Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Category: Draft (Page 2 of 3)

Dodgers draft prep OF Mitch Hansen in second round

[mlbvideo id=”82575983″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
By Jon Weisman

Mitch Hansen, a 6-foot-4 left-handed outfielder from Plano Senior High in Texas, is the Dodgers’ second-round pick (67th overall) in the 2015 MLB draft.

Here’s what says about him:

One of the more well-rounded position players in the 2015 Draft class, Hansen has solid tools across the board. Evaluators who like him think several of those could develop into plusses, though he’ll have to get picked early to deter him from his Stanford commitment. Hansen has a fluid, compact left-handed swing and a good feel for hitting. He uses the entire field, has performed well against quality pitching on the showcase circuit and with the U.S. 18-and-under national team, and is growing into some power. He’s not especially quick out of the batter’s box but flashes plus speed at times once he gets going. Hansen has enough speed and arm strength to play all three outfield positions, though he profiles best in right field. Scouts have compared him to Michael Saunders and Mets prospect Brandon Nimmo, a high school first-rounder in 2011.

And Baseball America

In 1991, the Blue Jays were enamored enough with a tall, sweet-swinging and academically-inclined lefthanded-hitting outfielder to pick him sixth overall, which was enough to induce him to forgo his scholarship to Stanford. Both Shawn Green and the Blue Jays made a wise decision as Green went on to play nearly 2,000 MLB games. He’s unlikely to go in the top six picks, but Hansen, a tall, sweet-swinging and academically-inclined lefthanded-hitting outfielder with a Stanford commitment will face a similar decision. Hansen has been a two-sport star at Plano playing quaterback/wide receiver and outfield and his sister just set an Ivy League record in winning the women’s heptathlon. Hansen has an ideal corner outfielder’s frame as he should add significant good weight to his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame. He plays center field for now and shows good reads and routes, but will likely grow to a corner spot as he gets bigger and slows down. He’s currently an above-average runner who turns in plus times at his best. His arm is below-average. His swing can get long at times, but it’s a smooth stroke with some lift and leverage that could eventually produce above-average power. Signability is a question if he falls far in the draft.

Walker Buehler has heard all your ‘Ferris’ jokes

Walker Buehler at the 2014 College World Series (Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Walker Buehler at the 2014 College World Series (Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

Given that he wasn’t drafted by the Texas Rangers, the first thing Walker Buehler’s name brings to mind is the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Buelher has steered into that skid, taking the Twitter handle @buehlersdayoff.

“I do actually like the movie,” Buehler said. “I’ve seen it a bunch of times, probably 10 times. It’s one of those things, where you get to your first day of school, every teacher tries to reinvent the wheel, do the whole skit, so at some point I just went with it.”

Selected with the 24th overall pick of the MLB draft by the Dodgers, Buehler hopes someday to be taking four days off out of every five, as a member of the Los Angeles starting rotation.

Buehler already has a taste by pitching at the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic in March.

“It was awesome, man,” he said. “I guess it was the first time I ever pitched in a big-league park. It was a cool environment, cool area.”

Buelhler said that of all Dodger pitchers, the one he sees as a role model is Zack Greinke, because of a “similar body type” and, Buehler dares to dream, a similar type of pitching.

“We’re really excited to be able to take Walker at 24,” said Dodger director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino. “He has a lean, athletic build, a power three-plus pitch mix and is a quality young man.”

All in all, Buehler was still digesting his newfound status as a potential Dodger.

“Pretty cool day,” Buehler said about two hours after his selection, adding that he didn’t have an inkling in advance that the Dodgers would draft him. “You have an idea of where you think you want to go, but I don’t think you ever know anything.”

With follow-up pick, Dodgers uncurb their enthusiasm for Funkhouser

[mlbvideo id=”37009161″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

With the 35th overall pick in the MLB draft — compensation for the free-agent departure of Hanley Ramirez — the Dodgers have nabbed Louisville right-handed pitcher Kyle Funkhouser.

Here’s the scouting report on Funkhouser.

