If someone outside of the Dodgers’ organization told you they knew every player the Dodgers drafted today, they’d be lying. Once the 300th player comes off the board, things begin to get pretty murky. Luckily, the Dodgers took some players who were known in the scouting community with some of their last 30 picks and others who could become known names once they sign. Here are a few of the more notable players the Dodgers selected on the final day of the 2014 draft.
Round 11 – A.J. Vanegas, RHP
Vanegas was a highly regarded prep pitcher in 2010, though a strong commitment to Stanford delayed his professional career as he turned down a seven-figure bonus from the Padres as a 7th rounder that year and opted to attend school. He was eligible again in 2013, though a herniated disc in his back and a bout of mono pushed him into the 19th round. He returned for his senior season as the Cardinal closer and pitched well, racking up 7 saves in 40.2 innings with a 2.43 ERA.
A.J.’s fastball touches 97mph and sits in the mid 90s, while his slider gives him an out pitch. He’s got good size at 6’3 and 215 pounds but is strictly regarded as a reliever due to his delivery and lack of command or a reliable third pitch. He may cost more than your conventional senior sign, which is why the Dodgers waited until the 11th round to draft him. Now, they automatically have $100,000 to start negotiations and can add savings from earlier picks to that. He should sign quickly and move quickly through the system.
Round 18 – Clint Freeman, 1B
Known for his bat, Freeman posted terrific numbers in his senior year, with a line of .348/.412/.620. He belted 17 doubles and 13 home runs while walking nearly as much as he struck out. He’s already 23 and doesn’t have great size, but a solid approach and above average power should allow him to produce early in his pro career.
Round 24 – Jimmy Allen, 2B
A good athlete who played shortstop for Cal Poly, Allen was a little disappointing this spring after adding weight and losing speed and arm strength. This season, he hit .298/.337/.455 with six home runs and a pair of stolen bases. However, he walked just 12 times and struck out 40 times, so he’ll need to improve his plate discipline after he turns pro. Despite being a senior, his lack of patience could keep him from moving quickly.
Round 25 – Matt Jones, 1B/OF
Jones attended Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, not exactly a big time program. However, the only word you could use to describe Jones is big. Listed at 6’7 and 250 lbs, he is one of the largest position players to get drafted this year. At the plate, the 20-year-old batted .368/.538/.609 this spring with 10 doubles and 10 home runs. He even stole eight bases. However, the most impressive stat of his was 40. That’s how many times he was hit by pitch this year. He was hit by a pitch in 14.5% of his plate appearances in 2014. Luckily, he’s a big guy and can take it. His “Getting Tenderized” tool is definitely an 80.
- The Dodgers drafted eight high school seniors, one college freshman, four college sophomores, 11 college juniors, 11 college seniors and three fifth year seniors.
- After taking three high schoolers with their top five picks, the Dodgers selected just five more in the entire draft and only one before the 34th round. This is the fewest number of high school players the club has ever drafted under Logan White.
- The Dodgers drafted 21 pitchers: 19 right-handers and two left-handers. Since both lefties were taken late in the draft, they may not sign either of the southpaws.
- The Dodgers drafted eight outfielders, four shortstops, two catchers, two first basemen, two second basemen and one third baseman.
- California was the most popular state the team drafted out of, with eight selections. The team drafted just two players out of Texas and none out of Florida. They drafted four out of Louisiana, three out of South Carolina, three out of Arizona, two out of Georgia and one each out of Arkansas, Illinois, New Jersey and Utah (as well as others).
- The Dodgers drafted two pairs of teammates: A.J. Vanegas and Mikel Whiting out of Stanford, along with Jeff Brigham and Brian Wolfe out of the University of Washington.
- The oldest player the team drafted was 15th rounder Joe Broussard, a RHP out of LSU. His birth date is 1/28/91. The youngest player the team drafted was 38th rounder Caleb Ferguson, a LHP out of West Jefferson HS in Ohio. His birth date is 7/02/96.
- The tallest player they drafted was 6’7 Matt Jones. The shortest players they drafted were 5’9 Deion Ulmer and Mikel Whiting.
- The players with the hardest to pronounce names were Billy Bereszniewicz and Karch Kowalczyk.
- The Dodgers have $4,974,700 in their bonus pool. They can spend an additional 5% without forfeiting a pick, giving them a functional limit of $5,223,435.
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