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2014 MLB Draft: Dodgers’ Big Board, v 1.0

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Touki Toussaint, 80-name.

This is the first installment of 2014 MLB Draft big board for the Dodgers. They hold the 22nd pick in the draft and should be able to land a quality prospect, as the draft is considerably deeper this year than last.

These are the Dodgers’ first selections in the Logan White era (2002-present):

2002: James Loney (19)
2003: Chad Billingsley (24)
2004: Scott Elbert (17)
2005: Luke Hochevar (40)
2006: Clayton Kershaw (6)
2007: Chris Withrow (20)
2008: Ethan Martin (15)
2009: Aaron Miller (36)
2010: Zach Lee (28)
2011: Chris Reed (16)
2012: Corey Seager (18)
2013: Chris Anderson (18)

This draft is especially deep in high school arms, but the Dodgers haven’t drafted a prep pitcher with their first pick since Lee in 2010. There are some high-profile college arms who could fall due to injury concerns. There are a few prep hitters the Dodgers could look at, but I think they’ll stay away from college hitters.

Ultimately, I’m hoping they take the best prospect available, and White and Co., know a lot more about this stuff than I do. But here are some prospects I’d like to see as options for the Dodgers.

My Big Board, v 1.0

1. RHP Jeff Hoffman, East Carolina
2. RHP Touki Toussaint, Coral Springs Christian HS (Fla.)
3. OF Derek Hill, Elk Grove HS (Calif.)
4. SS/3B/RF Jacob Gatewood, Clovis HS (Calif.)
5. LHP Kodi Medeiros, Waiakea HS (Hawaii)
6. RHP Erick Fedde, UNLV
7. RHP Spencer Adams, White County HS (Ga.)
8. RHP Luis Ortiz, Sanger HS (Calif.)
9. RHP Grant Holmes, Conway HS (S.C.)
10. RHP Sean Reid-Foley, Sandalwood HS (Fla.)

Hoffman was a consensus Top-5 pick before it was revealed he needs Tommy John surgery. There’s so much talent there that the Dodgers could afford to gamble on him at 22, but it’d mean saving a lot of money on their next few picks, as Hoffman will require more $1,980,500 the Dodgers are allotted for the pick. And there are other teams that pick ahead of the Dodgers that have been linked to him (Hi, Blue Jays).

Not only does Toussaint have an 80-grade name, he has a big fastball. It’s a mid-90s offering that he has trouble commanding at times. He backs up the fastball with a curveball and changeup. He’ll need to improve his control, but he has one of the biggest upsides of any pitcher (and player) in the draft.

Hill was mocked to the Dodgers on Thursday by Keith Law. Law nailed Chris Reed to the Dodgers in 2011, so he has some added credibility in this department. Hill has the bloodlines (a cousin of Darryl Strawberry), and his uncle is a scout for the Dodgers. He’s a toolsy, legitimate center fielder. Oh, and the fact he’s from Elk Grove means I can probably get all kinds of exclusive content regarding this kid. So, keep that in mind, Logan, when you’re on the clock.

Gatewood has some of the best power in the draft, but that comes with a lot of swing-and-miss. He plays shortstop now, but he could be a third baseman or right fielder because of his plus-arm.

Medeiros isn’t a guy I’d normally be drawn too, but the combination of a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a ridiculous breaking ball makes him quite the attractive option. He’ll need to develop his changeup and overcome his less-than-ideal physical stature (6’0, 185 pounds) to remain a starter. At worse, he’s a nasty late-inning reliever.

Fedde is the other college pitcher who is likely to fall because of TJ surgery. He was mentioned as a potential Top-10 pick and could be a nice value at 22. He’s more signable than Hoffman. Pre-surgery, he has a a low-90s fastball, a budding slider and the looks of an average changeup. There’s projectability in his frame (6’4, 170), which always interest White.

Adams was mocked to the Dodgers by Baseball America last week, and he checks the boxes of what White is looking for in a prep pitcher — athletic, projectable, good fastball, good breaking ball. As BA noted, National Crosschecker Roy Clark knows Georgia talent like no other (came from the Nationals, and Braves before that).

Ortiz has a nice potential 4-pitch mix, including a mid-90s fastball and a sharp slider. He had forearm soreness, which sometimes translates to elbow soreness, which is something to keep an eye on going forward. But he has a ton of upside on the mound.

Holmes is projected by some to be a Top-15 pick, which would put him well out of the Dodgers’ reach. But if he were to fall, he could have nice value for the Dodgers. His fastball has touched 100 MPH and he has a power curveball. He could be a reliever, but his arm talent is undeniable.

Reid-Foley really seems like the prototypical White selection, as he’s athletic, has a nice 4-pitch mix and is somewhat safe. In fact, his profile reminds me that of Lee — No. 3 starter-potential, athletic, low-90s fastball, two breaking pitches and a changeup.

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I’ll try to do a new big board every week leading up to draft day (June 5). I’ll also have much more in-depth profiles on the guys on my big board, and others who aren’t (yet) on the big board.


About

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called “Dugout Blues.” He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.