2013 MLB Draft: The Diamondbacks Direction?

Mike Stobe

John concludes his preview of the D-backs draft options, gazes into his crystal ball to see what we might take in the second round, and offers some general thoughts on where we might go with our picks.

2nd Round Prediction, #52
There are even more college pitchers available for the Dbacks' 2nd round pick at #52. This leads me to think they may go with another high upside position player at #36 and go with a college pitcher in the 2nd round. The list of college pitchers who may be available at #52 include Kevin Ziomek from Vanderbilt, TCU's Andrew Mitchell, Corey Knebel from Texas, Tom Windle of Minnesota, Jason Hursch from Oklahoma State, UC Irvine's Andrew Thurman, Chris Anderson of Jacksonville, and Trey Masek from Texas Tech.

Another college pitcher of interest is Michael Lorenzen of Cal State Fullerton, who is also their center fielder. Some teams like Lorenzen as an outfielder with a big arm, others like him as a closer. He might be a really safe pick where you can try him as a position player first, and if that doesn't work out turn him into a reliever.

Every one of the college pitchers has some kind of flaw that is keeping them out of the first round. When that's the case I find it wise to go with the upside of an arm with a big fastball, or a player with extraordinary work ethic. Chris Anderson is one of my favorites with a mid-90s fastball and a steadily improving career. He still looks to be peaking. Jason Hursch missed all of his sophomore year to Tommy John and has returned with a vengeance throwing into the upper 90s on occasion and comfortably sitting in the mid-90s with easy effort.

Outside of the college pitchers, one intriguing local prospect is high school SS Riley Unroe whose dad reached the majors. He's a switch hitter who is projected to stick at SS though he could also play a quality 2B or CF. From Desert Ridge High in Mesa he has a quick swing that scouts say could produce double-digit home runs. There's also a group of high school position players rated in the mid-50s that includes Unroe, third baseman Travis Demeritte, and outfielders Josh Hart and Ryan Boldt, that all have upside. Most of them have Division I college commitments so knowing the signability for draft picks in the mid-50s will be critical.

My guess is a college pitcher like Hursch or Anderson will be hard to turn down, especially if they opt for position players with their first two picks.

Conclusion
I expect the Diamondbacks to come away from the first few rounds with a couple of upside position players and a college arm. Exactly who that is may depend on who ends up sliding to them. I think that will be their primary focus in the first round. If one of the toolsy position players like Meadows or Renfroe gets to them at 15 they will be thrilled. If not, I think they'll go with a versatile player like Tim Anderson who is said to be steadily climbing the board.

A good college pitcher like Eades or one of Hursch or Anderson will also likely end up in the fold. I'm not sure they'll take pitchers with picks 36 and 52 unless the right ones fall to them. I wouldn't rule out a catcher with pick 52 or 88 either, and that will give us a clue as to what they think about Trahan's future.

This isn't 2011 where you expect to get two all-star caliber players as we did with Bauer and Bradley, but the team should come away with some talented players who can be something with good instruction and development. With 4 picks in the top 90 it will actually be disappointing if they don't.

My dream scenario, without assuming a major talent sliding to them is Hunter Renfroe, Hunter Dozier, and Jason Hursch with our first three picks. I would also be happy with Tim Anderson, Ryan Eades and Riley Unroe.

Tune in this evening for live coverage of the 2013 draft, as the Diamondbacks make their selections.

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