Dodgers: Ranking the Top 36 Draft Prospects
With the draft under a week away, I take a look at the best amateur talent that could one day wear a Dodgers. uniform.
The Dodgers’ farm system has been a source of pride for a number of seasons now and they will have a chance to make it even more revered from June 9-11 in this years amateur draft. This year’s class is chocked full of High School arms, while the college crop leaves a little to be desired. It’s perhaps a good year to be picking a little later in the draft (which the Dodgers do with pick #20, #32 and #36). There are also some high upside bats up for grabs in the first round. Its a tough year for teams looking to bolster their farm up the middle with a real shortage behind the plate as well as the middle infield. With that said let’s dive straight into it.
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A Note on Methodology
As this is not something that I do full time and subsequently don’t have a book on any of these players (or seen any of them first-hand) I have used the rankings at MLB Pipeline as a very rough guide. Also note that this is not a mock draft so the rankings below do not reflect where I believe these players will ultimately be selected on June 9. I will be conducting a Dodgers-centric mock draft in the days leading up to the draft so be sure to watch out for that.
A HS RHP has never been drafted #1 overall and while Pint doesn’t appear to be about to put an end to that streak he may just have the highest upside of any player in the 2016 draft. Pint has a projectable frame although he may not need it much as he already works consistently in the high 90’s. Pint has also touched triple digits a number of times. He currently utilizes four above average pitches (FB, CB, SL, CH) but will need to learn to repeat his delivery better in order to throw more strikes. There’s plenty of risk here but for some the reward might just outweigh it.
Unlike Pint, Lewis is firmly in the conversation to be drafted #1 on July 9. Lewis has a smooth swing that generates natural loft. Scouts credit Lewis with above average power to all fields. Lewis’ swing can get busy at times, however, he should still hit for both average and power at the next level. His ability to play CF going forward may go a long way towards determining whether he will in fact be the first name off the board this year
In some ways, Corey Ray is Lewis’ Left-Handed counterpart. Both college OF, Ray may be the more likely of the two to stick in CF. Ray has a short, clean swing that allows him to drive the ball to all fields. Ray also has plus speed and may develop into a threat on the basepaths.
Senzel may be the best pure hitter in the draft class. A college bat with plenty of polish, Senzel has a short swing that generates natural loft and raw power – one that should allow him to hit for both average and power at the next level. Senzel has done a lot of work on defense and should be able to stick at third long-term where his plus arm should be a weapon.
Plus stuff, some recoil in his delivery, awkward through the follow-through – adds stress/limits command.
Like Ray and Lewis, Rutherford and Moniak are considered to be 1a and 1b among the HS position players. Of the two, Rutherford will likely be the stronger contributor offensively however he will likely have to shift to one of the corners in the future. Rutherford has a compact left-handed swing that generates plenty of power, he should also be able to hit for average. Rutherford is a year older than most of his HS counterparts however, perhaps the only real mark against his name
Moniak is one of the few players who have heard their name touted as a possible 1-1 pick this July. As a HS with plus speed and the ability to stay in CF long term its not difficult to see why. Moniak is credited with having a solid approach at the plate, one that allows him to make consistent hard contact to all fields. However, there is still plenty of projection left in Moniak’s swing as he currently possesses more doubles power than anything. If Moniak can put everything together his swing reminds me somewhat of Corey Seager’s and his offensive ceiling may not be too dissimilar.
Anderson may just turn out to be the best HS Pitcher in this years draft. Whilst he hasn’t generated as much attention as Pint or Groome the tall right-hander is a legitimate prospect in his own right. Tall and projectable, Anderson will work in the low to mid 90’s with the FB and already features an average or better breaking ball. He does a good job throwing strikes but may need to take a little effort out of his delivery.
Whilst, Perez’ glove is going to play, the Puerto Rico native is still quite raw offensively. However, the raw tools are there. He has plus speed which helps him both in the field and at the plate. Perez will likely garner a lot of attention on draft day as these kind of tools are hard to find at a premium position
Puk is probably the name most mentioned at 1-1 however this is more likely due to the weak crop of college arms. You can’t deny that Puk has the stuff to start sitting in the mid to high 90’s with the FB and mixing in both a slider and a change-up that are at least average. However, there is a lot of effort in Puk’s delivery and will likely require a lot of maintenance going forward. This has prevented Puk from throwing strikes consistently.
Wentz is the first two-way player to appear in the draft. Dealing with a bout of ‘dead-arm’ last year, Wentz toured the showcase circuit as a 1st baseman and reportedly showed enough power to be drafted in the top 3 rounds. His left-handed swing is certainly advanced for his age. However, it is on the mound that most scouts feel that Wentz will make the most impact. At 6’5”, Wentz utilizes a high release point to generate good downwards angle on his fastball, running up to 95 at times. He has a clean arm action and an effortless delivery – both bode well for his chances to stick in a rotation. This is the kind of player that is easy to get excited about.
Potentially the second best College arm available in this year’s draft, Sheffield, an undersized RHP can reach 98 Mph at times and has the potential for two plus pitches in his breaking ball and change-up. However, there is some effort in Sheffield’s delivery which, when combined with his small frame and previous Tommy John surgery leads to questions about his durability. Sheffield has also struggled to throw strikes consistently at times. Sheffield has been connected to the Dodgers.
