The Dodgers on Monday night selected Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall with their first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, No. 23 overall.
The 6-foot junior hit .307/.372/.556 with 15 home runs in 2017, and also stole 20 bases in 24 attempts.
"He is a multi-tooled player that can do a lot of things with both sides of the ball," said Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino. "He is coming from a great program and great makeup, we would love to have him as part of this organization and we are excited to be able to select him."
Kendall was ranked No. 3 overall in our David Hood’s top 200 draft prospects, was slated No. 18 in the Baseball America top 500, and was ranked sixth in the MLB Pipeline top 200.
Baseball America tabbed him an 80 runner and a plus defender in center field.
While the speed is intriguing, there is still some question about the bat. From John Sickels of Minor League Ball:
Although the bat is not a sure thing, Kendall is an excellent prospect overall and few college players can offer his broad combination of tools and skills. He’s thrived for a top program and there’s no question he will go in the first round, very likely in the top five. I think the bat is a bit too raw for him to go first-overall, but it would not be a surprise to see him go second.
Having fallen so far already, Kendall was likely too talented for the Dodgers to pass up at No. 23.
Kendall was drafted by the Red Sox out of high school in the 30th round in 2014, but did not sign. His father Jeremey was drafted by the Phillies in the 26th round in 1992, and played five years in the Phillies organization.
This is just the third time in the last 15 seasons the Dodgers have taken a position player with their first pick, but the second time in two years.
The slot value for the No. 23 overall pick is $2,702,700.