22 October 2012

1968 draft dodgers

it's pretty well known that the draft completed by the dodgers in 1968 was a good one - lots of quality major leaguers were selected.  during the life span of that draft - from the time the first player selected made his debut until the time the last player retired, the dodgers had won 5 pennants and two world championships.  let's see exactly how that all went down.

here are the dodgers' picks in the 1968 mlb june amateur draft.  i know i'm jumping the gun, but we'll get to the january phases of the draft later.

1st round (5th overall) bobby valentine -
valentine was picked immediately after thurman munson went to the yankees.  he played in 225 games for the dodgers from 1969 through 1972 with a line of 4/57/.263.  bobby v was traded after the 1972 season in the deal that netted the dodgers ken mcmullen and andy messersmith from the angels.  messersmith was the ace of the dodgers' 1974 pennant winning team (the first of the post-koufax era), so while bobby v didn't win with the dodgers, he did make a significant contribution.  however, mcmullen was eventually released, and messersmith left the team as one of baseball's first free agents after the 1975 season.

2nd round (25th overall) bill buckner -
buckner signed and debuted for the dodgers on september 21, 1969. as a dodger, billy buck played in 773 games and went 38/277/.289.  he was traded to the cubs prior to the 1977 season in the deal that brought mike garman and rick monday to the dodgers, but not before he helped the blue win the pennant in 1974.  as for what the dodgers got in return for buckner, garman spent one-plus years (including the 1977 pennant winning season) with the dodgers before being traded to the expos for gerry hannahs and larry landreth.  hannahs then pitched for the dodgers in 1978 and 1979, but spent all of 1980 at aaa albuquerque. he finished his professional career with the twins' aaa team in 1981, while landreth went from the dodgers aaa team in 1978 to the brewers' aa team in 1979.  he never made it back to the majors after the garman trade, and there is no record that i could find of any players coming back to the dodgers for either hannahs or landreth.  of course, monday was the main piece of the trade, and in addition to helping the dodgers win pennants in 1977 and 1978, he, of course, hit a huge home run in the 1981 playoffs to help the team win its first world series championship since 1965.  monday was eventually released by the dodgers after the 1984 season, so the buckner trail ends there.

3rd round (45th overall) sonny johnson - outfielder/first baseman advanced to aa albuquerque at one point, but never made it to the big leagues.

4th round (65th overall) mike pazik - lhp who did not sign with the dodgers, and was later drafted by the yankees in 1971 and signed with them. he was traded to the twins and eventually made the big leagues in 1975.  went 1-4 in 13 career appearances.

5th (89th overall) tom paciorek -
paciorek was part of the dodgers' 1974 nl championship team, and he was 2 for 3 in the postseason that year.  a year later, however, he was traded to the braves in the deal that brought dusty baker and ed goodson (himself a product of the 1968 draft - more on that later) to the dodgers.  with baker in the outfield, the dodgers won pennants in 1977, 1978, and 1981, plus another nl west title in 1983.  baker hit .371 in his four national league championship series, and was the mvp of the 1977 matchup against the phillies.  so, like buckner, the paciorek pick helped net the dodgers four pennants and one world championship.  baker eventually left the dodgers as a free agent after the 1983 season, and goodson retired as a dodger after the 1977 season, so there were no further ramifications of the paciorek pick.

6th round (113th overall) bob auger - did not sign

7th round (137th overall) joseph barkauskas - did not sign

8th round (161th overall) joe ferguson -
ferguson was a big part of the dodgers' 1974 team, and he made that fantastic throw from right field in the world series against the a's.  he also contributed to the 1977 pennant winning team, as he was traded to the cardinals for reggie smith in june of 1976.  smith was arguably the dodgers' best player in 1977 (just ask don sutton), and he had a big year in 1978, too. ferguson returned to the dodgers in 1978, and was a part of that pennant winning team as well.  ferguson was released during the 1981 season, and smith missed most of that year due to injury.  he did return in time to make a couple of appearances in the dodgers' successful postseason run, but left the team as a free agent after they won the 1981 title.

9th round (185th overall) doyle alexander - alexander was traded with a few other players in 1971 to the orioles for pete richert and frank robinson.  richert was flipped to the cardinals in december of 1973 for tommie agee (who was released by the dodgers during spring training in 1974), and robinson was dealt to the angels a year later in that aforementioned deal that also included bobby valentine.  so, this pick played a part in bringing andy messersmith and the 1974 pennant to los angeles.

the only other dodger draftee that signed with the team and made it to the big leagues was their 17th round pick.

17th round (377th overall) bob gallagher - signed, but lost in rule 5 draft to boston so there was no compensation.  gallagher eventually made it to the big leagues with the red sox, astros, and mets.

but then there was the secondary phase of the june draft, apparently held for collegiate players.  here are the dodgers' seven picks from that draft

1st round (13th overall) steve garvey -
garvey helped his teams win five pennants in 11 years, although one of those world series appearances came after he left the dodgers as free agent.  with the team that drafted him, he won the 1974 nl mvp award, and the 1978 nlcs mvp trophy, and for a brief moment, was told he was one of the co-mvp's of the 1981 world series - his only championship in his five trips to the fall classic.  this was clearly one of the best picks the dodgers have ever made, and it was made possible by the fact that he didn't sign with the twins out of high school and that 12 teams passed on him this time around.  it is worth noting that the most successful player taken ahead of garvey in the first round was future teammate ed goodson, who was taken third overall by the giants.

