3rd round: RHP Jon Duplantier, Rice
Bit of a surprise Duplantier was still around: John Sickels reckoned, "He shouldn't last past the second round and could still go late in the first or in the compensation round." Looks like potential health issues may have scared off earlier suitors, as he missed all of 2015 with a sore shoulder. He didn't need surgery, and recently said he believes the time away helped improve his mechanics. "He tweaked his delivery and incorporated different exercises tailored to his pitching motion. [Rice coach Wayne[ Graham said that Duplantier’s delivery was at times a bit exaggerated — "flinging it" he called it — and contributed to the shoulder problems. When he tightened his motion, he actually improved both velocity and consistency."
According to Sickels, "His fastball has picked up since high school and now runs 91-96 MPH, with movement. He also has a plus curveball and a change-up that can be solid-average with a little more development. His athleticism, makeup and mound presence are those of a major league starter; the main weakness in his skill set is command, which can be inconsistent. His stuff has been so good that college hitters struggle to square him up, but some control tightening will be needed at higher levels." If he can stay healthy, sounds like there is plenty of upside there - but that is certainly not an insignificant "if".
4th round: RHP Curtis Taylor, University of British Columbia
Are the D-backs going to relocate to Vancouver? That's two of our first four picks coming from North of the border, Taylor following C Andrew Yerzy. Curtis is a solid guy, listed at 6'6" tall, and anywhere up to 225 lbs in weight. CBS Sports were uncertain whether he can stick as a starter, thinking he needs a better change-up for that to happen, but said of Taylor, "He has a big fastball from a low three-quarters arm slot, which helps give his heater some late run. His slider needs some refinement, but given his fastball and size, if he can turn that slide piece into a plus offering, his ceiling would continue to creep up." Here's the moment when his selection was announced, as Curtis watched with his family.
5th round: 3B Joey Rose, Toms River North
Rose moved up the draft rankings thanks to an impressive 2016 campaign: he batted .437 and hit a school-record eleven home-runs for Toms River, with a monstrous .615 on-base percentage and 1.015 SLG. He has committed to play baseball at Oklahoma State, but Rose's reaction on Twitter [he's @The_Rose_Petals] made it seem more likely that he's going to turn professional, saying "Blessed to have been picked by @Dbacks! West Coast here I come." He also said, "I want to go out there and play as soon as I can. I know it’s a process, so I’m just going to stay ready. I’m just going to enjoy the time with my family and talk it over with them and my adviser." Here's Rose in action:
6th round: LHP Mack Lemieux, Palm Beach CC
Lemieux was a 14th-round pick last year for the Washington Nationals, but did not sign. Beyond that, not got too much more on him (yes, we're drifting outside the area where prospects tend to have received much in the way of public scouting) - he was 3-3 with a 2.79 ERA for Palm Beach this year, with 63 strikeouts over 67.2 innings of work. Here's some video of Lemieux in action.
7th round: LHP Jordan Watson, U Science & Arts Oklahoma
This is not exactly a baseball powerhouse, with Watson being far and away the earliest player drafted from it, by quite some way - the other three were no earlier than the 29th round. He went 10-2 with 176 strikeouts for the Drovers, and helped take the college to the NAIA College World Series for the first time. They lost both games there, but Watson struck out 15 over eight innings of one-run ball in his start (a 2-1 loss), though also walked seven.
8th round: C Ryan January, San Jacinto College North
January played catcher and outfielder, batting .339 over 59 games, with ten home-runs for an under-the-radar school which has given the baseball world Roger Clemens, Brandon Belt and Andy Pettitte. Assistant coach Jimmy Durham said in March, "He’s just an amazing athlete and he’s got a lot of baseball in front of him to be played. Size wise (6'3", 200 lbs), he’s a prototypical guy for the next level," and has been impressed by January's defensive strides. Baseball Prospectus's Adam McInturff called him, "Projectable-framed, tall left-handed hitter w/ long, fast swing and good raw power."
9th round: RHP Tommy Eveld, U South Florida
Currently the closer for the South Florida Bulls, but he was a relative late-comer to baseball, partly through mostly having been a football player, partly due to tearing his ACL twice on that field. It's a weird but interesting story, which has seen Eveld blossom: "His fastball can hit the upper 90s. His slider has evolved into his bread-and-butter pitch. He can even dust off a decent changeup." At least his arm should have plenty of bullets left, basically not having thrown from 2010 to 2015.
10th round: OF Stephen Smith, Texas Tech
Smith reached the Little League World Series in 2007 as a 12-year-old with the Western All-Stars. They beat the last AZ team to qualify, Chandler, and finished third, Smith being starting pitcher when they lost to eventual champions Warner Robins. He also made it to the College World Series in his freshman year with Texas Tech and might go back there; they face East Carolina in a Super Regional play-off this weekend. Smith has hit .325 so far, with 10 HR and an OPS of .973.