After taking a look at the various the options available to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2014 MLB Draft, the natural question now is how do all of the prospects stack up?
It’s time to rank them, in two separate lists. The first will be my preference of who I’d take in the first round and the second will be who I think the Dodgers will choose in the first round. There will be some overlap but a fair amount of difference.
My Top 5
1. Luis Ortiz
2. Kodi Medeiros
3. Cameron Varga
4. Forrest Wall
5. Tyler Beede
Ortiz seems to have exactly what you want in a pitching prospect: a strong, durable frame, command of four pitches, an out pitch slider and an excellent work ethic. There’s a good chance he won’t be on the board, which is a testament to his ability. If he’s there at No. 22, I believe the Dodgers would have a hard time passing on him.
Medeiros should at least make the majors as a late-inning reliever, thanks to his arm strength and wipeout slider. The big question is whether his frame and arm slot will hold up to the required endurance of starting. The odds are against him, but the upside is considerable.
Varga is likely a tweener for the Dodgers’ first pick. Their first pick may be too early for him and the 63rd pick may be too late. Varga has a fresh arm and present stuff, as well as projection due to his relative inexperience, though his age works against him.
Wall is intriguing given his pure hitting ability and speed. If his arm strength comes back, he could move to center field. However, he may have more value as an infielder.
Beede is an interesting case. He’s got the size and stuff one looks for in a frontline starter, but his inability to throw strikes could drop him out of the first round. There are some rumblings that his problems aren’t mechanical, but psychological. Either way, he’s a big boom or bust prospect.
Dodgers Top 5
1. Nick Howard
2. Spencer Adams
3. Luis Ortiz
4. Derek Hill
5. Sean Reid-Foley
The hot name being associated with the Dodgers right now is Howard, who plays third base and closes for the University of Virginia. Some evaluators claim the Dodgers will take a reliever in the first round to fast track in hopes of helping their bullpen later in the year, but I don’t buy that. I think if the Dodgers take Howard, they’ll develop him as a starter, a la Chris Reed. Howard started in the Cape Cod League last summer with good results and has the potential for a four-pitch mix.
Adams makes too much sense with the Roy Clark connection and his pure athleticism. He also has the fastball and breaking ball the Dodgers covet in young arms. Ortiz has been connected to the Dodgers throughout the spring, but again, there’s a good chance he doesn’t make it out of the Top 20.
Hill would be the most out of character selection for the Dodgers, being a right-handed hitter and an outfielder. There’s also buzz that teams in the back end of the Top 20 are interested in the California prepster.
Reid-Foley is another promising high school right-hander with good stuff and his name has been attached to the Dodgers during the spring. However, I’m not sure his delivery is what the organization looks for and I doubt they’d take a pitcher in the first round only to reconstruct his mechanics.
It’s only a matter of hours until the draft begins. Follow me on Twitter for updates about rumors and pick analysis during the next few days.
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