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55

Funkhouser ranked as the top prospect on the U.S. collegiate national team last summer, topping the staff with 36 strikeouts in 28 1/3 innings. That capped a stellar sophomore season during which he tied for the NCAA Division I lead with 13 victories and helped Louisville reach its second straight College World Series.

Undrafted out of an Illinois high school in 2012 because of his commitment to the Cardinals, Funkhouser has a solid three-pitch mix that begins with a 92-96 mph fastball. Both his slider and changeup show flashes of becoming plus offerings as well.

Funkhouser’s 6-foot-2, 218-pound frame is built for durability. There’s some effort to his delivery, though not enough to lead scouts to think he’ll wind up in the bullpen. His biggest need is to improve the consistency of his control and command.

And here’s Baseball America:

… Funkhouser has a lengthy track record, including being the ace of USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer, and has proven very durable. Thickly built at 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, Funkouser had made every start over the past two seasons and averages 111 pitches a start this season, having topped 100 pitches in 11 of his first 13 starts. Funkhouser’s control is well below-average for a first-round college arm. He’s improved his control as a junior, but his 3.7 walks per nine innings is a high number. Part of Funkhouser’s control issues come from the life of his fastball; sometimes it simply leaks out of the zone thanks to its excellent run. Funkhouser’s two-seam fastball is a potentially plus pitch. He pitches at 91-94 mph down in the zone with a two-seamer with plenty of bore and he gets excellent extension. He can elevate with a four-seamer that touches 96-97 mph when he needs it but it’s a truer pitch that’s easier to hit. The rest of Funkhouser’s assortment is solid. His slider shows flashes of developing into a plus pitch as he can throw it for strikes or bury it and he has shown a feel for using it to backdoor righthanded hitters. His curveball is more of a get-over pitch. He uses his changeup infrequently but it has a shown average potential. Funkhouser has a solid chance to be a solid mid-rotation starter who keeps the ball in the park. His stuff would seem to indicate that he has a higher ceiling, but so far he’s yet to show the command to unlock that potential consistently.

Vanderbilt RHP Walker Buehler taken in first round by Dodgers

[mlbvideo id=”37009151″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

With their first-round selection, the 24th overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft, the Dodgers have selected 6-foot-2 Vanderbilt right-hander Walker Buehler.

Here’s a scouting report on Buehler from

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 55 | Slider: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

One of three potential first-round picks from Vanderbilt, Buehler had an exceptional summer, sharing playoff MVP honors in the Cape Cod League and pitching well with the U.S. collegiate national team after helping the Commodores win the College World Series. He missed the first two weeks of the 2015 season with elbow soreness but bounced back after that.

Buehler has a deep repertoire featuring four potential solid-or-better big league pitches and the ability to throw all of them for strikes. His best offering is his 90-96 mph fastball, and while he sometimes gets caught in between his curveball and slider, both can be weapons. His changeup similarly varies from inconsistent to effective.

Buehler could have been a draft pick in the top two rounds out of a Kentucky high school in 2012 had he been signable away from Vanderbilt. The biggest knock on him is that he’s just 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds, but he had been durable prior to this spring. His athleticism and sound delivery should allow him to remain a starter.

And here’s Baseball America’s take:

Buehler had a busy summer last year. After helping Vanderbilt win its first-ever national championship, he pitched briefly for Team USA and was then named co-MVP of the playoffs in the Cape Cod League, as he helped Yarmouth-Dennis to the championship. His start to his junior season at Vanderbilt was delayed by elbow soreness, but he’s pitched well since rejoining the Commodores rotation. At his best, Buehler has four above-average offerings. He throws his fastball in the low to mid 90s, though it doesn’t have a ton of life. That, in addition to his clean arm action, allows him to pound the strike zone, but also makes it a bit easier for hitters to square the pitch up if he misses in the zone. His curveball and slider both show promise and he has a good feel for spinning the baseball, but they run together at times. He gets good fading action on his changeup. Though at a listed 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, Buehler is taller than teammate Carson Fulmer, he isn’t very physical and also lacks ideal size for a righthander. Scouts have more confidence that Buehler will be able to remain in the rotation, however, thanks to his deep arsenal, athleticism and more polished delivery.

