The Diamondbacks signed 1st round draft pick Braden Shipley, the #15 overall selection, for a reported $2.25 million signing bonus, which is $185,000 under slot. It's a surprise they were able to sign him for under slot considering he was projected to go in the top 10, and typically players who are rated higher and slide in the draft command above slot bonuses. So credit the Dbacks for being able to save some bonus money that they can use to sign some other selections that may need more financial encouragement to bypass college for a pro career.
Shipley was rated #6 overall by ESPN's Keith Law, and #9 overall by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Shipley will be placed in the next couple of days and my guess is he goes to High A Visalia, which is where Andrew Chafin and Anthony Meo started last year as highly rated college pitchers. Diamondbacks scouting director Ray Montgomery expressed surprise the day of the draft that Shipley made it all the way to the 15th pick as he rates as a potential top of the rotation starter with a plus fastball that sits in the low to mid-90s and occasionally reaches into the upper 90s. He has a developing curveball that Shipley himself said he was working on a lot to turn into a plus pitch. And he has what many scouts say is the most advanced change-up in the entire draft.
What Shipley lacks is experience, having only worked as a pitcher the last two years of college as he was recruited to Nevada as a shortstop and started there his freshman year. But his arm was so enticing that they moved him into the rotation between his freshman and sophomore seasons and he has thrived ever since. So while he lacks experience he also has a fresh arm and is not one of those worn-out college arms you so often see in the draft.
3 Stars: Mike Jacobs, Reno 3 for 4, 3 R, 2 HR (7), 4 RBI
2 Stars: Chris Owings, Reno 2 for 5, 1 DBL, 4 RBI
1 Star: Jonathan Pulley, Hillsboro 6.1 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 R, 0 ER, L (0-1)
0 Stars: Garrett Mock, Reno 4 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 7 ER
Triple A: Reno 14 San Jose 10. The Aces won in dramatic style as pinch hitter Ed Easley hit a grand slam on the first pitch to cap off the come-from-behind victory. Tony Campana also had a big hit in the inning doubling with runners on 1st and 2nd to tie the game at 10. Chris Owings was intentionally walked after working the count to 3-1 before Easley's heroics. Garrett Mock started and got hit pretty hard allowing 7 runs in 4 innings. The bullpen patched things together pretty well from there allowing 2 runs over the final 5 frames. Mike Jacobs did much of the offensive damage with 2 home runs in a 3-hit night. Chris Owings picked up 4 RBI on a double and a single.
Double A: Mobile - off day
High A: Cal All Stars 2 Car All Stars 12. The California league All Stars squared off against the Carolina League All Stars and the Carolina League was the convincing winner. Three players from Visalia were named to the All Star team, namely, 3B Jake Lamb, 2B Gerson Montilla and closer Jake Barrett. Lamb did not play as he is still on the disabled list with a wrist injury. Gerson Montilla came off the bench and went 0 for 2. Jake Barrett pitched in the 9th and faced 3 batters, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Low A: Midwest East All Stars 6 Midwest West All Stars 5. The Midwest League also played its All Star game last night and a number of South Bend stars played significant roles in the East Division dramatic walk-off victory. Daniels Watts got the honor of being the East starting pitcher and pitched a clean opening frame with 2 strikeouts. Brandon Sinnery pitched in the 5th inning allowing 1 hit but no runs as he retired 2 batters. But it was the late innings where Silver Hawks made a difference. Closer RJ Hively came on in the 9th inning under difficult circumstances as the West was trying to rally for a late comeback win. He entered with runners on first and third and no outs and just a 1-run lead as 2 runs had already crossed. He got the first hitter on a strikeout but then a wild pitch allowed the tying run to score. He retired the next batter on a groundout, and with a runner on third he got his second strikeout of the inning to end the threat. Brandon Drury then led off the bottom of the 9th with a sharply-hit double and fellow Silver Hawk Alex Glenn walked. After two outs were recorded, Drury scored the winning run on a single to center to make RJ Hively the winning pitcher, in spite of being tagged with a blown save.
Short Season A: Hillsboro 0 Eugene 2. The Hops offense disappeared after their offensive explosion the day before that opened their new stadium. Jonathan Pulley started and had a fine outing pitching into the 7th while allowing just 2 unearned runs with 5 strikeouts. Chase Stevens pitched 1.2 perfect innings of relief with 3 strikeouts. Ryan Gebhardt doubled as one of the team's 3 hits.