06/06/12 12:35 AM ET
Dodgers have good balance after Draft Day 2
By Alex Angert / MLB.com
The Dodgers haven't drafted a position player with their first pick since James Loney in 2002, but this year they went with a pair of shortstops with rich Major League bloodlines for their first two picks. The team selected Corey Seager in the first round out of Northwest Cabarrus High School in North Carolina with the 18th selection and followed that up by picking Jesmuel Valentin with the 51st pick.
"I certainly like to draft a lot of pitching, but I like to mix it up when I can," White said Tuesday night after the first 15 rounds were in the books. "For me, when we got to those position guys, they were the two best guys that we felt at that time were on that board, and that's who we wanted to take."
Despite going with a pair of infielders on the first day, White said he especially wanted to get some left-handed pitching, and that is exactly what he did to kick off the second day.
The Dodgers took a pair of polished southpaws who have the potential to move through the Minors quickly, selecting reliever Steven Rodriguez out of Florida in the second round and Cuban defector Onelki Garcia in the third round.
There are signability concerns with Garcia, who was set to enter the 2011 Draft before being ruled ineligible, but White isn't worried about getting a deal done.
"You're talking about the Los Angeles Dodgers, and I do think they are a great organization with great history, and for pitchers, I think it's a real plus to sign here and be in our system," White said. "I think they are going to see the benefits of that and hopefully get in the organization and go from there."
White added the excitement extends well beyond the first few picks by the Dodgers. He compared fourth-rounder Justin Chigbogu out of Missouri to Mo Vaughn and Prince Fielder, and he sees Garret Anderson in seventh-rounder Theo Alexander. The team took eight position players and seven pitchers through the first two days.
"There's really good balance," said White, who called this one of the most fun and exciting Drafts the Dodgers have had in a while. "We got, in my mind, two of the better, young position guys and a couple left-handed pitchers after that and then some other guys with some power and arms. I thought it was just an outstanding Draft to this point."
Round 2, 82nd overall, LHP Steven Rodriguez: Rodriguez, of the University of Florida, projects as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen that is expected to be one of the first players to make it to the Majors from this year's Draft class. MLB.com Draft experts could even see Rodriguez as a possible September callup.
Round 3, 113th overall, LHP Onelki Garcia: White compared Garcia, who throws a low-90s fastball with a hard curve, to Randy Wolf and noted he isn't concerned with getting a deal done to sign the Cuban pitcher.
Round 4, 146th overall, 1B Justin Chigbogu: He is a high-risk, high-reward sort of pick. The first baseman selected out of Raytown South High School in Missouri is very raw, but he has big-time power. White said he has way above-average bat speed.
Round 5, 176th overall, RHP Ross Stripling: He was one of college baseball's top starters over the past two seasons, winning 24 games for the Texas A&M Aggies. The righty, who was once a three-sport athlete before breaking his leg in high school, even threw a no-hitter this year. White views Stripling as a quality back-end-of-the-rotation starter that can eat up innings.
Round 6, 206th overall, OF Joey Curletta: He is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound outfielder from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix, who has committed to playing for the University of Arizona. Curletta has a powerful bat and he also has a fastball that hovers around 90 mph. White said Curletta has as much raw power as anyone in the Draft and noted his speed.
Round 7, 236th overall, OF Theo Alexander: Alexander, who has committed to play at the University of California Santa Barbara, had a big year, hitting .471 with 25 RBIs and four home runs in 51 plate appearances during his senior season in high school.
Round 8, 266th overall, RHP Scott Griggs: He is from Alamo, Calif., and went 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 35 appearances this past year as UCLA's closer. In 36 2/3 innings, the righty struck out 64, but he also walked 31 batters. He set the school's single-season saves record with 15 during his junior season.
Round 9, 296th overall, RHP Zachary Bird: Bird is a lanky pitching prospect out of Mississippi. He pitches a fastball in the high 80s, but the 177-pounder has room to fill out to add more velocity. If he doesn't sign with the Dodgers and opts to play at Southern Mississippi, he could wind up being a guy talked about a lot down the road. White said Bird has great makeup and he's a well-rounded pitcher who is very smart.
Round 10, 326th overall, 2B Zach Babitt: He hit .313 with a .403 on-base percentage his senior year at the Academy of Art University. Babitt was a two-sport athlete in high school and he hails from Richmond, Calif.
Round 11, 356th overall, RF Jeremy Rathjen: He led Rice with nine home runs this season and finished second on the team with a .329 average. He knocked in 42 runs and scored 39 of his own during his senior season. Rathjen was the valedictorian of his high school in suburban Houston.
Round 12, 386th overall, RHP James Campbell: Campbell found success as a starter and a reliever for Stony Brook this past season. He appeared in 17 games -- seven were starts -- and finished 5-0 with three saves and a 2.92 ERA.
Round 13, 416th overall, SS Darnell Sweeney: He was the third shortstop taken by the Dodgers in 13 rounds. He finished 2012 hitting .261 for Central Florida while scoring 50 runs and tallying 35 RBIs.
Round 14, 446th overall, RHP Matt Reckling: He was the second Rice player taken by the Dodgers on the second day of the Draft. Reckling was drafted in the 22nd round by the Indians last year, but he came back for 2012 to continue to develop as a pitcher. The righty is expected to be a bullpen pitcher down the road with OK command.
Round 15, 476th overall, RHP Dalton Von Schamann: He far and away led all Texas Tech starters with a 2.08 ERA and a 6-4 record in 2012. The righty threw three complete games and held opposing batters to a .212 average.
Alex Angert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.