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White pleased with Dodgers' draft
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06/04/2002 7:42 pm ET 
White pleased with Dodgers' draft
By Ken Gurnick /

Dodgers' director of amateur scouting Logan White consults with GM Dan Evans before the draft (Ben Platt/

Dodgers round-by-round picks

LOS ANGELES -- In his first draft as a Major League scouting director, Logan White went on a high school shopping spree.

He took preps Tuesday with his first five picks, eight of the first 10 and even drafted Dodger manager Jim Tracy's high school pitcher son.

White's haul was topped by first-rounder James Loney. The 19th overall pick, Loney was selected by the Dodgers as a first baseman despite receiving more notoriety as a left-handed pitcher for the nation's top-rated high school, Elkins High School, which plays for the Texas state championship this weekend.

Loney, 18, is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, a left-handed hitter who batted .509 with a .934 slugging percentage in a state where the high school baseball quality is on par with anywhere in the nation. He also went 9-1 as a pitcher and has a scholarship commitment from Baylor University, but White was confident enough Loney will sign that he staked his first draft on it.

"Unless I read him wrong, I don't think we'll have any problems signing him," White said. "He's going to be a first baseman for us. He's too good a hitter and too good a fielder to return to the mound."

White, the Dodgers' third scouting director in the last four years, was brought in to restore order and replenish the farm system. He targeted pitching, especially left-handed, as well as bats and a catcher.

"We've gotten the majority of players I would have liked to get, the ones we targeted," said White. "We stressed athleticism and power arms. And makeup is very big for me. This year is very much a pitching-dominated year, without a lot of position players. So we took a chance to stock the system with good arms, particularly left-handed."

Of their first 17 picks, the Dodgers took 11 pitchers, five of them lefties, all of them tall. The shortest pitcher is 6-foot-2, the tallest 6-foot-6, and the average 6-foot-4. They took Tracy's 6-foot-4 son in the 21st round, although Brian Tracy, a right-handed pitcher from Claremont High School, is expected to accept a scholarship from UC Santa Barbara.

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After Loney, with the supplemental pick for losing Chan Ho Park to Texas they took Gregory Miller, a left-handed pitcher from Esperanza High School in Yorba Linda, Ca.; then with Texas' second-round pick took Zachary Hammes, a right-handed pitcher from Iowa City High School; then with their second-round pick took Jonathan Broxton, a right-handed pitcher from Burke County High School in Georgia; then Michael Nixon, a catcher and Arizona football player of the year from Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix.

The 6-foot-5 Miller relies on a knuckle-curve and lives on the corners, lacking an overpowering fastball. Said White: "He's in our backyard, he's big, tall, great makeup, intelligent enough to go to (UC) Berkeley but we think he'll sign."

The 6-foot-6 Hammes did not pitch for his high school but impressed scouts during spring showcases with a late-action fastball and aggressive approach. Said White: "A big, strapping country boy from Iowa with a loose, projectable arm that hits 93 and a good curveball and good makeup."

Broxton, 6-foot-4, is a one-pitch closer candidate who scared off some teams because of his bulky (260 pounds) build. Said White: "As good an arm as you'll find, hits up to 95, already got quality stuff. Good arm-action guy. Very good competitor."

Nixon is an intriguing two-sport star who worked out at Dodger Stadium over the weekend and told the Dodgers what it would take financially for him to bypass a football scholarship at UCLA. Said White: "This was a surprise to get in the third round. He's Gatorade football player of year in Arizona, but he's got great hands and he'll be a fantastic receiver. He has all the tools to be a front-line player."

The first junior college player taken by the Dodgers was Delwyn Young, a second baseman from Santa Barbara City College. Said White; "A pure bat. He can really hit, from both sides of the plate. Strong, competitive makeup. We put him behind the plate at a workout, but he'll have a chance to play in the middle of the diamond. He hits so good, we'll find a position for him."

White then went back to tall left-handed pitchers in Michael McGrew, from Chariho High School in Texas and Marshall Looney, a David Wells-type from Louisiana Pine High School. Said White: "We're trying to find left-handed pitching. McGrew is tall, rangy, projectable. He doesn't throw as hard yet as some of the higher guys, but he'll be a horse. Looney is strapping, very physical, already throws 92 good with a good breaking ball."

The first player from a four-year college taken by the Dodgers was David Bagley, a third baseman from the University of San Diego. Said White: "Bagley has a chance to play every day. He has raw power and we are looking for offensive help."

Next came Jamal Hamilton, a left-handed pitcher from Monterey High School in Texas; Denver Kitch, a shortstop from the University of Oklahoma; Ryan Williams, a right-handed pitcher from Old Dominion University.

Said White: "Hamilton is a big, rangy left-hander. He doesn't throw as hard, but he will fill out. He has a deceptive delivery, his fastball runs and sinks. Kitch has good defensive skills and we hope his bat comes along. We know he's a good individual. Williams, we rolled the dice. He was throwing 94 last summer, then he dropped off throwing a splitter, and we hope we can recapture some of his old life."

They were followed by James McDonald, a right-handed pitcher from Long Beach Poly High School; Thomas Owen, a catcher from Wichita State; Julio LaSalle, a right-handed pitcher from Palm Beach Atlantic College; Karl Mejlholm, a right-handed pitcher from Dover Bay High School; Eric Stults, a left-handed pitcher from Bethel College; Sambu Ndungidi, an outfielder from St. Georges High School; Russell Martin, a second baseman from Chipola Junior College; Curtis Hudson, a catcher from Yuba City High School; Michael White, a left-handed pitcher from St. Petersburg Junior College; Andrew Walker, a right-handed pitcher from Cowley County City College; Brian Tracy, a right-handed pitcher from Claremont High School and Brett Wayne, a shortstop from St. Mary's College.

White's comments:

McDonald -- "From an athletic family, chance to hit, he's got to get stronger, he can always pitch."
Owen -- "A defensive specialist, a catch-and-throw guy with solid makeup."
Lasalle -- "A good arm, a big, strong fourth-starter type."
Mejlholm -- " A projection, tall and lean. He might go to junior college."
Stults -- "He's athletic, from a small college where he played basketball but had limited pitching. He was an outfielder, but we might have a good find in the late rounds."
Ndungidi -- "He's very young and he hasn't played lot of baseball, but he's an athlete."
Martin -- "He has a chance to play second base, he swings bat well, and he could move behind the plate or to third base."
Hudson -- "A big, strong, physical catcher we think will fill out."
White -- "In keeping with the theme of lefties, he's polished with a fringe-average fastball we think he can throw harder."
Walker -- "He has a loose, easy arm-action. He has a good delivery."
Tracy -- "He's got a lot of ability, but I doubt we can sign him."
Wayne -- "He's a gamer. We can get him into our system to stabilize our young infielders."

Ken Gurnick covers the Dodgers for This article was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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