With the 2018 MLB Draft starting Monday night, it is an exciting time for several teams and amateur players as they make that first step into becoming professionals. Teams receive some of their cornerstone players during this process, so how have the Dodgers fared in recent drafts?
2013 First Round Pick: Chris Anderson
Notable Picks: Cody Bellinger (Fourth), Kyle Farmer (Eighth), Jose De Leon (24th)
Five years ago the Dodgers selected pitcher Chris Anderson from Jacksonville University. They projected him to be a power arm with a fastball that reached the high 90s and a power slider. In the minor leagues he struggled with his command and the Dodgers eventually released him in 2017. He briefly played in the Twins organization before they released him and now he is a free agent.
Although they struck out on Anderson, the Dodgers made up for that missed opportunity by drafting Cody Bellinger, Kyle Farmer and Jose De Leon. Although Bellinger is struggling this year, he is still the reigning NL Rookie of the Year and expects to play in the Dodgers lineup for several years.
Kyle Farmer has already spent time in the Majors, and as a versatile player, he can fit both at third base and behind the plate. Jose De Leon pitched for the Dodgers in 2016 before he got traded to Tampa Bay for Logan Forsythe.
2014 First Round Pick: Grant Holmes
Notable Picks: Alex Verdugo (Second), Brock Stewart (Sixth)
With their first pick in 2014, the Dodgers took a high school pitcher named Grant Holmes from South Carolina. Like Anderson the previous year, Holmes had a power arm but also similar to Anderson, Holmes struggled with command. In 2016 the Dodgers included him in the deal to Oakland that sent Josh Reddick and Rich Hill to Los Angeles. Holmes currently plays in the A’s organization but has not played this year due to a rotator cuff injury.
The Dodgers added production with their later picks as they selected Alex Verdugo and Brock Stewart in that draft. Verdugo remains the Dodgers top position player prospect and in his time in the Majors, proved that he can swing the bat. Stewart has been up and down between triple-a and the big leagues this year but can fill in as both a starting pitcher and a reliever.
2015 First Round Pick: Walker Buehler
Notable Picks: Willie Calhoun (Fourth)
The Dodgers made the perfect pick with their first selection in the 2015 draft, taking Walker Buehler out of Vanderbilt University. They knew that Buehler would need Tommy John surgery but still took that chance with him. Buehler has been nothing short of stellar in his first full season in the Majors as he appears to be a future star in the Dodgers rotation.
In the fourth round, the Dodgers selected infielder Willie Calhoun. In his time in the Dodgers organization, Calhoun provided power in the minor leagues. He became the centerpiece of the deal with the Texas Rangers that sent Yu Darvish to Los Angeles.
2016 First Round Pick: Gavin Lux
Notable Picks: Will Smith (Compensatory Round), Mitchell White (Second), DJ Peters (Fourth)
Even with Corey Seager as a long term option at shortstop, the Dodgers took shortstop Gavin Lux out of high school in Wisconsin. The scouting reports say that Lux is a natural shortstop with an above average bat and developing power. He is currently playing in High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
The subsequent picks for the Dodgers are also among the Dodgers top prospects. Catcher Will Smith is similar to Kyle Farmer in his versatility as he can also play third base. Pitcher Mitchell White can fit both as a starter and reliever and outfielder DJ Peters is an athletic player with a power bat. Smith, White and Peters are all in Double-A Tulsa.
2017 First Round Pick: Jeren Kendall
Notable Picks: Connor Wong (Third)
With the recency last year’s draft, information about the player’s progress is limited. With their first round pick, Jeren Kendall from Vanderbilt University. He was a highly touted player in college due to his speed and athletic ability and is currently playing in Rancho Cucamonga.
The Dodgers selected another versatile catcher with Connor Wong. He is athletic with decent power and also plays in Rancho Cucamonga.
With their recent draft pick, the Dodgers have selected productive players such as Cody Bellinger, Kyle Farmer and Alex Verdugo, who have already made an impact in the Major Leagues. They also used their picks such as Jose De Leon, Grant Holmes and Willie Calhoun to acquire Major League talent. With their success in recent years, it appears imminent that the Dodgers will select another impact player in the 2018 Draft.
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