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2006 Draft Roundup

As the minor league regular season wrapped up on Monday, I thought now would be a good time to look back at how the 2006 draftees performed.

Round One: Clayton Kershaw - Starting Pitcher GCL Dodgers.

Along with Evan Longoria of the Devil Rays and Tim Lincecum of the Giants, Kershaw was one of the few members of the 2006 draft to utterly demolish his competition. In 43 innings, Kershaw struck out 60, walked 7 (8.57 K/BB) and didn't allow a home run. This lead to a 1.95 ERA, third on the GCL Dodgers. The scary thing is that Kershaw was actually unlucky, since he got stuck with a .357 BABIP, well above the team average of .282. Kershaw is clearly too good for rookie ball, but his contract creates in interesting dilemma. He's required to remain in the state of Florida in his first two years as a pro, so he has to get promoted to Vero Beach. I'm sure the Dodgers would prefer for Kershaw to not jump three levels at age 19, but that's the only real course of action. If Kershaw can perform in high A ball when he's only 19, we could have a good one on our hands.

Round One: Bryan Morris - Starting Pitcher Ogden Raptors

Morris' start wasn't nearly as rosy as Kerhsaw's. While he was striking people out, 11.78 per nine, he was also walking the world (5.97/9). Because of this, and a very high BABIP (.386) Morris finished the season with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. His strike out totals say that he should be promoted to Columbus next year, where maybe his luck may even out a little, but Morris isn't on the fast track that Kershaw is.

Round One: Preston Mattingly - Starting Shortstop GCL Dodgers

Mattingly started out hot, hitting .333/.368/.411 in July, but substantially cooled off afterwards, finishing with an uninspiring .274/.304/.381 and a 45 to 8 strikeout to walk ratio. Mattingly was second on the team in strikeouts, fanning once every 4.37 at bats. The only bright spot about Mattingly's season was that he lead the Dodgers in steals, but other than that, Mattingly showed neither patience, power, or the ability to make contact. Not the best start to a career, but he's still young.

Round Four: Kyle Orr - Signed, but unable to obtain a work visa.

Round Five: Kyle Smit - Relief Pitcher GCL Dodgers

Smit threw 11 innings this year; nothing resembling a decent sample size, but what we saw was decent. He struck out nine, walked two, and gave up a home run. His ERA was vastly inflated by his .378 BABIP, but again, this is all small sample size.

Round Six: Garrett White - Closer Ogden Raptors

White had a terrible 8.20 ERA in 26 innings, but his perheprals suggest a guy who was very unlucky. He struck out over 13 per nine this year, and while he was slightly wild, he still maintained a 2.71 K/BB ratio, and kept the ball in the park. The only reason I can see for how badly he got hit was a bad, but not terrible 21% line drive percentage. This stat is pure luck for big league pitchers, but maybe it's not the same for minor leaguers, I don't know. Considering that Whites strikeouts showed he could miss bats, I'll chalk this one up to bad luck (.431 BABIP) and a small sample size.

Round Seven: Jaime Ortiz - Starting First Baseman GCL Dodgers

Ortiz hit .220/.290/.291 in 182 at bats. He struck out a ton (once every 4.13 at bats) and when he did make contact, it was rarely solid (11.6 line drive percentage). At least he walked a little.

Round Eight: Thomas Giles - Reserve Outfielder Ogden Raptors

Giles showed decent power with a .269/.291/.492 line in 93 at bats, but zero patience, and an inability to consistently make good contact (9% line drive percentage). The fact that he was put on the bench right out of the draft is pretty telling of his future.

Round Nine: Bridger Hunt - Starting Center Fielder - Columbus Catfish

Hunt came to the Dodgers with amazing stats in his last year in college (.415/.484/.781) so it is a bit disappointing to see him hit for so little power (.316/.378/.390) still, there's some promise here. Hunt was putting the bat on the ball, striking out once every 7.125 times at bat, while walking at a decent rate with an .062 isolated patience. For a college draftee, Hunt is still relatively young at 20, so there's plenty of time for that power to emerge. At this rate, Hunt could very well end up as a cheap fourth outfielder.

Round Ten: Andrew D'Alessio - Did not sign

Round 11: Justin Fuller - Reserve Infielder Ogden Raptors

Fuller actually did show good patience in his 116 at bats, putting up a .224/.331/.293 line, but as you can see, the rest of his line is pretty unimpressive. Fuller is 22, and if he isn't able to win a starting job at rookie ball, his future looks bleak.

Round 12: Paul Coleman - Relief Pitcher Ogden Raptors

Coleman has some solid peripherals, striking out 8.21 per nine, putting up a 1.82 K/BB and giving up one home run in 34 innings. Since Coleman is 22, I'll sum him up the exact same way I did when the Dodgers drafted him: meh.

Round 13-16:  Nick Akins, Alex White, Gorman Erickson, Justin Coats - Did not sign

Round 17: Michael Rivera - Starting Shortstop Ogden Raptors

Another unexciting player, as people drafted this low are likely to be, Rivera hit .250/.332/.305 in 164 at bats. The most interesting thing about him is that he was hit a Mike Kinkade like 9 times this season, which is why his isolated patience is so high. Other than that, he did make solid contact, with a 23.6 line drive percentage, but only a .310 BABIP. This gives him at least a cursory glance, but unless he's can keep getting hit by pitches, he's not going to go far.

Round 18: Joe Jones - Relief Pitcher Ogden Raptors and Columbus Catfish

All you need to know about Jones is that when he was promoted to Columbus, his strike out to walk rate dropped to nearly 1 to 1. If he can't even strike out five per nine in A ball, he's not going to go far.

Round 19-20: Martin Beno, Billy Bullock - Did not sign.

Round 21: Matt Berezay - Starting Designated Hitter Odgen Raptors

21 rounds later, the Dodgers finally have someone who put up impressive hitting stats. Berezay hit .300/.418/.535 in 170 at bats in Ogden. Before you get too excited, he's 22 so he should be destroying that league, and he strikes out a decent amount, once every 4.59 at bats. Still, his strikeout to walk ratio was almost one, so if he is able to keep this up and progress thought he ranks fairly quickly, we might have something here. It's not much, but it's nice being able to see one Dodger draftee who actually hit well this year.

Round 22: Chris Jensen - Starting Designated Hitter Columbus Catfish

Jensen started the season in Ogden, then was promoted to Columbus where he put up a .377 OPS while striking out almost once every three at bats. Yep.

Round 23: Eric Thompson - Did not sign

Round 24: John Martin - Backup Catcher Odgen Raptors

Martin saw decent playtime for a backup, 126 at bats, but he wasn't all that impressive. His .262/.371/.349 line shows amazing patience, but he strikes out once every three at bats and his average is supported by a .402 BABIP with only a 20.3 line drive percentage. As much as I want to like the guy, if only for the possibility to have two catchers named Martin on the same team, he just can't hit.

Round 25: Estaban Lopez - Backup Catcher GCL Dodgers

Hit .326/.420/.326 in 43 at bats. Not surprisingly, this was based on a very high BABIP with a dinky line drive percentage. Not that you could draw any conclusions from 43 at bats.

Rounds 26-50: Did not sign

So far, the 2006 draft doesn't look nearly as nice as Logan White's previous outings, with only Clayton Kershaw looking particularly good, and maybe seeing some potential from Bridger Hunt and Matt Berezay. Still, if Kershaw lives up to his promise, it really doesn't matter what the rest of these guys do.