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Dodgers: Jeren Kendall Named Best Athlete in Minor League System

Kendall has begun to show promise for the Dodgers.

Jeren Kendall at RC Quakes Media Day on April 2, 2019. Photo Credit: Emily Rogers

Jeren Kendall is starting to come around as a legit prospect for the Dodgers. After being selected in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, Kendall disappointed evaluators, but the talent was always there. The Dodgers knew what they were getting when they drafted him — an insane athlete with speed and power and a Gold Glove caliber center fielder. The hit tool has always lagged, but it really began to come around in the latter part of the 2019 season.

There is still hope for Kendall and MLB.com’s lead prospect evaluation team of Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis, and Mike Rosenbaum believe in it. In a recent column for MLB.com, the trio named Jeren Kendall as the best athlete in the Dodgers’ system. This is not necessarily news as we already knew just how athletic he was, but it is news in the sense as it is good to see the 23-year-old still receive deserved credit.

Here is the excerpt on Kendall from MLB.com’s column:

The consensus best athlete in the 2017 MLB Draft, Kendall drew some Jacoby Ellsbury comparisons with his deceptive strength, plus-plus speed and Gold Glove potential in center field. He has struggled mightily at the plate since signing for $2,897,500 as a first-round pick, batting .223/.309/.413 with a 32 percent strikeout rate.

Look out for the name Jeren Kendall in 2020. He’s coming.

Written by Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 18 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.

8 Comments

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  1. Great article thanks for spotlighting this young man. Scouting baseball players is still an art. Statistics are absolutely important but at some point you have to take a chance on some players. The Dodgers took a chance on Buehler. They also took a chance using a precious first round pick on Kendall. Reports are that Kendall spent last winter with the Dodgers hitting coaches reworking his stance and approach. Changing long time habits takes time. It is great to see that all the time spent by Kendall and the coaches are bearing fruit.
    This young man could be a 5 tool super star if he can have plate discipline and make contact.
    Can you imagine an outfield of Kendall, Verdugo and Bellinger? Incredible range and arms.
    Although hopefully Bellnger will eventually go back to first base where he is a legitimate Gold Glove Candidate as the Dodgers have others to play the Outfield in the Future.

    • Tmaxster, I realize ya may disagree with me here but Kendal is another LHB and perhaps 1 or 2 other lefties can be moved to then make room for him in the OF in the future. Let’s just see how he does this coming year, but that OF you mentioned would be a target for more of Robert’s platooning around and shuffling especially if they show a weakness against good LHP You might be interested to know that Freidman hinted that he was not too happy with the LH heavy lineup that appeared in this year’s NLDS. But that being said, it showed what stellar starting pitching can do in an October series.

      • Paul I do agree with you. Verdugo actually has good splits. Bellinger has improved. But if Kendall can ever consistently make contact he has to play center the young man is dynamic. I live in AZ so have seen him a couple of times. I think it would be a great idea to sign Rendon as he could help the imbalance but I have doubts it will happen as this is Kasten’s plan to promote from within.
        I have come around to your way of thinking on platooning and think they should have a lineup like Lux, Muncy, Turner, Bellinger Seager and Verdugo a majority of the time. It would help to sign Rendon to get another right handed bat that can make contact but then what do they do with 2nd base? Use Muncy and sit Lux? That is why I do not think barring trade they sign Rendon they have no place they can put him. I think that the Dodgers may start the year with the best starting 5 in baseball. They will have the pitching. But unfortunately they still have Roberts…

  2. What is it with this team and drafting nothing but lefties? Also even when we draft black or Hispanic players they are still as white as possible (Verdugo, Kendall)

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