As part of a great conference call put on by ESPN on Thursday, we had a chance to ask MLB prospects insider Kiley McDaniel his thoughts on the Dodgers thinking ahead of the 2020 first-year player draft.
In the shortened 5-round draft this year, Los Angeles owns 6 selections. As usual, the early expectation is that scouting director BIlly Gasparino will look at plug-and-play college arms over long-term project players early in the draft.
Moreover, Kiley lists off 5 names every Dodger fan should know ahead of the draft.
The Dodgers have the number 29 overall pick in this year’s first round of the draft. McDaniel mentions Texas Tech right-handed pitcher Clayton Beeter as a player the Dodgers would love to get their hands on, but he may not fall all the way down to the 29th spot.
Giving LA hope is the fact that other teams may be concerned over the fact that Beeter, 21, is most likely heading for reconstructive elbow surgery (Tommy John) soon after the draft. Of course, the Dodgers have recent success in a similar situation when they drafted Walker Buehler out of Vanderbilt in 2015.
The ESPN MLB insider also looks at 20-year-old Cole Wilcox out of Georgia and Oklahoma’s Cade Cavalli as two more college RHPs right up the Dodgers’ alley.
Now, coming at this from the Dodgers’ organizational depth angle, the farm system is rich in right-handed pitching. So the question may be why would they want more righty arms? When it comes to LA’s path to sustainability, that answer leads to trade value. If the player can’t help at the big league level for the club, he better be able to get a good return in a trade.
Think someone like Grant Holmes going to Oakland in the Rich Hill trade of 2016 or Dean Kremer in the Manny Machado deal.
Of course, there’s also the names like Dustin May that, while raw when drafted, the Dodgers have been able to develop into difference-making arms for the club.
The 2020 MLB will be held on June 10 and 11 and can be watched live on ESPN and ESPN2.