2nd round (33rd overall) sandy vance -
vance was 7-7 in his first year as a major leaguer (1970), but was forced to retire due to injury after 30 big league appearances and a 9-8 record in two seasons for the dodgers.  he was previously drafted in one of the phases of the 1968 january draft by the astros, but obviously didn't sign.

3rd round (53rd overall) ron cey -
cey debuted in 1971 and was a stabilizing force at third base for the four pennant winning teams.  he was one of the co-mvps of the 1981 world series triumph over the yankees, and when he was traded to the cubs for vance lovelace after the 1982 season, he was the all-time home run leader among los angeles dodgers.  lovelace, by the way, did not make it to the majors.  it should be noted that up to this point in the draft, the dodgers had picked up a promising pitcher and half of their record setting infield, while the only other picks that had serviceable careers were goodson and jim barr.

4th round (73rd overall) bruce kinder - did not sign

5th round (95th overall) bill seinsoth - signed and played 1969 at the dodgers' a league team in bakersfield, his only year in professional ball

6th round (113th overall) ellsworth jones - did not sign

7th round (127th overall) bob randall - did not sign, but was drafted by the dodgers again in the 1969 draft (he had also been drafted by the team in the 1966 draft).  randall was traded to the twins for danny walton in december of 1975, and he made his big league debut in the 1976 season.

before all of that, however, there were the 1968 january drafts - both a regular and secondary phase.  in the regular portion of the draft, the dodgers selected 10 players, none of whom made it to the big leagues or figured in trades that helped shape the team.  that wasn't the case in the secondary phase.

here are the notable selections by the dodgers from the 1968 mlb january draft - secondary phase, which i understand to have been a collegiate draft for winter graduates.

1st round (6th overall) marv galliher - taken three picks before dave kingman was picked by the orioles (he did not sign), galliher signed and reported to bakersfield in 1968.  he stayed with the dodgers' organization through 1973 and spent three entire seasons at aaa level.  in fact, here's a link to an article about one of the spokane indians teams he was a part of.  lots of familiar names in that writeup.  galliher was traded to the orioles prior to the 1974 season for bob o'brien (who came very close to being a double dipper for the dodgers, but he never made it back to the big leagues).  as for galliher, he spent 1974 and 1975 at aaa with the orioles and padres, but never made it to the majors.

2nd round (26th overall) davey lopes -
lopes is the third member of the famous infield to be drafted by the dodgers in 1968.  he debuted in 1972 and was around just long enough to win the 1981 title.  he was traded in february of 1982 to the a's for lance hudson, who never made it out of a ball for the dodgers.  as a dodger, lopes led the league in steals twice, was a four-time all-star, and had 19 steals in postseason play.

3rd round (46th overall) steven moore - moore did not sign, but was drafted and signed by the royals in 1969.  he spent 3 seasons in the minors for kansas city and detroit.

4th round (66th overall) randy smith - signed and spent 3 years in a ball for the dodgers.

5th round (86th overall) geoff zahn - zahn was part of the dodgers' 1974 pennant winning team, although he did not appear in the postseason.  he was pitching lights out as a reliever and spot starter in 1974 when he took over tommy john's spot in the rotation after john tore his ulnar collateral ligament.  zahn was then traded in may of 1975 (with eddie solomon) to the cubs for burt hooton.  hooton, of course, went on to win the 1981 nlcs mvp, and helped the dodgers to three pennants and the '81 title.  hooton left the dodgers as a free agent after the 1984 season, signing with the rangers

6th round (105th overall) david grangaard - did not sign and was drafted in the 1968 mlb june secondary draft by the astros.  he signed with houston and spent 5 seasons in the minors, getting to aaa with the royals' organization in 1972.

7th round (123rd overall) gregory wellman - lhp who signed and spent 1968 through 1970 in dodgers' farm system.  went to the giants prior to the 1971 season and got as high as aaa for them in 1971.  finished his career with the expos' a level team in 1972.

8th round (136th overall) james loll - signed, but appears to have been traded to kansas city.  maybe as part of the jim campanis deal or perhaps was a pick in the expansion draft?

9th round (147th overall) thomas jackson - did not sign

10th round (153rd overall) ed crosby - did not sign, but was drafted in 1969 by the cardinals and did sign.  played in the big leagues from 1970-1976 for saint louis, cincinnati, and cleveland.

there were 3 other guys selected by the dodgers later in the draft who apparently didn't sign either.

valentine was the first to take the field for the dodgers.  he debuted as a pinch runner in a game during the 1969 season against the mets.  the last of the drafted players to suit up for the dodgers were steve garvey and ron cey, with cey making the final plate appearance in the last game of the 1982 season.  in between, there were four pennants and one world series title, but the ramifications of the draft lingered, as the dodgers won the national league west in 1983 with monday and hooton still around, and again in 1985 in hooton's last season with the team.  buckner was the last of the players, drafted or otherwise acquired, to appear in the big leagues as he finished his career with a return trip to boston in 1990.

so, yes, it was a great draft, but al campanis and the dodger brain trust should also be commended for turning that drafted talent into the right mix of players (some via trade) to establish a national league west powerhouse.

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