Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said a focus heading into the draft was bolstering pitching depth. It’s an idea Friedman has championed since arriving in Los Angeles, and believes he’ll never be fully satisfied with the depth assembled.
Holding true to his pre-draft remarks, the Dodgers selected three pitchers with their first four picks on Monday, the first day of the 2015 MLB Draft. Their first pick (No. 24 overall) was junior right-hander Walker Buehler out of Vanderbilt University.
Although director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino was at the helm, and not Logan White, Buehler’s selection falls in line with the Dodgers’ first picks the previous two years. Fellow right-handers Chris Anderson was taken 18th overall by the Dodgers in 2013 and they selected Grant Holmes 22nd overall last year.
Buehler is 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA with 81 strikeouts to 25 walks in 78.2 innings this year with Vanderbilt, who advanced to the College World Series with a win Monday over Illinois. It’s a third appearance in the College World Series for the defending national champions.
Hours after punching their ticket to Omaha, the Commodores gathered in anticipation of multiple players getting selected in the 2015 Draft. Their shortstop Dansby Swanson was taken No. 1 overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Chicago White Sox drafted pitcher Carson Fulmer eighth.
Buehler was the third Commodore selected and this was how he and his teammates reacted to news of him being drafted by the Dodgers, via Vanderbilt baseball’s Twitter account:
— Vandy Baseball (@VandyBaseball) June 9, 2015