Dodgers target athleticism, prep players in rounds 21-30 of 2019 MLB Draft

Jonny DeLuca

The Dodgers grabbed some interesting players at this point of the draft. There’s no guarantee they’ll all sign (they won’t), but if they can land at least one of the higher-upside guys here, I’ll consider that a win.

Round 21, No. 641 overall – OF Trey LaFleur, J.M. Tate HS (Fla.)

LaFleur (6’3, 190 pounds, age 18) is the first prep player chosen by the Dodgers since they popped Jimmy Lews with the last pick of the second round. This is usually about the time teams start taking chances on signability prep players who have fallen in the draft. Here’s what the experts said about the outfielder and maybe-LHP.

Baseball America (Rank: 370)

“Lafleur is an athletic prep outfielder who is committed to Mississippi. He shows some bat speed and a bit of raw power at the plate with a good run tool. In addition to playing outfield, he has also pitched. He could be a legitimate two-way player for Mississippi, but scouts like his athleticism and offensive upside more as a hitter in pro ball.”

Perfect Game (Rank: 490)

“LaFleur is one of the bigger wild cards of the draft class as he checks a lot of boxes that scouts look for out of prospects. He’s a big-bodied, broad-shouldered outfielder who looks like he’ll be able to add another 15-20 pounds of muscle with the potential to be a physical monster. LaFleur fits best in right field with a strong arm – he’s been into the upper-80s on the mound – with big raw juice that he’ll continue to tap into as he adds strength. Unfortunately he’s dealt with some nagging injuries this spring and scouts haven’t been able to get the looks they wanted to, but LaFleur profiles well as a power-hitting corner outfielder at physical maturity.”

Here are a couple videos of LaFleur hitting and pitching.

The Dodgers announced him as an outfielder, so I’m assuming that’s what they’re expecting him to play. It’s nice to see he has a fall back option on the mound if hitting doesn’t work out.

He’s one of the few high school players the Dodgers drafted in 2019. He’ll definitely need an over-slot deal to forego his commitment to the University of Mississippi. I’d say there’s a coin flip’s chance he signs.

Rounds 22, No. 671 overall – SS Jimmy Titus, Bryant University

Titus (6’1, 195 pounds, age 21) was the college teammate of Dodgers’ 8th-rounder Ryan Ward and has a chance to be professional teammates with him.

There’s not a lot of info out there on him, so here are a couple of Twitter videos of him on offense and defense.

https://twitter.com/necbaseball/status/1132040346030862338
https://twitter.com/necbaseball/status/1132036178008350720

He’s a redshirt sophomore after missing all but two games of the 2018 with a torn ACL. He has a little leverage if he doesn’t want to sign for $125,000 (or less) to begin his pro career. We’ll see if the Dodgers can reel him in.

Round 23, 701 overall – RHP Cyrillo Watson, University of Illinois

Watson (6’1, 195 pounds, age 21) is an interesting arm. He profiles as a reliever, yet has a four-pitch mix that doesn’t really miss bats. 

Baseball America (Rank: 419)

“Watson entered Illinois as a two-way player but settled into a role on the mound, and has flashed good stuff over three years in the Big 10, but has never put together the performance to back it up. A 6-foot-1, 195-pound righty, Watson has a solid delivery and pitches in the 89-91 mph range, but touched 94 mph last fall. He has three secondary pitches, but a curveball is his most consistent offering and looks like an average pitch at his best. Watson has never missed as many bats as his stuff might suggest, and while he had a career year this spring with a 3.65 ERA over 13 starts and 69 innings, walked 39 batters compared to 49 strikeouts.”

MLB Pipeline

“After a successful sophomore season at the University of Illinois, Watson’s control regressed as a junior. The 6’1 right-hander went 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 13 starts, but led the Illini with 39 walks this season. Watson has an average fastball and should his control issues continue, he may transition into a full-time relief role as a pro.”

And a note from Jeff Ellis of 247 Sports.

Here’s some video of the hurler.

You can see the crossfire in his delivery that hinders his command profile a bit.

As a junior at a big university and as a back-half draftee, he could easily go back to school to try to improve his stock for next year. But the idea of him signing and working with the Dodgers’ developmental staff might be too much for him to pass up. I’m guessing he signs.

Round 24, No. 731 overall – OF Chet Allison, Fresno Community College

Allison (6’2, 215 pounds, age 20) is an interesting guy because he’s one of the most athletic players the Dodgers took in these 10 selections. Here’s what Baseball Census had said about the outfielder.

