Dodgers make Tennessee pitcher their first pick

Updated: June 8, 2005, 8:32 AM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers took a pitcher from the University of Tennessee with their first pick, and the son of a former Los Angeles player with their second in Tuesday's first-year player draft.

Luke Hochevar, a junior with the Vols, was the 40th pick overall and was taken with a supplemental selection from the Seattle. Los Angeles was awarded that pick after free agent Adrian Beltre signed with the Mariners.

With the 51st pick, the Dodgers selected 18-year-old Ivan DeJesus from the American Military Academy in Puerto Rico. The switch-hitting shortstop is the son of Ivan DeJesus, who came up through the Dodgers' system and played for them from 1974-76.

The Dodgers previously drafted the right-handed Hochevar in the 39th round in 2002 following his senior season in high school, but he decided to attend college.

The 6-foot-5 Hochevar (pronounced HO-chay-vur) is 15-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 17 starts for the Vols, who have reached the NCAA Super Regionals. He has struck out 140 and walked 46 in 126 2-3 innings.

Los Angeles' other second-round selection (74th overall) was right-hander Josh Wall from Central Private High School in Baker, La. The 6-6 Wall was 14-1 with a 0.93 ERA this season, striking out 138 in 83 innings.

The Dodgers took a local player in the third round, outfielder Sergio Pedroza of Cal State Fullerton. A junior, Pedroza is batting .330, with 15 homers and 54 RBIss in 60 games for the Titans, who are in the Super Regionals.

Los Angeles' other picks included two other sons of former major leaguers. Right-hander Steven Johnson, a 13th-round pick from St. Pauls School for Boys in Brooklandville, Md., is the son of Davey Johnson, a big league player and manager, who piloted the Dodgers for two seasons (1999 and 2000). Outfielder Scott Van Slyke, son of Andy Van Slyke, was selected in the 14th round out of Burroughs High in Missouri.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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