Los Angeles Dodgers focus on pitching and collegiate talent in 2015 Draft

June 10, 2015

After the Los Angeles Dodgers used four of their top five picks on college pitchers on the first day of the 2015 Draft, the team continued that trend on days two and three as well, making 42 overall picks and selecting 25 pitchers (22 right-handers, three left-handers).  Thirty-three players were selected from the college ranks, while nine were drafted from high school.

In addition, five outfielders, six infielders (one first baseman, three second basemen, two shortstops), and six catchers were chosen. Of the 17 drafted position players, 11 are right-handed hitters, five are left-handed, and one is a switch-hitter.

On the second day, the Dodgers chose Vanderbilt University left-handed pitcher Philip Pfeifer (third round), Yavapai College (AZ) infielder Willie Calhoun (fourth round), Lakewood (CA) High School infielder Brendon Davis (fifth round), Florida International University first baseman Edwin Rios (sixth round), Gonzaga University right-hander Andrew Sopko (seventh round), Haverford College (PA) right-hander Tommy Bergjans (eighth round), Cal State Dominguez Hills right-hander Kevin Brown (ninth round), and University of Texas Pan American outfielder Logan Landon (10th round).

Davis, a longtime MLB Urban Youth Academy member, missed his senior season due to a fractured left wrist. Bergjans went 5-3 with a 1.07 ERA in nine starts as a senior to earn a second consecutive selection as a D3baseball.com First-Team All-American and the website’s nod for All-Mid-Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year. Brown posted a 7-2 record with a 3.79 ERA in 16 games (11 starts) as a junior for the Toros.

Pfeifer, who picked up the win for the Commodores yesterday in their Super Regional-clinching victory over Illinois. Pfeifer, a 22-year-old senior, has gone 5-4 with five saves and a 4.09 ERA in 25 games (seven starts) this year, while limiting opponents to a .221 batting average with 105 strikeouts in 83.2 innings.

Sopko, 20, went 7-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 14 starts as a junior in 2015 en route to being named to the All-WCC Honorable Mention team.

Calhoun, a 20-year-old infielder and University of Arizona transfer, batted .432 with 31 home runs and 85 RBI in 63 games, ranking among the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I’s best in home runs (1st), total bases (216, 1st), runs (83, 4th), hits (98, 4th), RBI (5th) and slugging percentage (.952, 2nd).

Rios, a junior First-Team All-Conference USA selection, batted .314 with a league-best 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 61 games this season, while posting a .421 on-base percentage and a .592 slugging percentage.

Logan batted .382 with 17 steals, eight home runs and 47 RBI in 51 games as a senior this year to earn All-WAC Second Team honors in his first season as a position player since high school.

On the draft’s third and final day, the Dodgers picked four players with California ties in Madison (CA) High School pitcher Imani Abdullah (11th round), Cal Poly Pomona and Chino Hill High School graduate Kyle Garlick (28th round), Fresno Community College pitcher Drayton Riekenberg (36th round), and Cal Poly Pomona and Upland High School graduate Christopher Powell (39th round).

Powell, a right-handed pitcher, is the son of former Dodger pitcher Dennis Powell, who played for the club from 1985-86.

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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