LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers by last Friday's deadline signed outfielder Andrew Godbold, their 23rd round pick out of Southeastern Louisiana. That means the Dodgers signed 33 of their 40 picks, an unusually high total.
Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Logan White said in a typical year he tries to keep the signings between 20-25 players, if only for logistical reasons. In 2013, the Dodgers signed 28 of their 40 picks.
"It's really tough to take 40 rounds of players every year and put them in your system, because you don't have enough places for them to play," White said. "Then what happens is you start releasing players with only a year, a year and a half in the minor leagues, and that's not a good process either."
The Dodgers 33 signed draft picks include 28 college players and five high school pitchers, 16 pitchers and 17 position players.
"It seemed to me this was a much heavier year for pitching in general, and certainly for college guys. It was a lot thinner in position players," White said. "With the new rules, some of the high school players I signed in the past, in today's market might want so much money they just can't fit them into the pool."
The Dodgers ended up spending just over four percent over their allotted draft bonus pool, which counts all bonuses for the first 10 rounds, and any amount over $100,000 for subsequent picks. The Dodgers will pay a 75 percent tax on the overage, a penalty of roughly $151,000, but won't lose a 2015 draft pick.
The one player past the 10th round to receive a bonus over $100,000 was Kam Uter, a right-handed pitcher who was committed to play baseball and football at Wake Forest. He was one of the later players signed, and inked a deal with a $200,000 bonus.
"He's a two-sport athletic guy. He's our version of a Zach Bird," White said of Uter. "His ceiling is pretty darn high, and because he was a two-sport guy going to Wake he was a little tougher sign."
White said Uter hit 91-92 mph in his workout, but normally throws at 88-92 mph. White compared Uter to Zachary Bird, the Dodgers' ninth-round pick in 2012 and now in Class-A Great Lakes. Bird threw at 89-91 mph when drafted, and now hits 95-96.
"[Uter] just oozes projection," White said. "He's a good pitcher now, but he's one of those guys who you like his athleticism so much, and his arm action and delivery, you can easily visualize him throwing harder."
The Dodgers drafted some college relievers - namely Matt Campbell out of Clemson (ninth round), A.J. Vanegas out of Stanford (11th round) and Joe Broussard out of LSU (15th round) - as a way to quickly replenish organizational pitching depth. White mentioned the loss in trades in the last two years of pitchers Nathan Eovaldi, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and others.
"We tried to take some guys with some big upside who can move fairly quickly through the system," White said.
Here are some notes from White on other drafted players
- First-round pick Grant Holmes, with 13 strikeouts and one walk in his first 10 innings in the Arizona rookie league, won't be on much of an innings limit. White said Holmes was limited in innings in his senior year of high school thanks to a combination of proactive parents and several rainouts.
- It's the opposite for third-round pick John Richy, who threw 121 innings for UNLV this season. White said Richy, currently at rookie-level Ogden would likely be limited to 25-30 innings in his first professional stint.
- Bubby Rossman, 22nd-round pick out of Cal State Dominguez Hills, was an outfielder in college and pitched all of eight innings in 2014, but was drafted as a pitcher. "He threw for us at the workout. We wanted to convert him right away," White said. "He's got a good delivery, a natural feel for pitching. Hit 95 mph in his first outing."
- One player the Dodgers didn't sign was 29th-rounder Christian Trent, a left-handed starting pitcher who helped Ole Miss last deep into the College World Series. "I would have loved to have signed him. I think he's a gamer who knows how to pitch. He pitched great in the World Series," White said. "We just couldn't fit him in to that pool of money we've got."
Here are the 33 picks signed by the Dodgers, along with their current professional level. Click on player names for more details on each pick.
|Dodgers 2014 Draft results|
|1||22||Grant Holmes||RHP||L||R||6'1||215||Conway HS (Conway, SC)||AZL|
|2||62||Alex Verdugo||CF||L||L||6'0||205||Sahuaro HS (Tucson, AZ)||AZL|
|5||159||Jared Walker||3B||L||R||6'2||198||McEachern HS (Powder Springs, GA)||AZL|
|6||189||Brock Stewart||RHP||L||R||6'3||210||Illinois State||Ogden|
|7||219||Trevor Oaks||RHP||R||R||6'3||220||Cal Baptist||Ogden|
|8||249||Hunter Redman||C||R||R||5'11||195||Texas Tech||Ogden|
|9||279||Matt Campbell||RHP||R||R||6'0||205||Clemson||Great Lakes|
|10||309||Colin Hering||OF||L||L||6'3||215||Coastal Carolina||Ogden|
|12||369||Kameron Uter||RHP||R||R||6'3||205||Pace Academy HS (Atlanta, GA)||AZL|
|13||399||Ryan Taylor||RHP||R||R||6'0||195||Arkansas Tech||Ogden|
|14||429||Kelvin Ramos||SS||R||R||5'10||170||San Jacinto College North (Texas)||Ogden|
|17||519||Tyler Wampler||SS||R||R||6'0||175||Indiana State||AZL|
|18||549||Clint Freeman||1B||L||L||6'2||195||East Tennessee State||AZL|
|21||639||Ivan Vela||SS||L||R||6'3||205||Oklahoma Baptist||Ogden|
|22||669||Bubby Rossman||RHP||S||R||6'5||220||Cal State Dominguez Hills||AZL|
|23||699||Andrew Godbold||LF||R||R||6'2||205||Southeastern Louisiana||Ogden|
|24||729||Jimmy Allen||2B||R||R||5'10||180||Cal Poly SLO||Ogden|
|25||759||Matt Jones||OF||L||R||6'7||250||Hutchison CC (Kansas)||AZL|
|26||789||Deion Ulmer||2B||R||R||5'9||170||Holmes JC (Mississippi)||AZL|
|27||819||Harlan Richter||RHP||R||R||6'6||225||Bossier Parish CC (Lousiana)||AZL|
|31||939||Derrick Sylvester||RHP||R||R||6'6||200||Southern New Hampshire||AZL|
|32||969||Scott De Jong||1B||R||R||6'4||230||Felician College (New Jersey)||AZL|
|33||999||Carson Baranik||RHP||R||R||6'3||190||Louisiana Lafayette||AZL|
|38||1149||Caleb Ferguson||LHP||R||L||6'3||215||West Jefferson HS (West Jefferson, OH)||TJ rehab (AZ)|