2017 Draft Report Card: Los Angeles Dodgers
Best pure hitter: C Connor Wong (3) hit .280/.372/.439 across three seasons with Houston before the Dodgers took him with the 100th overall pick, and he continued to hit well in his pro debut. Playing almost entirely in the low Class A Midwest League, Wong hit .276/.333/.490 while showing a solid use of the opposite field—three of his five homers went to either center field or the right side. Best power hitter: While OF Jeren Kendall's (1) strikeout rate will continue to be a concern—he whiffed 27 percent of the time in 35 games in the Midwest League—he still has plus power in the tank, and the Dodgers like the progress they've seen with Kendall using his legs more in the batter's box.
Fastest runner: Kendall was arguably the most tooled-up college player in the 2017 class, partially thanks to his 80-grade running ability. He's still learning how to get the most of that natural speed on the bases (he went 5-for-13 on the bases in the Midwest League), but he also used it to rack up eight triples and six doubles.
Best defensive player: There's a reason Kendall was the Dodgers' first pick. He's already a plus defensive center fielder thanks to his speed and plus arm. His speed and defense give him survival tools, buying him time to iron out rough spots with the bat.
Best fastball: RHP Zach Pop (7) pitches off a plus fastball that sits in the mid-90s and can get up to 98 mph. He left a game with Kentucky in mid-May with an arm injury and threw just five innings of relief for the Dodgers in the Rookie-level Arizona League this summer.
Best secondary pitch: RHP Riley Ottesen (5) flashes plus with his slider, which remains inconsistent. He's athletic and has a quick arm, generating mid-to-upper 80s power. He's already striking out more batters in pro ball (9.7 K/9 between two levels) than he did during his last year at Utah (6.82 K/9).
Best pro debut: A legitimate two-way prospect out of Boston College, Donovan Casey (20) was drafted as an outfielder, and he dominated at two Rookie-level stops. He he hit .396/.526/.533 with seven home runs in just 33 games with Ogden in the Pioneer League after a 7-for-15 stint in the Arizona League, giving him a .403 average overall.
Best athlete: Arguably the most athletic player in the entire 2017 draft class, Kendall is the easy choice here.
Most intriguing background: Otteson took two years off between high school and college, serving on a Mormon mission trip to Japan. He volunteered at a local school, where he helped out and taught younger baseball players. OF Zach Reks (10) started his college career at the Air Force Academy before leaving to attend Kentucky; when he didn't make the baseball team as a walk-on in his first try, he got a job at a local Toyota factory. He made the team after a second try. Unsigned C Logan White (39) is the son of ex-Dodgers scouting director Logan White, who now works in the Padres front office.
Closest to the majors: Reks signed for just $1,500 but hit .317/.394/.371 combined across the three leagues. He has speed and hitting ability to move quickly.
Best late-round pick: Casey provides great value out of the 20th round and was ranked the No. 141 prospect on Baseball America's top 500 list for the 2017 draft.
The one who got away: The Dodgers drafted Florida 2B Deacon Liput (29) as an eligible sophomore after he hit just .227 in an injury-plagued season. Liput returned to school after helping the Gators win the 2017 national title.