In some of the latest Dodgers news there have been some prominent names mentioned from the 2016 draft. This article will take a look at some of the key players from that draft and what their status is in terms of being with the Dodgers.
The Dodgers ended up with 20th pick in the first round after factoring in teams losing their own first round picks due to free agent compensation rules. The Dodgers were awarded the 32nd pick in the draft as compensation for losing Zack Greinke to the Diamondbacks as a free agent. They were also awarded the 36th pick since they did not sign Kyle Funkhowser in 2015.
The Complete List
|Player||Pos||B/T||Rnd||Pick||Where Are They Now?|
|SS||L / R||1||20||The number 1 prospect for the Dodgers – in AAA|
|Will Smith||C||R / R||1||32||The starting catcher with the Dodgers and a top 4 prospect|
|Jordan Sheffield||P||R / R||CBA||36||In AA as a relief pitcher|
|Mitchell White||P||R / R||2||65||In AAA as a starting pitcher|
|Dustin May||P||R / R||3||101||Debut in 2019 and a top 3 prospect|
|DJ Peters||OF||R / R||4||131||In AAA mostly in center field and a top 15 prospect|
|Devin Smeltzer||P||R / L||5||161||Traded to Twins in Brian Dozier trade July ’18|
|Errol Robinson||SS||R / R||6||191||Both AA and AAA in 2019 as 2B and SS|
|Luke Raley||OF||L / R||7||221||Traded to Twins in Brian Dozier trade July ’18|
|Andre Scrubb||P||R / R||8||251||Traded to Astros for Tyler White in July ’19|
|Tony Gonsolin||P||R / R||9||281||Debut in 2019 and a top 6 prospect|
|Kevin Lachance||SS||R / R||10||311||Released in 2018|
|A.J. Alexy||P||R / R||11||341||Part of the Yu Darvish trade in July ’17|
|Graham Ashcraft||P||L / R||12||371||Did not sign|
|Cody Thomas||OF||L / R||13||401||In AA as an outfielder and a top 35 prospect|
|Dean Kremer||P||R / R||14||431||Traded to Orioles in Machado in July ’18|
|Brayan Morales||OF||R / L||15||461||In High-A as an outfielder|
|Darien Tubbs||OF||R / L||16||491||Released in 2017|
|Dillon Persinger||2B||R / R||17||521||Did not sign|
|Cole Freeman||2B||R / R||18||551||Did not sign|
|Chris Mathewson||P||L / R||19||581||In High-A as a pitcher, recovering from Tommy John|
|Brock Carpenter||3B||R / R||20||611||Released in 2019|
|James Carter||P||R / R||21||641||Released in 2018|
|Jeff Paschke||P||R / R||22||671||Released in 2018|
|Bailey Ober||P||R / R||23||701||Did not sign|
|Saige Jenco||CF||L / L||24||731||Released in 2018|
|Chandler Eden||P||R / R||25||761||Did not sign|
|Brandon Montgomery||2B||R / R||26||791||In High-A as a two-way player|
|Austin French||P||R / L||27||821||Released in 2017|
|Jake Perkins||P||R / R||28||851||Retired in 2016|
|Will Kincanon||P||L / R||29||881||Did not sign|
|Ramon Rodriguez||C||R / R||30||911||Catcher in lower minors|
|Stevie Berman||C||R / R||31||941||Catcher in AA|
|Conor Costello||P||R / R||32||971||Released in 2017|
|Zach McKinstry||SS||L / R||33||1001||In AA as an infielder|
|Joel Toribio||P||R / R||34||1031||Released in 2017|
|Nick Yarnall||LF||L / L||35||1061||Released in 2019|
|Cal Stevenson||CF||L / L||36||1091||Did not sign|
|Enrique Zamora||P||R / R||37||1121||Did not sign|
|Kevin Malisheski||P||R / R||38||1151||Pitcher in low minors|
|Ryan Watson||P||R / R||39||1181||Did not sign|
|Zachary Taglieri||P||R / R||40||1211||Did not sign|
Data from MLB.
