Dodgers get 'really good package' with 1st pick

High school shortstop Lux, drafted 20th overall, 'pumped up' to start career

June 9th, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers took left-handed-hitting high school shortstop Gavin Lux with their first pick Thursday in the 2016 MLB Draft, and he had a pretty interesting comparable when asked about his game.

"Some people say Chase Utley," said Lux, citing the Dodgers' starting second baseman. "High-contact hitter, I run well, good defense."

Not a bad comp for the 18-year-old from Indian Trail Academy in Kenosha, Wis.

• 32nd overall: Will Smith

• 36th overall: Jordan Sheffield

• 65th overall: Mitchell White

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"This type of player, historically, does very well in the Draft," said Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino, who wouldn't compare Lux by name to anyone. "Several over the years with the same skill set have gone on and done well. We felt it's an undervalued, underappreciated skill set. They usually overachieve than underachieve. We think he's a really good package to take with our first pick."

The Dodgers took Lux with the 20th overall pick, which has a $2,160,300 assigned value. The club lost out on a first-rounder last year when Kyle Funkhouser turned down an offer of almost $2 million, but that doesn't seem like an issue with Lux, despite a commitment to Arizona State.

"Right now, I definitely want to play professional baseball," Lux said. "I'm kind of set on doing that. Right now I just want to get out there and get going as soon as possible. I'm pumped up to start my career right now."

The Draft continues Friday with Rounds 3-10. The preview show begins at 9:30 a.m. PT, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 10 a.m. PT.

Lux hit .531 (43-for-81) with six home runs, 10 doubles, four triples, 31 RBIs and 23 stolen bases this spring. He drew 29 walks and struck out twice in 26 games.

Lux is the first shortstop taken in the first round by the Dodgers since current shortstop Corey Seager was taken in 2012. Scouts have projected the 6-foot-4 Seager to eventually move to third base. Lux was scouted by Dodgers area scout Trey Magnuson.

"We think he has a lot of athleticsm, good hands, enough arm strength to stay at the position and he's a very good baseball player," said Gasparino, in his second Draft with the club.

"We really think he has a chance to be a really good hitter at the Major League level. He has talent and skill and the kid comes from a baseball family and he has a really high character. One of the things we were impressed with was how much strength he put on in the last six months. He's more physical than you think. The Wisconsin stigma might throw some people off. He's not a raw kid; he's advanced. We don't think he's a slow mover."

Lux's uncle, Augie Schmidt, was the No. 2 overall pick and the Golden Spikes Award winner in 1982 who's currently the head coach at NCAA Division III Carthage (Wis.). Lux called Schmidt his "mentor."

Lux said he's been to Los Angeles only once, but he already knows Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, as they have worked out together in the offseason. Ellis lives in Milwaukee.