The Dodgers selected a pitcher in the first round of the MLB Draft for a second consecutive year. On Sunday night, they took left-hander Maddux Bruns, a left-hander from UMS-Wright Prep School in Alabama, with the 29th overall pick.
In the seven drafts under vice president of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino, the Dodgers have taken pitchers with six of their 11 first-round selections, counting supplemental and compensatory picks. That includes last year’s first-rounder Bobby Miller out of Louisville, now pitching with High-A Great Lakes, and now Bruns.
Bruns is the second high school pitcher selected by this front office. The other, JT Ginn in 2018, did not sign, instead opting for Mississippi State. That’s where Bruns has a commitment, too.
“Maddux has a premier power pitch package that we think will play at the major league level in an impactful way,” Gasparino said in a statement. “His work ethic and ability to make adjustments are two traits we put extreme value on. We can’t wait to get Maddux in Dodger blue and start the process of him becoming a major league starting pitcher.”
Baseball America ranks Bruns as the 48th-best prospect in the draft, noting, “There’s likely not a pitcher in the 2021 class who has as much pure arm talent as Bruns.”
The 6’2 lefty is rated No. 49th by MLBcom and 87th by ESPN.
FanGraphs ranks Bruns at No. 52, noting, “Huge-framed lefty with max-effort delivery. up to 97 with carry, vertical breaking ball in mid-80s. Big relief risk, is 19 on draft day, but has power stuff similar to Max Fried coming out.”
Bruns was 7-0 with 102 strikeouts and a 0.86 ERA in 49 innings in his senior season. If he doesn’t sign, he’s headed to the defending College World Series chaps.
“Some people don’t understand how hard it is to find 96 from the left-hand side,” Bruns’ high school coach Kevin Raley told Ben Thomas of AL.com. “You just can’t find that.”
The No. 29 pick has a recommended slot value of $2,424,600, more than half of the Dodgers’ total bonus pool of just over $4.6 million. That’s the same slot value for the 29th pick in 2020 — Miller — whom the Dodgers signed for $2.2 million.
The MLB Draft this year is 20 rounds. Rounds 2-10 come on Monday, with rounds 11-20 finishing things up on Tuesday.