Texas as a pitcher.  He is currently in the Arizona Complex League, with 9.0 IP and a 2.00 ERA.

Devin Smeltzer – LHP – 162.1 MLB IP, 4.32 ERA.  07/31/2018 deadline trade to Minnesota with 2B Logan Forsythe and OF Luke Raley for 2B Brian Dozier.  Signed FA contract with Miami for 2024.  He is currently assigned to Miami’s AAA affiliate.

Errol Robinson – SS/2B – 12/10/2020 claimed off waivers by Cincinnati.  Currently on 7-day IL with Baltimore’s AAA affiliate.  Has never reached MLB.

Luke Raley – OF – 762 PA, .239/.313/.438/.751. 07/31/2018 deadline trade to Minnesota with 2B Logan Forsythe and LHP Devin Smeltzer for 2B Brian Dozier.  On 02/10/2020 he was returned to LAD with Brusdar Graterol for RHP Kenta Maeda, C Jair Comargo and cash.  On 03/18/2022 Luke was traded to Tampa Bay for RHP Tanner Dodson.  Raley was traded to Seattle at the beginning of the 2024 season.  He is a regular platoon player for Seattle with 70 games played, all three OF positions and 1B.

Andre Scrubb – RHP – 43.1 MLB IP, 3.32 ERA.  On 07/25/2019 was traded to Houston for 1B Tyler White.  He signed a MiLB contract with NYM and is on the MiLB full season IL.

Tony Gonsolin – RHP – Tony reached MLB in 2019.  He was primarily a starter, but did come in to relief.  Was in the rotation prior to 2023 TJ surgery. He was a 2022 All Star.  He was 4th ROY in 2019.  He is expected to contend for the 2025 rotation.

Kevin Lachance – SS – Released by LAD on 03/26/2018.  Signed MiLB contract with Arizona.  He was released 10/24/2019.

Other Draft Picks that reached MLB:

AJ Alexy (11th round) – RHP –  Traded with 2B/OF Willie Calhoun and 3B Brandon Davis to Texas for Yu Darvish at the 2017 trade deadline.  He moved around a lot including Independent League.  He signed a MiLB contract with Minnesota before 2024 and was released 05/28/2024.

Cody Thomas (13th round) – OF – In 78 PA, .250/.308/.333/.641.  On 02/12/2021, Thomas was traded with LHP Adam Kolarek to Oakland for 3B Sheldon Neuse and RHP Gus Varland.  He elected free agency after last year, but has not signed a FA contract yet.

Dean Kremer (14th round) – RHP – 420.1 IP, 25-24 record, 4.35 ERA, 1.32 WHIP. On 07/18/2018 deadline trade, traded with OF Yusniel Diaz, RHP, Zach Pop, 3B Rylan Bannon, and 2B Breyvic Valera to Baltimore for SS Manny Machado.  He reached MLB in 2020 with Baltimore.  He has continued with Baltimore since the trade.  Kremer was placed on the 15 day IL on 05/21/24.  He started a rehab assignment on 06/16/2024.

Zach McKinstry (33rd round) – SS – 1,022 PA, .217/.283/.355/.638.  He was a starting regular SS for Detroit in 2023, and has been a regular platoon infielder in 2024.  He was traded to Chicago Cubs on 07/23/2022 deadline trade for RHRP Chris Martin.  Cubs traded him to Detroit on 03/27/2023 for RHP Carlos Guzman.

14 drafted and signed LAD in 2016 reached MLB, plus three others who did not sign in 2016 for LAD (identified above).

  • Gavin Lux – 2B
  • Will Smith – C
  • Jordan Sheffield – RHP
  • Mitch White – RHP
  • Dustin May – RHP
  • DJ Peters – OF
  • Devin Smeltzer – LHP
  • Luke Raley – OF
  • Andre Scrubb – RHP
  • Tony Gonsolin – RHP
  • AJ Alexy – RHP
  • Cody Thomas – OF
  • Dean Kremer – RHP
  • Zach McKinstry – SS

This was an exceptional draft.  They got the long term catcher, a platoon middle infielder, and 2 SP who should be competing for a rotation spot in 2025 after they recover from elbow surgeries.  Others were used for trades.  Unfortunately, there are so very few position players in later drafts that



Best of the draft is Connor Wong.  He was traded to Boston in the Mookie Betts trade.  He is on the 26 man roster.  He would never had reached MLB with LAD.

Jeren Kendall (CF) – Voluntary Retired List after 2022.  Reached AA.

