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Dodgers' Draft rife with big league pedigree

Dodgers' Draft rife with big league pedigree

LOS ANGELES -- A nephew of Hall of Famer George Brett, a brother of Andre Ethier, a son of Triple-A Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach -- all were selected by the Dodgers in the final 10 rounds of the First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.

The Dodgers have long had a penchant for drafting bloodlines, and this year was no different, as nine selections were connected to either past or current ballplayers. Their second-round pick, high school right-hander Ralston Cash, is a cousin of 2008 first-rounder Ethan Martin, and more of Martin's family got involved in the 47th round on Wednesday, when the Dodgers drafted his brother, Cody.

But assistant general manager of scouting Logan White knows this year's Draft will hinge on his ability to sign some high-demand players, starting with first-round pick Zach Lee, a right-handed high school pitcher from Texas taken at No. 28 overall who has committed to play football at Louisiana State University.

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"It will be a phenomenal Draft if we're able to get Zach Lee signed," White said. "I think If we don't get some of the guys that we might think might be tough signs, it's still solid, but nowhere near as great. It's one of those Drafts where it certainly could be a fantastic Draft."

The Dodgers will receive a first-round pick next year, No. 29, if they don't sign Lee. As reports have speculated, White said that the club was fully aware it could take advantage of next year's pick if it came to it.

"One thing that is written that is true is the fact that if we don't sign Zach Lee, we're picking in the first round again next year, and next year's Draft crop is outstanding," White said. "But we certainly didn't let signability play any role in who we took. We decided to go after the quality."

Beyond Lee was another LSU recruit, Colorado high school right-hander Kevin Gausman, whose signing alone could impact the Draft. Left-hander Jake Eliopoulos was a second-round pick a year ago for the Jays, but he didn't sign and spent a year at Chipola (Fla.) Junior College. The Dodgers took a stab at him this year in the 15th round.

Overall, the Dodgers took 22 pitchers, the same number they selected in 2009. Thirty-two picks were college players, and 18 were high schoolers.

The position-by-position breakdown:

• RHP: 17
• LHP: 5
• 1B: 3
• 2B: 3
• SS: 4
• 3B: 2
• OF: 12 (9 CF)
• C: 4

White said the Draft was typical, with Day 3's focus on players whom the team would select and follow this summer. Outfielder Devon Ethier, Andre's little brother, was taken in the 32nd round out of Gateway Community College in Arizona.

"He's a little like Andre was at a younger age," White said. "He's thinner, got to get stronger, but he's got a pretty good arm and a chance to hit. He's a young kid that's just getting better. Once he gets stronger and everything, he's got potential down the road. I think anybody who knows Andre and their family, they've got that desire to win and that great makeup."

The Dodgers took another SEC football recruit in the 38th round: Lucas Witt, of Kentucky, is supposed to be a Wildcats quarterback.

Beau Brett, L.A.'s 35th-round pick, hit .300 at Southern Cal, but started just five games. He would be entering his junior year with the Trojans in the fall, so it's not clear if he wants to go pro yet, but he's someone the Dodgers have liked for some time and is the nephew of George and Ken Brett, both former Major Leaguers.

Chad Wallach, son of Tim Wallach and brother to Dodgers Minor Leaguers Brett and Matt Wallach, was taken in the 43rd round. The senior at Calvary Chapel High is leaning toward going to Cal State Fullerton, where he's likely to see time as a two-way player.

"The Dodgers have always been an organization that's really family-oriented, to the point where they treat all ends of the family as though they're part of the organization," Tim Wallach said on Wednesday. "You can't say that about a lot of organizations. The other part of that, the kids have been around the clubhouse for so long, the big league clubhouse, it's not something new to them if they do get there if they're comfortable in that surrounding."

The Dodgers took at least nine players with baseball in their genes: Cash, James Baldwin III (son of former Dodgers pitcher James Baldwin Jr.), Joc Pederson (son of Stu Pederson, who played eight games for L.A. in 1985), Ethier, Beau, Wallach, Martin, and 48th-round pick Anthony Garcia.

Garcia's father, Leo, had 174 at-bats for the Reds in the '80s.

Martin's brother, Cody, was drafted out of Chipola, the same school as Eliopoulos, but Martin was involved in a brief controversy in high school. During a championship game in Georgia, he threw a pitch that his catcher reportedly missed on purpose, allowing the pitch to hit the umpire in the facemask in protest of the strike zone.

Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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