If you’re a frequent reader of this site, you’ll know that we’re pretty big on player prospects, as we typically feature one or more of the budding stars on a weekly basis. However, because of the cancellation of the 2020 minor league season, a lot of emphasis has seemingly been taken off of player development. Nevertheless, to keep the juices flowing, we’ve still been showcasing some of the best prospects who are still active as part of the Dodgers‘ 60-man player pool.
On Saturday, the team announced that 18-year-old outfielder Jake Vogel was added to the player pool, causing a bunch of fans to go scrambling for information on the youngster.
It wasn’t that long ago that Vogel was selected in the third round of this year’s draft out of Huntington Beach High School, and he eventually signed for about $1 million over slot value in July, suggesting how much of an effort the Dodgers made to convince him not to attend UCLA, where he previously committed.
Presently, Vogel is ranked as the 16th-best prospect in the entire Dodgers’ system by MLB Pipeline.
First and foremost, Vogel is all about speed, as many pundits felt that he was flat out the fastest player in the entire draft. He produced the quickest 60-yard dash time—6.15 seconds—among all participants at the 2019 Perfect Game National Showcase. He has also posted consistent 4.1-second home-to-first base times in the past. With his quickness, he can undoubtedly wreak havoc on the bases while also possessing superior range in all three outfield spots.
“This is like running back, sprinter speed,” Dodgers scouting director Billy Gasparino said on draft day. “Strong, explosive, powerful strides. He can really get after it. If it’s not the top (speed in our system), it’s the top two or three.”
What’s more, Vogel’s arm strength was graded among the best in his entire class, which is surprising for his 5-foot-11, 165-pound frame. According to perfectgame.org, his highest exit velocity on a throw from the outfield was 96.52 MPH, which put him in the top 97th percentile of his class. The class average was 83 MPH.
During his high school career, Vogel posted a .350 batting average with 12 home runs, 12 triples and 22 doubles in 74 varsity games. He scored 59 runs, had 43 runs batted in, and notched 31 stolen bases, as his senior season was obviously shortened by coronavirus restrictions.
Some pundits believe that Vogel has a long, long way to go as far as contact skills and power at the plate go, but the Los Angeles scouts certainly remain enthused.
“Our player development is chomping at the bit to get ahold of him because they think the athlete, the hand-eye coordination, his ability to move his body so fast, it’s going to take off with some instruction,” Gasparino said.
With his recent inclusion to the 60-man player pool, the player development crew has certainly gotten their wish.