2023 MLB Draft: Dodgers nab four hurlers and an overslot shortstop in Rounds 11-15

After leaning towards position players to the tune of 7 to 5 on Day 1 and Day 2, on Day 3 the Dodgers drafted four intriguing pitchers and a shortstop from a college powerhouse to start Wednesday’s 2023 MLB Draft marathon.


Round 11, No. 340 overall, RHP Carson Hobbs, Samford University (AL)

Listed at 6’1, 197 lbs, Carson Hobbs got off to a fantastic start in his junior season, which was to be his second as Samford’s closer before being shut down in mid-March with an undisclosed injury. In 6 games, he tossed 11.1 IP, with an ERA of 1.59, and a K/BB of 18/6. His success largely came by virtue of a high-spin heater with solid shape to it that he was able to effectively locate at the top of the zone:

Hobbs gets a solid hip hinge that helps him get excellent plane at the top, and the result is a barrel that is visibly underneath the pitch, which will always be filed under “things you love to see”. If you can miss bats with your number one, it opens up all kinds of doors, and he is able to effectively pitch off it with a power curve. The 21-year-old has also mixed in a changeup now and then, but for now, it’s looking like a quality two pitch reliever situation, which, well, if you’ve seen the Dodger pen at all this year, that’s a welcome addition.


Round 12, No. 370 overall, RHP Noah Ruen, Tyler Junior College (TX)

The Dodgers are always on the hunt for unique looks out of the bullpen, and 20-year-old submariner Noah Ruen certainly fits the bill. Listed at 6’4, 190 lbs, the 20-year-old Ruen broke out in his second year in the Juco ranks, tossing 43.2 IP in 19 relief appearances, with a microscopic 0.82 ERA, and a K/BB of 64/14, and a measly 16 hits allowed, all of which led to a commitment to Kansas State University. Ruen followed that up with a standout performance in the prestigious Cape Cod League, where he posted an ERA of 1.69 in 10.2 IP, with a K/BB of 13/0.

Despite the low slot, Ruen still has decent velo, as he gets his sinker into the low 90s, which he complements with a slider and a changeup, all of which combined to give him a metrically intriguing repertoire:

I’m always down for adding more filth to the system, and the weirder, the better.


Round 13, No. 400 overall, RHP Alex Makarewich, Northwestern State University (LA)

A native of Santa Monica, the 21-year-old Makarewich battled command while with the Northwestern State Demons, as the 6’0, 185 lbs junior issued 6.5 walks per 9 innings, but he racked up a decent amount of whiffs as well, 11.7/9 in his college career.

Via Baseball America:

Makarewich has always shown strikeout stuff with Northwestern State, but has consistently struggled to rein in what he’s throwing and put the ball in the zone consistently. After pitching out of the bullpen in 2021 and 2022, he moved to a starting role in 2023 and posted a 5.16 ERA over 14 starts and 66.1 innings, with a 29.1% strikeout rate and a 14% walk rate. The 6-foot, 185-pound righty throws a fastball in the 89-93 mph range and uses a low-80s slider as his go-to secondary. The pitch varies in shape and consistency but has good downward bite when it’s on. He has also mixed in a slower curveball that is well below-average and a changeup around 80 mph that also needs some work.

I suppose part of the job, then, will be to make the slider look a bit like this more often:

Makarewich has also shown signs of big velo being in the tank in the past, as this walking windup at Driveline will attest:

As an aside, whenever there’s mention of a third or fourth pitch mixed in, but they “need work”, my thoughts drift to Yency Almonte, and how the Dodgers keyed in on a handful of sliders that stood head and shoulders above the rest during his time with the Colorado Rockies.

In a similar vein, it’s entirely possible that the club looked at Makarewich’s curve and change, and have said to themselves, “we just need him to do that thing again”. So, while it’s a reliever profile for the time being, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the club focused on those other offerings in an effort to yield a bit more.


Round 14, No. 430 overall, RHP Jaxon Jelkin, South Mountain Community College (AZ)

After drafting Ronan Kopp out of South Mountain Community College just two years ago, the Dodgers popped another Cougar in 20-year-old Jaxon Jelkin. Listed at 6’5, 200 lbs, Jelkin left the University of Nebraska after his freshman year, during which he made the squad as a walk-on. In the juco ranks in 2023, the lean righty had an ERA of 3.81 in 75.2 IP, with a K/BB of 98/43, a very solid campaign that saw him commit to the University of Houston at season’s end.

Via Joe Doyle at Future Stars Series:

Jelkin is about as projectable a body as you’ll find in this draft, and the stuff and athleticism really continues to traject upwards. He’s always been an explosive mover, but everything is much more under control these days, and he’s throwing more strikes because of it. He’ll work up to 95 with late run and some carry. It’s a deceptive fastball that really sneaks up on hitters. His low-80s slider tunnels quite well and induces quite a bit of swing and miss. Jelkin has better baseball ahead of him and is a good bet to get selected in this draft.

And here’s what he looks like out there:

So that’s a 20-year-old who gets it up to 95, has a solid slider, and easily has room for another 20 lbs. Hmm. Sounds good!


Round 15, No. 460 overall, SS Jordan Thompson, Louisiana State University (LA)

Another shortstop for the system! Listed at 6’1, 185 lbs, the San Diego native has struggled to find consistency with LSU, slashing .246/.365/.430 for the Tigers in his junior year. That said, he has flashed plus athleticism, and is ranked highly enough at the various outlets (377 at Baseball America, 326 at Prospects Live, and 128 at Perfect game), that it will take a significantly overslot dollar figure to get him to put pen to paper.

Via Baseball America:

Thompson was a fascinating two-way player out of high school with athleticism and a fastball up to 93 mph, but a strong commitment to Louisiana State meant the No. 215-ranked prospect in the 2020 class got to campus. At LSU, Thompson has had his ups and downs on both sides of the ball, but coaches have praised the defensive gains he has shown during the 2023 season, and while he’s hit toward the bottom of a star-studded Tigers lineup, he’s consistently come through with clutch hits. That was true for Thompson in the College World Series as well. Overall he hit .246/.365/.430 with 11 home runs, 12 doubles, a 22.7% strikeout rate and a 10.5% walk rate. Listed at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Thompson has below-average raw power and is more of a line drive hitter who will flash a bit of power to the pull side occasionally. There’s a bit of chase and swing-and-miss in his game, particularly versus sliders, that could prevent him from being an average hitter in pro ball. Thompson is a solid runner who has the actions, athleticism and arm strength to stick at shortstop, and he has made a handful of highlight-reel plays, though maintaining consistency on the routine plays can help his defensive reputation as well. He’s a light-hitting infielder, but a defensive shortstop for one of the best teams in the country should be appealing at a certain point on draft day.

Despite the tepid power reviews, Thompson did in fact show a bit more thump this season, tallying 11 longballs, compared to 14 in his previous two years combined:

Thompson may require a bit of swing retooling, as he struggled mightily in the wood bat Cape Cod League in 2022, slashing just .173/.246/.250, but it is reasonable for the club to bet on athletes who will stay on the dirt. I mean:

Yes please, add that to the system. Thx.


That’s all for Tuesday’s rapid-fire action, there will a final draft post on Wednesday morning detailing the selections in Rounds 16-20. Enjoy your Tuesday, folks.

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