LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers Tuesday announced their selections from the first two days of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Los Angeles made 14 picks today after selecting Northwest Cabarrus High School (Concord, NC) shortstop Corey Seager with their first-round pick (18th overall) and Puerto Rico Baseball Academy shortstop Jesmuel Valentin with the 51st overall pick in the supplemental round yesterday.
Through the first two days of the draft, the Dodgers selected eight pitchers (six right-handers, two left-handers), five infielders and three outfielders. The club used nine picks on college players, selected six out of high school and one that was not affiliated with a school program.
The Dodgers used consecutive picks on left-handed pitchers to open the draft’s second day, taking Steven Rodriguez from the University of Florida with their second-round pick (82nd overall) and 22-year-old Cuban Onelki Garcia with their third-round selection. Rodriguez, a 21-year-old junior, went 3-2 with four saves and a 2.08 ERA, limiting opponents to a .203 batting average with 79 strikeouts in 60.2 innings for the Gators this season. Garcia last pitched for Ponce in the Puerto Rican League this winter, posting a 0.84 ERA (1 ER/10.2 IP) in three starts, and previously pitched three professional seasons for Guantanamo in Cuba, going 12-12 with a 4.73 ERA.
With its fourth-round selection, Los Angeles drafted first baseman Justin Chigbogu, a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball) out of Raytown South (MO) High School. Chigbogu participated in Major League Baseball’s RBI Program at the Kansas City Boys & Girls Club and entered the draft rated by Baseball America as the eighth-best prospect out of the state of Missouri.
The Dodgers selected Texas A&M senior right-hander Ross Stripling with their fifth-round pick. The 22-year-old went 10-4 with five complete games, including a no-hitter against San Diego State on May 12, and a 3.08 ERA in 16 starts this season. As a junior in 2011, Stripling led the country with 14 wins, garnering All-America honors from American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings (First Team), Collegiate Baseball (Third Team) and College Baseball Insider (Honorable Mention).
In the sixth round, the Dodgers selected Mountain Pointe High School (Ahwatukee, AZ) outfielder Joey Curletta, who batted .340 with 12 doubles, four homers and 26 RBI as a senior in 2012. Curletta, a 6-foot-4, 225-pounder, was selected to the ESPNHS All-State team for Arizona prior to his senior season after helping to lead Mountain Pointe to a 5A-I state championship as a junior with a .420 average, 21 homers and 57 RBI in 112 at-bats.
The Dodgers selected Lake Washington High School (Kirkland, WA) outfielder Theo Alexander with their seventh-round pick after he batted .471 with four home runs and 25 RBI in just 51 plate appearances as a senior. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound 17-year-old was selected as a Third Team Rawlings/Perfect Game High School Senior Preseason All-America and also named to the Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason West Region All-High School Senior 1st Team entering the 2012 season.
Los Angeles selected UCLA closer and Alamo, CA resident (San Ramon Valley High School) Scott Griggs in the eighth round. As a 21-year-old junior this season, Griggs established the school’s single-season saves record (15), going 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA and limiting opposing hitters to a .172 batting average with 64 strikeouts in 36.2 innings in 35 relief appearances.
With their final picks of the second day of the 2012 draft, the Dodgers selected Murrah High School (Jackson, MS) right-hander Zachary Bird, Academy of Art University (CA) second baseman Zach Babitt, Rice University (TX) and All-Conference USA outfielder Jeremy Rathjen, SUNY Stony Brook right-hander James Campbell, University of Central Florida shortstop Darnell Sweeney, Rice University right-hander Matt Reckling and Texas Tech right-hander Dalton Von Schamann.