At last, the first day of the 2017 MLB Draft has arrived. The Los Angeles Dodgers will make their first- and second-round picks, at Nos. 23 and 62, respectively, on Monday. The MLB Draft will continue Tuesday and conclude Wednesday.
I will be live streaming the Dodgers’ first-round pick with my podcast co-host and Dodgers Digest editor/co-founder/co-owner Dustin Nosler starting at 5 p.m. PT. Additional details can be found on Twitter (@JaredJMassey).
But first, let’s review the top prospects who may be available for the Dodgers in the first round. Fifteen of them were previously profiled on an in-depth basis, but obviously not all will be options once pick No. 23 rolls around.
So, let’s whittle that list down to the top 10. Included below are my top 10 draft targets for the Dodgers.
- Keston Hiura, 2B/OF, UC Irvine (DRAFTED)
- Jordon Adell, OF, Ballard HS (KY) (DRAFTED)
- Bubba Thompson, OF, McGill-Toolen HS (AL)
- Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (NC) (DRAFTED)
- Heliot Ramos, OF, Leadership Christian HS (PR)
- Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA
- David Peterson, LHP, Oregon
- Brendon Little, LHP, State College of Florida
- Evan White, 1B/OF, Kentucky
- Logan Warmoth, INF, North Carolina
Hiura earns the top spot because of his excellent offensive profile. While he’s not the biggest player in the class, Hiura packs a punch and should move quickly through the system once his elbow heals.
As you can see, I’m a big fan of the high school outfield crop this year. The four players listed are very similar in terms of their tools, so the ranking shows my preference with regards to more aesthetic qualities (swing, body type, etc).
The college pitchers who should be available offer different profiles: Canning is a four-pitch right-hander who should move quickly, while the lefties could both end up in the bullpen down the road.
White and Warmoth are intriguing as potential up-the-middle players whose hit tools are ahead of their power. White is a potential Gold-Glover at first base who could be tried in center field.
Warmoth has scouts split on whether or not he sticks at shortstop.
Now let’s take examine at who is being connected to the Dodgers in mock drafts.
Baseball America – *Draft Day Update* Baseball America gives the Dodgers Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall in their final mock, noting his “bad strikeout rate and tough signability.” Kendall was projected as an early candidate to go first overall.
They have consistently connected the Dodgers to Thompson, but gave Los Angeles Hiura in their most recent mock draft. Baseball America has also linked the Dodgers to White.
MLB.com – *Draft Day Update* Jim Callis has the Dodgers drafting Thompson, while Jon Mayo gives the Dodgers right-hander Tanner Houck on the morning of the draft.
Callis and Mayo had given Thompson to the Dodgers in some of their mock drafts. Mayo also had Los Angeles selecting Houck in a recent mock, but his stock has fallen since the end of the season.
ESPN – Keith Law acknowledges that the industry consensus sees the Dodgers taking Thompson, but gave them Warmoth (with Thompson going three picks later) in his most recent mock.
Now let’s check out some news and notes.
– Thompson is being mentioned as possibly having a pre-draft deal with the Tampa Bay Rays, Callis and Mayo of MLB.com note.
– As mentioned in his profile, Hiura has an injured elbow that may require Tommy John surgery. Hiura had a platelet rich plasma injection performed this spring by the Dodgers’ team doctor Neal ElAttrache, reports Baseball America.
– Speaking of Hiura, MLB.com reporter Joshua Thornton notes that Dodgers’ scouting director Billy Gasparino mentioned the UC Irvine standout by name when asked about potential targets on Sunday. Gasparino believes Hiura’s build may give him an advantage over other hitters. Hiura has gone as high as No. 10 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in some recent mock drafts.
– Canning apparently has some issues with his shoulder and elbow. The results of a recent MRI could cause him to fall on draft day, again according to Callis and Mayo.
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