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Los Angeles Dodgers select Oregon State QB D.J. Uiagalelei in 20th round of MLB Draft

Despite not having played baseball in college, Los Angeles Dodgers took a chance on Oregon State quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei on Tuesday in the 20th round of the MLB Draft.

Although he was a two-sport sensation in high school, the former Clemson quarterback decided to concentrate on football with the Tigers. Due to his decision, it was unexpected that the Dodgers selected him with the 610th overall pick, as it seems doubtful that he will chose baseball over football.

While acknowledging that Uiagalelei is still a football player, Dodgers area scouting supervisor Jonah Rosenthal told's Sarah Wexler that the team would be pleased to have him as soon as possible if he decided to give baseball a try:

According to Rosenthal, "I believe the plan is to let him play [football] this year." "... Try to succeed and do everything [he] is capable of." In the interim, if it doesn't work out or if baseball really takes over as his passion, love, and future career, I mean, he could be in Spring Training with us by next year.

Uiagalelei transferred to Oregon State after the 2022 season after three seasons at Clemson. At the end of the regular season, after Cade Klubnik took over and thrived during the Tigers' victory in the ACC championship game, he declared his intention to leave Clemson. Uiagalelei made his Oregon State commitment less than three weeks after he started using the transfer site.

When Trevor Lawrence was out due to COVID-19 in 2020, Uiagalelei started two games in Lawrence's place and quickly gained notoriety. In his second start against Notre Dame, Uiagalelei threw for 439 yards and two touchdowns in a 47-40 loss that ended in overtime in South Bend.

The highlight of Uiagalelei's time at Clemson was that particular game. He had a difficult year in 2021 and threw more picks (10) than touchdown passes (nine). His numbers increased in 2022, but Klubnik showed he was the Tigers' quarterback of the future by the end of the campaign.

Uiagalelei was one of the most highly anticipated football prospects in the nation prior to enrolling at Clemson. He claimed he was unsure of how he would be able to balance playing baseball and football for the Tigers. He admitted to the Athletic in April that the Dodgers had contacted him about playing baseball once more, but he had declined.

It appears that the Dodgers' admiration for Uiagalelei dates back to high school:

If he had continued with baseball, he may have been a top-couple round player, according to Jonah Rosenthal, the Dodgers' area scouting manager. But he developed into a five-star quarterback, and when you get at Clemson with that status, you obviously run with the ball, right?

It's unlikely that Uiagalelei, who is expected to start at quarterback for Oregon State in 2023, will decide to play baseball before participating in at least one season of collegiate football with the Beavers. But in order for the Dodgers to keep his rights if he decides to play baseball in the near future, he must sign a deal with the team this summer.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.