The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Steven Rodriguez with the 82nd overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. A Junior left-handed relief pitcher out of Florida University.
MLB.com had this to say about him:
With an unorthodox delivery and plenty of deception, Rodriguez at the very least has a future as a lefty specialist at the next level. But the way he’s pitched for one of the best college teams in the nation in 2012 has some teams thinking he might be able to handle a more expansive bullpen role. He was tough to hit, all around, with a batting average against under .200 and a K/9 ratio over 12 as the Gators entered NCAA regional play. Rodriguez uses a fastball, slider and cutter combination efficiently to get hitters out. He’s not a closer, but he could be a lefty setup man who won’t take very long to help out a big league bullpen.
Baseball America ranked him as the #114 prospect:
Frequently referred to by his nickname Paco, Rodriguez has evolved from a left-on-left specialist as a freshman for the Gators into a flexible weapon out of the team’s bullpen. He has a funky delivery, most notable when he comes set in the stretch: He nearly stops once, then comes set a second times. Scouts who block out the calls of “Balk!” from opposing fans see Rodriguez execute his pitches well, starting with a hard, upper-80s cut fastball that gets in on righthanded hitters. He has enough fastball to keep hitters honest, throwing 91-92 mph and pounding the strike zone. He adds a sweepy but effective slider that at times has depth. Always efficient, Rodriguez has been much better in 2012, putting hitters away more consistently. His 12.23 strikeouts per nine innings ranked fourth in the nation, and he had a 6-1 K-BB ratio in a career-high 53 innings. Deception is built in to Rodriguez’s approach, with an arm action that helps him hide the ball in the back before it comes out of a three-quarters slot. He’s a safe pick who at least should be a lefty specialist but has shown the durability and dominance to be more than that.
Interesting to take a reliever in round two. Maybe the Dodgers see a starter? Otherwise, a bit of a low ceiling type of pick so early on.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Onelkis Garcia with the 113th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a 22-year-old left-handed starter who is actually a Cuban defector.
MLB.com gave this background on him:
The Cuban defector thought he’d be a free agent upon coming to the United States, but instead he was declared eligible for the 2011 Draft. That was reversed just prior to the Draft’s start, but Garcia was officially made eligible again in this year’s class. The big, strong left-hander pitched well in Puerto Rico over the winter and has been working out in Los Angeles to prepare for the Draft. He has the chance to have a very good power combination in his fastball and hard curve. Many see him as a reliever because of a lack of a real changeup and some command issues. His pure stuff could get him drafted fairly early, though there was some talk about signability as the Draft approached.
Baseball America ranked him #83:
Garcia left Cuba in January 2011 and expected to be declared a free agent like most other defectors. Instead, Major League Baseball put him into last year’s draft, then withdrew him two days later and reviewed his case. In January 2012, Garcia once again was declared draft-eligible. In the meantime, he tried to stay in shape, often working out at Pierce JC in Los Angeles, near where Gus Dominguez, the former agent who represents him, lives. Garcia pitched in the Puerto Rican League last winter as well with some success, and in Puerto Rico and in the spring adult league he plays in, he has shown two plus pitches. Garcia’s fastball sits at 90-93 mph, and his curveball, while somewhat inconsistent, is a true power pitch at its best. Garcia hasn’t shown much of a changeup. Garcia has a physical 6-foot-2, 220-pound frame that needs no projection. At 22, he could move through a minor league system quickly as long as he comes out of the gate throwing strikes.
Sounds like a bit of a wild card, but a polished pitcher in the mode of a college selection.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Justin Chigbogu with the 146th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a 17-year-old first baseman out of Raytown South High School in Missouri.
Baseball America had him ranked #423 in the draft:
Before this spring, Chigbogu was known mostly as an all-state defensive end. But scouts who went to see Raytown South outfielder Bralin Jackson came away marveling about Chigbogu’s massive power potential. He probably would need two years in Rookie ball at this point, but he’s a 6-foot-2, 230-pound athlete who crushes balls from the left side of the plate. While he’s raw, he doesn’t strike out excessively. He runs well for his size and perhaps could play left field, though he has a below-average arm. A Heartland (Ill.) CC recruit, he could be signable after the 10th round.
A reach? Probably, but the talent seems to be there. While the Dodgers love their bloodlines, multi-sport athletes are also a frequent target.
To me, the real question is whether he has signability concerns or not due to football and how that affects the budget.
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Ross Stripling with the 176th overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. He’s a right-handed starter out of Texas A&M University.
MLB.com has this report on him:
In 2011, Stripling led college baseball with 14 wins, and he has been even better this year. He’s struck out almost a batter an inning and threw a no-hitter in early May. Relatively new to pitching, he has a good fastball and curveball, but his changeup needs work. He has good command and rarely walks batters and could move through the Minors quickly as a reliever.
Baseball America ranked him #167 in the draft:
Stripling was mostly a football and basketball player in high school in Texas before breaking his left leg as a senior. Bored during his rehab, he began fooling around on the mound with a cast on his leg, then went 14-0 in his first season as a pitcher, earning an academic scholarship and walking on at Texas A&M. He tied for the NCAA Division I lead with 14 wins and helped the Aggies reach the College World Series in 2011, then returned for his senior season after failing to sign with the Rockies as a ninth-rounder. On the day (May 12) he was scheduled to graduate with a degree in finance, he threw a no-hitter against San Diego State. The scouting report remains the same on Stripling. He’s an athletic 6-foot-3, 190-pounder who works at 88-91 mph with his fastball and gets outs with his 12-to-6 curveball. He uses an over-the-top delivery, which he repeats well, and has a decent changeup. He has the stuff and command to make it as a starter, and he’s intriguing as a reliever because he hit 94 mph and featured a sharper curve when he came out of the bullpen in past seasons.
Dodgers are completely throwing their own trend of high school pitchers out of the window it seems, as they have done nothing but target upside bats and college arms.
Hopefully he doesn’t end up as another reliever taken by the team within the first five rounds.