Morgan Cooper (RHP) – Released 2021, only year he pitched in MiLB (9 games). Another one of my biggest disappointments.

Connor Wong (C) – 700 PA, .263/.320/.412/.732. Traded with Alex Verdugo and Jeter Downs to Boston in Mookie Betts/David Price deal.  Currently on Boston 26 man roster.  Longest tenured MLB player in the 2017 LAD draft.  Been on Boston MLB roster since September 2022.  Would never have played for LAD.

James Marinan (RHP) – On 7-Day IL since July 2022 with Cincinnati.  Traded for Dylan Floro.

Riley Ottesen (RHP) – Released 2019. Reached A+

Wills Montgomerie (RHP) – On restricted list.  Has not pitched since 2019.  Reached A+.

Zach Pop (RHP) – 114 MLB games.  130 IP, 4.08 ERA, 1.285 WHIP. Currently with Toronto on MLB 26 man.

Rylan Bannon (3B) – 21 MLB PA, .100/.143/.100/.243. Currently with NYM AAA affiliate.

Connor Strain (RHP) – Released 2019.  Reached A+.

Zach Reks (OF) – 44 MLB PA, .205/.205/.227/.432.  Currently with San Diego AA affiliate.

Jacob Amaya (SS) – 10 MLB PA, .200/.200/.200/.400 – Currently on Houston AAA affiliate.

Andre Jackson (RHP) – 26 MLB games.  82.2 MLB IP. Released by Pittsburgh.

Brett de Geus (RHP) – 51 MLB games. 53.1 MLB IP. Currently on Seattle AAA affiliate.


40 drafted.  33 signed.  7 have reached MLB, only 1 with extensive MLB resume (Wong).  Pop would be next, but other 5 are nothing more than low AAAA.

33 signed:

  • RHP – 18
  • LHP – 3
  • SS – 4
  • CF – 2
  • OF (other) – 3
  • C – 1
  • 3B – 1
  • 2B – 1

Next up 2018-2020.


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Duke Not Snider

I had such high hopes for Funkhouser. But only because of his funky name.
I enjoyed this review of these drafts, which coincide with about the time I started paying attention to the draft.
Was Buehler AF’s best pick? I would go with William Dills Smith. As I recall it, Smith was described ML-ready defender coming out of college who would probably be an average hitter. He far exceeded those expectations and busted out of his slump in a big way tonight. Dills was a late first-round pick, but when you look at who was a drafter ahead of him, he was clearly turned out to be the jewel of the first round.
This review also reveals, I think, some of the vagaries of professional baseball. As you suggest, Connor Wong may have never made it to LA with the Dodgers. Guys like Wong are part of the reason why I resist the prospect-hugger tendencies of Dodger fans. Wong, Verdugo and others were turned into Mookie–but it is Wong who may be been the biggest beneficiary of that deal. Mookie was going to do fine regardless, and Verdugo had started to make his mark–but Wong has built a full career that may have never happened if not for the trade.
So if AF swings some deals before the trading deadline, I hope he sweetens his offers with players who would probsbly never make it into the home bench at Dodger Stadium, but might get on to the visitors’ bench. Perhaps they’l; wear the unis of the Sox or Marlins or Angels.
That would be great.

Last edited 14 days ago by Duke Not Snider

I am frequently wrong but when we drafted Smith I hoped he could be our Buster Posey. Individually he has fulfilled that promise and we just need two more championships to match him.


Feels like a lot of names that aren’t on MLB rosters. And that’s how drafts go, hundreds of players that fill minor league rosters but will never help the big league team win.

Yesterday. The giants stupidly ran themselves out of a win and Glasnow didn’t have it. Cause for concern? Hope not.

This LA offense is like an alpha lion. When it wants to it gets up and eats then just goes back to sleep. Yesterday 10 for 19 WRISP. Really? After what feels like days of Mendoza effort with runners in scoring position they do that? And even with that it took help from the giants to get that W. The game should have been over twice, once in regulation and again in the 10th. Weird inning that was. SF had a win probability of 82.9% and they blew it. Oh well. A win’s a win. Back to sleep today?


No way Ho Zay! Let’s win this series: I”ll expect 5-6ip from Paxton today and a W.

If Trey Sweeney isn’t the guy, then how soon before Alex Freeland gets promoted to AAA to show if he’s the guy?


Didn’t Steve Sax jump from AA to LA? Maybe Freeland can as well. Otherwise room has to be made for him in OK.


