Clayton Kershaw and the 2006 Dodgers Draft Class
While Clayton Kershaw was a success story for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the rest of the 2006 draft was, for lack of a better description, an utter disappointment.
The Dodgers made a total of 50 selections in the 2006 draft, including two other picks on the first round. Of those 50 picks, only 21 signed on the dotted line with Los Angeles. of those 21 that signed, only one other player made the major leagues.
The second selection made by the team was used on Bryan Morris, a right-hander out of Motlow State Community College. Morris spent three seasons in the Dodgers system from 2006 to 2008 but missed all of the 2007 season due to Tommy John surgery. He returned to go 2-4 with a 3.20 ERA at Great Lakes in 2008 but was included in the three-team trade with the Red Sox and Pirates that brought Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles.
After converting to a reliever, Morris would make his MLB debut with the Pirates in 2012. He would ultimately spend six seasons in the big leagues, also appearing for the Marlins and Giants. Overall he compiled a bWAR of 2.7 with a career record of 20-12 with a 3.13 ERA and a 6.4 K/9. He’s now a pitching coach at his old high school.
The Dodgers’ third pick in the first round was another compensation for losing Jeff Weaver to the Angels. This pick was used on prep shortstop Preston Mattingly, the son of future Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly. Sadly, he never approached the level of his father with the bat, hitting a meager .232/.276/.335 with 25 home runs and 165 RBI over 1846 minor league plate appearances. He never made it past high-A Ranco Cucamonga. However, he’s made a decent name for himself in the game as the Padres Manager of Pro Scouting.
Outside of Kershaw, this draft will also be known for who the Dodgers were unable to sign. In the 29th round, Los Angeles selected catcher Roberto Perez, who has been worth 7.4 bWAR after waiting two seasons and landing with the Cleveland Indians in the 33rd round. Of course, the team also used their second to the last pick of the draft on a first baseman named Paul Goldschmidt, who went on to have a pretty solid career when the Diamondbacks selected him in the 8th round three years later.