Since the 2012 MLB draft starts today at 3 PM, here is a preview to whet everyone's appetite. Last year I posted an entire 3 part series in regards to the draft, but in the essence of time I'm going to consolidate this year's coverage into this one post. Since the first round of the draft is today I'll start with potential 1st round picks for the Dodgers. Later in the post you'll see a preview of players previously selected by the Dodgers who didn't sign and are again eligible for this year's draft, and then I'll finish with players in the 2012 draft who have famous bloodlines, something that the Dodgers have focused on in previous years.
The Dodgers have the the 18th overall pick in today's draft, and since Day 1 also covers the supplemental round it should be noted that the Dodgers will also select #51 overall (thanks to Rod Barajas). The Dodgers 2nd round pick will be #82 overall, and their 3rd rounder will be #113. From rounds 4 - 50 the Dodgers have the 18th pick in each round. Based on the new CBA agreement that was signed this past winter, the Dodgers have $5,202,800 to spend on their first 11 picks before penalties are enforced. "Slot Money" for the #18 overall pick is $1.95M
Potential 1st Round Picks:
Most experts are convinced that the Dodgers will take another high school arm in the 2012 draft, although I'm sure many readers would prefer that LA go for a big bat for once in the first round. Only time will tell what really ends up happening.
Ty Hensley - RHP - Santa Fe HS - Baseball America is the gold standard of MLB Draft coverage, and in their latest mock draft they have the Dodgers selecting high school right hander Ty Hensley. The 6'5" right-hander throws in the mid to upper 90's, but his best pitch is his 12-to-6 curveball. He isn't as polished as 2010 first rounder Zach Lee, but his pure stuff is very impressive for a high schooler.
Matt Smoral - RHP - Solon HS - Smoral is a big pitcher at 6'7", but he didn't get a lot of exposure this season as blisters and a broken bone in his hand limited him to just one appearance this Spring. Even still he is expected to go in the 1st round thanks to his size, a 94 mph fastball, a solid slider, and good command.
Lance McCullers Jr - RHP - Jesuit HS - McCullers has been mentioned as a top 10 pick for the 2012 draft since this time last year, so if he falls to the Dodgers at #18 he might just be their pick. His father was a 2nd round pick in 1982 and had a 7 year big league career, and Lance throws in the mid-90's with the reported ability to hit 100 mph with his fastball. There are mixed opinions as to whether he'll be a starter or reliever once he turns pro.
Zach Eflin - RHP - Hagerty HS - Eflin has been linked to the Dodgers in at least a few mock drafts, and he pairs his mid 90's fastball with one of the best changeup's in the 2012 draft. He has a big of a signabilty issue as he is committed to Central Florida and missed some time this spring with a tricep injury, and it seems there will be other players with more upside available for LA at #18.
Walker Weickel - RHP - Olympia HS - Weickel is currently projected as a supplemental first rounder, but then again so was 2011 1st rounder Chris Reed so you never know what the Dodgers will do. Weickel is a big kid at 6'6", but his fastball lacked velocity at times as did his 70 mph curveball. Despite his size his upside is limited, but he seems like a relatively safe bet to be a middle of the rotation starter.
J.O. Berrios - RHP - Papa Juan HS - It seems unlikely that the Dodgers would go with the Puerto Rican right-hander with their 1st overall pick, but he's been mentioned by Baseball America as a potential target so I might as well talk about him here. J.O. doesn't have a big frame as he stands at just 6'1", but he can hit 98 mph and he has the potential for a 3-pitch mix as he has a sharp slider and the potential for a solid changeup.
David Dahl - OF - Oak Mountain HS - If the Dodgers do decide to go with a bat, they might go with David Dahl if he is still available as he has a lot of the raw tools the Dodgers like. His power of the plus type, but he's a good hitter who can play center field and has great speed with a very good arm.
Gavin Cecchini - SS - Barbe HS - A lot of scouts feel that Cecchini is a safe 1st round pick as he plays good defense and should hit enough to be a bottom of the order batter in the big leagues, but his upside is a mystery. I don't think the Dodgers would spend a 1st rounder on someone with limited potential, but I've seen at least one mock draft that have LA picking him at #18.
