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More on the Dodgers' Top Pick
2005-06-07 17:54
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Praise for the Dodgers' draft of Luke Hochevar - and insight into what the team has gotten themselves - comes from Rich Lederer at Baseball Analysts. (Scroll down to draft pick No. 40.)

As a follow-up, I asked what level Lederer thought Hochevar would begin his Dodger career at. Here is Lederer's reply, via e-mail:

"I would guess High-A," Lederer said, "I can see him reaching the big leagues two years after he begins his minor league career, but the key is when does that start? He may be finished for the year after logging over 110-120 innings this year on the heels of 33 last summer and a full load last spring. Neither side may be anxious for him to pitch anymore this year. High-A coming out of spring training 2006. If he performs well, maybe he gets a shot at AA next summer. More seasoning at AA to begin 2007 with a quick jump to AAA, followed by the proverbial cup of coffee with the Dodgers in September 2007. Possibly in starting rotation coming out of the spring of 2008 if all goes well. He would be 24 1/2 at that point."

Update: More from Lederer on Hochevar here (scroll down), comparing the current situation with the 2004 No. 40, Huston Street of Oakland.

Comments
2005-06-07 18:15:34
1.   scareduck
As I said on my blog, I think there's a good chance that the Boras Client Mystique has been thoroughly punctured by not only the Drew and Weaver signings, but by Cubs prospect Mark Pawelek's immediate signing. Unfortunately for teams like the Dodgers and Angels, it also means deep-pocketed teams can't wait out less-able clubs and pounce on "signability" guys.
2005-06-07 18:37:43
2.   natepurcell
my preffered choice with hochevar is to get him signed within a month.

then this summer, give him some innings at VERO. not a lot, since he has already worked a lot of innings for the Vols, but just a cup of coffee against high A players.

probably 5 starts with a 80 pitch count each start.

then start him out at AA beginning of the year next yr at age 22 and let him stay there whole year.

2005-06-07 18:39:59
3.   natepurcell
scratch the 80 pitch count. that seems a bit too high. maybe somewhere between 60-70
2005-06-07 22:49:56
4.   the OZ
FWIW, FSN2 pronounces it "Ho - chey - ver."
2005-06-08 00:31:46
5.   Rich Lederer
Re #4, yes, that is correct. Luke's sister, Brittany, was an All-American volleyball player at Long Beach State. She is now playing professionally.
2005-06-08 09:03:40
6.   molokai
From my favorite minor league source BaseballHQ:
"LOS ANGELES - Luke Hochevar (RHP, Tennessee): One of the more projectable college players, he has the height and body type to develop further. While he changes speeds and commands the plate well (3.0 Cmd), he isn't a finesse pitcher, with a quality, 88-93 MPH two-seam fastball and 82-84 MPH slider. He dabbles with his 77-80 MPH curveball, but needs to show tighter rotation. The repetitiveness of his smooth delivery and athleticism should allow him to maintain his command and disguise his pitches. His 13-2 record, 1.93 ERA, 9.9 K/9, and .186 oppBA earned him the SEC Pitcher of the Year. He has the potential to be a solid, number two starter."
2005-06-08 11:11:25
7.   Sushirabbit
Just speaking from watching him a few times, his strength to me seems to be his delivery. He can really work off the fastball with the change-- seems extra tough to pickup. I just hope the Vols don't get distracted. :-)

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