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MLB Draft 2015: Dodgers select LHP Philip Pfeifer with 3rd-round pick

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Philip Pfeifer is the second Vanderbilt pitcher taken in the first five rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Dodgers.
Philip Pfeifer is the second Vanderbilt pitcher taken in the first five rounds of the 2015 MLB Draft by the Dodgers.
Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Tuesday with their third-round pick of the 2015 MLB Draft selected their second Vanderbilt pitcher, left-hander Philip Pfeifer with the No. 101 overall pick.

Pfeifer, a teammate of first-round pick Walker Buehler, was 5-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 25 games as a redshirt junior in 2015, including seven starts, with 105 strikeouts and 40 walks in 83⅔ innings.

He started and won Vanderbilt's second super regional game against Illinois on Monday to clinch a return trip to the College World Series, allowing two runs in 6⅔ innings, with four strikeouts and three walks. Pfeifer began the year in relief, but has been starting in recent weeks.

In Vanderbilt's Dodgertown Classic game against TCU at Dodger Stadium, Pfeifer relieved Buehler and pitched the final five innings, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven with one walk.

Pfeifer was ranked 195 in the Baseball America top 500, and was slated below the top in David Hood's top 200, with a 40 grade. Like fourth-round pick Josh Sborz, expect this pick to sign for below slot, saving some money for the Dodgers to presumably pay above slot for their first three picks, all rated higher than where they were drafted.

Pfeifer failed a drug test in September 2013 and was kicked off Vanderbilt's team, missing their 2014 NCAA championship season. But he was able to regroup and rejoin the team in 2015, per David Ammenheuser of The Tennessean:

"The past year was hard, and one of the hardest realizations was, selfish as it can be, they did not need me to win a national championship," he said. "But that realization was the best thing for my ego, just to deflate it. It was a bittersweet celebration for me. On one level, they won it. On another level, I wasn't there. I wasn't able to dogpile. It was tough."

"There's no doubt that Phil has improved our pitching staff a ton," Fulmer said. "We know we have a good chance to win every time he has the ball in his hand."

The slot value for this pick is $564,700.

Pfeifer was originally drafted in the 44th round in 2011 out of Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tenn. by the Rangers, but he did not sign.

Twitter: @pfeifdawg22