Dodgers: A full draft review of rounds four through seven
The Dodgers spent their fifth-round pick on one of the most intriguing players in their draft class, Stanford relief pitcher, Jack Little.
Little is a 6’4, 190-pound righty with good stamina and stuff but has been in the Cardinal closer role since his sophomore year, tying the single-season school record for saves that year with 16.
Little has proven between 2018 and 2019 that he can handle the high-pressure pitching that comes with the closer spot but his intrigue comes with his ability to be pushed back into a starter role.
Stanford is well known for taking great high school starters and transitioning them to elite bullpen arms. Marlins’ fourth-rounder from 2017, Colton Hock was the Stanford closer and is now teeter-tottering between starter and reliever in the low levels of the Miami farm system.
Little is of the same case. He was a starter in high school and converted to the Stanford closer. In the closer role, he has been ridiculous, however, moving him back to the rotation in the Dodgers minor leagues should not be out of the question.
Little sports a confident three-pitch mix but has the ability to throw four pitches should he move to the rotation at some point. At the moment, he sports a four-seam fastball that sits between 90-92 miles per hour and reaches speeds of up to 95 and backs it up with a big bending curveball for strikeouts. He also throws a very solid slider and is working on a changeup.
The former first-team All-American pitcher used that pitch mix to punch out just over 11 batters per nine innings over the last two seasons and even in a rough appearance in the Cape Cod League, the tall righty still was a strikeout machine.
Little is interesting because his stuff generates great swings and misses but his role is largely undefined. The Dodgers could develop him through and through as a reliever or move him back into a low minor league level rotation and build him into a back of the rotation starter.