Dodgers Round One and Two Draft Picks
Dodgers drafted four talented new prospects this afternoon in the MLB Draft.
I don’t know about you, but Draft Day is one of my favorite days. It is so cool to see someone’s dreams come true and watch their reactions from the comfort of your own home.
In the first round of the 2016 Draft, with the 20th pick in the round, the Dodgers selected: Gavin Lux. Lux is a shortstop from Indian Trail Academy in Wisconsin. He is a 6’2, 175 left handed hitter who committed to play ball at Arizona State. Baseball America ranked him as No. 36 and ESPN rated him as the No. 41 prospect in the draft this year. Eric Stephen of True Blue LA, quoted Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino in his most recent article. Gasparino spoke highly of Lux and said, “We think he’s a bright young man with a lot of ability and comes from a baseball family. He is a pure shortstop that can run, hit, and hit with power from the left side.”
A shortstop might sound like a strange pick considering the Dodgers have a young and talented shortstop in Corey Seager, however, many scouts for years have been saying they see Seager eventually making the transition to third base. Lux was one of the few high school draft prospects that is actually expected to stay at shortstop and continue his career at that position. Lux just became the second position player the Dodgers have drafted in the first round in the past 14 years, joining Corey Seager who was drafted in the first round of the 2012 draft. Lux also has family connections to the game and grew up around ballparks. He is the nephew of former No. 2 overall pick Augie Schmidt.
The Dodgers were on the clock again for the 32nd pick in the first round of the draft. They selected catcher Will Smith from the University of Louisville. This pick came as compensation for Zack Greinke signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Smith is expected to hit for little power and be in the .260 to .270 range when it comes to batting average, however, he has a good arm behind the plate. Baseball America project Smith to be the 34th overall pick and go to the St. Louis Cardinals. Smith was a smart choice to add to the Dodgers farm system. While Austin Barnes is clearly a talented player, A.J Ellis will become a free agent following this season and Yasmani Grandal is arbitration-eligible in 2019. Smith will give the Dodgers some more depth behind the plate in their farm.
Up next was the “Lottery Round A”. Six additional picks are added to the end of the first and second round for teams who either have the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools. This also includes any teams that receive revenue-sharing funds. Lottery picks may also be traded from team to team.
The Dodgers had one of these picks, the 36th overall, because they did not end up signing Kyle Funkhouser in the 2015 draft. They selected RHP Jordan Sheffield as compensation for last year. Sheffield joins three other Vanderbilt pitchers that the Dodgers have drafted in the last two years. He has a 3.01 ERA in 16 starts as a sophomore this year, but in those 16 starts (101 2/3 innings) he was struck out 113 batters and issued 40 walks. Sheffield was drafted in 2013 by the Red Sox in the 13th round, but chose not to sign with the team. You may recognize his last name. Jordan Sheffield is the younger brother of Justus Sheffield who is a LHP and was drafted in 2014, 31st overall, by the Indians.
The last pick for the Dodgers tonight was the 65th overall in the second round and they selected RHP Mitchell White. White is a 6’4, 205-pound sophomore out of Santa Clara. He underwent Tommy John surgery his senior year of high school, but bounced back since then. White’s ERA currently sits at 3.72. He has 118 strikeouts and 27 walks in his 15 starts or 92 innings this season. In one of his most recent starts against BYU, White hit 96 MPH on the radar gun ten times. The guy is a young hard throwing right handed pitcher who has great potential.
That wraps up the first day of the draft as the Dodgers selected four new, talented ball players who will be added to their already, talent filled farm system. The Dodgers have 42 total picks in 40 rounds over the course of three days. Tomorrow they will be picking from rounds 3-10 which include the Dodgers picks in spots: 101, 131, 161, 191, 221, 251, 281 and 311. On Saturday they will pick from their remaining spots in rounds 11-40 to finish up the 2016 MLB Draft!