LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers signed their top three picks from the June Draft before Friday's deadline.
First-rounder Jaren Kendall, an outfielder from Vanderbilt University, signed for $2.9 million (recommended bonus was $2,702,700); second-rounder Morgan Cooper, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Texas, signed for $870,000 (recommended bonus was $1,018,200); and third-rounder Connor Wong, a catcher from the University of Houston, took $550,000 (recommended bonus was $537,600).
Kendall, 21, bats left-handed and throws right-handed. He is 6-foot and 190 pounds with elite speed, but he has a high strikeout rate. He hit .307 (80-for-261) with 10 doubles, five triples, 15 home runs, 53 RBIs and stole 20 bases in 2017 as a junior. He led the team in runs scored (59), hits and home runs, while posting a .372 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage. In '14, he was drafted in the 30th round by Boston, but he went to college.
Cooper, 22, is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. He went 6-3 with a 2.32 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings pitched this year as a starter. Cooper missed the 2015 season with Tommy John elbow surgery, but bounced back strong this year.
Wong, 21, is 5-foot-10, 180 pounds and built like current Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes because the Dodgers value smaller, agile, athletic catchers that they can refine as receivers. Like Barnes, Wong has base-stealing speed, and a plus throwing arm.
The Dodgers also signed 11th round pick Jacob Amaya (SS, South Hill HS); 17th rounder Nathan Witt (RHP, Michigan State); and 20th rounder Donovan Casey (OF, Boston College) on Friday. The club signed 33 of its 40 selections.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.