Buehler has already pitched at Dodger Stadium. He started in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic against Texas Christian on March 8, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts over four innings.

Buehler’s Twitter handle is, wonderfully, @buehlersdayoff. Fellow Vanderbilt pitcher David Price was taken out of high school by the Dodgers in the 2004 draft, but chose to go to college.

Grant Holmes soon to pass the torch to next No. 1

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Joc Pederson, CF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Alex Guerrero, LF
Andre Ethier, RF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

This pregame post comes to you with the first round of the MLB draft underway. A year ago, the first rounds of the draft conveniently took place on an off day for the Dodgers, but this year, the Dodgers will be making their initial pick approximately one hour before the Major League club takes the field.

The past 365 days have been kind to 2014 Dodger No. 1 draft pick Grant Holmes, who has made 21 career appearances at two levels with a 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in 93 innings. Soon, we’ll know who will follow in Holmes’ footsteps.

The Draft at 50: A Dodger Insider special


MLB Draft today
The Dodgers will be busy on Day 1 of the 2015 MLB draft, with four picks before round three.
Overall, the Dodgers will start things off by selecting at No. 24 (first round), No. 35 (compensation for Hanley Ramirez), No. 67 (second round) and No. 74 (acquired from Baltimore).
After the draft begins at 4 p.m., we’ll have updates here on Dodger Insider throughout the late afternoon and evening. In the meantime, here are some links to know about:

By Jon Weisman

You might know about Rick Monday being the first No. 1 draft pick in Major League history, but what do you know about the Dodgers’ original No. 1?

Or the best Dodger draft picks by decade?

Or the elite talent chosen by the Dodgers that got away?

For the 50th anniversary of the MLB draft, Cary Osborne spoke to both Monday and John Wyatt for this Dodger Insider magazine feature, which we are proud to make our second Dodger Insider online special. (Our inaugural special, “Inside the #RallyBanana, can be accessed here.)

The package not only includes interviews with Monday and Wyatt, but snapshots of the original scouting reports on Wyatt, his first contract (original payment: $500) and more, along with a visual history of the Dodgers’ first 50 years in the draft.

But wait, there’s more: A special bonus today is an interactive edition of team historian Mark Langill’s montly Trivia Test.

Check it all out, and don’t forget, there’s more content like it in the June edition of Dodger Insider magazine, available at all Dodger Stadium team stores.

The Dodgers’ second-round pick: Alex Verdugo

[mlbvideo id=”31230513″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

The Dodgers took two-way player Alex Verdugo from Sahuaro High School with plans to start the 6-foot, 200-pounder in the outfield.

Here’s the report from

Read More

Logan White talks about Dodger first-round pick Grant Holmes

By Jon Weisman

Minutes ago, Dodger vice president of amateur scouting Logan White spoke about first-round pick Grant Holmes.

“We feel fortunate to have gotten the player of Grant’s magnitude at pick 22,” White said. ““He’s a mature, young and strong-bodied pitcher who throws hard and has a great breaking ball, but what separates him is he is a fierce competitor.”

When 2014 began, the Dodgers didn’t necessarily expect that Holmes would last as long in the draft as he did.

“If you look going into the season at most of the early season publications, he was ranked to go in the first 10 picks,” White said. “He certainly has that type of stuff to have been considered there. I think that the way the draft played out, it worked in our favor that you have a rash of Tommy John injuries, and sometimes people get a little squeamish with right-handed pitchers, and I think that may have added to it. But I don’t think there’s any question that he’s a mature physical player. He has now stuff – it’s not like we’re taking a player that’s projecting out. He’s got the now stuff.

“The sentiment from myself and all of our scouts, we feel we have an upgrade for the 22nd pick.”

White also noted that Holmes’ ability at the plate (.494 on-base percentage his senior year) followed in the tradition of such current Dodger pitchers as Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, and that bodes well.

