Despite the 2020 MLB Draft being shortened to just five rounds, which was a drastic cut from the traditional 40, the Los Angeles Dodgers have generally been lauded for their six selections.
The organization focused on collegiate pitching, which it considered a strength of this year’s class. Four of their six draft picks were a right-handed pitcher. “We’re fired up. We just got a lot of velocity, a lot of pure stuff,” Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting director Billy Gasparino said.
One exception was Carson Taylor, who was drafted out of Virginia Tech in the fourth round (No. 130 overall). He marked the Dodgers’ second consecutive position player selected, as they took Jake Vogel in the third round (No. 100).
According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, the Dodgers signed Taylor for below slot value:
4th-rder Carson Taylor signs with @Dodgers for $400k (slot 130 value = $434,300). Virginia Tech C, switch-hitter with raw power & plate discipline, average arm, work in progress behind the plate. @MLBDraft
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 21, 2020
Taylor batted .431 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 20 RBI in 16 games for the Hokies this year. He led the team in batting average, runs scored (19), doubles, RBI, on-base percentage (.541) and on-base plus slugging (1.231).
He ranked among NCAA D-1 leaders in OBP (27th), batting average (32nd), doubles (34th), RBI (35th), runs (49th) and hits (50th). The switch-hitting catcher was a two-year starter at Virginia Tech, batting a combined .332 with 16 doubles, four homers and 39 RBI.
“He broke his hamate bone (in right hand) his freshman year and then tried to go play in the Cape Cod with it,” Gasparino said. “As you piece his performance and track line together, it all makes sense where the health version of Taylor is what we think showed up this year.”
In addition to Taylor, the Dodgers have reportedly signed first-round pick Bobby Miller and fifth-round selection Gavin Stone at below slot value as well. In terms of undrafted free agent, L.A. is only believed to have signed right-handed pitcher Robbie Peto thus far.
Getting Miller, Taylor and Stone to sign for below slot value should bode well for the Dodgers as they look to come to terms with Landon Knack (second round), Clayton Beeter (Competitive Balance B) and Jake Vogel (third round). The deadline to sign players taken in the 2020 MLB Draft is Saturday, Aug. 1.
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