Dodgers have history of finding pitching talent in Draft
In the first 15 rounds of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Dodgers have repeatedly demonstrated a knack for landing stars, notably pitchers, most often in the first round.
One currently heads the starting rotation, two-time National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. Two others -- Rick Sutcliffe and Bob Welch -- went on to win Cy Young Awards elsewhere. Another -- John Franco -- became the greatest lefty closer ever. One they drafted in the 10th round, but couldn't sign -- Tom Seaver -- is in the Hall of Fame.
The Dodgers also have landed significant position players. Matt Kemp, a sixth-rounder, in the eyes of many was an MVP. Bill Buckner won a batting title. Bill Russell was a fixture in a record-breaking infield. They also drafted Chase Utley, but like Seaver, couldn't sign him. And they let Shane Victorino get away repeatedly.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 3 p.m. PT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 9:30 a.m. PT on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here's a Dodgers Draft "best ofs," Rounds 1-15:
Round 1: Kershaw, 2006
Two Cy Young Awards at age 26 already make comparisons to Sandy Koufax legit, so even though he's mid-career, he still gets the nod over Cy Young Award-winning first-rounders Sutcliffe and Welch.
Round 2: Buckner, 1968
One error (OK, a really big error) obscured a 20-year career that included a batting title.
Round 3: Sid Fernandez, 1981
The Dodgers gave up on him fast because of his weight, but the Mets were more forgiving and were rewarded with a two-time NL All-Star.
Round 4: Steve Yeager, 1967
He got lost on a team full of stars, but Yeager's defense was so valuable he lasted 15 years.
Round 5: Franco, 1981
On the list of all-time worst Dodgers trades, Franco's might be only one notch below Pedro Martinez. Management thought it was set at lefty reliever with Steve Howe and kept the wrong one.
Round 6: Kemp, 2003
If Kemp can't regain his form after serious injuries, Victorino will deserve the nod here for maximizing his potential. But Kemp is the better scouting story, a raw, five-tool projection that should have won an NL MVP Award, and still might.
Round 7: David Ross, 1998
He's never duplicated the offense of 2006, but his defense has been dependable enough to carve out a decade-long career behind the plate.
Round 8: Charlie Hough, 1966
Los Angeles fans were harsh on Hough as a reliever, but he took his knuckleball to Texas and became an American League All-Star starter and workhorse.
Round 9: Russell, 1966
With apologies to Doyle Alexander, Russell wins the tiebreaker, because he spent his entire career with his drafting team.
Round 10: Seaver, 1965
Oh, what might have been had the Dodgers met his $70,000 asking price to turn down a USC scholarship.
Round 11: Nathan Eovaldi, 2008
His stuff is no fluke, if he can just stay healthy. He was dealt to Miami in the Hanley Ramirez trade.
Round 12: Billy Grabarkewitz, 1966
Only two players from this round made the bigs. Grabarkewitz was an everyday player only one season, but he made the All-Star Game that year.
Round 13: Greg Brock, 1979
He was never able to fulfill giant expectations created by Minor League stardom.
Round 14: Scott Van Slyke, 2005
He might need a new team to get sufficient playing time, but 13 homers in 237 at-bats are intriguing.
Round 15: Ted Sizemore, 1966
Although he was a solid defensive NL Rookie of the Year Award winner, he was a Dodger for only three seasons in two stints.