As the tweet says, he’s committed to Arkansas. If the Dodgers want to get him out of it, they might have to go above the $125,000 number, but I’m not sure by how much.

Round 25, No. 761 overall – OF Jonny Deluca, University of Oregon

OK, Allison may not have been the most athletic draftee in this group of 10. Deluca (5’11, 196 pounds, age 20) is that guy. Here’s what BA and PG have to say.

Baseball America (Rank: 406)

“A 5-foot-11, 196-pound draft-eligible sophomore, DeLuca was drafted by the Twins in the 39th round of the 2017 draft, but instead made it to campus at Oregon where he has struggled to figure out the offensive side of his game. DeLuca is an above-average runner with above-average arm strength who was one of the best athletes in the 2017 class out of high school, where he also was a competitive long jumper and track runner, but he’s hit just .224/.293/.356 over two seasons with the Ducks and he’s striking out more in 2019. His offensive performance, combined with well below-average power might make him a tough draft, but if he can figure out his swing he could impact a team with his defense and running ability.”

Perfect Game (Rank: 426)

“The Ducks of Oregon will keep their eye on the June draft to not only monitor their incoming recruits but also on their draft-eligible sophomore Jonny DeLuca. His numbers from this spring may not jump off the page but he has made improvements across the board and is coming off a solid performance on the Cape in which he hit .296. The big draw with DeLuca is his plus speed and overall athleticism, two traits that help the switch-hitter patrol center field with fluidity to his actions, as well as on the basepaths as he leads the team in both triples and stolen bags.”

Here’s a (short) recent video of him and one more less-recent one.

Videos courtesy of Scout Trio and Prospect Pipeline.

As a sophomore-eligible draftee, there’s no guarantee he signs. But if I’m LA, I’m willing to go a little over the $125,000 mark to get this kid into the system. He has some good potential.

Rounds 26, No. 791 – RHP Mark Mixon, University of Miami (FL)

Mixon (6’2, 180 pounds, age 22) is a right-handed pitcher. From “The U.” I’m not gonna lie … there’s not a lot on this fella. But if the second video below is accurate, then we might have a side-armer!

Videos courtesy of Mark Mixon.

A college middle reliever, Mixon is likely to sign and begin his pro career.

Round 27, No. 821 overall – RHP Parker Brahms, Sacramento State University

Clearly the best pick of this draft, Brahms (6’3, 209 pounds, age 21) is a big right-handed pitcher from the best college in all the land. His 2018 season was a good one for the Hornets (2.41 ERA, 10.9 K/9) as a starting pitcher. If he had repeated it, he probably would have gone a lot higher than the 27th round.

There’s not a ton of information on him. He has a fastball, curveball and changeup, but not much is publicly known about them. Here are a couple videos — one is a highlight video of a single game from college, one is from three years ago before he came out of high school.

Videos courtesy of Hornet Athletics and Prospect Pipeline.

He’s a junior, so he could go back to school. Seeing what he did in 2018, it might actually make sense for him to go back. If not, he could be a nice developmental arm for the Dodgers.

Round 28, No. 851 overall – SS Brennan Milone, Woodstock HS (Ga.)

Of all the post-10th-round picks, this one is the most exciting. It’s also almost assured that he won’t sign. Milone (6’1, 180 pounds, age 18) was a legitimate Top 150 draft prospect whose commitment to South Carolina (and higher price tag) allowed him to slip to the 28th round.

Future Dodgers broke down the chances of the Dodgers actually signing Milone as a 28th-rounder.

“Doing some very rough estimates, based on talent, Milone was slated to be a late day one or early day two pick this year, and assuming he would’ve gotten an overslot bonus had he been drafted in that range, we can guesstimate he would’ve gotten a bonus somewhere between $700,000 and $1,000,000. The Dodgers can go about $400,000 over their bonus pool before reaching the 5% threshold, going over which would take away next year’s first round pick. So, if even the Dodgers give Milone just a $700,000 bonus, as a day three pick, $575,000 of that would count against the bonus pool. By simple math, this means the Dodgers would need to be $175,000 under their bonus pool with everyone else, which may be difficult. While second rounder Jimmy Lewis seems like the only obvious overslot candidate, getting that far under slot may prove difficult. This is all very rough estimating, and it’s also assuming Milone’s bonus ask without any advanced knowledge of what he was asking for. That said, if the Dodgers had planned for Milone to be in the fold, they wouldn’t have waited until the 28th round to take him. If, and this is a big if, they somehow manage to sign him without losing any of their day one talent, this is a steal and adds a really nice prep bat to the draft class.”

