The third day of the MLB Draft consists of rounds 11 through 40. That’s nuts. I’m going to break it down into three posts: 11-20, 21-30 and 31-40.
Here are the selections in list form.
11(341). RHP A.J. Alexy, Twin Valley HS (Pa.)
12(371). RHP Graham Ashcraft, Huntsville HS (Ala.)
13(401). OF Cody Thomas, Oklahoma
14(431). RHP Dean Kremer, UNLV
15(461). OF Brayan Morales, Hillsborough JC
16(491). OF Darien Tubbs, Memphis
17(521). 2B Dillon Persinger, Golden West College
18(551). 2B Cole Freeman, LSU
19(581). RHP Chris Mathewson, Long Beach State
20(611). 3B Brock Carpenter, Seattle Univeristy
Two high school players, two junior college players and six college players. Let’s break this down.
RHP A.J. Alexy, Twin Valley HS (Pa.) – 11th round
The Dodgers used their first pick of Day 3 to land a somewhat projectable right-handed pitcher from Pennsylvania in the form of Alexy. He was ranked 327th on Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects list. Here is what it had to say about Alexy.
“Alexy has a sturdy 6-foot-4, 195-pound frame with wide shoulders and room for additional muscle. He has a clean arm action with arm speed that indicates future velocity gains. His fastball has been mostly 88-92 this spring, and he’s flashed the ability to locate his changeup down in the zone. His curveball shows top-to-bottom action, but it will need more power to develop into an average offering, though it flashes tight spin currently. Alexy has shown potential for three pitches and a pro body, traits indicative of a future starter.”
He’s committed to Radford College and will absolutely need more than the allotted $100,000 for his selection to lure him away. The Dodgers have made 11th-round splashes in the past: Nathan Eovaldi ($250,000), Joc Pederson ($600,000), Spencer Navin ($300,00) and Imani Abdullah ($647,500), so it’ll be no surprise when Alexy gets $500,000 to sign.
Alexy has the look of a mid-rotation starter if he can keep his velocity up and establish a true third pitch. If not, he could make it out of the bullpen.
RHP Graham Ashcraft, Hunstville HS (Ala.) – 12th round
Ashcraft was ranked 175th by BA and 218th by Perfect Game, so his pedigree appears to be a bit better than Alexy’s. Here’s what BA had to say about him.
“Ashcraft touched 99 mph with his fastball this spring, comfortably sitting in the low- to mid-90s, and he pairs it with a wipeout slider. Listed at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, he has a good pitcher’s frame and plenty of arm strength. But Ashcraft hasn’t consistently had his best stuff this spring and struggles at times to control his premium stuff. He is more of a thrower than a pitcher at this point and he’ll have to improve his control and feel for pitching to remain a starter in the long run.”
This is unsurprising as many hard-throwing young pitchers often times have trouble controlling/commanding their stuff.
Here’s what PG had to say about him.
“He’s a primary fastball pitcher who is capable of sitting in the 93-95 mph range for long stretches from a three-quarters to sometimes even mid three-quarters arm slot, and has been up to 98 mph this spring. Both Ashcraft’s secondary pitches, including a sweeping slider and a straight changeup, still need developing, as does his control and ability to repeat his mechanics and release point, so he profiles more as a future reliever at this point in his development.”
He’s already filled out physically, so there isn’t much projection left (and there really doesn’t need to be if he’s already sitting in the low-to-mid-90s), but he’ll need to build stamina and endurance to stick in the rotation.
His delivery needs to be cleaned up a bit, as the control issues are painfully apparent. Professional instruction should help, if the Dodgers can get him out his Mississippi State commitment. It might take more to get him than it does to get Alexy, but Ashcraft’s stuff gives him a higher ceiling.
