Think Blue

Obsessing over the Dodgers' minor league system so you don't have to.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Draft - Day 1 Review

It's hard to believe that the first day of the 2008 draft has come and gone. With 6 picks down and only 44 to go, I'll take a look at the half-dozen prospects the Dodgers selected today.

Round 1 - Pick 15

Dodgers select: Ethan Martin, RHP (Stephens County HS, GA)


Martin is a very intriguing prospect. Last August, he participated in the AFLAC All American game as a third baseman and tied for the HR Derby championship. But it was on the mound against Eric Hosmer that changed scouts minds on him and secured his spot as a top flight pitching prospect. Ethan's fastball sits from 90-95 and he maintains his velocity deep into games. While he's new to pitching full time, he already flashes both a curve and a splitter that have the potential to be plus pitches. His mechanics could be tightened up, but there aren't any serious flaws. With the talk of the Dodgers taking a college reliever in the first, this was cause for a sigh of relief.


Round 2 - Pick 61

Dodgers select: Josh Lindblom, RHP (Purdue University)


So it appears that the rumors of the Dodgers taking a reliever early were accurate. Lindblom wasn't always a reliever, having just made the transition. He's very big at 6'5 240 lbs so durability isn't a problem. His fastball sits in the 94-95 mph range and has a lot of life to it. He also shows a good curveball and an occasional splitter. I'm not a huge fan of taking college relievers early in the draft, so Lindblom will have to do a lot to show me he's worth the pick.


Round 3 - Pick 93

Dodgers select: Kyle Russell, OF (University of Texas)


Russell had a monster season in 2007 when he led all of division 1 college baseball with 28 HR. But his asking price and questions about his swing led him to go unsigned as a fourth rounder. His junior season was less inspring, though he's come on strong of late and hit 4 HR in his last 3 games. He's also drawn 41 walks in just over 200 at bats. But his .296 batting average and 60 strikeouts, along with his lack of success hitting with wood, raise serious questions about his offensive capabilities once he signs. Base case scenario, the Dodgers are getting another Adam Dunn. Worst case, he never makes it out of A ball.


Round 4 - Pick 127

Dodgers select: Devaris Strange-Gordon, SS (Seminole CC, FL)


Strange seems to be a fitting description of this pick. The son of Phillies' reliever Tom "Flash" Gordon, Devaris was a virtual unknown coming into the spring due to the fact that he didn't play ball because of NCAA transfer rules. His best tool is his speed, which Logan White compares to that of Juan Pierre. But he has no power and it's unclear how much he'll hit or if he'll be able to stay at SS. So why was he picked in the 4th round? I have no idea.


Round 5 - Pick 157

Dodgers select: JonMichael Redding, RHP (Florida CC)


Redding seems to be another odd pick, as he's a college starter who doesn't seem to have much projection or present stuff. He's a pitchability right-hander on the smallish side (6'1 190) who thrives on commanding a 90mph fastball and an 80mph slider. His performance this season was impressive, as he posted a 2.02 ERA with 123 strikeouts in 124 innings while walking just 29 and allowing only 1 HR. He'll need to continue getting the most out of his stuff to get outs in the minors.


Round 6 - Pick 187

Dodgers select: Anthony Delmonico, 2B (Florida State)


LA's first day ended with the selection of Delmonico, who enjoyed a strong spring after transferring from Tennessee. He played SS in college but Logan White said he'd begin his pro career as a 2B. Anthony entered the day hitting .378 with 8 HR and 33 walks in 63 games. He's not going to be a middle of the order guy, but he should either leadoff or hit second as a pro.


Summary

I was very happy that the Dodgers went with a high upside guy in the first with Martin, but very disappointed with the rest of the day. Lindblom could end up being a solid reliever down the road, but the rest of the first day picks have huge question marks: Russell's ability to make contact, Gordon's actual value, Redding's upside and Delmonico's ability to stay in the middle infield don't elicit much excitement. The Dodgers would be lucky to get anything out of the last 4.

3 Comments:

  • At 7:53 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jared,

    Bluefan here ...

    I was very disappointed in the picks yesterday.

    #15

    While I understand and even like Martin as a player, with our depth at RHP and lack of top bats, I would have gone with Brett Lawrie with Hicks off the board to the Twins.

    #61

    While I don't especially like the pick, I see the need and can live with it. He reminds/resembles our own Jonathan Broxton, but seems to have the potential for better secondary pitches.

    #93

    This is where my temperature started rising. Who was running this draft .... White, Hallgren, Colletti, McCourt? Inquiring minds want to know, because picking Kyle Russell here, a full round ahead of where he was chosen in 2007 after posting much worse stats.

    At this point players such as prep RH's Tim Melville (MO) and Ross Seaton (TX) were still on the board.

    # 127

    A very strange pick indeed. I know he has "bloodlines", but is still very raw, and didn't even play this year at the JC level due to transfer rules. How do you pick a guy this high who hasn't played.

    #157

    Good stats, but another JC pick from the Southeast?

    #187

    Another JC pick? Am I missing something here. I know that the draft and follow no longer exists, but this seems like an awful lot of picks to come from the JC ranks already and not all of them with much upside.


    There are still some good players on the board .... I hope today our fortunes improve.

     
  • At 3:39 PM , Blogger mocoi said...

    Day 2 assessment please...

     
  • At 1:22 AM , Blogger Jared said...

    Bluefan,

    At 15, and in the early rounds in general, I always prefer to go with the best player available. I find that looking for a certain position generally leads to overvaluing what you're looking for. I would have been happy with Lawrie, but I don't blame the Dodgers for taking Martin.

    With Lindblom, like I've said, I don't like taking relievers early. Generally I would prefer to convert starters. Lindblom put up pretty good numbers and has pretty good stuff, but I really rather would have had a guy like Tyler Stovall or even Dennis Raben.

    The Russell pick was a head-scratcher, as White generally looks for more polished hitters. The Dodgers usually stay away from 3TO guys.

    White has shown that he'll take guys much higher than exptected (Watt, Mattingly). However, I really don't like the idea of taking a guy that early for his speed.

    Redding doesn't seem to have much upside and I see him ending up in middle relief.

    Delmonico is actually from Florida State. And here's a great example of why he was drafted: I was watching FSU vs Wichita State today and Delmonico got spiked. Needed stitches. So he goes into the clubhouse, gets stitched up and comes right back out onto the field and plays the rest of the game. Scouts love the gamers.

    I feel the second day was much better than the first, though the Dodgers need to get guys signed.

    And mocoi,

    Your wish is my command.

     

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