College ranks appealing to Dodgers in Draft

Los Angeles opens Day 2 by picking University of Houston catcher Wong

June 13th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- On Day 2 of the 2017 Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday, the Dodgers stuck primarily with right-handed pitchers and college players after using their first two picks on Vanderbilt University center fielder Jeren Kendall and University of Texas right-handed pitcher Morgan Cooper.

Through 10 picks, the Dodgers have taken nine college players and six right-handed pitchers.

Round 3 (100th overall): C Connor Wong, University of Houston

Wong, listed at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, played shortstop as a freshman before being moved behind the plate, so he fits the organization's preference for versatility. This year, he also played third base and the outfield, but the Dodgers selected him as a catcher.

Wong is the stepson of Matt Maysey, who pitched briefly for Montreal and Milwaukee and had a hit in his only MLB at-bat.

Round 4 (130th overall): RHP James Marinan, Park Vista Community High School (Florida)

The 18-year-old Marinan is 6-foot-5, 220 pounds with a commitment to the University of Miami.

According to, which listed him as the No. 65 Draft prospect, Marinan's velocity spiked as much as any player in the Draft this season.

Marinan hit .311 with right-handed power as a slick-fielding first baseman, but his velocity had scouts consider him primarily as a pitcher.

Round 5 (160th overall): RHP Riley Ottesen, University of Utah

The 22-year-old Ottesen is a smallish (6-foot, 185 pounds) but hard-throwing (97 mph) righty, so some scouts view him as a reliever.

He went on a Mormon mission to Japan for two years out of high school before resuming his ballplaying last year. Ottesen went 5-4 with a 4.93 ERA and one save this year.

Ottesen told the Salt Lake City Tribune he's eager to play professionally, and his tweet below backs that up. had him ranked as the 107th prospect in the Draft.

Round 6 (190th overall): Wills Montgomerie, RHP, University of Connecticut

The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder went 6-3 with a 3.73 ERA and 116 strikeouts, but also had 40 walks, in 89 1/3 innings pitched for Connecticut.

Montgomerie hit the radar with a solid performance in the Cape Cod League. He throws hard with the build of a starter, but his secondary pitches need work.

Round 7 (220th overall): Zachery Pop, RHP, University of Kentucky

The Canadian native relies on a hard sinking fastball and was a reliever this year after starting in previous seasons and in the Cape Cod league. He went 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 22 relief appearances this year, but he was not the closer. He was sidelined in May by a forearm flexor strain.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder was drafted by Toronto in the 23rd round in 2014, when he was Canada's top high school pitching prospect, but he went to Kentucky. He pitched for the Canada national junior team and was coached by former Major Leaguer Chris Reitsma.

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Round 8 (250th overall): Rylan Bannon, 3B, Xavier University

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder was named the Big East Conference Player of the Year in 2017.

He doesn't have the typical build for the position and played second base in high school. But while batting .339 this year, he had a .633 slugging percentage with enough running speed for 17 stolen bases.

Round 9 (280th overall): Connor Strain, RHP, University of Evansville

Strain is 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. He had a 0.68 ERA in 2016 but suffered a forearm tendon injury and opted for a platelet-rich plasma injection instead of Tommy John surgery.

He rebounded as a senior in 2017 to make 14 starts, threw 68 2/3 innings and went 2-5 with a 2.62 ERA on a team that went 18-39. He throws a heavy sinker.

Round 10 (310th overall): Zach Reks, OF, University of Kentucky

The second player the Dodgers took from Kentucky, Reks began his collegiate career hitting .210 at the Air Force Academy and was told he wasn't progressing well. He transferred to Kentucky but was told he was too small for the program and went to work at a nearby auto plant while attending classes.

Two years later, he had a tryout, and as a walk-on wound up in the middle of the batting order. At 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, the left-handed batter hit .352 with a .932 OPS this year.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on at 9 a.m. PT.