Although most players aren’t household names coming out of high school or college, the annual June amateur draft is critical for baseball teams building for the future. The current Dodger roster, including starting pitchers Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw, reflects the recent success in terms of high draft choices eventually reaching the Major Leagues.
The 2008 roster featured four original Dodger draft choices who each played in at least 100 games – first baseman James Loney (161 games), outfielder Matt Kemp (155), catcher Russell Martin (155) and infielder Blake DeWitt (117). The last time the Dodgers had as many original draft choices to play in at least 100 games in the same season (and not appearing in their second tenure with the Dodgers like Tom Goodwin, Jose Vizcaino, Dave Hansen and Eric Young) was the 1988 team with second baseman Steve Sax (160), outfielder Mike Marshall (144), catcher Mike Scioscia (130), shortstop Dave Anderson (116) and third baseman Jeff Hamilton (111).
Relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton has a chance to become the first Dodger in Los Angeles history to lead the team in saves for one season after being selected by the organization as a high school pitcher. The only other single-season saves leaders drafted by the Dodgers as pitchers were Steve Howe (University of Michigan) and Tom Niedenfuer (Washington State University). Charlie Hough, who led the Dodgers in saves in 1976 and 1977, was originally selected in 1966 by the Dodgers as third baseman out of Hialeah (FL) High School and he switched to pitching at the suggestion of his minor league manager, Tommy Lasorda.
— Mark Langill
The second round is getting started now that the pomp and circumstance of Round 1 and the compensation round has come and gone. I’m hoping to get Logan White and De Jon Watson in a combo chat to talk to you all at some point, so stay tuned on that front.
For those of you who would like the chance to meet James Loney and Andruw Jones, you can do so tomorrow at the Macy’s in Sherman Oaks from 1-2 p.m. They will be signing autographs as part of a Father’s Day promotion, and anyone who purchases $50 or more on Fossil merchandise in the men’s department will get a special baseball to get autographed by both players.
Meanwhile, speaking of cool experiences, for any of you who missed Nomar Garciaparra’s Carne Asada Sundays last year, he’s hosting another one on June 22 of this month and it’s a chance to get an autographed photo of him, go to the game against the Indians, get a nice dinner and hang out with Nomar. If you’re interested, call 323.224.1435, as there aren’t very many spots left (the whole thing is limited to 250 people).
In other news, Matt Kemp was suspended today for four games, but he has appealed it and is in tonight’s lineup, which is: