The 2002 & 2003 drafts were conducted under the Dan Evans watch and the best thing he did was bring in Logan White. Logan gets a lot of credit among Dodger fans and with good reason. Even if he takes his act to Houston or Pittsburgh, what he did in 2002 & 2003 will ensure the Dodgers of being competitive for years to come.
Our current team and future team will/have relied heavily on these drafts and international signings.
1st Base - Big Game James Loney 2002 No 1
2nd base - Tony Abreu - Signed in 2002
Shortstop - Chin Lung Hu - Signed in 2003
3rd - Andy La Roche 2003 No 39
Right Fielder - Matt Kemp 2003 No 6
Catcher - Russ Martin 2002 No 17
SP - Chad Billingsley 2003 No 1
SP - James McDonald 2002 No 11
Setup/Closer - Jon Broxton 2002 No 2
Backup Outfielder - Delwyn Young 2002 No 4
Met Killer - Eric Stults 2002 No 15
I'm not going to bother with the misses as who wants to talk about the misses.
James Loney - No 1: Starting 1st baseman at the age of 22.
Greg Miller No 1: At one time he was the Clayton Kershaw of his time. Still only 22, he keeps regressing but I'm not quite ready to give up.
Zach Hammes No 2: Made the 40 man roster this spring based on a solid instructional winter league. Didn't build on that in 2007. Started out the year in the bullpen but got starts as the season progressed. Not sure what the Dodgers have in store for him.
Jonathon Broxton No 2: Until the week of Sept 3rd he was the best setup man in baseball.
Delwyn Young No 4: His 2007 has put him back on the map. The sweet swinging outfielder from Santa Barbara should have opened some eyes with his 2007.
Mike McGew No 5: Still trying to come back from TJ surgery. After the surgery the Marlins thought enough of him to try to steal him in the rule 5 but they had to give him back when he wasn't healthy enough to pitch. Still has a chance for a major league career but the window is closing.
James McDonald No 11: Lost time time playing outfield. Biggest surprise of all the prospects.
Eric Stults No 15: Could earn a pension
Russ Martin No 17: All-Star catcher in round 17. Has a chance to be one of the ten best players in the draft even though 511 players were taken a head of him.
Jarod Plummer No 26): Traded by the Dodgers for Wilson Valdez, he had an excellent 2007 and should be pitching for the Royals in 2008. Has struck out 207 in 177 innings since joining the KC organization.
Thus the 2002 draft looks like it could yield 11 major league baseball players with Martin being the cream of the crop.
2002 International Signing
Tony Abreu: This 22 year old could combine with Chin-Lung Hu in 2009 and become the keystone combination giving us defense reminiscent of Cora/Izzy of 2003, but hopefully with more offense. They will both be starting major league infielders with somebody.
Lizarraga: 21 year old, became the starting SS for Great Lakes after Mattingly was moved to 2nd base. Not showing any special skills yet.
Adolfo Gonzalez: 22 year old played all over the infield for Great Lakes. He was one year older then his competition and posted an OPS of 772 compared to a league average OPS of 696.
Ramon Troncoso:Dominated in A+ at Inland but didn't have the same success at AA. With Meloan being promoted to the Dodgers he is in the mix as the next best relief pitcher.
2003 didn't have the depth of the 2002 but the star power of Kemp, Billingsley, and La Roche still give it plenty of muscle. Not to many drafts will give you an ace, a slugging outfielder that can do it all, and a solid 3rd baseman.
2003 Domestic Draft
Chad Billingsley No 1: Is quickly becoming the ace of the Dodger staff.
Xavier Paul No 4: In some organizations he might get more publicity but in ours he tends to get overlooked. Played 98 games in CF this year. If he can stay in CF then I like his chances. Seems to do everything well but nothing great. Still only 22 so he still has a few years to grow his skills.
Matt Kemp No 6: The Bison is the best homegrown outfielder to hit LA since Raul Mondesi.
Wesley Wright No 7: Has consistenly had a K rate over 10 until he hit AAA this year. Smallish LHP who is destined for a LOOGY role if he ever makes it.
Lucas May No 8: Was converted to catcher and hit 25 home runs A+ at Inland Empire but his 2007 season was not as good as his 2006. In 2006 he posted an OPS of 825 compared to a league average of 707. In 2007 his OPS fell to 778 but the league average was 770. His team ops was around 750 both years. He's spent 2 years in rookie ball and 2 years in A ball.
Cody White No 12: Still just 22. Best I could do.
Russel Mitchel No 15: Once he was a 3b and had a great debut at the age of 18. Now he's playing more 1st then 3rd and this was his 4th year in A+. Granted he was rushed back in 2004 but I just don't see anything if he's only going to be a 1st baseman. With Loney in the bigs and Ortiz, Lambo, and Orr pushing him from behind he might be in a different organization come 2008
James Peterson No 16: Still in the organization but I don't see anything worth writing about. He missed 2006 and spent 2007 with Great Lakes.
Jesus Castillo No 27: I don't see anything here.
Andy LaRoche No 39: I like him but does Ned or Grady? Back problems have me worried. Has a career minor league average OPS of 150 points higher then the league average and 120 points higher then the team average.
2003 Key International Signings
Chin-Lung Hu: Until 2007 his reputation had been built on his glove but he mashed in AA and AAA and won a Futures MVP to boot. After hitting only 22 home runs in 4 years, he hit 14 in 2007. I'll be surprised if he's not the 2009 starting SS.
Jovanny Rosario: at 22 played in the rookie league for Odgen. He's a CF who posted an OPS of 828 compared to the league average of 760. At 22 he is one year older then the league average.
Alfredo Silverio: is 20 years old and played in the GCL Rookie league. Posted an OPS of 950 to the average of 691 at the same age of most of his peers. The team OPS average was 770. Played mostly in LF.
Update:Jokim Soria was signed in Sept of 2003. We later released him and he ended up in San Diego where he was picked up by KC in the rule 5. He has been great for KC this year. Not sure why we released him, hopefully a reader can fill us in.
Quite a haul for 2002/2003.