2023 MLB Draft: Dodgers select Brady Smith, Wyatt Crowell, Dylan Campbell, Eriq Swan, and Joe Vetrano in Rounds 3-5

The Dodgers entered Day 2 of the 2023 MLB draft having taken possibly the fastest player in the draft in Kendall George, a legit 80 runner and plus defender in centerfield, though he comes without a heck of a lot of power projection, and is seen as an underslot play. They followed that pick up with the selection of Zack Gelof, who possesses 70 grade pop, a solid enough hit tool, and should stay at third base.

The (likely) underslot selection of George opened up the door for the Dodgers to be aggressive, as they had four picks before the fifth round, two of which due to the departures of Trea Turner and Tyler Anderson.

Today, in the 3rd-5th rounds, they grabbed high schooler Brady Smith, a right-handed pitcher from Grainger High School in Tennessee, Wyatt Crowell, a left-handed pitcher out of Florida State, Dylan Campbell, an outfielder out of the University of Texas, Eriq Swan, a right-handed pitcher out of Middle Tennessee State, and Joe Vetrano, a first baseman out of Boston College.


Round 3, No. 95 overall: RHP Brady Smith, Grainger High School, Rutledge, TN

Listed at 6’2 and 170 lbs, Virginia Tech commit Brady Smith is the sort of projectable high school pitcher you love to see the Dodgers get into the mix. Possessing a fastball that’s already up to 95, and touted for both his quick arm and exceptional spin rates, he appears to be a tailor-made project for the club. As a senior, Smith tossed 35.1 IP, with an ERA of 0.40 and a K/BB of 77/14.


The Athletic: NR
Baseball America: 422
ESPN: 124
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 138
Perfect Game: 232
Prospects Live: 313

MLB Pipeline had this to say about him:

Grainger HS (Rutledge, Tenn.) produced Twins fourth-round pick Trey Cabbage in the 2015 Draft, and Smith could go in a similar range this July. He’s not very physical but his quick arm produces quality stuff and strikes. If he doesn’t turn pro this summer, he’ll attend Virginia Tech. Despite getting a late start on the diamond because he played basketball over the winter, Smith has come out firing at 90-93 mph and reaching 95 with arm-side run on his fastball. He should gain more velocity once he adds some strength to his skinny 6-foot-2 frame. He notches high spin rates on two distinct breaking pitches — an upper-70s curveball that grades as plus, and a low-80s slider with more lateral break. Smith also has feel for a low-80s changeup with fade and depth that he hasn’t needed much against prep competition. While he lacks size, he compensates with athleticism and arm speed. He has a clean delivery and no trouble filling the strike zone.

And here’s what some of the draft heads have to say about it:

Just 18 years old, big spin metrics, and with room for another 30+ lbs, sure seems like a Dodger-y high schooler. Get after it, dev crew.


Round 4, No. 127 overall, LHP Wyatt Crowell, Florida State University

Crowell is a 6’0, 169 lbs southpaw who played his high school ball in Georgia, and he saw his junior season in Tallahassee cut short due to Tommy John surgery. The 21-year-old true junior possesses a fastball that has been up to 98 in relief, though it sat in the low 90s t95 as a starter, and a wipeout slider that got a large amount of whiffs.


The Athletic: 95
Baseball America: 135
ESPN: 143
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 112
Perfect Game: 258
Prospects Live: 228

From Baseball America:

Smith is a projectable and wiry righthander with a lean, 6-foot-2, 172-pound frame. He has shown a solid four-pitch mix, headlined by a fastball that sits in the 89-92 mph range and has touched 93 with three solid secondaries. He has a slider in the low 80s, a curveball in the upper 70s that flashes some bite, solid depth and three-quarter shape and also has a low-80s changeup. Smith is committed to Virginia Tech.

Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about him:

Crowell went from the Georgia high school ranks to the Florida State bullpen, appearing in 13 games as a freshman in 2021 then emerging as the best reliver on the Seminoles staff in 2022. After finishing with a 2.12 ERA and 12.7 K/9 rate as a sophomore, he pitched well out of Team USA’s ‘pen for the Collegiate National Team. Scouts were excited about a possible move to the rotation this spring, but he made just one start and four relief appearances before being shut down with an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. While Crowell isn’t the biggest guy in the world at 6-foot, he’s an excellent athlete on the mound with a very quick arm. In shorter stints as a reliever, the left-hander has been 94-98 mph with his fastball that features good riding life down in the zone and gets a lot of ground balls. Working as a starter in the fall, he was more 90-95 mph. His wipeout low-80s slider can be plus at times and missed a lot of bats. Crowell does have a changeup, though he didn’t use it much as a reliever, and one key point of emphasis for him will be to develop that third pitch while finding more consistency with the slider. He’s always been more control than command, and while he didn’t get to show an ability to be more of a complete pitcher this spring, teams could consider taking him in the top three rounds based on his track record of missing bats as a left-handed reliever.

And yeah, this ought to work as a secondary:

Crowell won’t take the mound for the club until 2024, but with electric stuff as is, along with projection, it’s a package worth the wait.


Round 4C, No. 136 overall, OF Dylan Campbell, University of Texas at Austin

Dylan Campbell, who was a high school running back in Texas before committing fully to baseball in college, put together a very good true junior season for the Longhorns, slashing .339/.436/.603, with 13 homers, a very solid 43/39 K/BB, he was successful on 26/29 stolen base attempts, and he set a Big-12 record with a 38 game hitting streak.


The Athletic: NR
Baseball America: 360
ESPN: 129
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 171
Perfect Game: 204
Prospects Live: 189

Prospects Live had the following to say about him in their draft report:

A three year starter at Texas, Campbell came into his own in 2023. He’s got decent pull side pop in the bat and will use the whole field to hit, though he needs to bring down the chase rate a bit. He’s projected to stick in right field, where his cannon of an arm plays best. He’s a great athlete with good speed, too. He’ll likely go somewhere early on Day 2.

And, via MLB Pipeline:

Though Campbell rushed for 1,569 yards and 21 touchdowns as a Texas high school senior in the fall of 2019, he had a brighter future in baseball than football. He has improved throughout three seasons at Texas, boosting his OPS from .564 as a freshman to .864 last year to 1.039 this spring while compiling a Big 12 Conference-record 38-game hitting streak. Some scouts consider him the best pure hitting prospect among Lone Star State collegians. Campbell makes good swing decisions and repeated line-drive contact against all kinds of pitching from the right side of the plate. He puts the ball in play almost too easily and could get more out of his hitting ability if he strays out of the strike zone less frequently. He won’t be a big power threat but can drive balls to his pull side enough to produce 15 homers per season. Despite his stocky 5-foot-11, 205-pound build, Campbell possesses solid speed and is a proficient basestealer. His profile would be enhanced if he showed he could handle center field, but he hasn’t gotten that opportunity with the Longhorns. He’s better suited for right field and has the plus arm strength for that position.

And here’s a look at some of the thunder he brings to the table:

Still just a 20-year-old, Campbell has decent enough pop, with four additional plus tool, but he might be physically maxed out. All the same, he appears to be a nice get.


Round 4C, No. 137 overall, RHP Eriq Swan, Middle Tennessee State

With their fourth pick of the day, the Dodgers tabbed Eriq Swan, a super athletic, 6’6, 240 lbs RHP who throws very hard, topping out at 102 mph, but after a true junior year that saw him post an ERA of 6.49, and walk 6.6/9 in 61.0 IP, he definitely needs some work.


