It’s Sunday morning and we are exactly two weeks away from the deadline to sign 2021 MLB Draft picks. So far, two Dodgers picks have reportedly signed — ninth-rounder Lael Lockhart and 10th-round pick Michael Hobbs — though the team has yet to officially announce any draft deals.
Kevin Goldstein and Eric Longenhagen recapped every single team in the draft on the Chin Music podcast at FanGraphs, and both had high praise for the Dodgers player development system. They noted the Dodgers for the second draft in a row focused on stuff with the pitchers, hoping to teach the command. Dodgers 2021 draftees that fit this description, per Goldstein and Longenhagen, include Maddux Bruns (first round), Peter Heubeck (third), Nick Nastrini (fourth), and Emmet Sheehan (sixth).
“They’ve loaded up their farm system with guys who have real shit,” said Longenhagen on the podcast. “There’s a pro scout who I know who told me their dev told him, ‘Bring us guys with the real shit, please.’ That’s all that the Dodgers did.”
“They answered the call,” said Goldstein.
Kiley McDaniel at ESPN offered his thoughts on the Dodgers draft, unsure of the strategy of spending the majority of bonus money on two high school pitchers (Bruns and Heubeck): “I constantly refer to the Dodgers as one of the best-run teams in baseball and still think that’s the case, but this draft class is a little confusing.”
Clayton Kershaw is out until August, which Dave Roberts said on Friday. On Saturday, Kershaw told reporters in Denver he did have a target date for his return to the Dodgers, but declined to divulge it. From Bill Plunkett at the Orange County Register: “I think everybody wants me to be back as fast as possible. But I also want to be as good as I can be in October too.”
“A handshake for the century,” a statue commemorating the 1946 handshake between Jackie Robinson and George Shuba, was unveiled on Saturday in Youngstown, Ohio. Ellen Wagner at Mahoning Matters wrote about the ceremony.