While we wait for Major League Baseball to return, the MLB Draft is coming into focus. While we wait for details on the draft itself (date, length, bonus pool, etc), let’s take a look at players the Dodgers could potentially draft in the first round.
The Dodgers hold the 29th pick, the final pick of the first round, thanks to their 106 wins in 2019. The Astros had a better record at 107-55, bur forfeited their first- and second-round pick for cheating during the regular season and postseason in 2017. People forget this.
This mock draft from Baseball America is a few weeks old, but J.J. Cooper and Carlos Callazo had the Dodgers selecting prep shortstop Ed Howard out of Mount Carmel High School in Illinois.
Callazo notes that 29th would the lowest pick for the first high school shortstop drafted since 2006. Baseball America rated Howard the 20th-best draft prospect in the draft, and the best defensive high school shortstop in the class:
While he has upside as a hitter, the polished part of Howard’s game comes from his glove. He’s a no-doubt shortstop at the next level as a solid athlete with reliable hands and a strong, accurate throwing arm.
Jim Callis at MLB.com said, “Using a simple right-handed swing and a calm approach, Howard makes repeated hard contact. He has impressive bat speed and a projectable 6’2 frame that continues to add strength, so he could develop average or better power. ... A smooth defender at shortstop, Howard will definitely be able to remain at the position.”
Brian Hurry, Howard’s high school coach at Mount Carmel, talked to James Fegan at The Athletic:
“The most jaw-dropping things I’ve seen him do are definitely on the defensive side of the ball,” Hurry said. “He’s a good contact hitter, which I’m proud to say and I know that the professional game — if that’s where he ends up — I hope he stays a gap-to-gap hitter, all fields hitter, contact-type hitter. I think that’s best what suits his game on the offensive side.”