The meat in the draft ssndwich, day 2 of the draft offers chances for teams to find hidden gems like Shane Victorino, Edwin Jackson, Eric Karros, Mike Marshall, oh, and some guy named Matt Kemp. And that's just the sixth round!
Round 3 - Brandon Dixon, 3B
For a college player, Dixon doesn't have the experience some other collegians do. However, that can be explained by his eyesight. Prior to his junior season, Brandon has Lasik surgery. He went on to hit .369/.443/.561. Coincidence? I think not.
Dixon's a big guy at 6'1 and 213 pounds but scouts question his power. I think he just needs to strengthen his front side. He has plenty of speed, as evidenced by his 30 stolen bases. He has enough arm and athleticism for third base but it's moot if he doesn't hit. However, I think he will hit with some very minor adjustments and could move quickly.
Round 4 - Cody Bellinger, 1B
Finally, a high school player. Bellinger, son of Clay, is a baby giraffe who hasn't begun to grow into his body. He's 6'4 and 180 pounds, could easily add 20 pounds over the next few years and still be athletic.
That's not to say he's all projection. The lanky lad already shows pop in games to go along with a good approach, leading evaluators to believe he'll hit for average and power. He's also a good glove man at first, reminding some (including myself) of Adam LaRoche. He'll take longer to get there, but I like his potential.
Round 5 - J.D. Underwood, RHP
Last year, the Dodgers took Ross Stripling in the 5th round and now he's in Double A. Could Underwood but another Stripling? We'll soon find out.
J.D. doesn't have overpowering stuff but he's extremely athletic, has a good delivery which leads to good command of a three pitch mix and some projection with a little mechanical tweaking. I get the feeling the Dodgers are hoping he can add some velo to his modest fastball, which would really turn him into a legit prospect.
Round 6 - Jacob Rhame, RHP
The second of a pair of JuCo pitchers, Rhame was originally at Oklahoma but left after a meager workload in his freshman season. He headed to Grayson County and pitched well enough to not need a D1 scholarship.
Rhame works heavily off a heavy sinker in the low 90s, mixing in both a curveball and a changeup. The secondaries lag behind his heater but he throws all his pitches for strikes and has a solid build. He shares a hometown with Dodgers' 2004 4th rounder Javy Guerra (Denton, TX).
Round 7 - Brandon Trinkwon, SS/2B
If only Brandon was eligible a year ago. Trinkwon was coming off a strong sophomore campaign for UC Santa Barbara and an all star caliber stint in the Cape before returning for his junior year. Then, suddenly, his offense dipped.
Still, Trinkwon has an awesome last name and a sweet lefty swing to go along with some speed and defensive ability. The Dodgers are, apparently, going to use him at second base. If he starts hitting like he did in the Cape, look out.
Round 8 - Kyle Farmer, C
The first of three, shall we say, interesting picks. Farmer played shortstop at Georgia and Kiley McDaniel had him ending up at third, so obviously the Dodgers drafted him as a catcher.
It does make sense, given his sturdy build and athleticism, as well as his arm strength. He's a college senior and will turn 23 in August, so his options are somewhat limited. The organization does have a need for catching, though the odds are long ath Kyle is the answer.
Round 9 - Henry Yates, OF
Another college senior, Yates played for three colleges in his four year career. As a senior at Texas Wesleyan, he destroyed the ball and was no match for his level of competition. However, odds are that was due to his age.
Henry is an obvious overdraft, as he was not listed on Baseball America's top 500 draft prospects, which covers enough players to go thru round 16. Maybe the Dodgers see something in him that no one else does. My guess? They're going to pay him a few grand and use the savings on high schoolers on day 3.
Round 10 - Nick Keener, RHP
Last year, Logan White used his 10th round pick on Zachary Babbit, a second baseman from the San Francisco Academy of Art (Go Fighting Easels!). He signed for $2,500, saving the Dodgers nearly a hundred grand. Same stuff, different year.
Keener pitched in all of 13.1 innings for the Mansfield U Mounties this spring, posting an ERA of 7.43 with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts. These are not numbers than get you drafted. Actually, apparently they are. Maybe a scout saw something in him that he thought he could fix. Maybe back when he was at Coastal Carolina. Or maybe the Dodgers have a few overslot guys lined up in the teens. I opt to believe the latter.
After taking college pitching with their first two picks, the Dodgers grab a pair of bats with the next two. Both have upside, as Dixon and Bellinger bring more to the table than just hitting. Dixon has plenty of speed and Bellinger's glove is an asset at first.
The two JuCo arms seem promising as well. Underwood can play the role of Ross Stripling and Jacob Rhame that of Duke von Schamann, two guys already in Double A during their first full year in the minors.
Even the next two bats intrigue me. Trinkwon was very highly regarded coming out of the Cape last year and Farmer, even as a senior sign, as the chance to catch. Both are depending on their hit tools to advance their careers.
The last two? It's all about the benjamins. Not the ones they're getting, the ones the Dodgers are saving. It should cost just a few grand to sign them, which would save the Dodgers about a quarter of a million dollars heading into the final day of the draft. Now, all the Dodgers have to do is sign a few high ceiling high schoolers away from college. Easier said than done.