Los Angeles Dodgers pitching prospects Bobby Miller, Ryan Pepiot and Landon Knack garner plenty of national attention, and albeit to a lesser extent so too has Maddux Bruns since being taken in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Bruns became the first high-school left-handed pitcher taken by the Dodgers in the first round since Clayton Kershaw was drafted seventh overall in 2006. Bruns mentioned Kershaw as one of the pitchers he idolized and hoped to develop a relationship with the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
How much of a possibility that may be moving forward is unclear as Kershaw remains a free agent. Of course, the MLB lockout is preventing him from reporting to Spring Training anyhow.
That doesn’t apply to Minor League players who are not on a 40-man roster, such as Bruns. He has been among those on hand at Camelback Ranch and threw live batting practice during Dodgers Minor League Spring Training.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) March 3, 2022
— Juan Toribio (@juanctoribio) March 3, 2022
Bruns was verbally committed to attend Mississippi State at the time of being drafted, but wound up signing with the Dodgers for $2.2 million. That was below the $2,424,600 slot value assigned to the No. 29 pick in the 2021 Draft.
The southpaw has a fastball that ranges from 91-93 mph, to go along with a slider in the mid-80s and a curveball that is in the 70s.
“The velocity actually climbed up last (2020) summer, and I think that was the adjustment period he went through,” Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said when the team drafted Bruns.
“I think he just wasn’t sure what to do with it and how to handle it. Looking back, what felt more like a normal progression that he kept getting better and better and better as we scouted him.
“It definitely wasn’t like, ‘Hey, Maddux Bruns, February 1, he’s our pick,’ but as the season wore on, as we saw him and got more comfortable with him, the family and performance, he became a player we were really comfortable with.”
Bruns ranked among Dodgers prospects
Keith Law of The Athletic ranked Bruns at No. 14 on his list of the top-10 Dodgers prospects for the 2022 season. He also made Baseball Prospectus’ top-10 prospects list for the organization, checking in at No. 7.
Bruns went 0-2 with a 16.20 ERA over four starts in Arizona Complex League games last year.
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