With the recent 2014 MLB Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in position to continue adding talent to their Minor League system. The Dodgers first pick was No. 22 overall and it was followed by 39 others as part of the 40-round draft.
ESPN baseball writer Keith Law gave his take on some of the Dodgers’ selections and his evaluation offered some reason to be optimistic. The Dodgers’ first pick, Grant Holmes, was ranked No. 14 on Law’s mock draft, but he wound up falling eight spots to the Dodgers.
According to Craig Minami of True Blue LA, Law stated the drop wasn’t necessarily indicative of any Holmes deficiencies:
Holmes has a premium fastball and breaking ball. He throws a ton of strikes, his delivery is pretty good – if he was six foot four he might have gone 10 picks earlier.”
While Law had Holmes rated higher than where the right-hander was eventually drafted, he acknowledged his rankings differed from what several others had and credited it as his personal thought.
Law had some critical comments about Alex Verdugo, the Dodgers’ second round draft pick. One issue with Verdugo, according to Law, is what position he will play:
[Verdugo] is a two-way guy, he was a prospect both ways. He came out as a position player first and we will see what happens. It is easier to take a guy who doesn’t hit and put him on the mound than it is to take a guy who hasn’t had regular at bats for two or three years and put him back in the batter’s box.”
Another concern Law raised was his belief no team had Verdugo projected to be drafted in the first round because of a perceived lack of dedication from Verdugo:
There were a lot of area scouts that questioned [Verdugo’s] motivation, he seem disinterested, did not want to play. For the Dodgers it was a value play, [Verdugo] has first round ability but not first round makeup. You can only take one or two guys like that and you just hope they grow up – at 18 you’re an idiot and at 22, you are totally different person.”
As for Albert Vanegas, who was drafted in the 11th round, Law believes his injury history limits him to being a relief pitcher:
From the Dodgers’ perspective, [Vanegas] has to be a reliever. There is no chance they can send him out as a starter given all the back problems he’s had, he has had trouble staying on the field period.”
Vanegas was drafted in the 19th round by the Oakland Athletics last year, but opted to return to Stanford. In order to convert the right-hander to a reliever, Law believes the Dodgers will need to progress cautiously.
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