I agree Freeland won’t be a Dodger in 2024 but could make the jump from AA to LA to start 2025. That might have better odds than him being promoted to AAA in 2024.



Below someone intones calling up Outman, I’m surprised to read that idea.

Michael Norris

So did Steve Howe.


A lot of the success wrisp last night came from soft contact. Smith was clutch though.


Good point. But soft contact sure beats swing and miss.

I wonder if Glasnow is under some kind of innings watch. He’s approaching his career high in IP.

I think it might be time to lose Biggio and give Lipcius his shot. Couldn’t be any worse. I also think maybe Wrobleski needs a start or two just to give the staff the break they need. Who else is ready? It’s still a month to the deadline. We need pitching now.


I would say it is beyond about time and should have happened a few weeks ago. If they want a lefty bat in the lineup then bring up Outman.


I don’t think Outman would help. He’s in a slump and it’s a slump against minor league pitching. We have no center fielder. Trade him in a package to the Cubs for Bellinger. Outfield: Pages, Bellinger, Teo, though the Cubs will want Pages.

Last edited 14 days ago by Badger

Biggio is not in today’s lineup, and let’s hope this continues.

At this point, I’d rather see Kike or CT3 at 3b than Biggio. (hell, I’d rather see 65 year old Pedro Guerrero at 3b than Biggio).

Michael Norris

Downside to that is that Barnes is in the lineup and Will Smith, who is finally turning it around, is not. Kike is at SS, Taylor at third. This is a really weak hitting bottom of the order. Giants having another bullpen day.

Last edited 14 days ago by Michael Norris
Singing the Blue

Bellinger is a better alternative than Outman at this point but is not having all that good a season. His OPS is .748 which is nothing special, only about 20 points than JHey who isn’t exactly having a spectacular year.

The Cubs would probably ask for some decent prospects for Belli and then you have the problem of his contract. He can opt out after this year and again after next year. If he has a good year, he leaves. If he has a fair to bad year he sticks around and collects his 25-27 mil.

As much as I like Cody, I say no thank you.

Michael Norris

All true, but since he would in fact probably be a rental, he would not cost as much as some. And coming home where he was loved, might turn him into a monster. One thing is for certain, the outfield defense would become one of the best in the majors. Cody is currently playing out of position in right field. Crow-Armstrong has been playing center for the Cubs. He won’t of course, get his #35 back. That belongs to Gavin Stone now. Cody’s OPS is .748, but that is a lot higher than Outman’s was, he is showing some power, 9 bombs, still runs like the wind, his glove alone is worth the risk.

Last edited 14 days ago by Michael Norris

Bellinger contract sucks for a team acquiring him.


I never caught the Bellinger fever so I’m a no for him returning. Outman is cheaper.


Outman is cheaper, but you get what you pay for with him. I think Bellinger would flourish in this lineup but I don’t think that will happen. I still think Robert could.

Singing the Blue

Belli is earning (and will earn for the next two years if he doesn’t opt out) more than this year’s combined salaries of:



So what? Dodgers don’t care what it costs.


I want rentals to be much better than a potential long term young player.

Heyward is cold again as well.:
Last 7 games: .125.214.250 .464
Last 15 games: .205.321.386 .707

Michael Norris

Yeah he is, but he was clutch last night with his triple, and he is hitting the ball harder than most of the other guys on the team combined. So a lot of his low average is due to bad luck.


I want rentals who can help win this year.


For whatever reason I’ve noticed a tendency to avoid replacing a 40 man position slot with a pitcher and vice-versa.

obviously not one-to-one but the ratio seems to be maintained.


Conner a very pleasant story for we Red Sox fans!


good info.


Phil Jones

Nice information of previous drafts Jeff. 
So in AF’s tenure, it appears we have one homegrown, everyday player in Will Smith. While not his doing, there are a ton of broken pitchers left along the trail. Pretty interesting stuff considering the Dodgers are a such a highly regarded organization and noted for player development. Where are they? Players seem to get buried in AA and AAA, with guys like Biggio dumped on their heads. I know it’s a tough business and MLB players are hard to come by, but ONE homegrown guy?
Luke Raley was a suspect AAA player with us. It’s nice to see him hitting .270 and contributed with the Mariners at age 29.  
Why is it, that some fans just can’t let go? Cody Bellinger is still bobbing his head in Chicago. He has serious reverse splits and 9 homers for his $30 million. Kenley Jansen was a pain in the ass for his last 3 years with LA. Super high maintenance. Did his cutter, cut from one outing to the next? Could he pitch on back-to-back days? Could he pitch more than 1 inning. Would he except not being the 9th inning closer.? It was always one thing or another.
I think the back end of our bullpen is just fine and in good hands. With some possible help becoming available.
The ship has sailed for both of these guys.