Richie Shaffer - 3B - Clemson - The Dodgers 25th pick in 2009, Shaffer made the right choice when he didn't sign with the Dodgers because he is now projected to be a 1st round pick. It's possible that he'll be available when the Dodgers pick at #18 overall, and the Dodgers may want to take a shot at this 3rd baseman with big time power potential.
Follow the jump for previously drafted guys and players who have big league bloodlines.
Previous Dodger Picks (Listed by Draft Round) - If the Dodgers drafted a player in the past, it would seem that they have a greater change of being picked again in the current draft. So here is a look at players who are eligible for the 2012 draft who have been selected by the Dodgers in the past.
Kevin Gausman - RHP - 2010 6th round pick: The Dodgers simply couldn't meet Gausman's bonus demands when he was their 6th round pick out of high school back in 2010, especially after giving Zach Lee $5.25M. Looks like the draft eligible sophomore made the right decision because he is now projected to be a top 10 pick, and has no chance of falling to the Dodgers at #18 overall.
Jamaal Moore - LHP - 2011 10th round pick: Jamaal "Baseball" Moore was the highest Dodger pick from the 2011 draft not to sign as he instead decided to attend LA Harbor College (a community college). His team finished the season with an ugly 12 - 24 record, and Moore himself had a very mediocre season as he posted a 5.56 ERA in 22.2 innings with 14 K's and 13 walks. According to his Facebook page, he throws in the low 90's with a fastball, change-up, curve and split seam. They Dodgers may pick Moore again in 2012, but it will probably be in a later round this time.
Vince Spilker - RHP - 2011 20th round pick: It took me a while to figure out what happened to Spilker after he failed to sign with the Dodgers, but as it turns out he transferred to NAIA school Lee University where he put together a very solid season for the Flames. As one of the team's main starters Vince recorded a 2.67 ERA over 84.1 innings, struck out 64, and had a .237 batting average against. According to last year's Baseball America report, the 6'4" Spilker "works with a 90-94 mph fastball with armside run. He also throws a hard slider, and his curveball and changeup have potential as well." With that kind of stuff and another good season under his belt, I can see him moving up the draft boards and I'm sure the Dodgers will be interested.
Daniel Palo - RHP - 2009 20th round pick: Palo headed to Middle Tennessee State after failing to sign with the Dodgers where he had a rough career. This past season he posted a 7.24 ERA although he did collect 4 saves.
Kyle Conwell - OF - 2011 22nd round pick: Conwell transferred to Abilene Christian University for his junior year after failing to sign with the Dodgers, and had a relatively solid season with a .292 average and 3 homers. That came after he batted .397 with a .491 OB% for Bellevue CC in 2011. Conwell seems to have some tools but will probably remain a mid-round pick heading into the 2012 draft, so the Dodgers could very well select him again.
Richie Shaffer - 3B - 2009 25th round pick: Discussed above as a potential 1st round pick for the Dodgers.
Travis Burnside - OF - 2011 25th round pick AND 2009 48th round pick - Burnside has twice refused to sign with the Dodgers, and after playing his community college ball at Spartanburg Methodist he transferred to Tennessee Wesleyan in 2012 where he continued to excel as a speedy outfielder without much power. He lead his team in stolen bases, and walked more than he struck out while posting a .284 average. Given that the Dodgers have picked him twice already, I'm sure they won't be shy about trying to sign him for a 3rd time.
Brian Johnson - LHP/1B - 2009 27th round pick - Like Shaffer, Johnson earned himself a lot more money when he declined to sign with the Dodgers in 2009. Considered a late 1st round pick or a supplemental 1st rounder, Johnson has been a two way player at Florida but is expected to improve once he focuses on his pitching. I don't see the Dodgers using their 1st rounder on him, but if he's still available at #51 then the Dodgers could take him there.
Taylor Garrison - RHP - 2011 27th round pick: Garrison declined to sign with the Dodgers after his junior year at Fresno State even though his stock was probably at it's highest since he posted a 1.32 ERA in 2011 with 42 K's in 34 innings. As a senior in 2012 he's continued to post solid stats with a 3.27 ERA and 42 more strikeouts over 33 frames.
