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Dodgers seeking maximum value in Draft

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- The 2018 Draft marks the 50th anniversary of Al Campanis' legendary Class of 1968 that produced 11 Major Leaguers and six All-Stars, forming the nucleus of Dodgers clubs that won four pennants and one World Series from 1974-81.

This year's Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 3 p.m. PT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 9:30 a.m. PT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 9 a.m. PT.

LOS ANGELES -- The 2018 Draft marks the 50th anniversary of Al Campanis' legendary Class of 1968 that produced 11 Major Leaguers and six All-Stars, forming the nucleus of Dodgers clubs that won four pennants and one World Series from 1974-81.

This year's Draft will take place today through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 3 p.m. PT. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 9:30 a.m. PT. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at 9 a.m. PT.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Dodgers, whose first selection is the 30th overall pick.

In about 50 words
In addition to the 30th overall pick, the Dodgers have the 62nd, 100th and 130th picks in the first four rounds. Despite organizational deep pockets, signability is key in targeting picks and strategy is implemented to maximize the amount of quality players within the constraints of the allotted bonus pool.

The scoop
This is the fourth Draft of the current management team. Billy Gasparino is the director of amateur scouting, but top brass Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes and David Finley are also heavily involved in a group effort. With the first pick in their first three Drafts, they went with a college pitcher (Walker Buehler), a high school shortstop (Gavin Lux) and a college outfielder (Jeren Kendall).

Video: Top Prospects: Jeren Kendall, OF, Dodgers

First-round buzz
MLB Pipeline's latest mock Draft projects the Dodgers taking Oklahoma outfielder Steele Walker with the 30th overall pick. According to MLB Pipeline, "Walker's best tool is his bat, to go along with his outstanding instincts and makeup that allow his tools to play up." He's 5-11, 190 pounds and bats and throws left-handed.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

The Dodgers have $5,288,200 to spend on their first 10 picks with $2,275,800 designated for the 30th overall pick, $917,000 for the 68th overall pick in the second round, $538,800 for the 104th overall pick in the third round and $402,300 for the 134th overall pick in the fourth round. In the past, the Dodgers have been rigid about not exceeding the threshold that would cost a first-round pick.

Shopping list
The organizational need is left-handed pitching, but as demonstrated below, need doesn't drive the Dodgers' Drafts. They also haven't drafted and developed an All-Star second baseman since Steve Sax (Dee Gordon was drafted as a shortstop).

Trend watch
Proof the Dodgers don't draft for need: Entering last year's Draft, there wasn't a left-handed pitcher listed among MLB Pipeline's Top 30 prospects in the organization. Then the club didn't draft one until the 22nd round. In other words, they really do take the best talent available, in their opinion, regardless of organization need. That said, Gasparino's first pick has been a college player in four of the five years he's run a Draft (including two for San Diego).

Rising fast
Outfielder DJ Peters, a sixth-round pick in 2016, has only one full professional season under his belt. But after an impressive big league Spring Training, he's continued to produce for Double-A Tulsa. According to MLB Pipleline, Peters is "built along the lines of Aaron Judge. Peters has similar huge raw right-handed power and a strong arm. His strength and the leverage in his 6-foot-6 frame allow him to crush balls out of any part of any ballpark, though his size also leads to a naturally long swing."

Video: LAD@CWS: Peters lifts a two-run homer to take lead

Cinderella story
Caleb Ferguson, a 38th-round high school pick coming off Tommy John surgery when drafted in 2014, was recently promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City before turning 22. He's the highest-rated left-handed pitcher in the system, according to MLB Pipeline. His signing scout was Marty Lamb, who also was credited with signing Buehler, Chad Billingsley and A.J. Ellis.

In the show
From the current 25-man roster, Matt Kemp (sixth round in 2003), Joc Pederson (11th round in 2010), Ross Stripling (fifth round in 2012), Brock Stewart (sixth round in 2014) and Cody Bellinger (fourth round in 2014) were drafted by the Dodgers and developed by their Minor League system. That doesn't include Clayton Kershaw (first round, seventh overall, in 2006) and Corey Seager (first round, 18th overall, in 2012), who are on the disabled list.

Video: LAD@WSH: Bellinger crushes a solo homer to center

Dodgers recent top picks
2017: Jeren Kendall, OF, Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga
2016: Gavin Lux, SS, Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga
2015: Walker Buehler, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
2014: Grant Holmes, RHP, injured shoulder (Oakland)
2013: Chris Anderson, RHP, no team

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers