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Dodgers select Tulane slugger Kody Hoese, UNC’s Michael Busch in first round of MLB draft

first_img How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies A native of Minnesota, where he also played football and hockey in high school, Busch was primarily a first baseman at North Carolina but he also played left field and second base (in the Cape Cod League). The Dodgers plan to “challenge” him to play second base at the professional level.“He’s basically done it in some practice settings. We’ve seen it in the Cape a little bit,” Gasparino said. “We think the kid has the physical skills and the makeup to try it and we’ll move off if needed. We know he can play first. We know he can play left. But we wanted to think in more of a positive mindset and challenge him.”Busch said it was a dream come true just to get drafted and he’ll take that challenge gladly.“I think offensively is the biggest contribution I’ll make,” he said. “Wherever they put me on the field is where I’m going to work hard.”Related Articles The Dodgers powered up with their first two picks in this year’s draft, taking one of the NCAA’s leading home run hitters with their first-round pick and another power-hitting infielder with their second pick.Between them – Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese and North Carolina infielder Michael Busch – hit 39 home runs this season.“We liked that demographic and it just worked out in our favor in this draft. Extremely happy to get both of those college bats,” director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said. “We always like to search for those guys first and were happy to get them to come in those first two picks.”Hoese was the Dodgers’ first choice, 25th overall. After hitting only five home runs in his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulane (the alma mater of Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman), Hoese hit 23 home runs in 58 games as a junior this year. That led the NCAA in mid-May and was tied for fourth-highest at the end of the regular season 2019. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img “That’s a great question. We asked that question ourselves,” Gasparino said of what powered the big jump. “I think it was really a combination of elements – getting a little stronger, getting a little more experience, improving his swing a little bit and really just understanding how to create leverage. All of those things added up to a monster year – 23 home runs, 20 doubles and just really high-end power output.”Hoese finished the season with a .391 batting average, 61 RBIs and a 1.265 OPS. A native of Griffith, Ind., Hoese was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 35th round of last year’s draft but did not sign. His defense at third base is “a real strength,” Gasparino said.“His defense is plus,” Gasparino said. “We like two-way type players. I think he can play other positions. He’s a good athlete. He can run. So not only do we get power with Hoese, I think we can get plus-defense as well.”The Dodgers also had the 31st pick overall as compensation for not signing their first-round pick a year ago, right-hander J.T. Ginn who went 8-4 with a 3.36 ERA as a freshman at Mississippi State.They used the pick on more offense in Busch, who hit .290 with 16 home runs and 57 RBIs for the Tar Heels. Busch also hit .322 in the wood-bat Cape Cod League last summer and was named to the All-Cape Cod League. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco With their final pick of the first day, (78th overall, a compensatory pick for Yasmani Grandal signing with the Milwaukee Brewers), the Dodgers selected Jimmy Lewis, a right-handed pitcher from Lake Travis High in Austin, Texas.“He developed into one of our favorite right-handed high school pitchers,” Gasparino said. “He’s 6-6, 200 pounds, lean and lanky. We feel he took a huge jump in his coordination and the ability to repeat his delivery. He has two plus-pitches – 91-95 (mph fastball), locates down in the zone, the curveball is plus. We think he can really spin it, command it and execute it well.”Lewis has committed to LSU but Gasparino said he was optimistic “we can make him a Dodger.”Lewis went 9-0 with a 0.52 ERA while striking out 83 and walking 15 in 53-1/3 innings this season. He pitched a no-hitter against Hays High in late April, striking out nine.last_img

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