Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My 2013 MLB Draft big board for the Los Angeles Dodgers, v 1.0

We’re 16 days from the 2013 MLB Draft. The Dodgers hold the 18th selection in the first round. The draft is down in terms of top-level talent this year, but the Dodgers can still nab a quality prospect in the first round.

This is my big board for the first round. The best course of action -- especially in the MLB Draft -- is to take the best player available. Unlike years past, when the position players haven't been that strong in the system, I'd like to see the Dodgers go after a pitcher -- a Logan White special, if you will. An athletic prep pitcher with projectability and a good fastball.

Player who have fit this bill in the past include Chad Billingsley (yes, he was athletic at one time), Clayton Kershaw, Chris Withrow, Ethan Martin and Zach Lee.

My big board

1. 1B/OF Dominic Smith, Serra HS (CA)
2. RHP Hunter Harvey, Bandys HS (NC)
3. RHP Phil Bickford, Oaks Christian HS (CA)
4. SS J.P. Crawford, Lakewood HS (CA)
5. LHP Matt Krook, St. Ignatius HS (CA, pictured)
6. OF Phillip Ervin, Samford
7. LHP Sean Manaea, Indiana State
8. LHP Ian Clarkin, Madison HS (CA)
9. C Nick Ciuffo, Lexington HS (SC)
10. OF Aaron Judge, Fresno State

I'm not sure guys like Smith and Crawford will even be around at No. 18, but if they are, either would be solid selections.

As for the pitchers, any of the four high schoolers above would be just fine with me. Harvey has the bloodlines, Bickford has the stuff and Krook and Clarkin have the left-handedness.

I've cooled on Sean Manaea a bit. He just hasn't been that sharp this season. If the Dodgers went with him -- and were able to sign him -- I wouldn't be upset. But he's definitely a "Boom or Bust" draftee.

Keith Law of ESPN tweeted on Tuesday that Manaea was scratched from his start due to an undisclosed injury. So, there's that.

Ervin is the toolsiest guy on this list. He can play a legitimate center field, is nearly an 80 runner and his bat has really good potential. The Dodgers don't need an outfielder -- especially a college outfielder -- but I think I'm becoming more and more enamored with Ervin as a prospect.

There's one prep catcher there in Ciuffo, but the history of prep catchers has been anything but favorable.

Finally, there's the physically freakish Judge, who doesn't fit a Logan White-type draft pick. But the tools are enticing.


I'll update this list two times before the draft. I'll even throw in a second-round big board the week of the draft. It's getting closer and, despite the lack of talent, I'm stoked for it.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Perfect Game


  1. seems to me that based on what kiley mentioned to you guys on the last podcast and now being scratched from his last(?) start that all signs are pointing to Manaea heading back for his last year to hopefully recoup a couple more million dollars by upping his draft status. and frankly i'm hoping that that is the case because i fear if he does slip the dodgers would pick him up and for me there's just too many questions around Manaea.

  2. It is shaping up that way. Still more than two weeks until the draft, so a lot can happen. But Manaea is having difficulties at the wrong time.

  3. AJ Ellis is a BeastMay 22, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    I actually watched Bickford pitch in person a few weeks ago when he carved up Bonita. I was looking off of a scout's radar gun and he once touched as low as 89 and as high as 94 but was consistently 91-93, and it had some movement armside. But it was the velocity moreso than the movement that made him dominant. His slider was at 78 and it didn't look that sharp to me, but it broke enough/wasn't his fastball so it was pretty effective too. He threw just a few change ups and I can't really remember their velocity, but I'm pretty sure they were high 70's/low 80's. What was more impressive was how good his control was, as he was always around the zone, which is pretty good for a hard thrower. And his velocity seemed to come from the torque in his delivery rather than his arm strength, which is a good sign that he'll hold up as a starter. Hope this info helps. It kinda sounds underwhelming but I actually was pretty impressed and would be content if the Dodgers got him.

    Also, I played against Crawford this year (twice). However, I don't have as much insight on him because he didn't really do anything spectacular either game and I try not to pay attention to the opposing players during the game. What I do remember is that there were a lot of scouts there and his swing was like hybrid of Carl Crawford/Dee Gordon. His stance and load looked like carl crawford's stance (I believe theyre actually distantly related?) but his swing reminded me of dee's, spraying the ball around the field and getting most of the power from flicking his wrists. (personally he went 1 for 2 against me haha) I dont remember much about his fielding or speed though. I apologize for not knowing much about crawford despite playing him twice but i hope the report on bickford helps.

    1. Thanks for all this info. Nothing to apologize about. :)

  4. Good info. I'm hoping Bickford or Crawford are still around at #18.

  5. Funny, I had the Dodgers snagging Bickford with the 18th overall pick even before several noticeable baseball analysts started to make similar predictions regarding him. He certainly has the stuff, poise, and physical projection to warrant such a pick-not to mention him being a local kid, ftm. I also like Ciuffo (LH-hitting catcher with solid upside at the very least, though I much prefer Jon Denney due to his legit all-around potential at the position) and Harvey (fresh projectable arm with MLB bloodlines) there as well if Bickford comes off the boards early. I'm not so high on Krook, though. He might need more seasoning in a good college program, ala David Price. Judge intrigues me, however. Should he show even average hitting ability to go along with his enormous raw power, he could possibly wind up becoming another Giancarlo Stanton (whom the Dodgers blatantly passed on in that rather disappointing '07 draft). He's probably the ONE high-risk/high-ceiling position player I wouldn't mind seeing the Dodgers take a gamble on if he's still around by the time they make their first choice.

    On a sidenote: if LHP/1B Garrett Williams or 1B Rowdy Tellez are still on the board by the time the Dodgers make their second choice (No. 56), landing either one would be a really nice bonus. Williams is a two-way player that hasn't gotten nearly as much recognition as the other one in this year's draft (projected Top 10 pick Trey Ball), but has recently shown even more considerable ability on the mound with a fastball already sitting in the low-90s and quite possibly one of the better breaking balls in this year's prep class. Tellez has genuine big league power from the left side of the plate and can hit for average as well. He may be average defensively, but then again so was Ryan Howard and he did alright for himself at the ML level. Besides, Dodgers could do well to draft a player that could be ready to contribute at 1B by the time Adrian Gonzalez's contract finally runs its course.

    1. If the Dodgers land Tellez, I will get some exclusive content. My sisters go to the same school as him and they know him.

      Selfishly, I'm hoping they do land him (or Dom Nunez).