The first round of the 2020 MLB Draft saw the Los Angeles Dodgers make their first of six picks by selecting hard-throwing pitcher Bobby Miller out of Louisville at No. 29.
It was clear going into the draft that the Dodgers could use some pitching in their farm system, and in a college pitching-heavy draft class, they took one of the best right-handers available in the 6’5″ Miller.
When discussing the pick, Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino gave credit to scout Marty Lamb since the team has selected a lot of players in his southeast region in recent years.
“I want to get Marty Lamb’s name in the paper again. We’ve got to give a lot of credit to Marty Lamb. He does a great job,” Gasparino said. “It does seem to kind of fall that way but it’s not anything we pre-plan. It just kind of keeps falling that way.
“To their credit, I think Louisville, Vanderbilt and college programs in that area really do a good job of recruiting and developing talent. I think there’s a pipeline they create and then a lot of the similar skills and attributes they look for, we like also.
“It seems to kind of match up every year. It’s not pre-planned at all. It’s worked well and Marty does a great job, so it’s kind of something that keeps happening.”
This draft was different than years past not only because it was shortened from 40 all the way down to five rounds, but also because most of the 2020 high school and college seasons were cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Because of that, Gasparino didn’t even have the chance to see Miller pitch in person.
“Not this year. With the shutdown, he was going to be one of my first guys to go to before the shutdown,” Gasparino explained.
While this was Gasparino’s first time selecting a player without seeing them in person that year, he made the best of the situation. “It made it more difficult throughout this process,” he said.
“But to be honest, you start to get used to it. I was only able to see 50 or 60 players in this calendar year. The odds were against me seeing a player for a first-round pick just by the way the calendar worked and how everything unfolded.”
Gasparino also added that having high-caliber scouts like Lamb makes his job a lot easier. “Definitely. I think all our guys really do a thorough job, Marty especially,” he said.
“If you know him as a person, he’s very trustworthy, he’s very thorough, so everything he says we take as gospel. It makes a big difference in the confidence in these picks. Especially this year, without seeing as many players as we usually do in person.”
Lamb’s presence was felt throughout the Dodgers’ draft as he was also responsible for the club’s second pick, Eastern Tennessee State’s Landon Knack.
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