No two MLB Drafts are the same, but it’s still striking to see the difference between this year and last year for the Dodgers, at least at the top of the draft. One day after selecting Louisville catcher Dalton Rushing in the second round, the Dodgers on Monday drafted seven more hitters, six from college. That makes eight hitters drafted in nine picks so for in 2022.
Contrast that with 2021, when the Dodgers drafted 17 pitchers with their 19 picks, with the first position player not taken until the 16th round.
3rd round: Alex Freeland
Shortstop, Central Florida
In the third round, the Dodgers drafted Alex Freeland out of UCF, who broke out as a sophomore, hitting .282/.419/.570 with 11 home runs in 42 games, but also missed a month from mid-April to mid-May.
Freeland played mostly shortstop in college and in the Cape Cod League, but also mixed in time around the infield. Baseball America rated him as the 249th-best prospect in the draft while wondering whether he would stick at short, adding: Freeland’s internal clock and instincts are impressive, and he should be able to stay in the infield at second or third base.”
4th round: Nick Biddison
Outfielder, Virginia Tech
Biddison hit .351/.434/.598 with 14 home runs in 59 games as a senior, after hitting 12 home runs in 94 games in his first three years in college.
The outfielder was not listed in the top-500 draft prospects at Baseball America now the top 300 at ESPN, and wasn’t listed at MLB Pipeline either. He played mostly corner outfield in college, plus 17 games at first base as a senior, and 25 games at second base in his junior year.
5th round: Sean McLain
Shortstop, Arizona State
McLain played second base as a sophomore before switching to shortstop this year, and also dabbled in center field earlier in college, and played three games at third base in the Cape Cod League in 2021.
In his two full seasons at Arizona State, McLain hit .328/.410/.487. Says Baseball America, which ranked McLain as the No. 183 draft prospect: “While McLain lacks the power to be an everyday player, he did improve his profile this spring by proving he can handle shortstop, with solid bat-to-ball skills.”
6th round: Logan Wagner
Shortstop, P27 Academy H.S. (South Carolina)
The only high school pick in the first 10 rounds for the Dodgers, Wagner is committed to Louisville, a program with which the Dodgers are intimately familiar.
MLB Pipeline rated Wagner as the No. 133 prospect in the draft. “His ability to barrel balls, along with his strength and bat speed, give him plus raw power,” says MLB Pipeline’s scouting report. “A shortstop in high school, Wagner lacks the quickness to play there in pro ball or in college.”
7th round: Christopher Campos
Shortstop, St. Mary’s College
The last two St. Mary’s College draftees to reach the majors are Tony Gonsolin and Corbin Burnes, both named to this year’s National League All-Star team, though Burnes, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, won’t pitch.
Campos hit two home runs in three years in college, hitting .290/.347/.373. He also pitched occasionally, mostly in relief, putting up a 1.34 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 15 walks in 34⅔ innings in his three years at St. Mary’s. The Dodgers listed him as a shortstop.
8th round: Taylor Young
Second baseman, Louisiana Tech
Young hit and hit and hit in college, including .364/.506/.644 with 23 doubles and 12 home runs, earning first-team All-American status as a senior. He had more walks (198) than strikeouts (153) in his college career. Young stole 28 bases in 30 tries this year, and led the nation in runs scored each of the last two seasons.
He was named Conference-USA tournament MVP this season.
9th round: Brandon Neeck
Left-handed pitcher, Virginia
The only pitcher drafted by the Dodgers in the first ten rounds, Neeck pitched mostly in relief at Virginia, but also started six games as a senior. He had a 33.8-percent strikeout in 67⅔ innings in college. He sat out his first year in college (2019) after Tommy John surgery.
Neeck struck out 16 batters to set a Virginia postseason record, doing so in 5⅔ innings of relief in an elimination game against Old Dominion in 2021.
10th round: Simon Reid
Catcher, Westmont College
The Dodgers rounded out Day 2 with another catcher, this one who played college relatively nearby in Santa Barbara. The junior hit .378/.434/.654 with 20 doubles and 12 home runs in 58 games for Westmont, an NAIA school.