Sunday, June 5, 2011

History of the No. 16 pick in the MLB Draft

The Dodgers have the 16th pick in the MLB Draft, which begins Monday. Some of the players of note who could be available with the pick include Daniel Norris (LHP, Science Hill HS), Taylor Guerrieri (RHP, Spring Valley HS), Javier Baez (SS, Arlington County Day HS), C.J. Cron (C/1B, Utah), Henry Owens (LHP, Edison HS) Blake Swihart (C, Cleveland HS), Francisco Lindor (SS, Montverde Academy), Robert Stephenson (RHP, Alhambra HS), Josh Bell (OF, Dallas Jesuit HS) and Jose Fernandez (RHP, Alonso HS).

There is a shortage of impact infield and catching prospects in this draft, so expect some guys to go higher than normal. As is standard with a Logan White-run draft room, prep pitchers will be high on the board. Here is White's first-round draft history since joining the organization in 2002:
*- Prep player
^- Supplemental first-round pick
+- Did not sign

Of the 15 picks White has made, he chose 10 first-round high school players (nine pitchers) and only three position players. While it'd be nice to grab a guy who can get to the majors sooner rather than later (someone like Cron), it doesn't appear too likely from White's draft history.

Here's a look at the last 20 players who have been selected No. 16 overall.

: RHP Hayden Simpson (Cubs)
2009: 3B Bobby Borchering (Diamondbacks)*
2008: 3B/2B Brett Lawrie (Brewers)*
2007: 3B Kevin Ahrens (Blue Jays)*
2006: RHP Jeremy Jeffress (Royals)*
2005: RHP Chris Volstad (Marlins)*
2004: LHP David Purcey (Blue Jays)
2003: RHP Jeff Allison (Marlins)*
2002: OF Nick Swisher (Athletics)
2001: RHP Kris Honel (White Sox)*
2000: LHP Billy Traber (Mets)
1999: RHP Jason Jennings (Rockies)
1998: RHP Kip Wells (White Sox)
1997: OF Lance Berkman (Astros)
1996: SS Joe Lawrence (Blue Jays)*
1995: RHP Joe Fontenot (Giants)*
1994: LHP Matt Smith (Royals)*
1993: RHP Alan Benes (Cardinals)
1992: RHP Rick Greene (Padres)
1991: OF Shawn Green (Blue Jays)*

*- High school pick

Other notable selections: LHP Mike Remlinger (1987, Giants), RHP Roberto Hernandez (1986, Angels), LHP Steve Howe (1979, Dodgers), C Lance Parrish (1974, Tigers)*

The Dodgers also hold the 73rd overall selection.

Notable picks at No. 73: RHP Kevin Slowey (2005, Twins), INF Jake Fox (2003, Cubs), RHP Ken Howell (1982, Dodgers), LHP Sid Fernandez (1981, Dodgers)*

As you can see, there have been some quality major-league players selected at No. 16 (Berkman, Green, Swisher) and some guys who turned out to be top-five prospects in their respective organizations (Lawrie, Jeffress, Volstad).

As usual, the Dodgers will likely be looking at a prep pitcher with a power arm. However, there are gaping holes at third base, catcher and first base (after Jerry Sands, of course) in the Dodgers' system. I'm not saying they need to draft one of those positions at No. 16, but they need to address it early on because of the uncertainty surrounding the Dodgers' finances now and in the immediate future.

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