The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Jeremy Rathjen in the 11th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Senior playing the outfield from Rice University.
Ranked #229 by Baseball America.
Rathjen might have gone in the first five rounds last year had he not torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in mid-March. After redshirting and turning down the Yankees as a 41st-round pick, he has returned to show an all-around tools package similar to what he had before the injury. The 6-foot-6, 195-pound Rathjen does a nice job of making contact for someone with such long arms and a lengthy swing. That’s a tribute to his bat speed and hand-eye coordination, which give him average power. Rathjen’s speed hasn’t come quite all the way back, as its more solid than plus. He has moved from center to right field this season, more to accommodate teammate Michael Fuda’s well above-average speed and subpar arm. Rathjen has a chance to play center field in pro ball, and his average arm will work in right field. Scouts praise his makeup and believe he’ll be signable around the fifth round because he graduated in May.
A report from last year via Baseball Prospect Report.
I’ve had several looks at Rice outfielder Jeremy Rathjen playing for the Foresters, dating back to last season.
Now, Rathjen has an arm in right field, but I also missed it because the infield I saw in Thousand Oaks was about half-speed. I graded the arm a 45. I had guys tell me he threw better. I said that I can only grade what a guy gives me. I saw him at the All-Star game airmail a throw from right field into the third base stands. OK, now I get it. 60 conservatively. I just wish I had seen it when he thought nobody was watching.
In fairness, I can say he took something off the throw I saw for better accuracy. When you throw for scouts, they just want pure strength and don’t really care about the accuracy as much as they should. In the future, he’ll have to merge the arm strength with the accuracy, which he should be athletic enough to capture with some reps.
Physically, Rathjen is lean and lanky, and his body type is similar to Brewers outfielder Corey Hart. His offensive platform is that of a right-handed hitter who is predominantly a left-center field gap hitter when at his best. He gets some extension and will drive the ball, but he’s not what I would term a lift hitter. In the coming years, as he adds strength and physically matures, more of those gapers could become home runs, or he could be a very reliable doubles hitter with an above-average arm, serviceable range, solid average speed with probably a little more room to squeak a bit more out from time to time. At this stage, he is a very solid player with room for pro projection and will be a definite draft in 2011.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected James Campbell in the 12th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Junior right-handed pitcher out of the State University Of New York – Stony Brook.
I got no details to give.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Darnell Sweeney in the 13th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Junior shortstop out of the University Of Central Florida.
Ranked #337 by Baseball America.
Sweeney had a chance to go in the first three rounds with a good spring. An athletic 6-foot, 170-pounder, he just didn’t hit enough for most scouts to consider him in that range. He’s a plus runner with solid defensive tools, including a plus arm, but lacks consistency with his footwork, leading to careless errors. He should be able to play shortstop at least in a utility profile. He’s a switch-hitter who hasn’t developed enough strength to drive the ball with any regularity.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Matt Reckling in the 14th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Senior right-handed pitcher out of Rice University.
Reckling returned to Rice for his senior season after being taken in the 22nd round by the Indians in 2011. Still relatively new to pitching, he took another step forward in 2012, in terms of performance. He mostly uses a fastball in the low 90s and a curve that has the chance to be an out pitch. He has a changeup, but it’s not as good. That, along with just OK command has many thinking he’s best suited to a relief role in the future.
Ranked #179 by Baseball America.
Rice produced the first college senior drafted last year in lefthander Tony Cingrani, who went in the third round to the Reds. Reckling should be one of the first seniors to go this year, after turning down the Indians as a 22nd-round pick last summer. Scouts knew he’d be a tough sign because he’s a good student and he comes from a wealthy family–Rice’s stadium is named after his grandparents. Reckling didn’t start pitching until his final year of high school and wasn’t effective in college until the Owls eliminated the recoil in his delivery last year. He has won more games this year (eighth through mid-May) than he totaled in his first three seasons (seven) while averaging 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder sits at 88-92 mph with his fastball as a starter, and he has jumped as high as 97 mph as a reliever. His spike curveball shows flashes of being a plus pitch, and most scouts think he profiles best as a two-pitch reliever. Reckling’s control and command have improved but don’t project to be better than average, and his changeup is a mediocre third offering. Scouts don’t believe his low-elbow delivery is conducive to starting in the long term.
Crawfish Boxes analyzed him as well.
The good news with Reckling is his floor as a reliever is pretty good. He’s got both a great breaking ball and a good change to support a move to the bullpen if needed. Plus, pitching out of the ‘pen may let his fastball velocity rise a tick. Still, his age means he’s going to have to move quickly if he wants his floor to be higher.
Look for him to be a decent back of the rotation starter in the majors. His strikeout rate is legitimate, but his lack of control could lead to high pitch counts and low inning totals. He might have a good career as a lockdown closer if things break right, too, but I’d think his biggest upside is as a starter.
Projected Draft Round
Neither Keith Law nor Baseball America has Reckling in their respective Top 100 lists. He is listed at No. 179 for BA, which means they expect him to be drafted around Round 6. That’s about where I have Reckling pegged, going somewhere in the Top 10 rounds and maybe sneaking into the Top 5. With a developing change and good velocity, he’s a big school version of a guy like Nick Tropeano.
Will he sign?
The fourth-year senior is guaranteed to sign if he intends to play professionally.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Dalton Von Schamann in the 15th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. A Junior right-handed pitcher out of Texas Tech University.
Ranked #459 by Baseball America.
The son of former NFL kicker Uwe von Schamann, Duke bounced back from Tommy John surgery in 2010 to post a 2.08 ERA this spring, the third-lowest at Texas Tech since the NCAA went to metal bats in 1974. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder lives mainly off his sinker, which has late run, usually sits at 87-90 mph and has reached 93 in the past. A redshirt sophomore, he throws strikes, gets groundouts and competes. His slider and changeup are nothing special, but he uses them effectively to set up his sinker.