The Top Five L.A. Dodgers Draft Signings Set to Make Immediate Impact
The official deadline for draft pick signings around Major League Baseball has come and gone. The Washington Nationals got their number one pick, and shockingly, the Los Angeles Dodgers got theirs too.
This year's draft class brings a small glimmer of hope to an emotionally depleted Dodgers organization and its legion of faithful fans.
While the Dodgers are finding new ways to lose at the last moment, they may just be winners with this year's draft class signings....
5. Steve Domecus, Ninth Rd, 292nd Overall, Catcher
Although Domecus slipped back to the ninth round, he shows plenty of promise. He has a strong arm and a decent bat. In 97 at-bats with the Raptors, he had seven doubles and a couple of homers while sporting a .321 on-base percentage.
Look for Domecus to be another Dodgers minor-league investment to make it to the big league roster in the next few seasons.
4. Jake Lemmerman, Fifth Rd, 172nd Overall, Shortstop
However, most of those infielders are not signed more than a couple seasons into the future. As soon as 2012, the middle infield for Los Angeles might look completely different, and may include Jake Lemmerman in a back-up reserve role.
The Corona del Mar, CA native in 48 games and 193 at-bats for the Ogden Raptors, is batting an outstanding .347 with 67 hits, including 19 doubles.
The main concern for the 2010 Dodgers has been the lack of power and production in the line-up to back stingy starting pitching. Lemmerman has decent range at best, but his bat may be the attractive aspect of his game the Dodgers will consider when promoting him quickly through the system.
3. Leon Landry, Third Rd, 109th Overall, Outfield
Leon Landry is a speedy outfielder and an available left-handed bat. He's tearing it up in the Rookie Pioneer league, batting .359 in 39 games. His on-base percentage is .400, hinting at a potential lead-off spot on the major league roster in the absence of Rafael Furcal and Scott Podsednik.
It may be way too early to predict where Landry bats in the major league line-up, but he is showing some strong potential. Landry has a good arm and a wide range in the outfield.
If his power numbers improve, he may get close to being a five-tool player.
2. Ralston Cash, Second Rd, 78th Overall, Pitcher
Ralston Cash recently turned 19, but his stuff is solid. He has struck out 15 batters in just seven games for the AZL Dodgers of the Rookie Arizona League. His other numbers aren't stellar, he's allowed nine earned runs in 22 innings pitched.
However, a little refinement through the system might benefit the Dodgers and Cash. The right-hander has the potential to progress alongside the next pitcher on this countdown, and the top pick to sign for the Dodgers this season.
Cash may turn into "money" for the Dodgers in the next few seasons, and the Dodgers may want to pay the cash to keep Cash around.
1. Zach Lee, First Rd, 28th Overall, Pitcher
In an amazing deadline move, the Dodgers stunned critics and analysts by signing their first round pick, Zach Lee to a five-year deal and a record $5.25M.
Many believed the Dodgers drafted him knowing he had a full ride to LSU as a quarterback, thus avoiding having to sign him to a large contract. Owner Frank McCourt had other ideas. He gave the "okay" to Assistant General Manager of Scouting, Logan White, to aggressively pursue Lee, and it paid off.
Lee's contract more than doubles the dollar amount of Clayton Kershaw's when he was drafted, and the Dodgers are certainly showing they expect him to be the future of the franchise starting rotation.
The quarterback was already practicing with LSU's football squad before the signing. Lee may be able to pursue both sports, following in the footsteps of other legends like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders. However, Lee would be rare in this era to do so, especially as a pitcher.
Fans can expect to be hearing Lee's name for years to come, and likely on the major league roster before 2013.