Lux was not on many of the big-time publications lists as someone who would go as high as the 20th pick. MLB Pipeline had him as the 33rd ranked player available. His debut season in 2016 saw him slash .296/.375/.399 (AVG/OBP/SLG) across two teams. He did not hit a home run. His second season saw a decent size drop-off as he slashed just .244/.331/.362 and ended up with 7 home runs. After the 2017 season he was still ranked at the Dodgers’ #9 prospect but some were wondering if it was a mistake to draft him so high.
In 2018 everything changed for Gavin Lux. First off, it just seems that he filled out to begin his 20 year old season so there looked to be more physical strength. I saw him hit a leadoff homer in July and it was a dead center shot. He ended up getting promoted to AA during the season and finished off with a slash across two teams .324/.399/.514 with 15 home runs. This brought him into the top prospect realm.
2019 has seen a continued growth with Lux as he started in AA. He ended up dominating AA while slashing .313/.375/.521 and was promoted to AAA in late June. Since then he has made AAA look like a joke. As of this writing he is slashing .457/.537/.876 – yes, those are video game numbers. He is now ranked as the #1 prospect for the Dodgers and should be with the Dodgers by September at the latest.
Did you know: the Dodgers drafted Will Smith with the compensation pick for losing Zack Greinke
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) August 1, 2019
Will Smith transitioned to catching from being an infielder in college. However, he still played a bit of 3rd base during his minor league career. He went through three levels in his first professional season and made it to AA by the end of 2017. In 2018 he played a lot of the season in AA before a late season promotion to AAA. It was in AAA that he struggled a lot as he batted only .138, which prompted some doubts.
Going into 2019 there weren’t many questions about his defense but the end of the 2018 season his offense was in question. He answered those questions resoundingly in 2019 as he crushed 20 home runs in AAA with a slash of .269/.381/.605. With those numbers he earned a couple of promotions to fill in for some injuries. He was finally brought up to stay on July 26th and is now the number one catcher.
The Dodgers did draft Dustin May with the 101st pick while MLB Pipeline had him as the 166 best prospect. He was a risky draft pick in the 3rd round as it looked like he would go to school. Instead the Dodgers were able to give him the signing bonus he wanted and snagged him. When he started with the Dodgers he threw in the low 90s with great control. However, he was 6′ 6″ and was listed at 180 pounds as an 18 year old. That leaves a lot of room for improved velocity.
Each season his velocity has crept up while he has maintained his control. He primarily throws three pitches very well; fastball, curveball and cutter along with a decent changeup. Now his fastball can reach 98 MPH. Every year he keeps making improvements and people notice. First, he was thought of as a lower end starter, then a third or fourth starter and now he is thought of as an elite prospect. The incremental growth has led him to make his Major League debut on August 2nd.
- Jordan Sheffield – He has had some control issues and is now in the bullpen. He is currently in AA and is one of the better relievers. He could be a future closer for the Dodgers.
- Mitchell White – White has great “stuff” but has struggled quite a bit in AAA. He is still highly regarded.
- DJ Peters – He is a very large man who is an excellent athlete. Even in AAA he still plays an excellent center field. His major issues has been making consistently contact. Since his promotion to AAA his strikeouts have come down a lot and could lead to a promotion in September.
- Tony Gonsolin – For his first two professional seasons he was a reliever and most had never heard of him. He wasn’t a top prospect at all. In the spring of 2018 he turned into a starter and became dominant. He is now a consensus top 4-6 prospect with the Dodgers and has already made his Major League debut.
- Cody Thomas – We interviewed him last season while he was with the High-A Quakes. He is starting to get noticed more as he has been having a good season in AA.
- Brayan Morales – The fastest player in the organization, he is still in High-A. He is one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen.
- Brandon Montgomery – He is an infielder and is now learning to pitch to be a two-way player. With the way rosters are going he told me it could give him a better chance at moving forward.
- Steve Berman – Berman has had some injury issues that have held him back but he can hit. He is currently in AA.
After this weekend, the 2016 draft will have produced 3 Major Leaguers already with more knocking on the door. There is an excellent chance that players such as Will Smith, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Gavin Lux and maybe DJ Peters could factor into the post-season. Smith is already turning into a “LEGEND” and Gonsolin looked great in his last 4 inning relief appearance. May is getting an audition over the next few weeks and Lux could be promoted at any time. This draft class could be historic.