OF Cody Thomas, Oklahoma – 13th round
The big, athletic college outfielder was a former football player at Oklahoma, but gave it up to play baseball. He’s a 6’4, left-handed-hitting outfielder with enough arm for right field. He was ranked by BA as the 165th-best prospect available … in the 2013 draft. He was formerly a 30th-round pick of the Yankees, but he chose to attend OU.
He should be a cheap signing.
RHP Dean Kremer, UNLV – 14th round
Kremer is the first Israeli person ever selected in the MLB Draft. He’s also from Stockton (!), and was drafted in the 38th round in 2015 by the Padres out of San Joaquin Delta College (about 5 minutes from where I live). Obviously, I love this pick. He was not ranked by BA or Perfect Game. He has a 4-pitch mix as a starting pitcher — fastball, curveball, changeup and splitter. His fastball has some sink and sits in the low-90s.
OF Brayan Morales, Hillsborough JC – 15th round
Not much to say about this right-handed hitting outfielder. He was viewed as a potential pitcher out of high school, but transitioned to the outfield full-time at Hillsborough.
More organizational depth here, if he signs.
OF Darien Tubbs, Memphis – 16th round
Tubbs is a small (5’9) athletic outfielder from Memphis. He didn’t crack BA or PG’s Top 500 draft prospects list. He was chosen as the best defensive outfielder in the American Athletic Conference by BA in the preseason. He is praised for his work ethic.
He has a center field profile, but will need to hit enough in the pros to justify him being anything more than a 4th/5th outfielder-type.
2B Dillon Persinger, Golden West College – 17th round
Another small junior college selection, Persinger is more organizational depth. He was chosen in 2015 by Cleveland in the 31st round last year. His stance is more reminiscent of a power hitter than a guy who is 5’9, but it obviously worked for him. The second baseman was the Orange Empire Conference (a real thing, apparently) Player of the Year and is committed to CSU Fullerton if he doesn’t sign.
Not sure the Dodgers get him signed. He has options and doesn’t have to settle. But it probably wouldn’t be the worst thing for him to roll the dice and try to perform at a big-time baseball school.
2B Cole Freeman, LSU – 18th round
The most interesting about Freeman might be the fact he is projected by Chris Mitchell’s KATOH projection system to be the player who has the best chance of getting to the majors (30 percent) and of posting the best WAR through age 27 (0.5) of any Dodger college draftee after the 10th round. Freeman is the prototypical “scrappy” player — he’s short, he’s an infielder, he’s not that talented and he’s white.
I’m sure he’ll sign and bring all kinds of scrappiness to the Dodgers’ system.
RHP Chris Mathewson, CSU Long Beach – 19th round
Mathewson is third and second, respectively on Mitchell’s projection in terms of likelihood to make it to the majors (22 percent) and producing (0.4 WAR). The likely former Dirtbag had 107 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings in 2016. He was drafted by the Rangers in the 28th round in 2014 but obviously didn’t sign. He had an ACL repaired while in college after his freshman season.
He might be one of the better prospects the Dodgers popped in rounds 11-20. I’d like to see him sign and see what the development staff can do with him.
3B Brock Carpenter, Seattle University – 20th round
Finally, a position player with some size (Cody Thomas notwithstanding). Carpenter is 6’3, 215 pounds and hit well in the Western Athletic Conference. He was ranked 361st on BA’s Top 500 and a former 39th-round pick by the Padres three years ago. From BA:
“Seattle won the WAC’s regular season behind a big finish by Carpenter, who was a 39th-round pick of the Padres out of high school and finally broke out as a junior. He started slowly but hit .400 in WAC games. Carpenter still has swing-and-miss issues but is a patient hitter, started laying off breaking stuff and out-muscled some fastballs. He’s strong at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, has a plus arm and plays a capable third base.”
All things considered, not a bad get in the 20th round.
It’s going to take a little money to land Alexy and Ashcraft. The Dodgers have already saved a little money with some signings, but they have a little more work to do if they want to ensure they sign these two prep arms who have decent upside.
Next up: Rounds 21-30