2017 MLB Draft: Jacob Amaya And More Intriguing Dodgers’ Late-Round Picks

And just like that, the 2017 MLB Draft has come and gone. The Los Angeles Dodgers made a total of 40 selections over the three days. They focused on pitchers, taking 22; 18 right-handers and four-left handers.

The Dodgers also selected eight outfielders, eight infielders (five shortstops, two second basemen, one third baseman) and two catchers. Now, the guessworks begins: who will sign, who goes to school, who will turn into a superstar?

While late-round draft picks tend not to pan out, there have been some notable exceptions in the Dodgers’ history (hello, Mike Piazza). So, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting late picks from this year’s draft.

Round 11 – Jacob Amaya, SS, South Hills High School (California)

A local boy, Amaya’s grandfather played in the Dodgers Minor League system. Amaya can really flash the leather. He’s flashy at shortstop and makes some impressive plays (like the one below at 45 seconds).

Amaya is big enough to profile offensively but hits off his front foot and doesn’t generate much leverage. With some improvements to his swing, Amaya could be an exciting player. He’s committed to Cal State Fullerton but the Dodgers seem poised to sign him.

Round 13 – Marshall Kasowski, RHP, West Texas A&M

Kasowski’s one of the better human interest stories of the Draft. He was in a car accident in 2016, but luckily he wasn’t severely injured. However, he did eventually require surgery on his gallbladder that cost him most of the season.

Kasowski went to the Northwoods League and dominated, striking out 87 batters in 63.1 innings.

During the spring, Kasowski led Division II with 165 strikeouts in just 93.1 innings. He did walk 50 and somehow allowed seven home runs, however. The right-hander works with a fastball that sits 92-95 mph at its best and he gets deception with his unorthodox delivery.

Kasowski will show an average curveball that he can throw for strikes. He should sign an could move quickly if he goes to the bullpen.

Round 14 – Josh McLain, OF, North Carolina State

McLain is one of the faster players in the draft, receiving 70s and 80s on his speed from scouts. That has allowed him to make highlight reel plays in center field, like this one against Kentucky.

He didn’t steal much in college but that was more a function of team philosophy. McLain doesn’t hit for much power, so he’ll need to improve his on base skills to profile as a quintessential leadoff hitter.

Round 18 – Max Gamboa, RHP, Pepperdine

Gamboa should be a fun project for the Dodgers’ pitching development team. Blessed with a long, lanky frame and an electric arm, he throws in the mid 90s and there may be more in the tank.

However, his season ended with a sore arm and the results weren’t great. Gamboa pitched to a 5.05 ERA and walked 17 in 35.2 innings. Like with Zach Pop, Gamboa presents a potentially dynamic late inning arm if he can be developed.

Round 20 – Donovan Casey, OF, Boston College

The 2017 Draft was filled with two-way prospects and Casey is one of them. The outfielder is an excellent athlete, with double-plus speed and a plus arm. Chris Crawford of ESPN calls him one of the best defenders in the draft.

At the plate, Casey doesn’t offer a whole lot. Despite his listed size of 6’3 and 220 lbs., he doesn’t hit for power. If the bat doesn’t come around, Casey could move to the mound where he’s been up to 94-95 mph and also shows a promising breaking ball.

Round 23 – Connor Heady, SS, Kentucky

The third and final Wildcat draftee of the Dodgers, Heady had a resurgent 2017 after losing the starting job last year. He posted a .413 on-base percentage and played a solid shortstop as well as some second base. He should give the Dodgers a super utility option in the Minors.

Round 24 – Preston Grand Pre, SS, Cal-Berkley

He’s a 6’4 shortstop. There’s not really anything else to say other than he has a great name.

Round 25 – Mark Washington, RHP, Lehigh

Washington did not pitch well this year. He posted an 8.44 ERA and walked 17 batters in 16 innings. However, he’s 6’7 and scouts believe he could throw very hard with the right coaching.

Round 31 – Hunter Mercado-Hood, OF, San Diego

Probably a first baseman down the road but he has a really pretty left-handed swing and he hit really well as a senior.

Round 32 – Tyler Adkison, OF, San Diego State

Two San Diego bats in a row, two very similar profiles: bat-only first baseman who hit really well in 2017. Watch out, rookie league pitchers.

Round 39 – Logan White Jr., C, Mountain Pointe High School (Arizona)

Yup, Logan White’s son. And now I’m sad.

You can listen to Jared on the weekly Dugout Blues Podcast