Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 MLB Draft Recap
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The Los Angeles Dodgers went into the 2020 MLB Draft, which was shortened to just five rounds in response to challenges created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with six selections.

They had three within the first 66 overall picks, including No. 29 overall (first round). The Dodgers’ last selection in that span was a Competitive Balance Round B pick acquired as part of their February trade with the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers wound up selecting three right-handed pitchers in a row, and a fourth by taking Gavin Stone with their final selection of the 2020 MLB Draft.

“We’re fired up. We just got a lot of velocity, a lot of pure stuff. It’s big, it’s right handed. It was a strength of the Draft, and we just took advantage of it,” Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said.

The Dodgers’ bonus pool for the 2020 Draft is $5,928,400.

Round 1 (#29 overall): RHP Bobby Miller, Louisville

Miller went 2-0 with 2.31 ERA, 34 strikeouts and nine walks in 23.1 innings pitched across four starts for the Cardinals this season. He turned in three quality starts and struck out a career-best 12 batters against Valparaiso University in February.

Miller earned Freshman All-America honors and was selected All-ACC Third Team and All-ACC Freshman Team after going 6-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 55 strikeouts over 17 games (nine starts) in 2018. In three seasons with Louisville, he posted a 15-2 record with a 3.28 ERA and 175 strikeouts in 41 appearances (25 games).

“We knew he was a great athlete, we knew he had great arm strength, but we were a little concerned with strike-throwing command and secondary pitches,” Gasparino said. “Give the kid credit. He made big adjustments in his delivery, he made big adjustments in his slider.

Round 2 (#60 overall): RHP Landon Knack, East Tennessee State

Easily the most eye-popping state of any player taken in the 2020 MLB Draft, Knack had 51 strikeouts against just one walk this year, good for the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the NCAA.

He went went 4–0 with a 1.08 ERA this past season and Knack’s 2.29 career ERA set a new program record.

“The funny thing is he’s always been an elite strike thrower. He’s a former position player that started pitching and is just naturally gifted at throwing strikes,” Gasparino said. “We kind of identified that a little bit last year.

“As the fall started to unwind, Marty Lamb flagged him as a guy who made a jump in velocity and stuff. You have strikes, pitchability and stuff, and then all of a sudden he comes out in spring and the stuff not only improved, it improved by a large gap. He went from like a 90 mph guy to a 95 mph guy. Everything upticked. You match that with the natural strike throwing ability, and he had a great year.”

Competitive Balance Round B (#66 overall): RHP Clayton Beeter, Texas Tech

Beeter made four starts for the Red Raiders in 2020, going 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA. One of the outings saw the right-hander set a career high with 12 strikeouts over six innings against Rice University.

Beeter was a Freshman All-American in 2019 after recording a team-high eight saves in 20 appearances to go along with a 3.20 ERA and 39 strikeouts.

“We’re going to try and develop him as a starter,” Gasparino said. “That’s the current plan. He did it for four starts at Texas Tech and he performed really well. We think he took to it well from all of our research.

“To be totally honest, he surprised us. We saw him pitch a lot last year and thought we had him pegged as what kind of talent he was. Whether it was the extended period away from his Tommy John surgery that he started to get his feel back, or his tempo improved, his execution improved, his ability to re-focus mentally and adjust quickly after making a bad pitch. It just all really improved.”

Round 3 (#100 overall): OF Jake Vogel, Huntington Beach High School

The first position player taken by the Dodgers in the 2020 MLB Draft, the speedy outfielder is currently committed to attend UCLA. Vogel was a Preseason High School All-American and participated in the 2019 Perfect Game National Showcase, where he was named to the All-Prospect Team.

“We were happy to be able to select Jake. He’s a dynamic athlete. He’s only 5’11” and like 190 lbs., but it’s a 70 runner with a big arm, plus-center field defense, he’s got power,” Gasparino said. “He’s just a physically gifted kid that missed some of last summer with a back injury. He came out last fall and early spring, performed really well and kind of shot up our board.”

Round 4 (#130 overall): C Carson Taylor, Virginia Tech

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 (19), doubles, RBI, on-base percentage (.541) and on-base plus slugging (1.231).

He also ranked amongst NCAA D-1 leaders in OBP (27th), batting average (32nd), doubles (34th), RBI (35th), runs (49th) and hits (50th). The switch-hitting backstop 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.”

Round 5 (#159 overall): RHP Gavin Stone, Central Arkansas

Stone was 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA in four starts this year, one of which produced a no-hitter. Stone recorded 13 strikeouts in that outing and faced one batter over the minimum. He went 9-6 with a 2.42 ERA, 109 strikeouts and 33 walks over three seasons with the Bears.

Stone reportedly signed with the Dodgers for below slot value.

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