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Dodgers draft Stanford lefty Reed 16th

Dodgers draft Stanford lefty Reed 16th

Dodgers draft Stanford lefty Reed 16th
The last time Logan White drafted a Scott Boras client, it was Luke Hochevar in 2005, and that didn't work out so well, Hochevar not signing while White and Boras hooked up in a war of words.

But the Dodgers' assistant general manager tried it again on Monday night, taking Stanford left-handed closer -- and Boras client -- Christopher Reed with the 16th overall choice in the First-Year Player Draft.

It marked the ninth time White has taken a pitcher first in his 10 Drafts.

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Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft resumes at 9 a.m. PT Tuesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 2 and 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Reed, 21, is 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, and he's considered a late bloomer who put it together while pitching in last year's Atlantic Collegiate Summer League.

Reed had nine saves in 11 opportunities this year and a 1.80 ERA in 27 relief appearances over 45 innings. He started one game, allowing seven runs in 4 2/3 innings. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection.

Although Reed hit the Dodgers' radar as a reliever, White sees him as a Major League starter.

"I think he can definitely start," White said. "He's big, strong. He throws 92-95 [mph] with a hard slider 80-85 and actually has a good changeup. I could see him become one of our best left-handed pitching prospects. I definitely want to make him a starter."

White said that Reed had been on the Dodgers' radar since last fall, and he made a big impression last week closing out a postseason game against Cal State Fullerton, with White and Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda watching.

"He was in a tough environment, throwing 94, 95 -- didn't show any fear," said White. "It was a good catch, seeing him right before the Draft."

White said he's taken a pitcher with a "fresh arm and a high ceiling" who might not have been on the radar of too many clubs because he wasn't on the field much as a reliever.

"We've been on him a long time," White said. "This guy is a legitimate pick for us. I like him a lot."

White said that Reed improved dramatically last summer because he was able to pitch regularly. He said Reed's body has also filled out and his mechanics have improved. After his first two seasons at Stanford, Reed had a 7.04 ERA, only 25 appearances and more walks than strikeouts.

Of course, there is a signability question. The London-born Reed, a junior who grew up in the San Fernando Valley (Cleveland High School in Reseda, Calif.) a half-hour from Dodger Stadium, could return to Stanford and play his senior season. He graduated high school with a 4.2 GPA and earned the 2008 U.S. Army National Scholar Athlete Award.

And there is the Boras factor, although White did all he could to downplay the bitterness that might linger from the contentious Hochevar negotiations.

"I'm confident," said White. "I would never say it's a slam dunk, but I'm fairly confident about it. It's an honorable, good family. I think the kid really wants to play; he's given us every indication that he wants to go play. He wants to start.

"Scott and I get along fine. I've had fine dialogue with the Boras Corp. I don't have resentment from that standpoint. There's always some concern. Like last year, I felt we would sign [Zach Lee], but I couldn't say 100 percent. This is the same way."

Last year, White selected Lee, who had a football scholarship from LSU and was considered unsignable. At the deadline, the Dodgers set a franchise record and signed Lee for $5.25 million.

White wouldn't compare Reed to any current Major Leaguer, probably because it would only complicate negotiations. He said he was not required to run the pick by Tom Schieffer, MLB's monitor of the Dodgers' business operations. The slot salary for the 16th overall player picked is likely to be around $1.5 million.

The only other time the Dodgers had the 16th overall pick in the Draft was in 1979, when they took star-crossed reliever Steve Howe.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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