Dodgers Draft With Pick #16 Tonight

Dodgers 2011 Draft Team (Photo from Ben Platt)

So will they land another Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley who get to the majors quickly and produce, or will it be a Justin Orenduff or Brian Pilkington, guys who never made it anywhere? We will know for sure in about 2 hours who the Dodgers will draft, but if the trend continues they will draft a pitcher, the last time they didn’t was 2002 when they took James Loney.

Most every mock draft has the Dodgers selecting either Tyler Anderson a 6-4 215 pound left-handed pitcher out of the University of Orgegon who Keith Law says:

Anderson has succeeded this year in the tough Pac-10 despite strictly average stuff that doesn’t project to miss bats at higher levels.

He’ll sit at 88-91, touching 92 or 93, working effectively to the inner half especially to left-handed hitters. His breaking balls tend to run together and neither is more than an average pitch at this point, with the curveball big and slow at 75-76 and a harder slider with a less-than-sharp break. He does have a changeup that could be average but barely uses it.

There is a lot to like about his delivery, from the long stride to a big shoulder tilt, but his arm is very late and, unfortunately, what comes out of it isn’t plus. He’s lean with a looseness to his arm and gets good extension out in front, but doesn’t project to add much velocity. He needs to at least show an above-average breaking ball to be more than a fourth starter in pro ball.

The other guy who has been linked to the Dodgers is Robert Stephenson a 6-3 180 pound right handed pitcher from Alhambra High School. Law describes Stephenson as:

Stephenson has one of the quickest arms in the high school class and still offers a fair amount of physical projection. He’s hit 96 repeatedly this spring and will pitch with an above-average fastball with some downhill plane; you could easily see him holding plus velocity once he fills out.

He gets good depth on a slow curveball in the upper 70s and has some feel for a changeup, but doesn’t command either pitch well at this point. Stephenson’s delivery is a little herky-jerk, in part because he’s so long and lean, but he gets good torque from his hips and accelerates his arm extremely well.

He’s raw, pushing him below some other more advanced prep arms in the class, but has top-10 upside with the potential to pitch with a front-line fastball and two average or better off-speed pitches.

But most recent news has the Dodgers linked to Chris Reed a 6-4 190 pound left handed pitcher out of Standford. Law summarizes Reed as:

The genius of college coaches: Chris Reed, a 6-foot-4 left-hander who sits 92-94 as a reliever with two off-speed pitches that will at least flash above-average, has made exactly one start this year for Stanford, instead working out of the pen where he’s been successful but wasted.

Reed adds a sharp, short slider in the 82-84 mph range to that fastball and will show a very hard-fading changeup in the upper 70s, throwing strikes with all three pitches but not yet showing the fastball command he’ll need to start in the big leagues. He comes from a slot just under three-quarters and repeats his delivery well enough to start, although he could stay upright longer and get more downhill plane on the fastball.Many scouts like Reed as a potential starter, and we know he can pitch in the bullpen if that doesn’t work out, but I like his chances to end up a No. 2 or 3 starter once he’s stretched out.

If it was me making the pick, and obviously it won’t be I’d go a different route and take power hitting 1B/C C.J. Cron out of the University of Utah. It’s a bit of a homer pick cause I’ve been able to watch him in person but he’s gotten better every year, and unlike other college hitters he has adjusted to the new bats just fine, and has big-time pop. Just ask Keith Law:

In a year when many top hitting prospects are struggling to adjust to the new bats in college baseball, C.J. Cron has elevated his draft stock by mashing to the point where teams are even overlooking the significant injury concerns involved.

Cron has easy right-handed power, something in high demand in scouting circles these days, with upper body strength and good hip rotation; his plate discipline is solid. His catching days are probably over due to damage in his right shoulder, although he didn’t project to remain at the position anyway. He’ll end up at first base or possibly as a DH, but there’s enough bat there to see him drafted in the top two rounds, with 30-homer power if his hit tool holds up against better pitching.

The biggest problem for the Dodgers is of course Frank McCourt’s fault. With the ownership situation in the mess that it currently is you will not see the Dodgers draft a Zach Lee. They will be forced to take someone who “Slots” at the 16th pick, meaning someone who does not have high signing demands, like Lee.

So with that uncertainty we Dodger fans again suffer at the hands of Mr. Mccourt and his lack of ownership skills. Thanks Frank. Hopefully someone in the Dodgers “Slot” will turn into the next Kershaw not the next Darren Dreifort.

Anyone interested in chatting about the Dodgers draft pick feel free to send us a message on Twitter or even better leave a comment below. If the Dodgers do go with a pitcher I’m guessing it will be Reed, but we shall see…

Topics: Chad Billingsley, Chris Reed, Chris Withrow, CJ Cron, Clayton Kershaw, Ethan Martin, Frank McCourt, James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers, Robert Stephenson, Tyler Anderson, Zach Lee

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