Dodgers select HS OF Kendall George with the 36th pick of the 2023 MLB Draft

While it may be the All-Star break for the MLB players, baseball news hasn’t stopped, and the first day of the 2023 MLB Draft is underway.

The Dodgers day started with the 36th pick of the 2023 MLB Draft, where they selected outfielder Kendall George from Atascocita High School in Texas.


The Athletic: NR
Baseball America: 114
ESPN: 52
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 65
Perfect Game: 108
Prospects Live: 55


On the surface, it seems like a reach, but that honestly doesn’t matter as much in the MLB, and especially for the Dodgers.

From Baseball America:

Commit/Drafted: Arkansas
Age At Draft: 18.7
BA Grade:45/Extreme
Tools:Hit: 50. Power: 30. Run: 80. Field: 60. Arm: 40.
George is a small and skinny, 5-foot-11, 165-pound outfielder, but what he lacks in size and power, he makes up for with quickness, explosiveness and some of the best pure speed in the 2023 draft class. He could hang in a foot race with almost anyone in the class and routinely turns in 80-grade run times in the 3.9-4.0-second range from home to first, and it’s not uncommon to see him post lower run times than that on jailbroken swings. While George won’t threaten to hit many balls over the fence, he’s a pesky and difficult hitter to get out, with a contact-oriented stroke from the left side and both a strong batting eye and bat-to-ball skills. He’s always a threat to lay down a bunt and is proficient in that area, and can slap the ball around to all fields effectively. The center fielder for Team USA’s gold medal-winning 18U National Team, George was second on the team with a .364 average, went 5-for-5 in stolen bases and also walked six times to just one strikeout. His elite speed gives him easy plus range in center field where he should be an impactful defender with below-average arm strength. While they have different body types, George could compare reasonably to 2023 classmate Enrique Bradfield Jr., an outfielder at Vanderbilt who shares a similar all-around profile, though George has a bit more strength and a bit less defensive polish compared to Bradfield at the same age.

From MLB Pipeline:

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 30 | Run: 80 | Arm: 40 | Field: 60 | Overall: 50 
As fast as any high school player in the Draft, George draws repeated comparisons to Vanderbilt outfielder Enrique Bradfield, a no-doubt first-round pick. George went from the left side of the plate to first base in 3.4 seconds on a bunt at the PDP League last July and can get there in less than four seconds with a normal swing. The center fielder on the U.S. national team that won the 18-and-under World Cup last September, he reached base 10 times in 18 trips to the plate and stole five bases at the event. 
Built along the lines of Juan Pierre, George understands the strengths and weaknesses of his offensive game. He has a compact and consistent left-handed swing built for contact, and he manages the strike zone well as he focuses on getting on base. He has added about 10 pounds as a high school senior but still lacks the strength for power and makes a lot of ground-ball contact, so he’ll never be much of a home run threat. 
Scouts joke that George is a 90 runner on the standard 20-80 scale, and he makes the most out of his speed. He’s an aggressive basestealer and runs down balls from gap to gap in center field. The Arkansas recruit has a below-average arm but it’s playable in center and he compensates by getting to balls quicker than most players.

From ESPN:

George is an 80 runner, plus defender in center field and has real contact skills. His arm and power are both well below average and limit his upside, but it sounds like there’s lots of interested clubs in the second round.

From FanGraphs:

George is a switch-hitting slash-and-dash high school prospect with elite speed. His wheels will enable him to play center field and could make him a plus defender out there. While his righty swing is more traditional looking, George’s lefty cut relies on his speed to beat out infield hits, and most of his extra bases come via doubles grounded into the corners. Unless he can develop more pop from the left side, his ceiling is that of a traditional leadoff man or a modern nine hole hitter.

Some thoughts on the pick itself from around the web.

From The Athletic:

The Dodgers take the first player who wasn’t on my top 100, going with high school outfielder Kendall George, an 80 runner and switch-hitter with well below-average power, maybe grade 30, between limited strength and a flat, slappy swing that puts the ball on the ground way more often than in the air. He’s an Arkansas commit and I thought he’d head to school, since he might have a much better draft profile in three years if he filled out some and had a few years of SEC production, but the Dodgers — who do have an excellent track record in the draft — obviously like the defense/speed combination enough to buy him out of that.

And, of course, some video.


It’s possible that the “reach” here is because they’ll get an underslot deal, and the value for this pick is $2,362,700 out of their total $7.27 million total pool.

The Dodgers also have the 60th pick coming up later today as well.

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