Completing the trifecta of star outfield prospects, our next player profile brings us to 19-year-old Jake Vogel, who was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the third round of the 2020 MLB draft out of Huntington Beach High School.
Just in case you missed it, we profiled 18-year-old Luis Rodriguez, who is currently ranked as the sixth best prospect on the Los Angeles farm according to MLB Pipeline, back on Dec. 20. On Sunday, we took a detailed look at 20-year-old Andy Pages, who will begin the season as the system’s 12th-best prospect.
Currently, Vogel is ranked No. 14.
Last July, the right-handed hitting Vogel signed with the team for a $1.6 million bonus, which was estimated at about $1 million over slot value. The move was indicative of how much an effort the Dodgers made to convince him not to attend UCLA, where he previously committed.
First and foremost, Vogel is all about speed, as many scouts 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.”
Furthermore, 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 Perfect Game, his highest exit velocity on a throw from the outfield was 96.52 MPH, which put him in the top 97th percentile of his draft class. The class average was 83 MPH.
During his high school career, Vogel boasted a .350 batting average with 12 home runs, 12 triples and 22 doubles in 74 varsity games at Huntington Beach High. He scored 59 runs, had 43 runs batted in, and notched 31 stolen bases in his high school career, which was impressive, as his senior season was shortened by coronavirus restrictions.
Some pundits believe that Vogel has a 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 his athleticism, the hand-eye coordination, his ability to move his body so fast, it’s going to take off with some instruction,” Gasparino added.
The player development crew got their wish in September, as Vogel was selected to the Dodgers’ 60-man player pool, which trained with some of the organization’s best coaches at the team’s alternate training site, seemingly giving the youngster a bit of an advantage over the aforementioned Rodriguez and Pages.
Nevertheless, Pages may still have the upper hand, having a minor-league short season under his belt at Rookie League Ogden in 2019. Neither Pages or Vogel have yet to compete professionally.
Still, it wouldn’t be surprising to see all three prospects rise through the system on similar timelines.
No question Vogel has a good chance of beginning his 2021 campaign at Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, where the hitter-friendly environment might be extremely beneficial to his development.