Highlighting Dodgers top 2016 MLB Draft picks

June 12, 2016

The Los Angeles Dodgers yesterday announced their final 30 picks from the third day of the 2016 Draft. The MLB Draft took place from June 9-11, 2016.

The Dodgers made 42 overall picks in this year’s draft, selecting 23 pitchers (21 right-handers, two left-handers), seven outfielders, nine infielders (one baseman, four second basemen, three shortstops, one third baseman) and three catchers. Of the 19 drafted position players, 12 are right-handed hitters and seven are left-handed. Thirty-four were selected from the college ranks, while eight were drafted from high school.

On the opening day, the Dodgers selected Indian Trail High School (Kenosha, WI) shortstop Gavin Lux with their first pick (20th overall) in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound left-handed hitting shortstop hit .531 (43-for-81) with six home runs, 10 doubles, four triples, 31 RBI and stole 23 bases this spring. He also drew 29 walks, while only striking out twice in 26 games in 2016. Lux, 18, was rated by Baseball America as the fourth-best shortstop in the 2016 draft and was the 36th overall prospect. He was also named the Gatorade State player of the year for the state of Wisconsin.

“We’re really excited that we were able to select Gavin,” said Dodger Director, Amateur Scouting Billy Gasparino. “We think he’s a bright young man with a lot of ability and comes from a baseball family. He is a pure shortstop that can run, hit, and hit with power from the left side.”

Lux’s uncle, Augie Schmidt, was the second-overall pick in the 1982 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and is currently the coach for Division III Carthage College.

This marks the first time that the Dodgers have selected a position player with their first overall pick since Corey Seager in 2012. Los Angeles has selected a pitcher with their first pick of the draft in 10 of the last 12 years.

Lux was scouted by Dodger area scout Trey Magnuson.

With their second selection of the first round, the Dodgers selected University of Louisville catcher Will Smith. The right-handed hitting catcher was rated by Baseball America as the sixth-best catcher in the draft and became the first catcher since Paul Konerko in 1994 to be drafted in the first round by the Dodgers. Smith, 21, was scouted by scout Marty Lamb.

Smith had a breakout junior season, hitting .380 (57-for-150) with eight doubles, seven home runs and 43 RBI in 53 games along with a .476 OBP and a .573 SLG for the Cardinals this year. He was also named third-team All-ACC this year, while leading the Cardinals to the 2016 NCAA Super Regional, where they will face UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, June 11. During the course of his three-year college career, Smith has posted a .289/.389/.410 slashline with 20 doubles, seven home runs and 43 RBI, along with a .991 fielding percentage.

“After converting from shortstop to catcher when joining Louisville, it took him a while to sync in at that position in the college level,” said Gasparino. “But we think he is a great athlete with a plus arm, and he can really receive and throw the ball well. He has always had a short compact swing with good bat speed and controls the zone very well. He is a great leader on the field, and his intangibles are off the chart.”

With their third pick before the second round (officially Lottery Round A), the Dodgers selected Vanderbilt University right-handed pitcher Jordan Sheffield, who was rated by Baseball America as the 12th-best pitcher in the draft and the 23rd-overall prospect. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound redshirt sophomore and Golden Spikes Award semifinalist went 8-6 in 16 starts this season. posting a 3.01 ERA (34 ER/101.2 IP), and struck out 113 batters against 40 walks. The Tullahoma, TN, native went 13-8 with a 2.84 ERA in 38 games (22 starts) during the course of his career at Vanderbilt. The 21-year-old was also scouted by Lamb.

“He is very athletic, maybe one of the better athletes in the draft at any position. and he is up to 96 and has big arm strength,” said Gasparino. “He is a highly competitive kid, and he knows the game and understands professional baseball really well. His changeup has really developed this year into a plus pitch, and the breaking ball has always been a calling card for him.”

Below are the Dodgers’ first-round selections since the start of the draft in 1965:

1965   John Wyatt (INF)
1966   Larry Hutton (RHP)
1967   Don Denbow (INF)
1968   Bobby Valentine (OF)
1969   Terry McDermott (C)
1970   Jim Haller (RHP)
1971   Rick Rhoden (RHP)
1972   John Harbin (INF)
1973   Ted Farr (C)
1974   Rick Sutcliffe (RHP)
1975   Mark Bradley (INF)
1976   Mike Scioscia (C)
1977   Bob Welch (RHP)
1978   None
1979   Steve Howe (LHP)
           Steve Perry (RHP)
1980   Ross Jones (INF)
1981   Dave Anderson (INF)
1982   Franklin Stubbs (1B)
1983   Erik Sonberg (LHP)
1984   Dennis Livingston (RHP)
1985   Chris Gwynn (OF)
1986   Mike White (OF)
1987   Dan Opperman (RHP)
1988   Bill Bene (RHP)
1989   Kiki Jones (RHP)
           Tom Goodwin (OF)
           Jamie McAndrew* (RHP)
1990   Ronnie Walden (LHP)
1991   None
1992   Ryan Luzinski* (C)
           Michael Moore* (OF)
1993   Darren Dreifort (RHP)
1994   Paul Konerko (C)
1995   David Yocum (LHP)
1996   Damian Rolls (INF)
1997   Glenn Davis (1B)
1998   Bubba Crosby (OF)
1999   Jason Repko* (INF)
2000   Ben Diggins (RHP)
2001   None
2002   James Loney (1B)
           Greg Miller* (LHP)
2003   Chad Billingsley (RHP)
2004   Scott Elbert (LHP)
           Blake DeWitt (3B)
           Justin Orenduff* (RHP)
2005   Luke Hochevar* (RHP)
2006   Clayton Kershaw (LHP)
           Bryan Morris* (RHP)
           Preston Mattingly* (INF)
2007   Chris Withrow (RHP)
           James Adkins* (LHP)
2008   Ethan Martin (RHP)
2009   Aaron Miller* (LHP)
2010   Zach Lee (RHP)
2011   Chris Reed (LHP)
2012   Corey Seager (SS)
           Jesmuel Valentin* (SS)
2013   Chris Anderson (RHP)
2014   Grant Holmes (RHP)
2015   Walker Buehler (RHP)
2016   Gavin Lux (SS)
            Will Smith (C)

By Staff of the TheDailySportsHerald

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