Joe Robinson - RHP - 2011 29th round pick: Robinson played on the same community college team as Bryce Harper, then transferred to UNLV where the Dodgers picked him as a junior. He declined to sign, however, which may have been a mistake as his stats have regressed in 2012 to a 5.47 ERA and just 23 K's in 51 innings. I can't really see the Dodgers selecting him again.
Adam McConnell - SS - 2011 30th round pick: McConnell missed the entire 2011 season due to an upper leg injury, but the Dodgers drafted him anyways and he declined to sign. Back at full strength for 2012 the red-shirt junior hit .285 with 2 HR's and 12 SB's. It's really anyone's guess as to whether the Dodgers will pick him again.
Hunter Jennings - OF - 2011 32nd round pick: Jennings didn't sign after getting drafted out Delgado Community college, but I can't find where he is at now so I have no idea if he's even considered a draft prospect anymore.
Reid Redman - 3B - 2011 37th round pick: Redman didn't sign after his junior year at Texas Tech despite a .320 average, and he's doing more of the same in 2012 as he's batting .317. He doesn't have any power, however, so he'll probably fall in the same draft range for this coming year.
Jordan Kipper - RHP - 2011 39th round pick: Kipper didn't sign with the Dodgers out of high school, but since he decided to attend Arizona Central Community College he's eligible to be drafted again this year. His stock has probably shot up after posting a 1.77 ERA over 81.1 innings in 2012 with 69 K's and 17 walks. Don't be surprised to see the Dodgers draft the 6'4" right hander again, this time in an earlier round.
R.C. Orlan - LHP - 2009 44th round pick: The Dodgers took a flyer back in 2009 and didn't expect him to sign, and during his 3 years at North Carolina he's become a bit of a left handed specialist out of the bullpen. He doesn't throw real hard, but this past season he had a 2.01 ERA with 62 K's and just 10 walks over 54 innings.
Stephen Piscotty - SS - 2009 45th round pick: If the Dodgers want another shot as Piscotty then they are going to have to take him in the first round as he is projected as a late 1st round pick. The Stanford shortstop will probably move to 3rd base as a pro, and while he's been a consistent player in college, including a .318 average in 2012 with 5 HR's, he doesn't seem to have any real plus tools that would warrant making him a top pick.
Christian Walker - 1B - 2009 49th round pick: Walker made the right choice in not signing with the Dodgers in 2009 as he's won back to back NCAA championships with South Carolina. The 1st baseman has good power and should be picked within the first 5 rounds.
Bloodline Players - Like most teams the Dodgers like players with big league bloodlines, so here is a look at a few guys who have big league and/or Dodger ties.
Trey Williams - 3B - Valencia HS - Dad Eddie Williams played 10 years in the big leagues and was the #4 overall pick in 1983. At one point Trey was considered a 1st round pick, and while he's dropped a bit he still should go within the first two rounds. The Dodgers definitely need a 3rd baseman, and he's a guy with plus raw power potential.
Jesmuel Valentin - SS/2B - Puerto Rico Baseball Academy - Son of 16 year veteran Jose Valentine, Jesmuel has obviously grown up around the game has good baseball knowledge. He can play all over the diamond, but is probably best suited for 2nd base once he turns pro. He's a line drive hitter who should get picked on Day 1 of the draft.
Jordan Hershiser - RHP - USC - The son of Orel, Hershiser has been injured throughout his tenure at USC and has already spent 5 years there. Still the Dodgers could take him in the late rounds because he apparently does throw pretty hard when healthy.
Matt Withrow - RHP/1B - Midland Christian HS - The brother of Chris Withrow, Matt has a college commitment to Texas Tech and probably get picked high enough to sign with a big league club this draft.
Ryan Garvey - OF - Riverside CC - Son of Steve Garvey, he didn't sign with the Phillies last year and then after enrolling at USC he actually ended up Riverside Community College. Could be an interesting wild card player to take a chance on.
Mark Leiter, Jr. - RHP - New Jersey Tech - Son of Mark Leiter and nephew of Al Leiter, Mark doesn't throw real hard, but he has a 4-pitch mix. He could end up being an solid middle round investment.