The Dodgers had themselves an absolute haul in the 2022 draft, landing talents such as future star Dalton Rushing alongside the power-potentials of Nick Biddison and Logan Wagner. Last year’s draft saw the Dodgers pull a litter of position players off the board, out of nineteen total picks the Dodgers took just four pitchers, one being a local kid already familiar to Los Angeles fandom.
Coming out of UCLA, Jared Karros is set to establish his presence at the professional level after seeing his college showings limited by a shortened COVID season alongside an untimely injury.
UCLA and Injuries
Karros displayed extreme potential in his short time with UCLA, enough so that the Dodgers were willing to take a shot at him in the 16th round of the 2022 draft. Although the talented right-hander threw just 41 innings in his UCLA career he made each pitch count as he posted team-best numbers in each of his first two seasons. Karros’ freshman year saw his UCLA career off to a hot start as he posted a season that ranked him as the 2nd best freshman pitcher in the country per D1Baseball (a nationally recognized college statistic source). Throughout the year Karros posted a 2-0 record while collecting 16 Ks across 14 innings of work.
His sophomore year was a continuation of the same before injury struck in late March. Across seven 2022 appearances (3 starts) Karros managed a team-leading K/BB ratio of 6.4 whilst leading all UCLA starters with a 10.7 K/9 rate. His final start of the season saw him toss six innings of 7 strikeout baseball while allowing just one run.
“Throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys is my focus. It’s a lot easier to pitch when you’re ahead in the count. Just have to keep focusing on that and attacking hitters”
With the Dodgers
While Karros has had fantastic showings of his skill through college his lack of innings in 2022 will make this season critical for his development. With all the importance placed on getting this year started right there’s no better organization for Karros to come into than Dodgers. Their excellence in player development mixed with Karros’ baseball pedigree should quickly allay these concerns.
“I was fortunate to go work through Dodger stadium getting stronger [this past offseason]. Working with their performance guys getting my body right for the season. Got my innings in this Spring so I’m ready to go this year. I’m feeling great, It’s the best I’ve felt in a while. I’m really looking forward to this year.”
Injury woes bled into the 2022 season, ultimately keeping Karros off the baseball field his entire junior year. This latest offseason saw Karros work considerably with the Dodgers on solidifying his health for the coming baseball year. His biggest test with Rancho Cucamonga will be putting innings on a body that has only thrown 41 across three college years, his last recorded inning coming two years ago. Given Karros’ understanding and control of the strike zone, it is doubtless he will give, at the very least, a glimpse into his potential if not a full-fledged display of the big leaguer waiting within.
“My expectations are to just go out and have a good year. That’s really my biggest goal, stay healthy throughout the year and the rest will take care of itself.”
Jared Karros starts the 2023 season with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at the Single-A level.