The College Performer
Billy Beane’s first “Moneyball” draft in 2002 encompassed this philosophy, with former Dodgers’ general manager Paul DePodesta littering the Oakland Athletics’ early-round board with the NCAA’s most productive players.
That’s not to say a player can’t be good in college and as a pro, but the two don’t necessarily correlate — think of former University of Texas slugger and Dodgers farmhand Kyle Russell.
There are a good number of prospects who project as first-rounders and also have produced excellent numbers in college. James Kaprielian fits this mold, as a Golden Spikes semi-finalist this year.
He began as a reliever as a freshman, made a seamless transition to a starter last year and established himself as one of the best pitchers in college baseball this spring. Kaprielian posted an ERA of just north of 2.00, struck out more than a batter per inning and saw his stuff tick up from average to flashing plus. He’s also a local boy.
Another player who belongs in this discussion is Blake Trahan, a shortstop out of the University of Louisiana Lafayette. He’s been remarkably consistent over the past two seasons, batting .355 each year. He also projects to stick at short in pro ball, making him a pretty valuable commodity.
This approach would likely be the “safest” for the organization, getting a guy who probably reaches the majors at some point, with a lower ceiling and higher floor than the aforementioned pitchers.
CONTINUE READING: Third Approach The Dodgers Could Take