Originally written on Dodgers Rumors | Last updated 6/6/12
The Dodgers have done very well in the 2012 MLB Draft thus far. I see more of a focus on position players, which makes sense considering the obvious need the Dodgers have for it down in the lower levels. Dodgers assistant general manager Logan White has in recent years fallen under the philosophy of draft pitchers, early and often. For the first time in an entire decade that philosophy went out the window. I gotta say White and Stan Kasten did a fantastic job in the first two rounds of this years draft. There is a refreshing balance to the draft which is much needed after the last several years of position players being dealt away.
The Dodgers haven't drafted a position player in the first round since 2002 when the Dodgers selected James Loney in the first round. This year was much different selecting a pair of infielders in Corey Seager (18th overall) and Jesmuel Valentin (51st overall) in the first round.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Steven Rodriguez with the 82nd overall pick, their first pick in the second round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He's Baseball America's number 114 overall prospect. A Junior out of Florida University who projects to be a lefty specialist out of the bullpen. Rodriguez is one of the most MLB ready pitchers in the draft and I am emphatically puzzled how he fell this far in the draft. Here from our AGM Logan White,
"I never try to put too much of a timeline on them, because a lot of times when guys make it to the Major Leagues, it's based on club need and where ballclubs are at," White said. "But I can certainly see him battling for a job here toward the end of the next year or the following year, because he's that polished and he has that good of stuff."
Rodriguez is considered by MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo as the prospect most likely to first arrive in the big leagues after Blue Jays first-round selection Marcus Stroman.
With the next pick the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Onelkis Garcia with the 113th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He is Baseball America's number 83 overall prospect. He’s a 22-year-old left-handed Cuban defector. He's often been compared to Randy Wolf, but has some signability issues, though Logan White isn't concerned about getting a deal done. He's got a power fastball and a nasty hard curve, it's his pure stuff that got him drafted early.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Justin Chigbogu with the 146th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a 17-year-old first baseman out of Raytown South High School in Missouri. Baseball America had him ranked number 423 overall. A bit of a reach? He's got big risk behind him, but his potential is huge. He's known for being an all-state defensive end, hence the risk. There's a lot of football talk with this kid, but scouts have been marveling as he has been said to have the biggest power bat in the draft by scouting officials. Way above-average bat speed, doesn't strike out excessively, very raw, very young, and one of big names to watch over the next few years.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Ross Stripling with the 176th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. Baseball America ranked him number 167 overall. He’s a right-handed starter out of Texas A&M University. One of the best college pitchers in the draft, as he has been one of college baseball's top pitchers over the last couple seasons. He's a former three-sport player that is viewed as a future quality back-end-of-the-rotation pitcher. The kid threw a no-hitter this year, what more do you need?
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Joey Curletta in the 6th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s an outfielder out of Mountain Point High School in Arizona. Another signing risk, as he has already committed to playing for the University of Arizona. He's another powerful bat, incredible speed, and White said he's got as much raw power as anyone in the draft. To top that all off, he's got a fastball that hangs out at around 90 mph. For more on Curletta check out this report from Perfect Game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Theo Alexander in the 7th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s an outfielder out of Lake Washington Senior High School in Washington. He was ranked by Baseball America as the number 337 overall prospect in the draft.
"Alexander’s future will come down to his bat, because his secondary skills are average at best. He’s an average runner with a below-average arm. If a team buys into the swing and wants to project on the bat, Alexander could be a single-digit pick."
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Scott Griggs in the 8th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a Junior right-handed pitcher out of UCLA. Baseball America's number 187. He's got great stuff, projected to be picked as high as the third round, so stealing him in the eight round is acceptable in my opinion, despite BA's scouting report.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Zachary Bird in the 9th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a right-handed pitcher out of Murrah High School in Missouri. Scouting reports by Perfect Game and Baseball America. He was BA's #371 overall prospect, and he is being called a must sign for the Dodgers. Good fastball with a lot of potential. Long limbed, great pitching frame, full delivery, with some deception. Very inexperienced so it's hard to put too much into this.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Zach Babitt in the 10th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a second baseman out of the Academy Of Arts University. Unranked by Baseball America, he hit .313 with a .403 on-base percentage his senior year at the Academy of Art University. Babitt was a two-sport athlete in high school. That's all I got, sorry. Sucks, I know.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Jeremy Rathjen in the 11th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Senior from Rice University. He was ranked #229 overall by Baseball America, projected to be gone by round 5, so he fell quite bit in the draft due to the ACL tear he suffered in March. He led Rice with nine home runs this season and finished second on the team with a .329 average. He knocked in 42 runs and scored 39 of his own during his senior season. One of the better outfielders in the draft, he's one of the best all-around packages in the draft. Here's an additional report on Rathjen by Baseball Prospect Report.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected James Campbell in the 12th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Junior right-handed pitcher out of the State University Of New York – Stony Brook. He appeared in 17 games, seven were starts, and finished 5-0 with three saves and a 2.92 ERA. Appears to be unranked by Baseball America. Little to work with, sorry guys. Grr. Very grr.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Darnell Sweeney in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Junior shortstop out of the University Of Central Florida. Great baseball name right? I can hear his name being announced over the speakers already. I know another shortstop, but that doesn't mean anything. Most players never stay at the position they were drafted as. He was Baseball America's number 337, and has a lot of potential. He was projected to be gone well before the end of the third round, but he failed to impress a lot of scouts. Score for the Dodgers, another late round steal.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Matt Reckling in the 14th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Senior right-handed pitcher out of Rice University. He was Baseball America's number 179 overall prospect in the draft, his stock plummeted in this years draft. He was slotted for a pick by round 5 or 6, not sure how he fell this far. Scouting reports by BA, MLB.com, should you want to take a peek.
With the final pick of the second day the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Dalton Von Schamann in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Junior right-handed pitcher out of Texas Tech University. He was the staff ace, leading all Texas Tech starters with a 2.08 ERA and a 6-4 record in 2012. The righty threw three complete games and held opposing batters to a .212 average. Baseball America ranked him #459 overall. He appears to have great stuff, so not bad for the last pick of the day.
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