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Hard-throwing Sborz goes 74th to Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers selected University of Virginia right-hander Josh Sborz in Monday's Draft with the 74th overall pick, which they obtained in a trade with Baltimore.

The Draft continues on Tuesday with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 12:30 p.m. ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

Sborz, 6-3 and 225 pounds, was the closer for Virginia this year, but new Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino said the Dodgers view him as a starter.

"He's an accomplished right-hander," said Gasparino. "We think he can do both roles, but he has a 95-mph fastball, and he's added a slider, and we think he has a chance to start. So, we feel we got three starters, not just two."

Earlier with the 24th overall pick the Dodgers took right-handed pitcher Walker Buehler from Vanderbilt; with the 35th pick they took right-handed pitcher Kyle Funkhouser from the University of Louisville; and with the 67th pick they took Texas high school outfielder Mitchell Hansen.

Other Dodgers Day 1 picks: Walker Buehler | Kyle Funkhouser | Mitchell Hansen

Here is the scouting report on Sborz:

Sborz, whose brother Jay spent eight seasons in pro ball, pitched in relief as a freshman at Virginia before moving into the rotation as a sophomore. He returned to the bullpen in 2015, serving as the Cavaliers' closer and thriving in the role. Sborz's arm strength is what defines him as a prospect. He's shown a fastball that he can crank up to 98 mph on occasion, though it usually sits in the 93-95 mph range, with some sink. He has a slider that should be at least Major League average and while he doesn't need a changeup much in short relief, he will show occasional feel for the pitch. Scouts aren't in love with his funky arm action, but the stuff is hard to be denied. Sborz didn't pitch badly as a sophomore starter, and it's possible a team taking him early could decide to send him out in a rotation. But he more than likely profiles as a hard-throwing short reliever at the Major League level.

Sborz is 4-2 with a 1.95 ERA in 60 innings this season and was named to the midseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award. He is tied for the ACC lead with 14 saves and has limited opponents to a .164 batting average.

Sborz has made 76 career appearances, which is tied for seventh most in program history. In 187 career innings, he has allowed just 128 hits while striking out 171 and holding his foes to a .195 batting average. He ranks sixth in school history with 16 career saves.

Sborz's brother, Jay, was a second-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2003 and made one pitching appearance in the Major Leagues.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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