With the 62 overall pick in the 2017 MLB draft, the Dodgers selected right-handed pitcher Morgan Cooper out of the University of Texas.
Cooper is a conventional pick by the front office with a large 6 foot 5, 220 pounds stature. Cooper, 22, had Tommy John surgery in 2015 and was drafted by the Washington Nationals last year but elected to return for his junior season.
Morgan Cooper has a fastball that sits at the low 90’s but could occasionally touch 95 on the radar guns. There was chatter before the draft that Cooper could sneak into the back end of the first round, but it may be that Cooper’s injury concern pushed him back to the second round.
Cooper has had two solid seasons with Texas, the first coming during his freshman season where he posted a sub three ERA in 56 innings. This season Cooper had a 2.32 ERA in 89 innings with 110 strikeouts.
His scouting report reads as a pitcher that relies on his fastball throughout games but has a nice curveball that keeps hitters off balance.
It’s always scary when a team selects a pitcher who’s had a history with injuries, notably Tommy John. But Cooper was able to have a nice bounce back year, and that led to him moving up 34 rounds in the draft from last year.
At 6 foot 5 Cooper has the size to be a successful pitcher in the big leagues, I just wonder if he’s better suited for a role out of relief opposed to starting pitching. Check out some of his highlights from his junior year pitching in the Big 12 Conference.
Again, like their pick with Jeren Kendal, the Dodgers went with a pretty high ceiling with their pick at number 62. His ceiling may be limited if his elbow injuries come back, but the Dodgers are getting a veteran pitcher who could contribute in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
Kendal joins a list of prospects that are already loaded for the Dodgers. The Dodgers do have a need for right-handed starting pitchers, so it definitely isn’t surprising to see the front office go down this route. What do you think about the pick? Do you hate it or love it? Send us your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook so they could be included in our reactions article.