While the Los Angeles Dodgers were known for taking high school pitchers under former scouting director Logan White, he established a different trend later in his tenure. From 2009 to the present, the Dodgers selected a college pitcher with their top pick in odd years.
White drafted Aaron Miller in 2009, Chris Reed in 2011 and Chris Anderson in 2013. Meanwhile, Walker Buehler was current Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino’s top pick in 2015.
Could that trend continue this year? There are certainly some interesting college pitchers who should be available at No. 23.
Griffin Canning, RHP, UCLA | B/T: R/R
Scouting Consensus: Listed at 6’1 and 170 lbs. Four-pitch mix and can throw all of them for strikes. Fastball has average velocity but gets into mid 90s. Slider can get swings and misses. Changeup might be Canning’s best offering.
Jared’s Take: Not the highest ceiling but a very high floor. Probably fits in the back of a rotation. Slider was very good this year. Should cruise through the Minors.
Risk: Medium-low. Some questions about his workload at UCLA but otherwise no issues.
Availability: Medium. Some teams like Canning in the late teens, but he could fall to the end of Round 1.
Outlook: Not the most attractive option available but he’ll probably reach the Majors by 2019 and slot into the No. 4 or 5 spot in a rotation.
David Peterson, LHP, Oregon | B/T: L/L
Scouting Consensus: Listed at 6’6 and 240 lbs. Huge, workhorse frame. Fastball sits in the low 90s and touches higher. Slider is his primary breaking ball. Also throws a curve and change. Threw plenty of strikes this year.
Jared’s Take: Peterson made headlines with a 20-strikeout performance in April. Results took a huge step forward this spring, but he needs to use the changeup more. Not a ton of ceiling but should pitch in the Majors, barring injury.
Risk: Medium-low. Has started since his freshman year. Delivery is a little odd but no red flags.
Availability: Medium-low. The size, stuff and results this spring likely push him into the top 20.
Outlook: Probably won’t be there but would be a decent option for the Dodgers if he falls. Again, not overly exciting but should, at worst, profile as a reliever who can get lefties and righties out.