2018 MLB Draft: Dodgers select West Virginia RHP Michael Grove at No. 68

Michael Grove (Left)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Dodgers drafted a pitcher who had Tommy John surgery. That’s what they did with their second round pick (No. 68 overall) in West Virginia University right-handed pitcher Michael Grove.

Vitals
6’3, 200 pounds
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Age: 21

First thing you need to know is he had TJ surgery last summer, and he didn’t pitch for West Virginia in 2018. So, that’s fun.

Here’s what Baseball America had to say about him, because he wasn’t ranked by FanGraphs or MLB Pipeline:

“Grove was shaping up to be a priority follow this year as he showed a mid-rotation caliber arm for West Virginia last season before he blew out his elbow in his ninth start of the season. He hasn’t pitched in a game this year as he recovers, but pre-injury he was blowing away hitters with a 93-96 mph fastball and a plus breaking ball with above-average control. Grove’s injury status makes him a true wild card for the draft, but a team willing to take a chance could end up landing a second/third round talent in a later round.”

Clearly, the Dodgers were the team to take a chance on him in the second.

This is from Michael Lananna, who also works for Baseball America.

So, the potential is there. It still feels like a bit of an overdraft. But, those in charge know a lot more than we do on this side, so this is a wait-and-see situation.

Here’s a little more from Twitter:

The Dodgers aren’t shy about taking college pitchers in the second round with injury histories. They popped Mitchell White out of Santa Clara University in 2016, who had Tommy John surgery. They drafted Morgan Cooper last year out of the University of Texas, who has yet to throw a pitch in the pros. He fits the profile, except those guys at least pitched in their respective draft years.

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The slot-recommended amount is $917,000, and it probably shouldn’t take near that to sign him. Maybe some money saved here could free up the Dodgers to spend it in the subsequent rounds.

If he comes back healthy and showing the same biting slider and solid command, he could be a nice mid-rotation starter. But we’re a long way from that reality. For now, let’s see how he develops — or if he even pitches this season.

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.