Dodgers Select Tulane Third Baseman Kody Hoese With No. 25 Overall Pick In First Round Of 2019 MLB Draft
Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft

The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese with the No. 25 overall pick in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft. Heading into this year’s Draft, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said the club would target the best player available and let the board direct them.

Hoese erased the memory of two pedestrian seasons at Tulane by batting .391/.486/.779 with 20 doubles and 23 home runs this year. He led the American Athletic Conference in hits (87), runs scored (69), home runs (23), total bases (177), on-base percentage and slugging, and was named the conference’s Player of the Year.

Hoese was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 35th round of the 2018 MLB Draft but opted to return to Tulane for a junior season.

“Kody’s a guy we earmarked coming out of the fall that we really thought took a jump in both ability and performance. He’s an athletic 6-4, lean-bodied third baseman who we think is a plus defender,” Dodgers amateur scouting director Billy Gasparino said.

“We thought the power was going to be there, and then he went out and almost hit .400 with over 20 home runs and really showed us that he was a dynamic hitter that can hit with power.”

The Dodgers additionally have the No. 31 overall draft pick, which they received as compensation for a failure to sign last year’s first-round selection, J.T. Ginn. 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. 25 pick is $2,740,300, while the No. 31 selection has a $2,312,000 value, and No. 78 is $793,000.

Last year, the Dodgers selected pitchers (Ginn, Michael Grove, John Rooney, Braydon Fisher) over the first four rounds before choosing infielder Devin Mann with the No. 164 pick.

By going with Ginn in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Dodgers snapped a two-year streak in which they drafted a position player with their initial pick.

In 2017, L.A. drafted Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall with the No. 23 overall pick. The previous year, they used the No. 20 pick on shortstop Gavin Lux, who is now considered one of the club’s top prospects.

Although the Dodgers were not part of it, MLB Draft history was made this year as the each of the first six selections were used on a position player.