Dodgers go for arms in draft

They se­lect pitch­ers, in­clud­ing Buehler in first round, with three of first four picks.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Dy­lan Her­nan­dez dy­lan.her­nan­dez@la­times.com

In their first am­a­teur draft un­der a new scout­ing direc­tor, the Dodgers used three of their first four se­lec­tions on col­lege pitch­ers.

Right-han­der Walker Buehler of Van­der­bilt was their first-round pick, at 24th over­all.

An­other highly rated right-han­der, Ryan Funkhouser of Louisville, fell to them at the 35th pick, which they re­ceived as com­pen­sa­tion when Han­ley Ramirez signed with the Bos­ton Red Sox in the off-sea­son.

Billy Gas­parino, who re­placed the de­parted Lo­gan White as scout­ing direc­tor, used his two other first-day se­lec­tions on Mitchell Hansen, a high school out­fielder from Plano, Texas, and Josh Sborz, a right-han­der from the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia.

Hansen was taken in the sec­ond round, at 67th over­all, and Sborz in the com­pet­i­tive bal­ance B round, at 74th over­all. The pick used on Sborz was ac­quired in April from the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles.

Buehler, Funkhouser and Sborz are ju­niors.

Buehler is listed at 6 feet 2 and 175 pounds and has a fast­ball that touches the mid-90s mph. Scouts have praised his ma­tu­rity and mound pres­ence.

Gas­parino com­pared Buehler to Zack Greinke, who hap­pens to be one of Buehler’s role mod­els.

“My whole ca­reer, I’ve looked up to Zack Greinke,” Buehler said on a con­fer­ence call.

Buehler pitched at Dodger Sta­dium in March in the Dodger Sta­dium Base­ball Clas­sic. He is 4-2 with a 2.97 earne­drun av­er­age in 14 starts for Van­der­bilt this sea­son.

Funkhouser was ex­pected to be a high first-round se­lec­tion af­ter a dom­i­nant sopho­more sea­son, but his stock slipped af­ter he was 8-5 with a 3.20 ERA this year.

Gas­parino said he is con­fi­dent the Dodgers can sign all four play­ers.

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