With all the NFL Draft talk and grades and evaluations going on last month, I figured it might be fun to look back on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ draft history.
In doing some research, it seems most players wait — on average — about five years before making their Major-League debuts. This was based on an old Baseball Prospectus piece that mentioned the average number of at-bats a hitter gets in the minors (2,070) and the number of innings a pitcher has thrown in the minors (391) before being called up.
The article is a few years old, but it’s recent enough to make the 2010 draft a fun one to evaluate — not only because it has a player currently tearing it up (Joc Pederson), but also because it should give us a sense of some guys who might be on the verge.
For starters, let’s look at some of the big names who came out of this draft before the Dodgers even had a selection. This list includes No. 1 pick Bryce Harper, No. 3 pick Manny Machado, No. 7 pick Matt Harvey, No. 12 pick Yasmani Grandal, No. 13 pick Chris Sale and No. 23 pick Christian Yelich.
The Dodgers selected at No. 28 and drafted pitcher Zach Lee — who many folks were high on, but someone who few thought would actually sign. You see, the problem was, Lee was committed to play quarterback at a small school you may have heard of: LSU.
Lee was a four-star recruit out of Texas that was rated the No. 9 quarterback prospect in the country. When the Dodgers drafted him, many believed it was a sign of Frank McCourt’s cheapness — spending a high-cost draft pick on someone they didn’t really have a chance at signing.
Well, those naysayers were wrong. Lee signed with the Dodgers for $5.25 million and spurned the Tigers to begin his professional baseball career.
From that day forward, it has been an up-and-down ride for the Dodgers and Lee. He has bounced around “top prospect” lists — ranking highly after a successful 2013 season at Double-A, but then falling after a rough 2014 at Triple-A.
The good news for the Dodgers is that Lee is still just 23 years old, and while he isn’t necessarily believed to be a future ace, many around the league are still high on his potential as a middle-of-the-rotation arm. Heading into the season, DodgersDigest.com ranked Lee as the team’s No. 8 prospect.
CONTINUE READING: Further Examining The Dodgers’ 2010 Draft Class