Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Pitching was the theme for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2021 MLB Draft as 17 of their 19 selections were used on hurlers. The club didn’t pick its first position player until the 16th round on Day 3.
“I kind of figured that might be a thought and question. It really surprised us a little bit,” Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said of the team’s pitching haul. “It definitely wasn’t any intent. It just kind of kept happening, happening and happening.
“You look up at the totals and you’re like, ‘Oh my God. We took all pitchers.’ It does show you how talent-focused we are. The position of need doesn’t really factor at all.”
Of the 17 pitchers the Dodgers selected in the 2021 MLB Draft, 11 are right-handed. What’s more, 15 went to college. The only exceptions were Maddux Bruns and Peter Heubeck — the club’s first two selections — who were taken out of high school.
“We thought so,” Gasparino answered when asked if the 2021 MLB Draft had an abundance of pitching. “As we kept lining up talent on the board, the position player group went higher than our picks allowed, and the middle ground position player group just wasn’t really attractive to us. We thought it was very clear in favor of the pitching.”
Bruns was the first high school left-handed pitcher selected by the Dodgers in the first round since Clayton Kershaw in 2006. Although he verbally committed to Mississippi State, Bruns signed a contract with L.A. to begin his professional career.
Gasparino ‘loved’ possibility of Dodgers drafting Thousand Oaks’ Max Muncy
One of the more unique stories of the 2021 MLB Draft was the Oakland Athletics selecting Max Muncy — a shortstop out of Thousand Oaks High School — with the No. 25 overall pick.
The Athletics drafted the more notable Max Muncy in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft, who has since gone on to carve out a prominent role with the Dodgers.
Had Muncy fallen to the Dodgers pick at overall pick No. 29, he is a player they would have considered drafting. “You know, we were rooting for that because it would just be such a cool story,” Gasparino said.
“I don’t know for sure, but I loved that concept. I’ll just tell you that. I loved it.”
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