The Dodgers used a first rounder on Georgia high school pitcher Ethan Martin in 2008. A few years later, they drafted his cousin, Ralston Cash, in the second round out of another Georgia high school. Last year, they selected University of Georgia shortstop Kyle Farmer in the 8th round and converted him to catcher. None of this really qualifies Georgia as a hotbed for the Dodgers, but a hire they made last year makes it likely they’ll return to the Peach State for talent.
When team president Stan Kasten was with the Atlanta Braves, his scouting director was Roy Clark. When Kasten left the Braves for the Nationals, he attempted to lure Clark to Washington, but Clark turned him down. Three years later, Clark accepted a position in the Nationals front office under GM Mike Rizzo. Last year, Kasten convinced Clark to jump ship once again and join the Dodgers.
Clark made a name for himself with the Braves by mining local talent out of Georgia’s amateur ranks, drafting players like Brian McCann, Adam Wainwright, and Jason Heyward. Needless to say, with his success in the south, it’s hard to believe the Dodgers will ignore Georgia in the upcoming draft. Let’s see which potential first round talents could come out of the state.
Spencer Adams, RHP, GA HS
While it would be easy to compare Spencer Adams to Martin, he reminds me more of the Dodgers’ 2008 11th rounder Nathan Eovaldi.
The 6’3, 170-pound hurler is a very good athlete and was a standout basketball player for his high school. On the mound, he’s almost a clone of Eovaldi, who currently pitches for the Miami Marlins. Adams has great natural arm strength, sitting in the mid 90s with his fastball and throwing a promising slider. He’s fairly raw and throws across his body, but the arm strength and athleticism have to intrigue scouts.
Michael Chavis, INF, GA HS
Michael Chavis reminds me a little of former Dodger prospect Andy LaRoche; a shortstop as an amateur, moving to third base and being known for producing good power with a handsy/wristy swing. Chavis isn’t just a power hitter, though, as he’s consistently hit against quality talent on the showcase and tournament circuit.
While Chavis doesn’t project to stick at short, his defensive versatility is also enticing. He could move to third, as many high school shortstops do, or he could move to second. There’s also an outside chance of a team moving him Chavis the plate.
Wherever he ends up, Chavis should be able to hit and would be a welcomed addition to the Dodgers’ system.
Michael Gettys, OF, GA HS
Ever since Mike Trout burst onto the prospect scene, teams have been scouring the nation to find his next incarnation. Georgia has produced some very good outfield prospects over the last few years, including Byron Buxton, Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows. Michael Gettys has tools to match any of them, but has yet to turn those tools into skills.
Gettys hit 100 MPH throwing from the outfield, displaying elite arm strength. He’s also regarded as a 70 runner with the ability to cover plenty of ground in center field and has good power potential. However, like Jacob Gatewood, the question is whether he’ll be able to hit enough to tap into it. He struck out more than he walked this spring, a rarity for a top draft prospect.
Gettys is another extreme risk/reward prospect that the Dodgers don’t generally gamble on early in the draft. With the right coaching, he could turn into something special, or he could end up a career minor leaguer.
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