The odds aren’t great. Still, let’s see what the experts have said about Milone as a prospect.

Baseball America (Rank: 134)

“A 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop, Milone might be a better fit for second or third base in the future. He’s a fringe-average runner who lacks a lot of quick-twitch lateral mobility and has just average arm strength. His defensive instincts are solid, however, and scouts are confident he’ll be able to stick in the dirt in some capacity. Milone has average raw power, which could limit his profile or make him more of a utility-type player as he progresses. Regardless, scouts think he has above-average hitting ability with good feel to put the barrel on the ball.”

ESPN (Rank: 64)

“This Milone is a bat-first middle infielder who won’t stay at short, most likely moving to second, with a chance to hit for average and some power now that he’s started to fill out physically.”

FanGraphs (Rank: 104)

“Popup infielder in the Atlanta suburbs has wide base of tools and has lots of directors rushing in for looks.”

MLB Pipeline (Rank: 94)

“Milone has a sweet right-handed swing and advanced feel for manipulating the barrel. He has added strength and his bat looks quicker this spring, giving him at least average power potential despite a lack of physicality. Most of his pop presently comes to his pull side, and there could be more to come if he adds more muscle and more loft to his stroke. A shortstop in high school, Milone projects best defensively at third base. He has the hands and instincts to stay on the dirt, though he has below-average speed and an average arm with inconsistent accuracy. He does have a good first step, and some scouts would try him at second base while others wonder if he might wind up in left field.”

Perfect Game (Rank: 127)

“Milone has steadily shown that he is one of the more polished prep hitters in this year’s class putting together a really impressive spring with improved power and an elite hit tool. His ability to play shortstop is impressive as well, although he may move to second base or the outfield given his below average arm strength. The tools are certainly there at the plate and the ball really jumps off of his bat. Although the in-game speed is not one of his pure strengths, his overall skill-set and his baseball instincts are going to play immediately at the next level.”

Here’s some video of him.

Videos courtesy of 2080 Baseball and Brian Milone.

As stated above, the odds the Dodgers will be able to sign Milone are slim. They’re going to need to go over-slot for Lewis and they may not have saved as much in rounds 3-10 as they have in years past.

The largest post-10th bonus the Dodgers have given out in the Billy Gasparino era is $647,500 (to Imani Abdullah in 2015). They also gave A.J. Alexy a $600,000 bonus to sign in 2016. Logan Crouse also got $500,000 in ’15. If Milone is going to take upward of $750,000-$1 million to sign, it probably won’t happen.

Round 29, No. 881 overall – SS Breyln Jones, Rutherford HS (N.J.)

The Dodgers took a chance on another prep player in Jones (6’2, 180 pounds, age 18), who is the son of former major leaguer Bobby Jones.

There’s not a lot of digital ink available on him, but he isn’t committed to a 2- or 4-year school, so he might be signable at this selection. Here’s a video, courtesy of Jersey Sports Zone.

We’ll see if the Dodgers can ink him. He looks like a good athlete, which we know the Dodgers covet in their prospects.

Round 30, No. 911 overall – RHP Josh Ibarra, Golden West College (Calif.)

Ibarra (6’2, 200 pounds, age 20) is one of the few local players popped by the Dodgers in this draft. Here’s what Baseball America had said about him.

Baseball America (Rank: 461)

“A bounceback from Div. II Concordia-Irvine, Ibarra generated buzz in the fall and shot up late in the spring when he pitched nine no-hit innings with 16 strikeouts in the opener of the California state junior college playoffs. Ibarra is physical 6-foot-2, 200 pound righthander with a fresh arm who throws hard. He sits 91-92 mph and ramped up to 95-96 mph in his playoff outing, generating swings and misses through his fastball at the top of the zone. He mostly gets chase swings and doesn’t have fastball command yet. His lone secondary is a potentially average curveball. Ibarra has a strong commitment to UC Irvine, but his playoff performance has teams willing to potentially sign him away.”

And here’s some video.

Video courtesy of Baseball Census.

Ibarra also had a pre-draft workout at Dodger Stadium.

https://twitter.com/Coach_Kap_29/status/1132883417379483649

Baseball Census also tweeted this out when Ibarra was drafted.

Ibarra is committed to UC Irvine. There’s every chance he ends up there, seeing as he was a 30th-rounder. He could go for one year, hope his postseason performance wasn’t a fluke and shoot up draft boards. But if the Dodgers are willing to go over-slot for him, they might be able to get him out of the commitment.

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Next Up: Rounds 31-40

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.