“I think the thing all of us note with him, he’s a terrific competitor and a really impressive athlete,” White said.

More on Holmes can be found here from Ken Gurnick of

Dodgers draft pitcher Chris Anderson with top pick

With the 18th overall pick in the 2013 amateur draft, the Los Angeleez Dodgers have selected  6-foot-4 righthanded pitcher Chris Anderson from Jacksonvile University.

From Baseball America:


PICK ANALYSIS: We were light on Chris Anderson, ranking him at No. 45 in the BA 500, but it’s not a reach here. I’ve been writing for weeks that after the first half of the first round, things really spread out.

SCOUTING REPORT: Big and physical at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Anderson should give Jacksonville its first-ever first-round pick. Like the Dolphins’ third-round product of 2012, outfielder Adam Brett Walker, Anderson is a Minnesota prep product, and he’s evolved from the team’s closer as a freshman to its Friday ace as a junior. His performance has improved significantly through his college career, as he has boosted his strikeouts, cut his walks and become more consistent across the board. Early in the season, under a heavy workload, Anderson showed scouts a front-of-the-rotation fastball, pitching downhill and touching 96 mph. He’s usually in the 90-94 mph range, holds his velocity and throws strikes. He got strikeouts early both with the fastball and slider, which flashed plus. He also throws a much-improved changeup. Anderson generates velocity more from strength than arm speed, and most scouts see him as an innings-eater in the middle of a rotation. His timing helps, as a consensus starter in a year short on college arms.

WHERE HE FITS: With Hyun-Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig graduating, Anderson will rank in the top three in the Dodgers’ system.


Scouting Grades* (present/future): Fastball: 6/6 | Curve: 5/6 | Slider: 5/5 | Changeup: 4/5 | Control: 5/6 | Overall: 5/6

There might not have been another college arm who shot up draft boards more than this Jacksonville University ace during the spring. His rise slowed a bit with some struggles, perhaps caused by fatigue, in April. But he still has the size, stuff and command to potentially be a frontline starter at the highest level.

Anderson’s fastball will touch 97 mph and is consistently at least above average with good sink. He throws a nasty slider, and his changeup projects to be a legitimate weapon as well.

Anderson has above-average control and command and the ideal athletic frame scouts love to see in a pitcher. There’s room for gaining strength, which gives him a high ceiling as well.

More via SB Nation:

Keith Law, ESPN: “Anderson has the size, roughly the fastball velocity and the potential out pitch in that slider to profile as a No. 2 starter.”

John Sickels, Minor League Ball: “Strongly built at 6-4, 225, Anderson showed sharpened command this spring of a plus fastball/plus slider combination. His change-up has also improved, and he profiles as an inning-chewing mid-rotation starter.”

Jonathan Mayo, “Anderson was a hot commodity early, but recent struggles have led to a fade. He could be this year’s Michael Wacha, who was in early 1-1 conversations last year but fell to St. Louis at No. 19.”

 * * *

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.

Yasiel Puig, RF
Nick Punto, SS
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Andre Ethier, CF
Tim Federowicz, C
Skip Schumaker, 2B
Luis Cruz, 3B
Zack Greinke, P

Capuano deguanoed

Dodgers 7, A’s 2


  • Chris Capuano struck out three in two shutout innings, allowing two singles.
  • Alex Castellanos hit his first home run in a Dodger uniform, off ex-Dodger Travis Schlichting.
  • Dee Gordon started things with the first of two walks on the day and then stole second. A double by Mark Ellis and a single by Matt Kemp then brought home two runs.
  • Andre Ethier capped a four-run Dodger sixth with a two-run double. Ethier also drew one of the Dodgers’ seven walks.
  • Josh Fields singled, making him 4 for 5 this spring.
  • Adam Kennedy went 2 for 2.
  • Tim Federowicz reached base twice, on a hit-by-pitch and a walk.
  • Todd Coffey struck out two in a perfect inning.
  • John Grabow, who had been nursing a sore calf, according to Ken Gurnick of, also pitched a perfect inning.
  • In his glowing review of the day, Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Now notes that Kemp tagged from second to third on a foul-out to the first baseman.


