This is the fourth and final MLB Draft Big Board. There has been some movement up top due to a particular draft prospect testing positive for a PED in a pre-draft test.
Previous Big Boards
Word is — and has been since the start of draft season — the Dodgers are looking at college pitching and prep position players with their 1st-round picks.
My Big Board, v 4.0
1. SS Delvin Perez, International Baseball Academy (Puerto Rico)
2. 3B/OF/RHP Josh Lowe, Pope HS (Ga.)
3. SS/3B Nolan Jones, Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.)
4. RHP Jordan Sheffield, Vanderbilt
5. RHP Ian Anderson, Shenendhowa HS (N.Y.) — No. 3 to Atlanta
6. RHP Cal Quantrill, Stanford
7. OF/1B William Benson, The Westminser Schools (Ga.)
8. RHP Dakota Hudson, Mississippi St.
9. SS Gavin Lux, Indian Trail Academy (Wis.)
10. RHP Cody Sedlock, Illinois
11. LHP Eric Lauer, Kent St.
12. RHP Jared Horn, Vintage HS (Calif.)
13. SS/3B Drew Mendoza, Lake Mineolla HS (Fla.)
14. RHP Kevin Gowdy, Santa Barbara HS (Calif.)
15. OF Taylor Trammell Mount Paran Christian HS (Ga.)
The kid making news is Delvin Perez, who failed a drug test by testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Guess what: Don’t care. The kid is supremely talented (though, not Carlos Correa-talented, as he has been unfairly compared to him) and is easily the best shortstop prospect in the draft. There are concerns about his maturity (personified in the failed drug), but the talent is elite. He doesn’t turn 18 until November and isn’t committed to a college. He should be an easy sign.
Josh Lowe is basically 1A in this scenario. His combination of power, versatility, athleticism and upside are great qualities to have in a prospect. If the Dodgers took him with Perez still on the board, I wouldn’t be upset.
Nolan Jones still ranks highly on my list, as his versatility is unmatched by players available in the first round. He has a premium bat with just his power being a question mark.
Jordan Sheffield‘s upside and potential with the arm might be among the best of any college starting pitcher. There is inherent risk that comes with him, though (former TJ recipient, not ideal size, high-effort delivery).
I removed Matt Manning from the list because he, more than likely, isn’t going to fall to No. 20. Ian Anderson might be in that category, but I’m holding out hope a big-time prep pitcher is available to the Dodgers, even if they aren’t going to take him. Then again, he might go as high as No. 3 to Atlanta.
Cal Quantrill has rocketed up my list. I’m intrigued by the overall potential, despite him coming off Tommy John surgery. He can’t be any riskier than Michael Matuella, whom I wanted the Dodgers to draft last year.
One of the most physically gifted players available early in the draft is William Benson, who has a chance to have one of the best bats in the class. But he has a lot of work to do when he turns pro to reach that ceiling.
Dakota Hudson might be one of the Dodgers’ top targets, if he makes it to No. 20. He’s the college pitcher I like best after Sheffield and Quantrill. He’s a much safer pick than those two, though.
Much like the international market, it’s always wise to invest in true shortstops, and that’s what Gavin Lux is. His bat is lagging behind his glove, but he projects to be a solid hitter in the pros while being a natural shortstop.
Cody Sedlock‘s ranking here is more out of circumstance than anything. He has been linked heavily to the Dodgers, but some mocks have him going before No. 20. If he’s there and a guy like Perez doesn’t fall, I could easily see him being the pick.
Eric Lauer suffers a bit from lack of big-time competition, but he dominated so much and has a solid profile from the left side that he’d be a nice value pick for the Dodgers (and could probably save them some money).
Jared Horn has some late helium and is shooting up draft boards. He’s a prototypical Logan White draft pick, which is probably why he’ll end up a Padre.
Drew Mendoza is a signability guy, but if the Dodgers save on one of their 1st-round picks, he could be a nice prep bat to grab (especially if the guys above him get drafted before he does).
Like Horn, Kevin Gowdy is another player likely on White’s radar. His command is pretty advanced for a prep pitcher and could move quickly. Those are guys the Dodgers like drafting.
Taylor Trammell has the look of a “traditional” leadoff hitter who can handle center field. The bat is the biggest question mark, but the defense, running and athleticism are not.
Dunn has pitched himself into the top-half of the first round, while Manning’s bonus demands probably won’t keep a team from popping him early.
Other players linked to Dodgers
OF Ryan Boldt (Nebraska), SS C.J. Chatham (Florida Atlantic), RHP Alec Hansen (Oklahoma), RHP Connor Jones (Virginia), LHP/OF Kyle Muller (Jesuit College Prep, Tex.), C Will Smith (Louisville) RHP Alex Speas (McEachern HS, Ga.), C Matt Thaiss (Virginia), RHP Robert Tyler (Georgia), LHP Joey Wentz (Shawnee Mission East HS, Kan.), RHP T.J. Zeuch (Pittsburgh)
Muller has been mocked to the Dodgers by Jim Callis, but high pitch counts have me a little scared. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Dodgers draft him as an outfielder. Smith is a late-riser and could be a nice grab in the second round. Tyler is also a popular pick, but the inability to spin anything close to a consistent breaking ball is a little bit of a red flag. Wentz has a large bonus demand and diminished velocity late in the season — two things that don’t mesh well. Zeuch is a premium college arm, but he (and Hansen) had the dreaded forearm tightness this season — another red flag.
The draft is here. It’s going to be quite fun. The Dodgers will improve their already stacked farm system even more today and in the coming days (assuming they sign all the big guys).