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Dodgers sign 33 of 40 draft picks, plus thoughts from Logan White

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First-round pick Grant Holmes is one of 33 draft picks signed by the Dodgers in 2014.
First-round pick Grant Holmes is one of 33 draft picks signed by the Dodgers in 2014.
Rich Schultz

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
Round Pick Player Pos Bats Throws Height Weight School Current Team
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
3 98 John Richy RHP R R 6'4 210 UNLV Ogden
4 129 Jeff Brigham RHP R R 6'0 198 Washington Ogden
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
11 339 A.J. Vanegas RHP R R 6'3 215 Stanford 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
15 459 Joe Broussard RHP R R 6'1 220 LSU Ogden
16 489 Devan Ahart CF L R 6'1 180 Akron 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
20 609 Brian Wolfe OF L L 6'2 205 Washington Ogden
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
28 849 Billy Bereszniewicz OF L L 5'10 180 Binghamton Ogden
30 909 Brant Whiting C L R 5'9 190 Stanford 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
37 1119 Karch Kowalczyk RHP R R 6'1 216 Valparaiso Ogden
38 1149 Caleb Ferguson LHP R L 6'3 215 West Jefferson HS (West Jefferson, OH) TJ rehab (AZ)