The Athletic:
Baseball America: 209
ESPN: 294
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 240
Perfect Game: 239
Prospects Live: 189

MLB Pipeline’s draft profile on the massive righty:

More of a shortstop than a pitcher as a Tennessee high schooler, Swan has seen his velocity jump about 10 mph since moving to the mound full-time at Middle Tennessee State. He has been unable to maintain consistent success, as evidenced by his 6.54 ERA in three seasons with the Raiders, but his athleticism and arm strength rank among the best in the 2023 college pitching class. He did conclude his junior season with the best three-start stretch of his career, permitting three runs while fanning 18 in 15 2/3 innings. Swan looks like he’s playing catch while maintaining a 97-99 mph fastball deep into games and topping out at 101. The problem is that his heater features more downhill plane than life and lacks command, and it repeatedly gets hammered when he puts it over the plate. His most effective pitch is a tight mid-80s slider that he locates better than his fastball, and he also can flash some solid upper-80s changeups with nifty fade. Swan’s father played football at Louisiana State and his mother swam for the Tigers, and he’s extremely athletic for a 6-foot-6, 240-pounder. He has a relatively short arm action and upright delivery, but that doesn’t explain his struggles to throw strikes. He’s more of a project than most college pitchers, but he offers huge upside if a pro team can help him develop better fastball life and control.

And lastly, via Baseball America:

Swan is a huge, projection righthander with a 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame and the stuff to match, with a fastball that’s been up to 102 mph at peak velocity. He’s still trying to get his performance to match his stuff, and struggled with control in each of his three seasons with Middle Tennessee State. In 2023 he posted a 6.49 ERA over 61 innings, with a 24.6% strikeout rate and a 15.6% walk rate—the highest of his career. Swan averaged 98 mph with his fastball this spring, which was the hardest velocity of any Division I pitcher with more than 100 pitches in 2023. Despite that elite velocity, Conference USA hitters slashed .338/.476/.538 against the pitch. It has just average life and he’ll need to radically improve his command to make the most of it against pro hitters. Swan throws a mid-80s slider with short-breaking action that generated a 50% miss rate this spring, but it receives below-average grades from scouts. He also has a firm, upper-80s changeup. Swan is a polarizing profile, but could entice teams with his immense arm talent and velocity as a power reliever who could benefit from professional pitching development.

A video look:

It seems like Swan is the kind of project that will take some time to bear fruit, but this is a 21-year-old with top shelf velo with huge athleticism, it’s on brand for this club to bet on the ceiling and try to coach ’em up.


Round 5, No. 163 overall, 1B Joe Vetrano, Boston College

Listed at 6’3, 220 lbs, the 21-year-old Vetrano came to Boston College as a two-way player, but after logging 37.0 IP as a freshman, he tossed only two frames since, and is a 1B/DH only now. In his breakout true junior campaign, he slashed .315/.407/.671 with 22 homers, and he reduced his strikeout rate from 25.4% in his sophomore season to 22.1% in 2023.


The Athletic: NR
Baseball America: 318
ESPN: 294
FanGraphs: NR
MLB Pipeline: 186
Perfect Game: 380
Prospects Live: 240

Baseball America touted his top-end exit velos, which he was able to achieve without relying on an entirely pull-oriented approach:

As a freshman at Boston College, Vetrano was a two-way player who the Eagles primarily used as a reliever in 2021. The last two years, Vetrano’s focus has been on hitting, with the 6-foot-3, 220-pound first baseman posting big power numbers in that time and hitting .305/.395/.626 in 243 plate appearances this year. Vetrano has plus-plus raw power from the left side, with his top-end exit velocity numbers stacking up among the best in the nation. Vetrano isn’t strictly a pull-heavy hitter, as he uses the whole field with the power to go deep to any part of the park. Vetrano will have to prove he can make enough contact and better plate discipline against more advanced pitchers. He struck out at a 22% clip during the regular season and showed some chase tendencies. He can clobber mistake pitches, but did have trouble this spring with fastballs at the top of the zone. Vetrano has a strong arm, but his range is limited and his defense will need to improve to become an average defender.

The power is most definitely in the tank:

It is rather rare for the Dodgers to draft 1B/DH-only types, so you gotta figure they’re believers in the bat.


That wraps up the first five rounds for the Dodgers, picks 6-10 will be in a post for tomorrow morning. Enjoy the rest of your Monday, folks.

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