For the second time in as many days, a mock draft has projected the Dodgers to take a high school player in the first round, 29th overall. This time, Carlos Collazo at Baseball America has LA taking Carson Tucker, a shortstop out of Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, Ariz.
“Tucker’s name gets some buzz at the back of the first and the comp round,” Collazo wrote. “Perhaps he’s a fit with the Dodgers, who love athleticism and have as good a track record developing hitters as any.”
Picking Tucker in the first round might seem like a stretch considering his highest prospect ranking is 33rd by Kiley McDaniel at ESPN, who calls him “a hit-first plus athlete.” But Tucker has leverage with a Texas commitment, which MLB teams needing to pony up to convince him to bypass college.
Tanner Witt, a right-handed pitcher from just outside of Houston who was projected to the Dodgers by FanGraphs Monday, is also committed to play for Texas.
“There is a whole lot of different things you have to look at depending on where you are picked or how much money you’re offered or whether the college route is better,” Carson Tucker told Dan Zielinski III at Baseball Prospect Journal in January. “Any way that [Cole] can help me helps because he’s been through it.”
MLB.com has Tucker rated 52nd, praising his defense: “Tucker has the feet and hands to play shortstop long-term, even though he’s an average runner. He has average arm strength, though his throws have good carry and he shows the ability to change arm action and slots as is needed for the premium position.”
Keith Law at The Athletic rates Tucker 84th in this draft: “The lack of plus defensive tools or even future-average power caps his ceiling and he’s more of a second- or third-round talent than a first-rounder like his brother.”
The Dodgers pick 29th overall in the first round, with a recommended slot bonus value of $2,424,600.
The Dodgers are no stranger to Mountain Pointe High, drafting three players out of the school in the last nine years. Outfielder Joey Curletta signed as a sixth-round pick in 2012, and was traded to the Phillies in 2016 as the player to be named later in the Carlos Ruiz trade. The other two Dodgers draftees out of Mountain Pointe were in the 39th round and did not sign — pitcher Jordan Kipper (2011) and catcher Logan White Jr. (2019), the latter the son of the longtime Dodgers scouting director.
The MLB Draft is a two-day event beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. PT, with television coverage by both MLB Network at ESPN/ESPN2.