As difficult as it is to predict who will be taken with the 15th selection, it gets even dicier in the subsequent rounds and beyond. But we can still look at some of the players who will be available and what the Dbacks might desire. The team's 2nd pick is the 36th overall and is the result of their placement from the Competitive Balance Round. Any player ranked in the high 20s and below is a candidate and even more who rank well below that. Last year the Dbacks chose Jose Munoz in the 2nd round, who wasn't ranked anywhere in the Top 100 on any list I could find. So as I said, anything's possible from here on.
The prospect rankings from Baseball America group a bunch of high school and college pitchers in the 30-40 range. One of my favorites from this bunch is LSU's Ryan Eades, who's been a top notch prospect since he was a teenager. Eades is not LSU's Friday night pitcher because of the presence of Aaron Nola, a likely 1st round pick in next year's draft. Eades has a plus fastball, an 80s curve, and a developing change-up. He might be gone by #36 though.
Mississippi's Bobby Wahl is another good one though he has battled blister problems this year that has affected his performance. But he's another high-upside guy whose talent grades out higher than his performance which has legitimate excuses. Another climbing draft boards is Alex Balog from San Francisco who has three plus pitches and may go before #36. Aaron Blair from Marshall is another possibility.
If the Dbacks don't go for a college pitcher with the 36th pick, shortstop Hunter Dozier could be a candidate. He's a fringe candidate to stay at SS in the majors but has plus power and an improved hitting approach that has some comparing him to Jeff Kent. That would fill an organizational need for a plus-hitting second baseman to follow Aaron Hill.
A couple of college outfielders who could slide to #36 include Stanford's Austin Wilson and Fresno State's Aaron Judge. Wilson is a mountain of a man whose bat is more about potential than production at this point. he's a plus defender who could play CF on occasion. If his bat meets that potential he could be a god corner outfielder who provides plus defense. Aaron Judge is also a mountain man at 6-7, 255 who projects as a 30-homer, 150 strikeout candidate with acceptable defense. Whether that fits into the Dbacks philosophy is a question mark.
One high upside high schooler that jumps out is outfielder Cord Sandberg who scouts say has the same caliber tools as top-rated HS outfielder Austin Meadows. Sandberg is also an outstanding HS quarterback and committed to Missisippi State to play football, so his baseball experience has been somewhat limited. But it's said he wants to play baseball so while his signability may be complicated by the football scholarship, he's a high-upside pick that could prove to be special.
Given those options, I predict the Dbacks #36 pick comes from this list. If I'm forced to pick one player I'll go with Ryan Eades.
Ryan Eades, RHP, LSU
Bobby Wahl, RHP, Mississippi
Hunter Dozier, SS, Stephen F. Austin State
Alex Balog, RHP, San Francisco
Austin Wilson, OF, Stanford
Cord Sandberg, OF, Manatee HS, FL
Aaron Blair, RHP, Marshall
[Tomorrow, John finishes his preview with a look at the lower rounds, and some overall thoughts. We'll have full draft day coverage on the SnakePit of course, as the action progresses in the evening.]