  • Days at the O-fer Inn: Trent Oeltjen, Tony Gwynn Jr., Juan Rivera, Ivan De Jesus Jr., Josh Bard, Lance Zawadzki.
  • Stephen Fife and Wil Ledezma each allowed late-inning runs.


  • From differing perspectives, Maury Wills and Don Mattingly reflect on the effect of long-term contracts in this Gurnick piece.
  • Tony Jackson of chronicles the visit of Cory Hahn, the former Southern California prep baseball player who was paralyzed in his first game for Arizona State.
  • Jackson said that non-roster invitee Scott Rice won the team’s annual “Dodgers Idol” competition with an original song about Kenley Jansen.
  • In a post that’s interesting if only for its detail about the baseball’s new draft salary structure, Conor Glassey of Baseball America looks deeper at who might end up with injured Harvard-Westlake righty Lucas Giolito. You might file this one away until June.

Changes in the draft and other owner-player agreement links

Major League Baseball’s newest collective bargaining agreement with players was ratified last week while I was on vacation, with some major implications on the game in general and on the draft in particular. In case your attention was elsewhere as well, here are some key points:

  • Teams will pay a penalty tax if they spend more than a specified amount to sign picks taken in the first 10 rounds. (With this kind of rule in place, the Dodgers would almost definitely not have signed Zach Lee in 2010, for example — unless the allotted funds were unexpectedly high.)
  • No draft pick compensation for free agents unless they spent the entire season with your team.
  • Compensation picks will be awarded if a team offered the departing free agent “a guaranteed one-year contract with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125-highest paid players from the prior season.” No more Type A and Type B free agents.
  • The signing deadline will be moved “to a date between July 12 and July 18 depending on the date of the All-Star Game.”

Many of you have already delved into this, but here are some handy links if you haven’t:

  • Jayson Stark of has a worthwhile Q&A with union chief Michael Weiner.
  • Buster Olney of says there are real questions of how the new deal will affect competitive balance.
  • Chad Moriyama breaks down the changes in the new CBA — I cribbed from his piece to give you the bullet points up top.
  • Matt Swartz of Fangraphs analyzes the impact of the draft compensation changes.
  • Thirteen teams will be in a lottery to earn one of six extra draft picks in the 2013 draft, writes Jonathan Mayo of (via MLB Trade Rumors).

Dodgers sign O’Sullivan to round out agreements with top nine draftees

The Dodgers have signed their top nine draft picks with this news from Tony Jackson of

The Dodgers reached agreement on Monday with former Oklahoma City University right-hander Ryan O’Sullivan, their fourth-round selection in this year’s amateur draft. The agreement came hours before the deadline for signing this year’s picks and just four days after the club finalized an agreement with first-rounder Chris Reed, a pitcher out of Stanford University.

O’Sullivan, who will turn 21 next month, is the brother of former Los Angeles Angels pitcher Sean O’Sullivan, now with the Kansas City Royals. He never actually pitched at Oklahoma City, redshirting there this season after transferring from San Diego State, where he went 4-4 with a 6.71 ERA in two seasons. He was drafted out of high school three years ago by the San Francisco Giants, in the 10th round, but opted to attend college instead.

Signing of first-round pick Reed imminent

Chris Reed is expected to make his first official appearance at Dodger Stadium before Friday’s game, coinciding with the announcement that the first-round pick has signed with the Dodgers. From Tony Jackson of

Reed accepted a signing bonus of a little less than $1.6 million just four days before Monday’s deadline for signing this year’s draft picks.

The deal is expected to be announced on Friday. The agreement became official after Reed passed a physical examination on Thursday.

The Dodgers now have signed nine of their first 10 picks, the exception being fourth-rounder Ryan O’Sullivan, a right-hander out of Oklahoma City University.