The most talented two-way player in the draft, Lowe would hear his name called in the first 3 rounds on either side of the ball. However, it’s with the bat that Lowe garners most attention. An athletic 3rd baseman, Lowe has both the hands and the arm to stick at the position long term. He has a smooth left-handed swing that should allow him to drive the ball consistently. Lowe also displays smooth actions on the mound with a FB that sits in the low 90’s. This is the type of player the Dodgers have had some success with in past drafts.
Garrett is the type of high-upside arm which usually does well on draft day. A prep arm, Garrett sits in the low to mid 90’s with the FB and has one of the better curveballs in the class. He has a projectable frame and does a good job of throwing strikes. He has a clean arm action but he may have to smooth out his delivery a little in order to stick in a rotation.
Whitley has some nasty stuff. Coming from a larger, starters frame Whitley will reach 97 with his FB and can generate some cutting action in the low 90’s. He also has a hard curveball that he shortens up as a slider at times and is developing feel for a solid change-up. There is some effort and recoil in his delivery but that will likely get worked out with time.
Kirilloff has a sounded left-handed swing with plenty of raw power. However, it can get long at times and his front side opens up quite early perhaps opening up some holes in his swing. He will have to move to a corner at the next level but there’s enough in his bat to suggest that he will handle that move just fine.
Manning profiles similarly to Whitley in that they are both HS right-handers with big fastballs and power stuff. Manning also has a hard curveball and his fastball has some late life to it. Manning doesn’t have the cleanest of deliveries and therefore may end up in the bullpen but the stuff is for real.
Another player connected to the Dodgers recently, Jones currently plays at SS however at 6’4″ most see a move to 3rd base in the future. He should handle that move just fine however, as he may be one of the best pure hitters in the HS ranks. He also has plenty of power from the left side of the plate.
Also connected to the Dodgers of late, Zeuch is a college arm who uses his tall frame to run his fastball up to 96-97 with a heavy downhill plane. He gets a little short with his front side at times however at his best he features 4 average or better pitches. He also has decent pitchability and could move quickly through the minors.
Three in a row now connected to the Dodgers (hint: there’s still another to come), Dunn has perhaps the most exciting stuff amongst the college arms. He runs his fastball in the high 90’s and has a nasty breaking ball to compliment it with. He has earned a number of comps to Yordano Ventura as undersized, athletic right-handers with great pure stuff. Dunn was drafted by the Dodgers in the 37th round of the 2013 draft.
Similar to Jones, Mendoza is an offensive-minded, HS 3rd baseman. He has a nice left-handed swing and should grow into plenty of power as he physically matures. Mendoza has been connected to the Dodgers.
Collins’ name has been touted as high as the the top 3rd of the 1st round. Collins’ bat looks like it will carry him no matter where he ends up but if he is to go in the 1st round teams will have to back his ability to stick behind the plate.
A switch-hitting OF, Reed is 70 grade runner whose raw tools are ahead of his development at this point in time – something a little rare for a college bat. He has largely disappointed so far this season but could develop into an impact CF in the future.
A big, bat first, 3rd baseman, Craig may not be athletic enough to stick at 3rd. He does have plenty of pop in his right-handed bat so he could potentially handle a move to 1st.
Quantrill could have been the #1 overall pick, however he is yet to return to the mound competitively after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Dodgers already have plenty of high-upside arms in the system so it may be worth the risk if Quantrill falls to the Dodgers second pick.
An athletic HS RHP, repeats an effortless delivery well and has advanced pitchability for his age. Works in the low-mid 90’s and has two solid secondary pitchers. High Upside
Benson has earned a number of comparisons to Jason Heyward. An OF with a strong arm, Benson has a short left-handed stroke which generates plenty of raw power. Has some development ahead of him but could be an impact RF.
Tyler Trammel – 6’2″ 195 lbs OF (HS)
Trammel, a two-sport standout, is subsequently a little behind in his development. His swing gets long at times but he has plenty of raw power and speed.
Next: Nowhere to go But Up for Yasiel Puig
A HS southpaw, runs his fastball in the low 90’s. Has feel for a breaking ball. Throws across his body making him tough on LHH.
Cut from a similar mold as Manning and Whitley. A powerful, HS RHP with a FB in the mid-90’s. Has a feel for 3 average or better pitches. Some effort in his delivery.
A switch-hitting OF from Vanderbilt. Reynolds has no one carrying tool but is solid across the board. A high floor type player with a proven track record.
A player with some helium. Sedlock has gone to the Dodgers in some mock drafts. Sedlock throws a heavy sinker in the low-90’s and backs that up with a solid breaking ball. A breakout college arm, Sedlock may need some extra time in the minors to refine his craft.
Speas has the kind of live arm and athletic frame you can dream on. His fastball sits in the mid-90’s and has plenty of late life, he throws an above average breaking ball too. Speas’ control and command needs some refinement but many scouts feel he is athletic enough to do so.
A somewhat raw college arm, Duplantier can get his FB in the mid 90’s and maintains it deep into games. He’s had shoulder problems in the past so may warrant a move to the bullpen
Kieboom is a HS SS who will need to make the transition to 3B. He has some loft in his swing and makes consistent quality contact. He has the makings of a solid everyday big leaguer.
Burdi has potentially the biggest arm in the draft, reaching triple digits regularly. There’s some funk to his delivery so there are questions about his ability to start however. Burdi is the type of college arm that could be put on the fast track to a major league bullpen.
So that’s my rankings for the 2016 draft (or the first 36 players thereof). If you’ve managed to make it this far I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on twitter. Be sure to check out my Dodgers mock draft in the coming days!