Dodgers’ biggest steal of 2023 MLB Draft

There is perhaps no better MLB team that models excellence as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers have other the last decade. Nine division titles, three NL pennants and a World Series championship are just the tip of the iceberg for the organization. The Dodgers have also produced some of the best talent in baseball and backed that up with bountiful successes on the field. Credit their scouting department and the Dodgers front office, because the team is routinely ranked as having one of the top farm systems in the MLB.

This year’s draft brought the Dodgers one of the steals of the class and several more prospects that LA can show off over the next couple of seasons. The Dodgers drafted 22 players in total adding to an already impressive minor league system. LA entered the season with the second-ranked farm system in the MLB according to MLB Pipeline.

The Dodgers have actually used a lot of the players that got them that second-place ranking this season, as four of their top six prospects to start the season have played a game for LA in 2023. Their crop of draft picks in 2023 may not be far behind those top prospects and will likely fill the spots they’re leaving after being promoted to the MLB.

The Dodgers know how to pick them and this season’s draft class shows that hasn’t changed. A look at LA’s second round pick will tell you the Dodgers brass knows what it’s doing.

Gelof a steal for LA

Projected to be a late first-round pick or early second-rounder, Jake Gelof fell all the way to number 60, where the Dodgers selected him. The University of Virginia third baseman was praised for his raw power and ability to pull the ball, though he can spray it to all fields too. The Dodgers pounced on his rather impressive college resume and hope to develop him into a useful major league player.

Gelof set records at Virginia, leaving as the school’s all-time leader in home runs and has the single-season record for home runs and RBIs. He hit .329 with the Cavaliers in 161 games, hitting 48 home runs, 23 of those coming as a junior in 2023. Virginia went 50-15 and made it to the College World Series, with Gelof playing in all 65 games.

Gelof’s selection is considered a steal given his late slide and it’s unclear why some teams passed on the slugging corner infielder. It remains to be seen when Gelof will sign his contract with the Dodgers, but fans can expect him to make his minor league debut sometime this summer in one of the development leagues.

When will Gelof make his MLB debut?

Any Dodgers fan who wishes to see Jake Gelof make his MLB debut within the next calendar year probably won’t get what they hope for. There is a good chance Gelof is promoted rather quickly through the minor league ranks by LA but his major league debut may have to wait a bit as he gets adjusted to professional pitching.

Not only would it be wise for the Dodgers to allow him to get plenty of at-bats in the minors, but the team doesn’t have an immediate need at third base and doesn’t need to rush Gelof or any of their other prospects up. There have been a handful that have struggled upon joining the major league ball club, mostly on the pitching side, but the Dodgers have been willing to let those players work through issues in the major leagues.

The earliest Jake Gelof will likely be in the MLB is 2025, though there is a chance he races his way up the system and appears in some games late in the 2024 season. It depends on how well he adjusts to professional pitching and where the Dodgers stand in terms of positioning in the National League playoff picture next season.

If Gelof is going to be the player the Dodgers think he will be, he should work his way up to the big leagues rather quickly and it all starts with how he plays in the next two months in the rookie leagues. If he is able to start next season with one of the Single-A teams it would be huge for his development and LA’s future plans. Dodgers fans can start gearing up for the Jake Gelof show in 2025, at which point they should still be one of the best teams in the MLB.

There have been plenty of highly anticipated debuts for the Dodgers over the years. Jake Gelof could be the next big one to put on the Dodger blue for the first time. Don’t be surprised if the term steal is used to describe him for much of his career.

The post Dodgers’ biggest steal of 2023 MLB Draft appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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