White discusses Dodgers Draft picks
Assistant GM of scouting shares success with colleagues
Dodgers assistant general manager, scouting Logan White fielded questions online Tuesday. White chatted about acquisitions at the recent First-Year Player Draft, the international player market and how he got into scouting.
White: Hello. I'm looking forward to chatting with some of our great Dodger fans. Let's get started.
2maglie2: Congratulations on another fine Draft this year. Are there any position players that you drafted that you feel could be power hitters for the Dodgers down the road?
White: Yes, we drafted a player by the name of Glen Gallagher, a third baseman, and a first baseman, Andrew Lambo in the third and fourth rounds. They should help address that need, but the player with the most raw power is Franklin Jacobs, our 17th round pick.
ThinkBlue2: How active will the Dodgers be in the international free agent market next month? Are the Dodgers looking to sign any top flight Latin American players?
White: Great question! Absolutely. I'm making a trip to the Dominican Republic in about 10 days. Our staff has already signed a good number of players this winter, and two of those players to keep an eye on are Pedro Baez, third baseman and left-handed pitcher Bolivar Medina.
2maglie2: What were the reason(s) for not drafting anyone in the last 10 rounds?
White: Due to the Draft rule changes of no longer having junior college draft and follows. Meaning, we no longer have controlling rights to the player after the Aug. 15 deadline.
2dodgerfan_2: Logan, how proud were you when the Dodgers fielded a starting lineup that included [James] Loney, [Matt] Kemp, [Tony] Abreu and [Russell] the other day?
White: I'm very proud of those young men, but I'm even prouder when they're on the field and we're winning.
2maglie2: With scouting being more world wide than ever, do you ever see a day when European players will start to show up in the majors and is there any scouting going on over there?
White: I would never say never, but players coming from Europe is going to be a long process, but they have to play the game while they are young, and unfortunately, the game at this time isn't being played in large numbers in European countries. However, we did draft a French native with our 19th-round pick...Joris Bert. He is a center fielder.
jch403: Logan, thanks to you and your staff for all the great work that you do. A couple of years ago, you identified Matt Kemp as a prospect that few people knew about, but that we should keep an eye on. What about today's current Dodger crop of prospects?
White: Two names come to mind...John Meloan and Xavier Paul. But the most unknown, my sleeper of the group would be James McDonald, a right-handed pitcher playing at the Inland Empire. But we do have a number of young men that I certainly don't want to leave out, but can't mention them all in this short time...
ThinkBlue2: Is Clayton Kershaw hurt? I noticed he hasnt pitched in over a week.
White: No. It's part of our regimen with our pitchers. In the middle of the season, we have them skip a start or two to reduce stress on their arms. This is the same process we used when Chad Billingsly was in the Minor Leagues.
DdgerBlues: It seems as if Preston Mattingly has struggled in his brief time in the Minors. Is it common for young players to adapt slowly to using a wooden bat or is Mattingly's woes due to some other reason?
White: It is a normal part of the growth process, and as you can see as of late, he is starting to really pick it up. Don't forget, Mike Schmidt hit .190 his first year in the big leagues.
Dodgers123: Why did you choose a pitcher as your first-round draft pick?
White: Because we felt he was the best available player with the highest ceiling. Plus, with the impact of injuries to pitchers throughout baseball, it is imperative that we draft a high number every year. Pitching is the toughest and most sought after commodity in the Major League free agent market every winter. That's why it is so important to home grow your own, such as Billingsley, [Jonathan] Broxton, etc.
natedogge7: A lot of Dodger fans feel that getting a supplemental first-round talent in Kyle Blair in the fifth round was a steal. Is he signable? Did you guys have talks with him on his signability before you selected him in the fifth?
White: Yes. We have a very high regard for Kyle Blair, but the outcome of whether we sign him or not is uncertain.
Dodgers123: How long will it take a player like [Chris] Withrow to develop into a player like Chad Billingsley?
White: It's tough to compare players, because they all develop physically and mentally at different stages, and Chad was an exceptional player for his age, mentally and physically, but I do think that Chris can follow a similar path in his footsteps.
213Dodger: How did you get into scouting? What steps did you take to get where you are today?
White: I was drafted by the Mariners and signed as a right-handed pitcher, and had surgery, which ended my career. I went back to school to earn my Master's degree, and I taught English and Communications during that time period...I received a phone call from a former Minor League manager, and he asked me to apply for a scouting job with the Orioles. I was then hired by the current Dodger East coast scouting supervisor, John Barr, who was then the Orioles scouting director. Then I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by many good mentors who helped me move up the ladder from area scout to supervisor to scouting director, which led me to where I am today.
johnmat: The Dodgers seem to have top prospects in their farm system consistently. Growing up in Albuquerque I have seen some of baseball's greatest stars. What would you attribute their continuing success with young players, especially pitchers?
White: The process first starts with having good scouts who sign players with the ability to become Major League players, and I'm certainly proud of our staff. I would attribute it to, number one, quality scouts, which we have. Number two, excellent managers and coaches, which we have. And then number three, the players themselves and their makeup and character. In regards to pitchers, we really emphasize sound deliveries and mechanics, with good arm action. We like to see pitchers with above-average fastballs and and outpitch breaking ball.
909ddgerfn: I've noticed Andy LaRoche hasn't been hitting with a lot of power lately, do you think he is still lingering from his labrum injuries or do you believe this is something he'll be able to work out of?
White: Good question. I think it is a little of both, but Andy has always been a slow starter, and I expect him to really heat up the second half. I think you'll see his power numbers go up once he becomes a Major Leaguer.
mlbammer5: How would you compare last year's top pick, Clayton Kershaw, with year's, Chris Withrow?
White: First, I genuinely love both players, but one is left-handed and one is right-handed, and Clayton has that rare gift of an outstanding fastball, especially for a left hander. Both players throw hard, have good curveballs, have easy mechanics and deliveries, are competitors, and they're from the great state of Texas. We have time for a couple more questions...
drew88: What do you look for in a player before you decide to draft him?
White: Great question. We look for size, athleticism, strength, whether it be a hitter or pitcher, well above-average physical skills...and players with outstanding mental attributes and great character.
natedogge7: With Michael Watt not being on [Baseball America's] top 200 list, why did you feel it was necessary to select him in the second round? What type of pitcher do you see him becoming and where will he start out the season?
White: When I look back on the 2002 Draft, Russell Martin wasn't on anybody's top 200 list, so with all due respect to Baseball America's list, I pay more attention to our scouts and personnel, as to who they like. Michael, provided we sign him, will start his career in Vero Beach and the Gulf Coast. He reminds me a lot of Randy Wolf. They have similar builds and size and stuff, and the same great competitive makeup.
ladodblue: Who can we see this September not on the 40-man roster?
White: Some guesses might be John Meloan...I might even say possibly Hu, Xavier Paul...at this stage, it is tough to predict. In closing, I really enjoy the Dodger fans and their genuine interest in scouting and the players, and I'd like to leave you today with a note about our great scouting staff. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Tim Hallgren, our director of amateur scouting and Gib Bodet, who is our special advisor to the director of scouting. I'd like to thank them all for their tireless work. They deserve a lot of the credit I get. Here's to beating the Mets tonight, and getting on a roll, and going to the playoffs. Thanks for chatting today.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.