Reed will attend Friday night’s game at Dodger Stadium between the Dodgers and Houston Astros and is expected to be made available to the media either before or during that game. Shortly thereafter, he will report to the team’s advanced Class A affiliate in Rancho Cucamonga, two levels higher than where collegiate draft picks usually begin their careers. …

Reed won’t attend the Dodgers’ Instructional League camp in Arizona after the season because, as part of the agreement, he will be allowed to return to Stanford in the fall to continue working toward his college degree. …

Chris-cross: Comparing top draft picks for the Dodgers and Angels

As the Dodgers and Angels prepare to battle on the field for the first time this season, we can revisit an earlier pseudo-faceoff between the two clubs – the MLB draft.

Los Angeles and Los Angeles* drafted in succession, with the Dodgers using the 16th pick overall and the Angels the 17th. Both teams picked college juniors: Stanford pitcher Chris Reed to Chavez Ravine, Utah first baseman C.J. Cron to Anaheim.

The question of the day is this: Why did the Dodgers, an organization that needs offensive help, take the pitcher – a reliever at that – instead of the hitter. Cron certainly has his bona fides.

“A 6-foot-4, 235-pound right-handed slugger who can drive the ball but also sprays it to all fields and makes consistent contact, Cron from the beginning was in the bull’s-eye of Los Angeles scouting director Rik Wilson,” wrote Tom Singer and Jordan Garretson of

In 49 games, the first-team All-American had a .517 on-base percentage and .803 slugging percentage, with 15 walks and 31 walks compared to 21 strikeouts in 198 at-bats. The twist with Cron: Do the words “torn right labrum” scare you off?

“I played through it, because the doctor said I couldn’t do any more damage,” Cron told “It’s pretty painful when I throw, so something will have to be done eventually.”

Said Jason A. Churchill of “Cron possesses perhaps the best power tool among college bats in the entire class. A natural catcher, Cron played first base this season due to a shoulder injury, but that is likely where he ends up as a pro. He makes a lot of contact, too, but doesn’t generally work the count all that much. He generates leverage and loft consistently and is believed to have a strong enough ability to hit for average that he’ll skate through the minors in a couple of seasons. The Halos need bats, and Cron gives them one.”

And this from Baseball America: “He doesn’t move well at first base and is a bottom-of-the-scale runner, but that’s all right because he’s the best all-around hitter in the country and should have no problem producing the numbers teams expect from a first baseman. Cron has the unique combination of pure hitting ability and power. He projects to be an above-average hitter and has legitimate 80 raw power on the 20-80 scale that translates into at least above-average usable power. He has great hand-eye coordination and the strength in his hands to drive good pitches for singles and doubles. He uses a good approach at the plate and makes adjustments well, so he should move quickly through a team’s system.”

However much they might or might not have been tempted by Cron, the Dodgers went with Reed, the reliever whom they project as a starting pitcher.

“Reed is listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds,” said Baseball America, “but scouts say he has grown and gained strength from last year to this year. His fastball varies from 89-91 mph some nights to 92-94 on others, and he has touched 96. He’ll show a power slider and above-average changeup, but all of his stuff needs more consistency. That should come with experience. Reed has totaled just 68 innings at Stanford and has started only one game. His size, athleticism and three-pitch mix will tempt teams to give him a shot as a starter in pro ball.”

The Cleveland High grad finished his season with 52 strikeouts in 52 2/3 innings, while allowing 39 hits (one home run) and walking 17.

“There’s big league ability here and his changeup and slider are his two best pitches,” Churchill said, “but this was a pick to make sure they landed a player with probability and signability, rather than upside.”

However, the final judge was Dodger assistant general manager of scouting Logan White, and don’t try telling White that Reed doesn’t have upside.

“I think this guy definitely can start,” White told Tony Jackson of “I think we got fortunate that the kid was pitched out of the bullpen. We were on him a long time. He hasn’t been seen a lot (by other clubs). He throws 92-95 (mph). … He is big and strong, 6-feet-5 and 215 (pounds). He has a hard slider, 86-88, and a sharp changeup as well.”

