The Dodgers continued the draft on Tuesday by making seven picks. Like in year’s past, most of them were collegiate draftees, except for the lone high school pitcher. This is a theme in Billy Gasparino drafts.
Here are the draftees in list form with the slot-recommended bonus amounts.
3(104). LHP John Rooney, Hofstra — $538,800
4(134). RHP Braydon Fisher, Clear Falls HS (Texas) — $402,300
5(164). 2B/SS Devin Mann, Louisville — $300,600
And here are the individual write-ups.
Round 3, Pick 104 (overall): LHP John Rooney, Hofstra University
6’5, 235 pounds
DOB: Jan. 28, 1997
The Dodgers started their second day with a big lefty from Hofstra in the form of Rooney. He’s listed at 6’5, 235 pounds, he’s the largest Dodger draftee so far. He posted a 1.23 ERA in 95 innings. He also had a strong 10.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Rooney was ranked No. 144 by Baseball America and No. 181 by MLB Pipeline. He was also ranked No. 175 by David Hood at True Blue LA.
“Rooney’s fastball can reach 93 mph and he also throws an above-average slider that comes across in the low to mid-80s. He does well throwing both pitches for strikes and shows at least average control. He’s remade his body since his summer in the Cape and has lost some weight, but he still isn’t overly athletic. He also has a longer arm action and has yet to find consistency with his third-pitch changeup. For those reasons, there is some reliever risk with Rooney, who could be an effective two-pitch lefty out of the bullpen. But it’s hard to argue with Rooney’s results as a junior, so if a team believes in his ability to find an average third pitch he could go off the board higher than his ranking suggests.”
“The 6-foot-5 left-hander has really come into his own as Hofstra’s Friday night starter this spring, using a three-pitch mix to carve up opponents in the Colonial Athletic Association. He’ll throw his fastball in the 87-93 mph range, using his size well to create good downhill plane. His slider flashes plus with good bite, a pitch that has improved over time, even from his stint in the Cape Cod League last summer until now. He’ll effectively mix in an average changeup with some fade as well, and he’s thrown all three pitches for strikes. With a somewhat limited ceiling, Rooney may not go quite as high as Verbitsky, who was the 86th overall selection, but he may not be far behind. After the dominant junior season he’s had, he should easily beat Poma, who was a 10th-round pick back in 2012.”
Here’s reactions from Twitter.
Dodgers closing round 3 with John Rooney from Hofstra. Big riser this spring, great size with starter traits, LHP, especially like that pick for LA there.
— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 5, 2018
LHP John Rooney picked up something in the Cape league (confidence) and went back to Hofstra with some fire. 1.23 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 10.23 SO/9 last year. Real good frame 6'5"/225lbs. pic.twitter.com/XueMbtS13q
— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) May 29, 2018
While is ceiling seems limited, he could be a fast-mover. And with a solid fastball/slider combination, he could end up in the bullpen if his changeup doesn’t develop. He’s the third fastball/slider guy the Dodgers have drafted thus far.
Round 4, Pick 134 (overall): RHP Braydon Fisher, Clear Falls HS (Texas)
6’4, 180 pounds
DOB: July 26, 2000
Commitment: Lamar University
Gasparino has made it a bit of a habit of drafting a prep pitcher in Rounds 3 or 4, and that was no different this year (Dustin May in the 3rd round in 2016 and James Marinan in the 4th round in 2017). Fisher was the Dodgers lone prep selection on Day 2. David Hood at True Blue LA actually mocked him to the Dodgers in his 10-round mock draft over the weekend. BA ranked Fisher at No. 258, while Pipeline had him at No. 80, so he was definitely a good value pick at No. 134, despite the high ranking from BA.
“Fisher is another Texas prep arm who has done a lot to help himself this spring. A well-built 6-foot-4, 180-pound righthander, Fisher has seen his velocity tick up during his senior season. After topping out at 91-92 mph in showcases last summer, he’s touched 96 this spring. The Lamar signee now sits 92-96 mph at his best with a slurvy breaking ball and a developing changeup.”
