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Dodgers Believe Top Draft Picks Could Be Ready Next Season



Walker Buehler, Kyle Funkhouser

The 2015 MLB Draft concluded on Wednesday and the Los Angeles Dodgers had 42 picks in 40 rounds, including four of the first of 75.

Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino was in the war room for the first time as a member of the organization. He said,”You always feel good after the draft. A lot of the success you won’t know more until the next 3-5 years.”

The MLB draft is unlike drafts in other major sports, as most of the players won’t be seen again in the Majors for a few years. However, the Dodgers took three college pitchers in their first four picks with thoughts of them contributing sooner. Gasparino mentioned the Dodgers first two picks, right-handers Walker Buehler and Kyle Funkhouser, as prospects that could possibly help in 2016.

“The timeline on these guys is very quick. They’re advanced and they’re ready. The amount of development needed is a lot smaller. We expect these guys to be fast track going forward and provide starting pitching depth next year possibly,” Gasparino said.

The fastest turnaround in recent years for a draft pick was Paco Rodriguez in 2012, who was drafted in June and was in the Dodgers bullpen by September. Teams used to be cautious in developing their young talent, but lately players have been reaching the Majors quicker.

Gasparino knows that expecting anyone drafted this year to contribute next season, but understands that the potential is there. “There’s no guarantee, but we think of them as those players and prospects,” the 38-year-old said.

He also mentioned right-hander Andrew Sopko of Gonzaga and left-hander Philip Pfeifer of Vanderbilt as other arms that could be ready to contribute as early as next year.

Even if they aren’t ready for 2016, the Dodgers hope at least a few of them become Major League players in the future.

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Written by Vincent Samperio

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

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