The Dodgers selected Hofstra left-hander John Rooney in the third round. Here is his profile:
What he’s good at right now: Rooney has exhibited good command of a three pitch mix and was dominant for Hofstra this season. His slider will flash above average with good command from a low slot to pitch off the pitch.
What he can be good at in the future: Rooney is a polished arm with a good build, but might have more arm strength to come after entering the Dodgers organization.
What does he need to work on: To avoid becoming a left handed reliever, Rooney will need to proving he can get right handers out despite a low slot that gives them a long look at his offerings. Rooney’s sinking fastball and fading change-up will be his primary weapons against right handers.
Carry tool: Rooney’s pitchability and above average slider that plays up due to his command are his tools that could see him cruise through the lower minors.
Biggest weakness: Rooney’s low slot stuff typically portends relief, and his present velocity might prevent his ceiling from reaching above #4 or #5 starter.
ETA: Rooney is physically developed and very polished, and could reach the upper minors fairly quickly. He could reach the major leagues as quickly as 2021 if moved to relief.
Realistic best case scenario: Rooney’s stuff gains a tick or two under the Dodger’s development program and he can turn his slider into enough of a plus pitch to become a good command arm at the bottom of the rotation.
Wrap: While the Dodgers have a history of taking good college performers under Billy Gasparino, Rooney’s relatively modest upside is a bit of a surprise in round three. He has excellent command and a three pitch mix, but no outright plus pitch and his present velocity reports are around average to slightly below for a left hander. Still, he has a great frame and a fairly athletic delivery, and can reach his peak velocity looking fairly effortless. The Dodgers likely see additional upside in bringing him into their development program, but he will enter the organization as a higher floor, but lower ceiling left-handed relief or low rotation candidate.