The Los Angeles Dodgers selected University of Louisville catcher Dalton Rushing with their first pick of the 2022 MLB Draft at No. 40 overall, which was made in the second round.
The Dodgers only had one selection within the first two rounds of the draft as a result of their first pick dropping 10 spots and forfeiting their second- and fifth-highest selections because the club exceeded the luxury tax threshold during the 2021 season.
Furthermore, the Dodgers’ bonus pool is $4.2 million, which ranks last among all 30 teams. Bonus pools are calculated by adding the slot values of every pick through the first 10 rounds.
Although the Dodgers farm system is stacked with catching talent, they still made the decision to add another one to their group. Generally in the draft, teams take players they feel are the best available rather than choosing for immediate need because they won’t be ready for the Major League level until a handful of years later.
Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino believes Rushing has the ability to stick at catcher, but he also has the athleticism to change positions if needed.
“We think he’s extremely talented, of course,” Gasparino said. “We love his strength, we love his athleticism, we thought he could hit for power and control the zone.”
In 2021, Rushing batted .310/.470/.686 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI across 64 games played. Throughout his collegiate career, the backstop hit .302/.431/.606 with 34 homers and 106 RBI in 136 games.
At the plate, Rushing is a patient hitter with plus-power and great batted ball data. Rushing posted a max exit velocity of 115.6 mph, an average exit velocity of 92.3 mph and a hard hit rate of nearly 62%.
“We’re excited to get a left-handed hitting catcher with power who can also control the zone,” Gasparino said.
Rushing continues the trend of highly-regarded catchers coming out of Louisville, joining Will Smith and last season’s No. 1 overall pick Henry Davis. The Dodgers also selected pitcher Bobby Miller out of Louisville with their first pick in 2020.
Remaining 2022 MLB Draft schedule
Day 2 of the 2022 MLB Draft gets underway Monday at 11 a.m. PT. Rounds 3-10 will be covered on MLB.com.
The final rounds, Nos. 11-20, will begin on Tuesday, July 19, at 9 a.m. PT with coverage on MLB.com.
The Dodgers’ next selection comes in the third round, No. 105 overall
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