"It sounds like the Pirates have narrowed their list for the No. 1 overall pick to Hultzen, Starling, and Cole, with Rendon still a possibility. If they take Hultzen, Seattle probably takes Rendon (although there's still an outside chance they go rogue and take Lindor) and Arizona takes Bauer. If the Pirates take Starling or Cole, Seattle goes Rendon and Arizona takes Hultzen, which could push Bauer all the way to Washington at No. 6."
- Jason A. Churchill, ESPN
It's only nine days until the draft, so it's about time to provide the latest update on draft rumors. The industry consensus seems to be that the Dbacks will select Danny Hultzen with the #3 pick as long as he is available. It's interesting to note though that Hultzen could potentially be picked No. 1, at which point Arizona would choose Trevor Bauer over Gerrit Cole. My own personal top seven is constantly in flux, but to be honest, after Rendon (who's still the clear number 1 prospect in my mind) I'm starting to get extremely muddled between which of Cole, Hultzen, Bauer, and Bundy is the best pitching prospect. I can't say I envy Kevin Towers's difficult choices up ahead. Though I will say this, if Seattle goes rogue and takes Lindor, then I will be an extremely upset fan if Towers doesn't take Rendon.
Since Rendon is still basically a pipe dream though, the three prospects that I've heard most connect with the Diamondbacks are Hultzen, Bauer and Bundy. Here are some short scouting reports on these players, based from Baseball America and in order of their big board:
Dylan Bundy - This impressive HS right-hander is the second-ranked prospect on BA's big board, and for good reason. Among high schoolers, he owns the best fastball, best secondary offering, best command, and most polish. Scouts think he's quite a bit better than Jameson Taillon (the consensus 2nd overall pick last year) and that Bundy will be ready to join the bigs in 2013. Bundy's arsenal is absurd for a high-schooler. He's got a plus fastball that sits 94-97 mph. His curveball is plus and his cutter is plus as well. His changeup is already average (which is tremendous for a high schooler). It doesn't look like we are targeting Bundy with the #3 pick, but the rumors are that Bundy will not fall past us at #7. The question for us is...will he still be available then?
Danny Hultzen - I still think people who just read about his upside are still underestimating him. BA has him as the fourth best prospect on their big board. I just don't believe that you can strikeout 131 in 90 innings in one of the best baseball conferences in college while not having stellar stuff. He's got the third best secondary offering among draft prospects (behind Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer) and he's got the best command of all draft pitching prospects. This allows all of his pitches to play up, in particular, his fastball, which sits 92-93 mph. And of course, can't forget about the bat, as well as the fact he's a lefty.
Trevor Bauer - BA's fifth best prospect has an exceptional mind to go along with his electric stuff, as he takes a scientific approach to studying pitching beyond even sabermetrics. In terms of stuff, Bauer has an incredibly diverse repertoire of pitches. He throws an above average fastball that's complimented by the second-best secondary offering in the draft, a plus to plus-plus curveball. He already has an above-average changeup, and can also throw a splitter, slider, and what he calls a "reverse slider" which runs in on left-handers. Of course, the issue with Bauer, which may drop him enough such that he's available at #7 even, are the insane pitch counts he's thrown in college. If you believe in his long-toss routine, then this is a guy who's got top of the rotation upside, can get to the majors extremely fast, and basically throw a complete game for you anytime he's not getting pounded. If you don't believe in the long-toss routine, then this is a guy who's probably going to get injured and require surgery within the next couple of years.