Singing the Blue

Aye, aye captain. Agree with your analysis.

By the way, Raley and Belli are having more or less equivalent years except that Raley is earning about 1/30th as much.

Phil Jones

I forgot Lux.


You left out his issue with a runner on second.

Michael Norris

I would also argue that Will is AF’s best draft choice. And Logan White’s drafts dwarf anything Gasparino and AF have done. But White usually picked a little higher than AF and the Gas man.

Michael Norris

Couple of notes posted on X by people who cover the Dodgers. Starting today, Chris Taylor is going to be given some runway to play 3rd until Max returns per David Vassagh and Dave Roberts. Roberts also told Mike DiGiovanna that he would consider playing Mookie at second and Rojas at SS after Mookie returns. Also, Joe Kelly will not return until after the All-Star break.


Jeff–any word on Casparius’ injury?

Singing the Blue

Nightengale reporting that Crochet will almost definitely be traded. Sox approached him about an extension and that didn’t go very far.

Apparently 15 teams have contacted the team about Crochet and they have already turned down an offer from………………………….the Dodgers.

So, Jeff, if we can believe this report, AF is definitely interested and, of course, could up his offer.


Beware the Nightengale.

Roberts said to expect more CT3 at 3B,
Dave Roberts also said Joe Kelly won’t return until AFTER the All-Star break.

Per Plunkett:
Miguel Vargas hasn’t played a single inning on the infield this season. Has barely even taken grounders there in practice. Was not a very good 3B when he did play there in Triple-A.
He is not an option to play 3B now

Last edited 14 days ago by Bluto

I still think Vargas would be fine at third, but he has no position with this team so, do everyone a favor and trade him.


Paxon may not reach that 5-6ip mark I had hoped for.


They may just leave him out there for continued batting practice.

Scott Andes

You are correct Jeff. This was a forfeit ordered from last night. The club made no effort to win this game.

This is my primary argument about the 24 team. Too many load management forfeits.


And yet it was the bottom of the lineup that bothered to bring a bat to the plate.

Singing the Blue

This would be a good time to let Vargas get some at bats, but Doc may be saving him for the 9th inning in case they manage to tie the game.

Singing the Blue

That’s Rojas


The Lux show is getting lame. I would definitely include him in any trade.

Singing the Blue

I think he’s been standing on his head when RVS works with him. Instead of upercutting the ball like everyone else on the team, he seems to pound the ball into the ground, usually right at 2nd base, about 70% of the time.

Scott Andes

But I thought that Lux was a future hall of famer? his avg is up to .220 now!


You know I’m with you on this. Pages is a left fielder playing center and Vargas, in my opinion, belongs on another team. And I’m with OD on Lux. He’s probably not worth much in trade but throw him in on a Bichette deal and move Mookie to second.

Starting pitching, center fielder, shortstop. If we can’t get them all then get pitching and hope we can score touchdowns the rest of the way.


Betts play at SS will also be suspect come October.


..probably practice something called “defense.”

Singing the Blue

I predict that Biggio will be DFA within 48 hours.

Now that Doc has said CT will have more playing time at 3B, there is no longer any reason to take up roster space with Biggio.


They need to bring up Lipcius and see what he looks like.

Michael Norris

Would require a roster move. He is not on the 40 man. He also is not that good of a defender. He played 1st base today for OKC.

Michael Norris

They may have lost, but so did the Padres. Boston beat them finally. Dodgers have one series left with the Giants for the rest of the season, four games at Dodger Stadium from July 22-25. Dislike the balanced schedule. Padres only have 5 games left with LA, 2 at the end of July, then 3 the last week of the season. Giants and D-Backs both still double figures back of LA.


Phil Bickford DFA’d by the Yankees.

Michael Norris

He got lit up in his short stint with the Yanks. 8 earned runs in 5 innings. He was a lot better than that in LA. Montero DFAd by the Rockies, Tucker Barnhardt DFA’d by the D-Backs. Julio Tehran opted out of his minor league deal with the O’s and Spencer Howard, who pitched in Saturday’s game against the Dodgers was DFAd. by the Giants .

Michael Norris

I trust Paxton. He just had a bad day like Glasnow did. The guy is a pitcher. He gets by with what he has.

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