2015 MLB Draft: Dodgers’ Big Board, v 4.0

Here is the fourth and final installment of my 2015 MLB Draft Big Board for the Dodgers. There have been some changes — near the top — but my No. 1 overall target remains the same.

Previous versions

My Big Board, v 4.0

1. LHP Kolby Allard, San Clemente HS (Calif.) (No. 14 to Atlanta)
2. RHP Michael Matuella, Duke
3. C Chris Betts, Wilson HS (Calif.)
4. RHP James Kaprielian, UCLA (No. 16 to New York Yankees)
5. OF Garrett Whitley, Niskayuna HS (N.Y.) (No. 13 to Tampa Bay)
6. RHP Ashe Russell, Cathedral HS (Ind.) (No. 21 to Kansas City)
7. RHP Donny Everett, Clarksville HS (Tenn.)
8. 3B Ke’Bryan Hayes, Concordia Lutheran HS (Texas)
9. RHP Austin Smith, Park Vista HS (Fla.)
10. SS/3B Cornelius Randolph, Griffin HS (Ga.) (No. 10 to Philadelphia)
11. RHP Jacob Nix, IMG Post-Grad (Fla.)
12. RHP Beau Burrows, Weatherford HS (Texas) (No. 22 to Detroit)
13. RHP Dakota Chalmers, North Forsyth HS (Ga.)
14. RHP Cody Ponce, Cal Poly
15. LHP Juan Hillman, Olympia HS (Fla.)

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I am still skeptical Kolby Allard will be there at No. 24, but if he is, whoever is handing Rob Manfred the draft card should sprint to do so. If it’s Tommy Lasorda, maybe the Dodgers will need a pinch-runner.

Michael Matuella is another one of the injured pitchers who will fall in the draft, and he has top-of-the-rotation potential. He was seen as a potential No. 1 overall pick before Tommy John surgery. Of all the pitchers with injury concerns, he comes with the least amount of risk (even though the risk is somewhat substantial).

While Tyler Stephenson is the hottest prep bat (and catcher), Chris Betts has the potential to be on that level, or even better. He’s firmly entrenched in my Top 3.

James Kaprielian is probably the safest prospect on this board and would almost certainly be the fastest to the majors. Oh, and he’s good.

Garrett Whitley would probably be rated higher on many boards if he played in more of a baseball hotbed (not Eastern New York). He’s one of the toolsiest players available and would be a fine pick if he’s available.

Ashe Russell is a big, projectable right-hander who is flying up some draft boards. He’s a prototypical Logan White pick, which doesn’t really matter now.

I said in the last update Donny Everett could move up the board, and he has. I wanted to find a way to move him up even higher, but didn’t know who to bump down. His delivery is unique and a little more high-effort than is preferred, but it works for him.

The Dodgers reportedly have a pre-draft handshake deal with Ke’Bryan Hayes. We’ll have to see if that comes to fruition, but he’d be a money-saving selection.

Like Russell and Everett, Austin Smith has a ton of upside as a prep arm. His fastball is one of the best and if he’s there at No. 35, he might be worth taking a chance on.

There are some high-upside bats in the draft on the high school side, but Cornelius Randolph might have the highest floor of any prep bat. Listed as a shortstop, he’ll be a third baseman at the next level.

Ahh, a new addition. Jacob Nix was the Astros’ 5th-round pick last year and was the player who got really screwed when Houston and Brady Aiken couldn’t come to an agreement. He would be an appropriate pick at No. 35, but mocks that pair Aiken at 24 an Nix at 35 are infuriating.

Beau Burrows isn’t as projectable as the high school pitchers ahead of him on this list, but he has plenty of stuff for the rotation.

Dakota Chalmers was one of the players I saw early in the process who could be a nice developmental prospect. While he’d be a little reach at 24, he’d be a decent pick at 35. If he somehow made it to 67, that would be amazing.

There are only three college players on my list (all pitchers), and Cody Ponce is one of them. He has decent stuff and is a big, imposing presence on the mound. He could move somewhat quickly.

Juan Hillman has some late helium as a prep lefty who can touch the mid-90s with his fastball. He could go anywhere from the 20-50 range, as this draft is has the potential to be unpredictable on levels not seen in a long time.

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The Dodgers will take a risk with one of their first-round picks. If there’s a prospect they like at No. 24 and are comfortable popping him there, then that’ll be it. Maybe it’s Matuella, maybe it’s Aiken. Either way, the Dodgers will choose a guy who is going to need an over-slot deal to sign. Grant Holmes was that man last year, Corey Seager was that man in 2012. It’s just how the draft goes.

If they take a Kaprielian, Hayes or Ponce at No. 24, expect them to take a high-risk/signability guy at 35. It all depends who’s available.

I’m not sure who they’re going to select in the first round. I suspect they’re relatively high on Matuella and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he were the pick. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a team took a chance on his upside before No. 24.

Happy Draft Day!

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
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 is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. 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.