Hochevar again chosen by Dodgers
Top draft pick was a Los Angeles selection three years ago
LOS ANGELES -- Unable to sign talented right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar out of high school three years ago, the Dodgers will try again.Scouting director Logan White selected Hochevar with his top pick Tuesday in the supplemental round of the First-Year Player Draft, the 40th overall pick. Hochevar, represented by Scott Boras, was ranked as the sixth best prospect in the draft by Baseball America, but fell out of the first round because of signability concerns. Although the Dodgers did not have a first-round pick this year, they believe they drafted a first-round talent. "It's like stock-market theory," said White. "You maximize your choices, whether that means taking an Andy LaRoche in the 39th round or a Hochevar with the 40th pick. This wasn't expected, but we were prepared for it and I'm ecstatic." The 40th overall pick in last year's draft was University of Texas right-handed pitcher Huston Street, taken by the Oakland A's, signed to an $800,000 bonus and already making an impact in Oakland's bullpen. Hochevar is far from the prototype "Moneyball" bargain selection from general manager Paul DePodesta's days with the A's. He figures to cost significantly more than Street, and the Dodgers apparently are prepared to pay him like the first-round pick they really didn't have. "The McCourts [Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt] have been great with that," said White. "We took him with the intention of signing him. I talked to Scott a couple days ago. I feel he's signable. He wants to play. As long as the family thinks we're fair, I think the kid will sign." The winter signings of Boras clients J.D. Drew and Derek Lowe indicate the club is not reluctant to negotiate with the agent, although he also represented Adrian Beltre, whose departure as a free agent actually led to this selection.
Position: RHP B/T: R/R
H: 6'5" W: 205
Born: 1983-09-15 Class: 4YR
Body similar to Kevin Brown. Heavy sinking FB w/ arm side run, disappears from strike zone. Hard 11-5 CB. Tight, sharp, late-breaking slider w/ some downward tilt. Good arm speed on sinking changeup. Smart, wants the ball, goes after hitters.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.