Monday, June 11, 2012

Los Angeles Dodgers' 2012 MLB Draft recap -- Seager, Valentin, Garcia

With the 2012 MLB Draft done and the Dodgers signing players seemingly daily, here's a recap of what they did this year.

Positional breakdown (round number in parenthesis)
24 position players, 17 pitchers
  • C: Eric Smith (18), John Cannon (29), C.J. Saylor (33), Austin Cowen (35), Korey Dunbar (39)
  • 1B: Justin Chigbogu (4), Paul Hoenecke (24), John Sgromolo (37)
  • 2B: Zach Babbitt (10)
  • 3B: Corey Seager (1)
  • SS: Jesmuel Valentin (1s), Darrell Sweeney (13), Jordan Parr (26), Justin Gonzalez (27), Trent Giambrone (30), Jose Vizcaino (36)
  • OF: Joey Curletta (6), Theo Alexander (7), Jeremy Rathjen (11), Josh Henderson (16), Kevin Maxey (17), Jacob Scavuzzo (21), Corey Embree (38), Pat Stover (40)
  • RHP: Ross Stripling (5), Scott Griggs (8), Zachary Bird (9), James Campbell (12), Matthew Reckling (14), Duke von Schamann (15), Owen Jones (19), Jharel Cotton (20), Alan Garcia (22), Lindsey Caughel (23), David Graybill (31), Jordan Hershiser (34)
  • LHP: Steven Rodriguez (2), Onelki Garcia (3), Danny Coulombe (25), Jake Hermensen (28), Alfredo Unzue (32)
Seager: Kyle Seager (brother)
Valentin: Jose Valentin (father)
Babbit: Shooty Babbit (father)
Cotton: Jamaine Cotton (brother)
A. Garcia: Cornelio Garcia (father)
Parr: Josh Parr (brother)
Hershiser: Orel Hershiser (father)
Vizcaino: Jose Vizcaino (father)

Valentin - $984,700
Stripling - $130,000 ($98,900 less than slot)
Alexander - Unknown, $144,600 (recommended) 

All bonus amounts after the 10th round are for $100,000 or less unless otherwise reported: Rathjen, Sweeney, Reckling, Hermsen, Cannon, Hershiser, Cowen, Embree

(These categories are from the Baseball America Prospect Handbook)

Best pure hitter
Seager. He has a nice opposite-field approach, which is advanced for a high schooler.

Best power hitter
Curletta. At 6'4, 230, he has the most power potential of anyone the Dodgers drafted. Check out this video (sorry for all the other crap associated with it). Chigbogu and Seager are next in line.

Fastest baserunner
Sweeney or Embree. Sweeney has good range at shortstop and Embree could stick in center field.

Best defensive player
Valentin. He played second base in Puerto Rico, but only because the No. 1 overall selection -- Carlos Correa -- was playing shortstop. Valentin profiles as a much better defender than his father. Actually, he profiles as a much better player than his father.

Best fastball
Garcia. While Griggs may top out in the mid-90s, a fastball that ranges from 90-95 MPH is more valuable than a right-handed fastball at 93-95 MPH.

Best secondary pitch
Griggs. His curveball is reminiscent of Ethan Martin's, as it sits at 79-82 MPH and has a lot of bite.

Best athlete
Gonzalez. At 6'2, 200 pounds, he can legitimately stick at shortstop due to his athleticism.

Most intriguing background
Valentin. Playing second fiddle to Correa, Valentin has the bloodlines and the ability to be a quality Major Leaguer. He reminds me a lot of Ivan De Jesus, but Valentin has a much better chance of staying at shortstop.

Closest to the Majors
Rodriguez. Jim Callis said aside from Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays, No. 22 overall), Rodriguez could be the fastest mover in this draft. I wouldn't expect to see him this season, but sometime in 2013 might not be out of the question.

Best late-round selection (20th round an on)
Gonzalez. The toolsy shortstop is just that -- a project who could pay off as a late-round selection (27th round). This is what Baseball America had to say about him:
"Athletic and rangy, Gonzalez had a chance to go in the first 10 rounds with a big year. He has the tools to play shortstop, with good footwork, infield actions, arm strength and quickness. He adds solid-average raw power, if not a tick above, and he has good projection in his 6-foot-2, 200-pound body. But Gonzalez has all kinds of issues making consistent contact at the plate, with a grooved swing and pitch-recognition problems. He was leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in strikeouts for the second consecutive year."
Don't care for the strikeouts (27.5 percent at Florida State), but the tools are there and the walk rate is nice (12.4 percent). He also has power potential and was only caught stealing four times in college. In this video, it seems Gonzalez has some opposite-field power potential, which is never a bad thing.

If he remains at shortstop, he could be a nice late-round pick.

The one who could get away
Garcia. Jim Callis of Baseball America said Garcia would have been the Dodgers' first-round selection if he was draft-eligible last season. He was not and the Dodgers took a shot on him in the third round. Slot recommendation for this selection is $420,300. If the Dodgers hope to land the big Cuban, they're going to have to go significantly over slot. If Alexander signed for slot, the Dodgers are $98,900 in the black in their bonus pool. His reported bonus demands were in the $7 million range. He's not going to get that much, but there's still a chance he could go unsigned.

I actually like this draft, aside from using the second-round pick on a college reliever. Seager, Valentin, Garcia and Curletta could pay dividends.

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