The 2009 MLB first year-player draft took place this past Tuesday and Wednesday in Secaucus, NJ.
No. 36-Sandwich Round
Aaron Miller, OF/LHP, Baylor University, 6’3”, 220 lbs.
Miller, a third team All-American in high school, was drafted as a pitcher, but is an all-around athlete. Miller serves as the Bears' everyday right fielder. In 2009, he started all 56 games and hit .310 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI.
On the mound, Miller struggled a bit. He started six games and came in as a reliever in seven. Somewhat concerning is his 5.12 ERA. Miller has difficulty finding the plate at times, hurling five wild pitches and hitting five batters this season. The trade-off is that in just 51 IP, he struck out 65 hitters.
It comes as no surprise that with his sweet, effortless stroke from the left side of the plate, Miller will be groomed as an outfielder in the minor leagues. Aaron also has decent speed and good instincts on the base paths, which makes him a more well-rounded offensive threat.
No. 56-Second Round
Blake Smith, OF, UC-Berkeley, 6’2, 225 lbs.
The All-Pac 10 selection provides a duel-threat, with his ability to roam the outfield and strikeout hitters as well. As an outfielder, Smith has a career average of .312 and has slugged 28 home runs with 111 RBI over three seasons in college.
As a reliever, his career ERA stands at 4.63. Not unlike Aaron Miller, Smith struck out 85 hitters in 60 and two-third innings pitched, but also issued 40 walks. He also played a key role on the US World Collegiate baseball team, leading the squad in hitting (.327) and going 1-0 without allowing an earned run on the hill.
As a high school standout, Blake played for the Milwaukee Brewers Area Code team in 2005.
No. 65-Second Round
Garrett Gould, RHP, Maize High School (KS), 6’4”, 190 lbs.
Already a signee at Wichita State, Gould improved the velocity on his fastball up to 94 MPH his senior season. In need of some mechanical tweaking, Gould projects to be a prospect with lots of potential.
His curveball is widely regarded, according to MLB.com, as one of the best in the ’09 draft class. Add in Garrett’s good composure on the mound, and he could be ascending in the Dodgers organization in a few years.
No. 96-Third Round
Brett Wallach, RHP, Orange Coast College (CA), 6’2”, 180 lbs.
Brett, son of former major leaguer Tim Wallach, doesn’t have the most tested track record. The junior college pitcher did lead his team to the Ju-Co California State Title in '09. Wallach has a lively two-seam fastball with late movement. He also displays a slurve that could be his strikeout pitch in years to come. However, his change-up is actually regarded as his strongest pitch.
MLB.com calls Wallach, “polished and mature on the mound,” which stands to translate well on the professional level. Not unlike most others in the draft, he needs to find more consistency controlling his fastball.
No. 127-Fourth Round
Mario Songco, OF, Loyola Marymount University, 6’0”, 190 lbs.
Songco is considered one of the better “pure” power hitters in the ’09 draft class. He has tremendous power to all fields and has shown, at times, good patience at the plate. Like most pure power hitters, his down side is a high rate of strikeouts.
He needs to work hard at developing his body by shedding some extra weight if he wants to become a threat at the next level. His speed has made him limited defensively, but with the pop in his bat, he can fit into almost any manager’s order.
Additional Draft Notes:
-21 of the 51 players drafted by Los Angeles were pitchers
-Gavin McCourt, son of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, was drafted in the 39th round by the Red Sox
-Cooper Smith, son of Dodger scout Chris Smith, was selected in the 46th round by the Dodgers
-In round 17, the Dodgers took Stephen Ames. No, not the PGA Tour golfer, but a RHP out of Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA