The Dodgers had a very interesting draft in 2021. They only drafted two position players in their picks and only one actually signed (outfielder Damon Keith). The rest were pitchers led by first-round draft pick and left-hander Maddux Bruns. This article will take a look at where each pick is at for this point of the season and we’ll have some commentary on some players.
|Round||Pick #||Pos||Player||Current Level|
|11||342||LHP||Justin Wrobleski||TJ Surgery|
|16||492||SS||Michael Sirota||Did not sign|
|17||522||LHP||Adam Tulloch||Did not sign|
|20||612||RHP||Charlie Connolly||Did not sign|
The Dodgers took a risk when they selected Peter Heubeck in the third round of the 2021 draft. Heubeck was committed to pitching at Wake Forest but the Dodgers were able to sign him by going almost $700,000 over his draft slot value. We’ve yet to see him pitch other than the Arizona Complex League (ACL) where he only threw four innings in 2021. This Thursday, June 2, 2022, he will make his first start for the Quakes. Here is the scouting report from Baseball America.
Heubeck is a thin, projectable 6-foot-3 righthander who keeps trending up. His fastball sits 90-91 mph with elite riding life at the top of the strike zone and should tick up as he fills out physically. Heubeck complements his fastball with a plus, 12-to-6 curveball in the low 80s with impressive depth and power. He effectively throws his fastball up and curveball down to give him the north-south profile teams covet. Heubeck mostly relies on those two pitches but has flashed an average changeup. He has an easy delivery and a clean arm action that give him average control. – Baseball America Scouting Report
Damon Keith was selected out of Cal Baptist University in the 18th round and, as stated above, was the only non-pitcher to sign with the Dodgers. Keith received 69 at-bats in the ACL in 2021 and was sent to the Quakes to begin the 2022 season. He is off to an excellent start as he was named the California League Player of the Month for April. Keith has continued to play well and is currently slashing .329/.454/.544 in 149 at-bats. Defensively, he can play all three outfield positions and has a strong and accurate throwing arm, with four assists so far.
Right-handed pitcher Ben Casparius was drafted by the Dodgers in the fifth round out of the University of Connecticut. He threw just six innings in the ACL and with the Quakes in 2021 and started the 2022 season back with the Quakes. After a bad first game, he pitched well enough to earn a recent call up to the High-A Great Lakes Loons. On the season he has thrown 29.2 innings, stuck out 43, has an average against of .146, and a WIP of 0.98.
The Dodgers selected left-handed pitcher Ronan Kopp in the 12th round after just one year of college. He attended South Mountain Community College in Arizona which allowed him to be drafted in 2021. Kopp is listed at 6′ 7″ and throws very hard. His strikeout numbers seem like they are from a video game as he has struck out 39 batters in just 18 innings. So far he has been a reliever but has now drawn a start for the Quakes. It will be interesting to see whether he ends up as a starter or a reliever, but he’s just 19 years old so the Dodgers have plenty of time to figure out his role going forward.
These players we highlighted are just a sample of some excellent prospects that the Dodgers drafted in 2021. The first-round pick, Maddux Bruns has some impressive stuff but left his last game with an injury. We already wrote about Nick Nastrini recently. There are more of the 2021 draftees that are excelling and they will be covered either on this site or at Dodgers 2080.