If anything, the signability issue might loom larger in White’s mind, with Reed being a Scott Boras client, but the man who lassoed Zach Lee a year ago isn’t lacking confidence.

“I would never say it’s a slam dunk, but I’m fairly confident about it,” White told Ken Gurnick of “I think the kid really wants to play; he’s given us every indication that he wants to go play. He wants to start.

“Scott and I get along fine. I’ve had fine dialogue with the Boras Corp. I don’t have resentment from that standpoint. There’s always some concern. Like last year, I felt we would sign (Lee), but I couldn’t say 100 percent. This is the same way.”

White’s bias toward drafting pitchers in the first round is hard to ignore – this is the ninth time in the past 10 Dodger drafts that a pitcher has been the team’s first pick. It hasn’t always been successful, but Cron did not persuade White to break from the formula. Best-case scenario: Reed is competing with Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Rubby De La Rosa, Zach Lee, Garrett Gould, Nathan Eovaldi, Allen Webster and more for a spot in the Dodger rotation.

Oh, and just for kicks … Matt Kemp, Triple Crown candidate

NL Batting Average
.336 Joey Votto, CIN
.335 Andre Ethier, LAD
.335 Jose Reyes, NYM
.331 Lance Berkman, STL
.329 Matt Kemp, LAD

NL Home Runs
18 Matt Kemp, LAD
17 Prince Fielder, MIL
17 Jay Bruce, CIN
15 Lance Berkman, STL
14 Albert Pujols, STL

NL Runs Batted In
55 Prince Fielder, MIL
53 Matt Kemp, LAD
48 Ryan Howard, PHI
47 Jay Bruce, CIN
45 Lance Berkman, STL

The odds are slim – he’s at his hottest and still only leading in one category. But still, pretty impressive.

* * *

  • The saga of Vin Scully’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame continues. As Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News reports, Southern California native Glenn Mingay is leading an effort to raise $2,500 needed to restore Scully’s star to proper condition at Save Vin Scully’s Star.
  • John Sickels of Minor League Ball reviewed the Dodger draft. Summary: “You can see the money limits here, but this isn’t a total disaster. Reed, Maynard, and O’Sullivan are all interesting, and there’s a mixture of solid college performers and high-upside, high-risk bets as well. It could have been a lot worse. But it wasn’t good, and the development staff has a lot of work to do with these raw guys.”
  • Hong-Chih Kuo and Kenley Jansen had encouraging rehab assignment debuts, writes Ken Gurnick of, but the forecast looks much more grim for Vicente Padilla and Jon Garland. “Padilla has a bulging disk in his neck, a recurrence of a condition that limited him to one start in six weeks last year,” reports Gurnick. “Garland has what has been described as shoulder inflammation, but sounds a lot more like a labrum or rotator cuff tear.”
  • Bill Plaschke of the Times talked to Kuo after his appearance and writes admiringly of the pitcher’s efforts, but says he still seems unsettled.
  • Juan Castro and Jay Gibbons have cleared waivers and been outrighted to Albuquerque, but they have the right to refuse the assignments and become free agents (or retire, which some have speculated Castro will do). This makes moot the confusion over why the Dodgers designated Gibbons for assignment three days before optioning Jerry Sands, but the fact remains that the Dodgers no longer believe in Gibbons. “Gibby wasn’t giving us enough to basically have a guy that’s pretty much one-dimensional,” Don Mattingly told Dylan Hernandez of the Times. “He’s not going to steal a bag for you. You have to defend for him.”
  • Dee Gordon’s speed is the real deal, but the little guy is still going to need to improve his ability to hit line drives to succeed, argues Bill Petti of Beyond the Box Score.
  • Tough realities: The Times is killing my favorite blog of theirs, historical chronicle Daily Mirror, because of low readership (criminally low readership, I’d say). That site was a pure treasure trove, with the latest treat being a series of reprints of Jim Murray columns in this, the 50th anniversary of his Times debut. Larry Harnisch and Keith Thursby put huge amounts of time and energy into the Daily Mirror, and I just want to thank them.

Page 2 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén