Dodgers News: Billy Gasparino Confident 2020 MLB Draft Pick Jake Vogel Can Play Center Field

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After picking three college right-handed pitchers in the first two rounds of the 2020 MLB Draft, the Los Angeles Dodgers switched things up in the third, selecting Huntington Beach High School outfielder Jake Vogel with the 100th overall pick.

The 18-year-old has already committed to playing collegiately for UCLA, but Dodgers director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino was nonetheless excited to add him to the organization. “We were happy to be able to select Jake,” he said. at th etime

“He’s a dynamic athlete. He’s only 5’11” and like 190 lbs., but it’s a 70 runner with a big arm, plus-center field defense, he’s got power. He’s just a physically gifted kid that missed some of last summer with a back injury. He came out last fall and early spring, performed really well and kind of shot up our board.”

Despite being somewhat undersized, Vogel has impressed scouts with his explosive speed. “If it’s not the top, then top two or three,” Gasparino said when comparing Vogel’s speed to other prospects in the organization.

“This is like running back, sprinter speed. He’s strong, explosive and has powerful strides. He can really get after it. If it’s not the top, then it’s top two or three.”

While speed is considered Vogel’s biggest strength, he has also turned heads with his skills at the plate. “We think he’s a good hitter,” Gasparino notd.

“He’s got surprising power. We think we’re going to develop him more as a guy who can go to all fields. He’s got really good timing, his hands kind of flick to finish, which really creates a lot of power for his size.

“We have a few cleanup issues with his load and path. Our player development guys are chomping at the bit to get ahold of him, because they really think the athlete, hand-eye coordination and ability to move his body so fast is going to take off with some instruction.”

As of now, Gasparino envisions Vogel being able to adequately play center field in the Majors. “One hundred percent,” he said of Vogel being able to stick in center field at the sport’s highest level.

“I think it’s one of his strengths. He’s a really good defender now. I think naturally he’ll get better, but his overall reads and instincts, his Southern Cal experience, he’s a very polished player.

“The Huntington Beach program is outstanding. They play all the top schools. His speed, we think it’s going to last for a while and age well, so 100%.”

Dodgers succeed with 2020 MLB Draft picks

The Dodgers signed each of their selections from this year’s draft class, with Vogel among those to reportedly join the organization for over slot value. He subsequently was added to the Dodgers’ player pool for the 2020 season

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