The Dodgers landed two coveted prospects on day one of the MLB Draft.
The first-round selection, Jeren Kendall, was selected 23rd by Los Angeles. He was ranked the sixth overall prospect by MLB.com.
A junior outfielder from Vanderbilt, Kendall has elite speed, an above-average arm and solid defense. With a .307 batting average and .928 OPS, Kendall has shown the hit tools necessary to expedite his climb to the big leagues.
He also clubbed 15 home runs in 261 at-bats for the Commodores.
Kendall’s draft slot is worth $2.7 million. He improved his draft prospects with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer, leading the team in hits (20), extra-base hits (10), RBI (14) and steals (five).
He compares favorably to MLB star Jacoby Ellsbury.
The selection of Kendall is a familiar situation for both the Dodgers and Vanderbilt. The club has used its first pick each of the past three years on a player from the program – in 2015, they selected prospect Walker Buehler, and in 2016 they landed Jordan Sheffield.
The Dodgers used their second selection, the 62nd overall, on hulking right-hander Morgan Cooper from the University of Texas. Cooper has been clocked at 96mph, and struck out 110 batters in 89 1/3 innings for the Longhorns.
Cooper’s mechanics and size augur well for his future within the organization. His smooth, overhand delivery induces ground balls and strikeouts and thusly is considered to be on a faster track to reach the big leagues.
Day two of the MLB Draft continues with rounds 3-10. It concludes June 14th with rounds 11-40.