Dodgers reflect on past Drafts in Zoom Party

May 27th, 2020

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers held their weekly Zoom Party on Tuesday night with another star-studded lineup that included president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

Also on the call were players , , , (donning a Lakers jersey), (from his car), and former Dodger .

The Zoom Party was hosted by Dodgers broadcaster Alanna Rizzo and included Dodger Stadium organist Dieter Ruehle playing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” for the seventh-inning stretch.

Pollock discussed the premature birth of his daughter, Maddi Mae, who weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces when delivered by wife Kate at only 24 weeks. She now weighs 4 pounds, 3 ounces.

"She’s doing great, that’s what’s keeping us going,” Pollock said. “It’s been a wild ride, going back and forth [to the hospital] so many times, but she’s gotten bigger and stronger.”

With the Draft scheduled for June 10-11, Rizzo asked Friedman about using his first pick as president of baseball operations to take Buehler in 2015.

“Going into his junior year, we had him top five in the country, and we had no chance at him at No. 24,” Friedman said. “The silver lining for us was the injury he had [eventually needing Tommy John surgery] gave us the chance to draft him.”

Stripling recalled that while rehabbing from a similar surgery he had months earlier, he and a few other players at Camelback Ranch went to watch Buehler throw a bullpen session with his rebuilt elbow.

“I remember thinking, 'Yeah, whatever, who is this kid?'” Stripling said. “Then, it was like the most amazing thing I’d seen in my life, seven months after surgery and he’s throwing 95 [mph].”

“I got yelled at for that,” Buehler said.

“We kept having to throttle him back,” Friedman said.

Friedman, praising his amateur scouting department, said that despite the lack of high school and college games played, there’s been a focus and preparation that has him optimistic the club will make a solid choice with the No. 29 pick in the first round.

Stripling also told the story of being drafted in the ninth round by the Rockies in 2011 as a junior out of Texas A&M, then telling the scout he was going back for his senior year.

“What a blessing that was,” Stripling said. “Not only getting drafted later by a great organization like the Dodgers, but not having to pitch in Denver. A lot of people were shaking their heads wondering what I was thinking.”

Rizzo later asked the panel which member of the PGA Tour they would like to shoot a round with.

“Justin Thomas,” said fellow Kentuckian Buehler. “And Michael Jordan.”

Tiger Woods was the choice for Lux and Pollock. Friedman went out of the box.

“I’m thinking about John Daly,” Friedman said, “for the enjoyment factor, not knowing what’s coming next. It would be very entertaining.”

Picking up on that, Sax suggested “Bill Murray of Caddyshack,” prompting Pederson to vote for “Happy Gilmore.”