Dodgers got bang for their buck in the 2014 draft, pro debuts of 2021 draft show they could repeat the feat

For the 2021 draft, the Dodgers had a bonus pool was $4,646,700, which was their lowest total in the 10-year history of the current bonus pool format. The last time the Dodgers had a bonus pool in this neighborhood was back in 2014, with a total of $4,947,700. Still, that draft class yielded several players who contributed directly for the major league club, were part of a trade that helped the big league club, or, in one case, both.

Some of the notable names:

Grant Holmes – One of three prospects traded for Rich Hill and only Rich Hill

Alex Verdugo – 488 PAs for the Dodgers, helped acquire a talented bowler

John Richy – One of two prospects traded for Chase Utley

Jeff Brigham – Sent to Miami in the 13-player, 3-team trade that brought back Alex Wood

Brock Stewart – 84.0 innings pitched for the Dodgers

Trevor Oaks – Sent to Kansas City in the 6-player, 3-team trade that brought back Scott Alexander

Caleb Ferguson – 112.1 innings pitched for the Dodgers

Suffice it to say, even with modest bonus pools, the Dodgers have made it work.


So, despite having their smallest bonus pool yet, there are still plenty of 2021 draftees to get excited about. Of the 19 players selected, 17 are pitchers, and nine of those pitchers spent time with full season clubs last summer. Of those nine, eight pitched in games that were streamed, and here’s a look at that group:

4th round pick Nick Nastrini, albeit in a small sample size, appeared to take a step forward with his control. After posting a BB/9 of 10.9 with UCLA, the 21-year-old lowered that to 4.5 as a pro, while posting a K/9 of 20.6 (not a typo).

At a listed 6’5, 215 lbs, 6th round pick Emmet Sheehan, out of Boston College, has prototypical frontline starting pitcher, with stuff to match. Please forgive the typo in the tweet, Sheehan was most definitely not drafted by the Dodgers in 2020.

In 10.2 innings with the org, 7th round pick Ryan Sublette out of Texas Tech struck out 14 and walked just one.

8th round pick Ben Harris, out of Georgia, is definitely intriguing — posting a K/9 of 15 in the SEC is eye-catching, and that figure carried over to his pro debut.

9th round pick Lael Lockhart is also out of the SEC, finishing up his college career with the Arkansas Razorbacks. He posted impressive K numbers as well, putting up a K/9 of 16.5 as a pro. His fastball/slider/changeup combo all work out of the same release point.

10th round pick Michael Hobbs, out of St Mary’s, left the program as their all-time saves leader with 24. That slacker Tony Gonsolin only had 13 while with the program.

Missing bats is definitely the theme with this class — 13th round pick Antonio Knowles, out of Florida SouthWestern State College, posted a K/9 of 24.8 (!!!) in his pro debut, while providing a little entertainment as well:

And lastly, 14th round pick Jordan Leasure out of the University of Tampa showed an effective fastball/slider combo:

Though the major league season is up in the air, the minor league season is scheduled to start on time, and it’ll be fun to see how these guys have progressed after spending a full offseason with the club.

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