Dodgers Dugout: Jeren Kendall and other first-round draft picks may not be worth as much as you think

Jeren Kendall
(Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and I thought it was cute how, on Old-Timers Day on Saturday, Tommy Lasorda left Fernando Valenzuela in the game to throw 192 pitches, just like the old days.

The draft

With the 23rd overall pick in the 2017 first-year player draft, the Dodgers chose Vanderbilt outfielder Jeren Kendall. I could tell you a lot of background info about him now (you can read more about him here), but really, the baseball draft is a crapshoot, and just because a player was chosen in the first round doesn’t mean he will ever become a major leaguer. Let’s take a look at who the Dodgers have chosen in the first round since the draft began in 1965. We will discount any players chosen since 2013, because they haven’t had time to develop. So, from 1965-2012, the Dodgers have:

--chosen 56 players in the first round, 32 of whom eventually made it to the majors (57%)


--chosen one player who can be considered a Hall of Fame-level player

Clayton Kershaw (seventh pick in 2006)

--chosen seven players who had All-Star-level careers

Rick Rhoden (20th in 1971)


Rick Sutcliffe (21st in 1974)

Mike Scioscia (19th in 1976)

Bob Welch (20th in 1977)

Steve Howe (16th in 1979)

Paul Konerko (13th in 1994)

Corey Seager (18th in 2012)

Of course, Seager could lift himself up to the Hall of Fame level before he is through.

--chosen 12 players who had average careers


Bobby Valentine (5th in 1968)

Dave Anderson (22nd in 1981)

Franklin Stubbs (19th in 1982)

Tom Goodwin (22nd in 1989)

Darren Dreifort (2nd in 1993)

James Loney (19th in 2002)

Chad Billingsley (24th in 2003)

Blake DeWitt (28th in 2004)


Scott Elbert (17th in 2004)

Luke Hochevar (40th in 2005)

Bryan Morris (26th in 2006)

Chris Withrow (20th in 2007)

--chosen 12 players who were below average or worse

Terry McDermott (8th in 1969)

Mark Bradley (24th in 1975)

Ross Jones (9th in 1980)

Chris Gwynn (10th in 1985)

Jamie McAndrew (28th in 1989)

Damian Rolls (23rd in 1996)

Bubba Crosby (23rd in 1998)

Jason Repko (37th in 1999)

Ben Diggins (17th in 2000)

Ethan Martin (15th in 2008)

Zach Lee (28th in 2010)

Chris Reed (16th in 2011)

--chosen 24 players who never made it to the majors

John Wyatt (8th in 1965)

Lawrence Hutton (19th in 1966)

Donnie Denbow (20th in 1967)

Jim Haller (9th in 1970)

John Harbin (17th in 1972)

Ted Farr (18th in 1973)

Steve Perry (25th in 1979)

Erik Sonberg (18th in 1983)

Dennis Livingston (23rd in 1984)

Mark White (19th in 1986)

Dan Opperman (8th in 1987)

Bill Bene (5th in 1988)

Kiki Jones (15th in 1989)

Ron Walden (9th in 1990)

Mike Moore (36th in 1992)

Ryan Luzinski (32nd in 1992)

David Yocum (20th in 1995)

Glenn Davis (25th in 1997)

Greg Miller (31st in 2002)

Justin Orenduff (33rd in 2004)

Preston Mattingly (31st in 2006)

James Adkins (39th in 2007)

Aaron Miller (36th in 2009)

Jesmuel Valentin (51st in 2012)

Players chosen since 2012 (click on their name to see how they are doing in the minors):

Chris Anderson (18th in 2013). Anderson was released by the Dodgers in April, signed by Minnesota and released again after going 0-1 with an 18.90 ERA in three minor-league starts.

Grant Holmes (22nd in 2014). Holmes was sent to Oakland in the deal that brought Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers. He is considered the A’s No. 3 prospect overall.

Kyle Funkhouser (35th in 2015, Funkhouser is now with Detroit)

Walker Buehler (24th in 2015). Buehler is considered the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect overall.

Gavin Lux (20th in 2016). Lux is considered the Dodgers’ No. 6 prospect overall.

Will Smith (32nd in 2016). Smith is considered the Dodgers’ No. 13 prospect overall.

Jordan Sheffield (36th in 2016). Sheffield is considered the Dodgers’ No. 8 prospect overall.

So there you have it. According to history, the Dodgers have a 14.3% chance of their pick turning into an All-Star caliber or better player.

The obscure Dodgers record of the week

Which Dodgers player had the highest stolen base percentage with the team, with a minimum of 50 attempts? Eric Davis, at 89.66%, followed by Kirk Gibson (88.46%) and Davey Lopes (83.10%). Rounding out the top 10: Dave Roberts (82.52%),Mariano Duncan (80%), Carl Crawford (78.69%), Delino DeShields (78.08%), Shawn Green (77.78%), Juan Pierre (77.46%) and Dee Gordon (77.38%).

The highest Brooklyn Dodger was Jackie Robinson, 11th overall at 76.38%. Maury Wills is 18th at 74.13%.

The bottom 10

1. Mike Marshall (45.61%)

2. Andre Ethier (50.88%)

3. Mike Scioscia (54.72%)

4. John Roseboro (55.66%)

5. Gil Hodges (55.71%)

6. Willie Crawford (56.25%)

7. Duke Snider (57.02%)

8. Steve Garvey (57.46%)

9. Wally Moon (58.57%)

10. Reggie Smith (60.38%)

All these numbers, and more, can be found at

Next series

Tuesday, 4 p.m. PDT, Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw, 8-2, 2.20) at Cleveland (Trevor Bauer, 5-5, 6.10)

Wednesday, 4 p.m. PDT, Dodgers (Brandon McCarthy, 5-3, 3.28) at Cleveland (Corey Kluber, 5-2, 4.38)

Thursday, 9 a.m., Dodgers (Rich Hill, 3-2, 3.77) at Cleveland (Josh Tomlin, 3-8, 5.73)

Note: Pitchers are subject to change.

And finally

Tommy Lasorda is thankful to take part in Old-Timer’s Day. Read it here.

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter:@latimeshouston

Twitter: @latimeshouston

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