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2015 MLB Draft: Mock update - Dansby Swanson seems likely for Diamondbacks

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A week on Monday sees the 2015 MLB draft. What's the latest word on who the Diamondbacks might take with the first overall pick?

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

When we last checked in with the mock drafters for the 2015 MLB draft, there was no particular consensus on the direction the Diamondbacks would take. That no longer seems the case, with a strong current of opinion, pointing Arizona in one particular direction.

John Manuel, Baseball America - Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt

"Industry sources indicate Arizona whittled its list down to three players in the last week: Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson, Illinois lefthander Tyler Jay and Georgia prep catcher Tyler Stephenson. After his SEC tournament performance, Swanson has separated himself from the college-hitter pack and is the safest bet of the group, but I continue to hear persistent talk the D-backs prefer a college starter. If that holds, they’ll take Jay, but right now the talk is stronger that they’ll take Swanson"

Jonathan Mays, MLB.com - Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt

"The buzz surrounding Swanson in this top spot does have some legs, and it would be foolish to dismiss it. It would also be wrong to consider it a slam dunk at this point, with the D-backs still exploring several options, including bringing Georgia high school catcher Tyler Stephenson in for a workout."

Kiley McDaniel, Fangraphs - Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt

McDaniel hasn't changed his selection, but now seems a good deal more certain this is the player whom the Diamondbacks will choose, saying "the #1 pick has gone from toss-up to well over [a] 50% chance. Indeed, he goes on to estimate an 80% chance Arizona takes Swanson, because "the industry consensus has pegged him as the top player in the class, especially after a scorching finish to the season." McDaniel names CF Garrett Whitley as "the most likely backup option," if the team wants to go cheap, but points out that with Arizona not picking again until $43 and #76. they have no way to be sure the players they want will still be available

David Rawnsley, CNNSI.com - Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt

Rawnsley seems a little less certain, saying that between the nature of the talent in this year's class, with no obvious standout, and the lack of track record for the new Arizona front-office, "That combination makes pinning things down near impossible." However, he tends to think Swanson as well: "The potential for the Diamondbacks to cut a well-under-slot deal here and save millions from their bonus pool to spend later is also an attractive and realistic variable. Swanson's combination of middle infield defensive tools, strong offensive skills (.350/.438/.654 this season) and overall polish make him a strong possibility to be first off the board."

Keith Law, ESPN [subscription required] - Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt

Law has not heard anything out of the team itself, saying Arizona has been "keeping a tight lid on it", but the industry consensus according to him, is that, "Everyone I've talked to about it says they're taking Swanson -- or at least they say that's who I should have them taking in the mock." He notes that the team has also kicked the tires on a number of other players - in particular, Dillon Tate, Tyler Jay, Tyler Stephenson and Garrett Whitley.

Halos Heaven mock draft consensus - Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt

Detecting a theme yet? This isn't a draft itself, but a consensus list based on others. The author says, "I've seen over forty mock drafts from various sources at this point, and through a little spreadsheet wonkery, I've pulled the most recent sweet sixteen (basically those that seemed reasonably credible and published in the past two weeks) into my grid and produces a simplish weighted average that tweaks a little for recency and frequency of occurrence." Swanson, Brendan Rodgers and Tate come out on top, all with an average rank between two and three, with no-one else scoring better than six. Which basically means, it'll be a big shock if we don't go for one of that trio.

Finally, not a draft as such either, but scouting director Deric Ladnier spoke to Fox Sports Arizona about his drafting philosophy. While nothing particularly relates to who our first selection will be, there are some interesting nuggets here:

  • "In no circumstances have we been told or asked to try to save money with the first pick. We are going to take who we think is the best player for this organization and try to negotiate the best deal that we can for this organization."
  • "If there are two players that are of equal ability and one is a college player and one is a high school player, I can assure you I will take the college player, simply because of the time frame in which it is going to take them to get there and ultimately become the same player."
  • "We'll take more pitchers, I'll promise you that. We usually do, simply because you need more pitchers."
  • "A player will tell you stuff about himself without ever opening his mouth, and that is by the way he plays the game. You literally watch everything they do. You talk to people. You watch how he handles failure. One of the greatest things that a scout can do, [is] to see how does this player under adversity respond."