Dodgers Select North Carolina First Baseman/Second Baseman Michael Busch With No. 31 Pick In First Round Of 2019 MLB Draft
North Carolina infielder Michael Busch during the 2018 College World Series
Steven Branscombe/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers selected North Carolina first baseman Michael Busch with the No. 31 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft. They drafted Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese with their first selection of the night at No. 25.

Busch regressed some from his sophomore year, though still hit a productive .294/.442/.575 with 14 doubles, 16 home runs and 57 RBI. Although Busch has primarily played first base for the Tar Heels, he additionally has some experience in left field.

He also played second base during appearances in the Cape Cod League, and was announced at the Draft as a second baseman. Busch earned All-Cape Cod League honors with the Chatham Anglers in 2018.

“Michael is a guy who we thought was one of the better bats in the Cape, both in terms of performance and swing, as well as overall defensive versatility,” Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino said.

“He’s been a staple in the UNC program. They rave about his makeup and his character, and we’re excited to add him to our organization.”

The Dodgers received a second pick in the first round as compensation for failing to sign J.T. Ginn, who they drafted 30th overall last year.

L.A. additionally will make the final selection of Day 1 of the 2019 Draft as they have the 78th pick as compensation for Yasmani Grandal rejecting their qualifying offer and signing with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The slot value for the No. 31 selection has a $2,312,000 value, and No. 78 is valued at $793,000.

Last year, the Dodgers drafted pitchers (Ginn, Michael Grove, John Rooney, Braydon Fisher) over the first four rounds before choosing infielder Devin Mann with the 164th overall selection. In drafting Ginn, it snapped a two-year streak of the Dodgers using their first pick on a position player.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the organization’s approach this year was to see how the board dictates matters and select the best available player with their picks.