“Fisher’s fastball has added significant velocity in the last year and now sits in the low 90s while topping out at 96 mph with some run and sink. Considering that his arm is so quick and clean and he has the room to add plenty of strength to his 6-foot-4 frame, he could work in the mid-90s once he’s a finished product. The Lamar recruit uses a high-three-quarters delivery to create downhill plane that makes his heater even tougher to hit. Fisher is showing improvement with his slider, which can be a solid pitch in the low 80s with some depth at its best. He hasn’t used his changeup much and will need to refine it to have another option against more advanced hitters. He’s still in the early stages of his development, but he’s so projectable and young (he won’t turn 18 until nearly two months after the Draft) that his upside is intriguing.”
True Blue LA
“Fisher will not likely move as quickly through the ranks as another recent Texas prep Dustin May, but at his peak, Fisher could pitch in the mid to upper 90’s with good life and a slider with good tilt out of a ¾ slot. Fisher has a head whack in his delivery and some command issues to iron out, but he has the frame and natural arm talent that can’t be taught and could be hard to find this late in the draft. Fisher is a bit of a late riser and is committed to mid-major Lamar, so I will assume his signability on day two even at this point is still good.”
RHP Braydon Fisher was up to 94 mph early in the spring, pitching at 91-93. Lanky, long-limbed and wiry frame. Slider varies in speed and shape, but has been 80-82. #mlbdraft #Dodgers
— Nathan Rode (@NathanRode) June 5, 2018
The last bit in Hood’s write-up is a good point. While it’s probably going to take a little more than $400,000-plus to sign him, it probably won’t be much more than that. Unless he wants to go to the baseball powerhouse known as Lamar…
Round 5, Pick 164 (overall): 2B/SS Devin Mann, University of Louisville
6’3, 201 pounds
DOB: Feb. 11, 1997
In the span of three minutes after this selection was made, I heard Mann described as a second baseman, a third baseman and a shortstop (which is what he was announced as), so the fact the Dodgers drafted him should come as no surprise. He’s the third Louisville Cardinal the Dodgers have drafted since 2015 (Kyle Funkhouser and Will Smith). He hit .292/.437/.474 with five home runs and a 1.26 BB/K ratio (53 walks, 42 strikeouts). Despite being a senior draftee, he might have a little upside.
Devin Mann played the best I’ve ever seen him in the ACC tournament — showed real power, and a more mature approach than I’d seen from him in the past. Have always liked his swing and frame, and feel like it’s all starting to click for him. #Dodgers https://t.co/I388MTr7n8
— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) June 5, 2018
Dodgers go with Louisville 2B Devin Mann. Physical guy, good approach, lots of walks, solid defender/athlete for size at 2B, good performance history, some pop there
— Brian Sakowski (@B_Sakowski_PG) June 5, 2018
He was No. 222 on BA’s Top 500. Here’s what the publication wrote about him:
“He’s a disciplined hitter who works deep counts, controls the strike zone well and spoils pitcher’s pitches until he gets something he likes. In 2018, he’s walked more (53) than struck out (43) and has at least solid-average hitting ability with a quick, level swing that currently produces more doubles than over-the-fence pop. He nearly raised his season average to .300 in one week with a sizzling-hot ACC Tournament in late May in which he homered twice, but in that same tournament he committed three costly errors at second base—two in the championship game against Florida State that led to big offensive innings. Mann is a fringy defensive second baseman at best, with an average arm and range but at times clunky hands and awkward reactions. At one point a plus runner, Mann has slowed to fringier speeds, limiting his defensive versatility.”
The Dodgers use data and defensive positioning as well as any team, so if any team is going to make Mann a shortstop and/or make him not a defensive liability, it’s LA.
Next Up: Rounds 6-10