I don't know about you, but the draft is like Christmas morning for me. As soon as it's over, I look ahead to the next class. It's never-ending and I love it. Now, onto the current crop.
Round 1 - Chris Anderson, RHP
This is the first time that Logan White has drafted a collge righty with his first pick since 2005 when the Dodgers selected Luke Hochevar. Anderson doesn't figure to hold out and re-enter the draft, so we'll call it a step in the right direction.
"He throws 92 to 97 with a plus slider and a plus change," said (assistant general manager Logan) White. "He has three Major League pitches on the right day. His command is good but needs to be refined. I've been real happy with a lot of our picks, but I'm terribly excited about this pick. He can be a front-line guy throwing 200-plus innings."
"I didn't even want the guys in the room saying his name," said White, who said Anderson reminds him of "guys like Clemens, Schilling -- physical with good stuff and that bulldog mentality and makeup."
Kiley McDaniel, who saw Anderson pitch this spring, said the big righty "hit 96 mph with plus slider early in the spring and looked like top 10 pick until his stuff backed up after overuse on poor team (17-34 record) where he's the only real pro prospect."
See, kids? This is why you shouldn't go to college. Luckily, it appears that Anderson was merely fatigued and not injured due to his coaches' negligence.
He has the size and stuff to be a very good starter. While it wasn't the pick many people expected, myself included, he looks to have a pretty high ceiling and is young for his class, as he won't turn 21 until July. Being from Minnesota, it would be nice for him to travel back to his home region and pitch for Great Lakes after he signs.
Round 2 - Tom Windle, LHP
It's no secret that the Dodgers like pitching. Logan White has said the club wants high ceiling guys who can move fast. Depending who you talk to, Windle may fit that mold.
"We're going to let him start," said Logan White, Dodgers vice president of scouting. "He has good size [6-4, 210] and a plus slider. He just needs to be more consistent. If we put him in the bullpen, yeah, he could get here real fast. That's not our intention. We'll err on the side of caution, but we're not afraid to move him or (first-round pick Chris Anderson) to fill in the gaps behind Zach Lee and Chris Reed."
Kiley McDaniel, on the other hand, wasn't as optimistic, especially about his delivery, saying Tom "(h)as stiff arm action and delivery that has contributed to softer stuff this spring but will flash 90-93 mph fastball and above average slider at times.
When I first saw the Dodgers drafted Anderson, I was a little let down. If you want proof, go listen to the episode of Dugout Blues that Dustin Nosler and I recorded as it happened. However, as I've had time to digest the pick, I'm feeling more optimistic about it.
Here's a guy with a quintessential power-pitcher's build at 6'4 and 225 pounds. His arm action is clean, he gets good movement on his fastball, his command and control are good and he shows an out pitch slider along with an occasional plus change. It's hard to knock a guy with that frame, that delivery and the potential for three plus pitches.
Sure, you can point to a short track record; the fact that he was Jacksonville's closer before starting and he only really broke out this year. You can look at his "lull" in the middle of the season that burst his bubble. But, to that, I say "so what?" I like fresh arms and he was overused. Not too complicated.
In the end, the Dodgers used their pick on a big guy with good upside. Regardless of whether he came from high school or college, I like that type of potential from an early rounder.
Windle, on the other hand, makes me think. The Dodgers have stated that they'll use him as a starter, which is fine, but whether he'll last in a starting role is another issue altogether.
Windle's delivery is kindly called "stiff." Some other may call it "violent." There's a good amount of effort and his arm has a whippy action to it that I think could lead to injury.
Having said that, there's a good chance he could wind up in the bullpen down the road and that would provide more value than most second rounders could hop of achieving. In the 12 drafts that Logan White has run, five second rounders have reached the majors. Four of the five were relievers. Two years prior, Joel Hanrahan was the Dodgers' second rounder.
In general, I don't like aiming low. And when it comes to value, relievers aren't at the top of the list. However, when the attrition rate is high, you want to get value where you can. If Windle's arm can hold up as a starter, great. If not, he'll still likely be able to provide value as a reliever. And that's not something to lament.