The Dodgers draft yet another pitcher, but this one is arguably one of the more intriguing ones we’ve seen so far. In the 12th round, LA drafted left-handed pitcher Ronan Kopp from South Mountain Community College.
Kopp attended Scottsdale Christian High School where he was named the Arizona Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year. He earned 2019 first team all-region honors and 2A Player of the Year. As a senior, he posted a 0.41 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 55 innings. He graduated in 2020.
He was committed to stay local and go to Arizona State, but spent the 2021 season at South Mountain Community College. He made six starts and appeared in 10 games in 2021, posting a save, 38 strikeouts and a 2.84 ERA in 25 1⁄3 innings.
Former big-leaguer Tim Salmon is the head baseball coach at Scottsdale Christian Academy. Salmon, who spent many years in the show, said that Kopp reminds him of Madison Bumgarner.
“He garners the attention when we walk on the ﬁeld because he’s a kid in high school who looks like a Major Leaguer,” Salmon said to BVM Sports.
In high school, Kopp was clocked as high as 96 mph. Coming from a 6-foot-7 left-handed pitcher, good luck hitting that.
“That’s the kind of stuff that the pro scouts just drool over,” Salmon also said to BVM Sports. “They see a 6-foot-6 lefty and can see a high ceiling for him; that’s what has gotten him all of the attention. He’s got it both, the physical and ability side, and I think he has the makeup as well.”
Salmon believed that missing out on his senior year hurt Kopp’s chances of being drafted in 2020. If Kopp could have been able to play a full season, Salmon said he believes there was a good chance that he would have been drafted last season.
“He’s the kid that stands out head and shoulders above the rest,” Salmon said. “He looks like a kid that can play in the big leagues and he looks like Major League talent. I don’t get players like that a lot and to have one that stands out as much as he does is pretty impressive.”
Kopp’s size and lefthandedness are the attributes that would get him drafted, along with a fastball that touches 97 mph and an inconsistent but potentially plus breaking ball, but his erratic performance will give teams pause before calling his name. Some observers believe he’s not yet ready to move on to the next level, either college or pro ball, and that he’d be best served by returning to South Mountain for another year.