LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Wednesday their eight selections from the second day of the 2019 Draft.
The Dodgers chose Butler University right-hander Ryan Pepiot (third round), University of California, Irvine third baseman Brandon Lewis (fourth round), Stanford University right-handed pitcher Jack Little (fifth round), Eastern Kentucky University right-hander Aaron Ochsenbein (sixth round), James Madison University right-hander Nick Robertson (seventh round), Bryant University outfielder Ryan Ward (eighth round), Fresno City College left-handed pitcher Alec Gamboa (ninth round) and Virginia Commonwealth University shortstop Zac Ching (10th round).
Los Angeles drafted all but one of its first 11 players from the college ranks and through 11 selections has taken six pitchers, four infielders and one outfielder.
The Dodgers closed out the first day of the draft by selecting Lake Travis (TX) High School right-hander Jimmy Lewis with their compensatory second-round pick (78th overall). Lewis’ father Jim was also a second-round selection by the Houston Astros in 1991. The high school teammate of fellow draftee Brett Baty was dominant in his senior campaign, going 9-0 with an 0.53 ERA and 83 strikeouts compared to just 15 walks. Lewis also flashed a two-way skillset in his high school career, batting .370 over four varsity seasons.
Los Angeles doubled down on right-handed pitching with their first pick on the second day of the draft, selecting Butler University’s Ryan Pepiot in the third round after going 4-4 with a 3.92 ERA in his junior season. The Westfield, Indiana native set school records in both single-season and career strikeouts with 126 and 306, respectively, and is now the highest draft pick in Butler baseball history, passing two-time MLB All-Star Pat Neshek’s sixth-round status in 2002.
The Dodgers stayed in state with their next two selections, drafting infielder Brandon Lewis out of the University of California, Irvine in the fourth round and Stanford University right-handed pitcher Jack Little in the fifth round. Lewis, who earned two All-conference nods at L.A. Pierce College before transferring to Irvine, tied the school record with 14 home runs this season. The 54-game starter batted .315 and led the Big West conference in runs scored, doubles and RBI while reaching base safely in 36 straight games. Little, a 6-foot-4, 190-pound right-hander, went 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA and nine saves this season en route to his second consecutive All-Pac-12 team honor. The Las Vegas, Nevada native also tied the Stanford school record with 16 saves as a sophomore in 2018 and was named a first-team All-American by D1 Baseball, Baseball America, Perfect Game, the NCBWA and the ABCA.
Los Angeles added another pair of right-handed pitchers from the college ranks in the sixth and seventh rounds, selecting Aaron Ochsenbein from Eastern Kentucky University 191st overall and using the 221st overall pick on James Madison University’s Nick Robertson. Ochsenbein, who underwent Tommy John surgery his freshman year, went 5-2 with an 0.83 ERA and 10 saves in 30 appearances this season. The 6-foot-3 senior built on his 2018 Cape Cod League performance, when he led the league 16.4 strikeouts per nine innings, by fanning 90 batters in just 54.1 innings. He is one of only 11 players in Ohio Valley Conference history to post a sub-1.00 ERA in at least 50 innings pitched. Robertson appeared in 38 games for James Madison over the last two years, posting a 5-1 record with eight saves and a 1.01 ERA in 23 relief appearances this season. With a 6-6, 265-pound frame, the Callaway, Virginia native struck out 54 batters and held opponents to just a .128 batting average in 2019.
The Dodgers stopped a run of three straight pitchers in the eighth round, selecting Bryant University outfielder Ryan Ward with the 251st overall pick. Ward enjoyed one of the greatest seasons in program history as a redshirt freshman in 2018, becoming the first Bryant player to hit over .400 (.409) while adding 35 extra-base hits and striking out only 10 times. The Millbury, Massachusetts native followed that up by hitting .382 with 13 home runs as a sophomore this season.
With the final two picks on Day Two of the First-Year Player Draft, Los Angeles remained in the college ranks, adding Fresno City College left-handed pitcher Alec Gamboa (9th round) and Virginia Commonwealth University shortstop Zac Ching (10th round). Gamboa is coming off a freshman season at Fresno City College that saw him earn the Central Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year award. The 6-foot-1 native of Madera, California threw 64 innings between eight starts and seven relief appearances, compiling an 8-1 record and a 1.97 ERA while helping the Rams win the CVC Championship. Ching, who played multiple infield positions in his four years at Virginia Commonwealth University, posted a solid .310/.404/.502 slash line this season. The Lubbock, Texas native added six home runs and 22 doubles in 56 games.
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