The Diamondbacks didn’t have a first round pick due to signing Zack Greinke in the offseason, but they did make some solid, if not spectacular, picks in the draft. After last year’s draft was mostly filled with high-floor players that are almost sure MLB players, they opted for a bit more upside in this year’s draft. Barring any Day 3 surprises, we have a pretty good idea on who the organization values in the draft.
Best Pick: Anfernee Grier, OF, Auburn (CB-A/39th overall): Grier flashes above average tools across the board, most notably his speed on the field and on the basepaths. Grier had a monster junior campaign, hitting .366 with a .210 ISO, stole 19/24 bases, and played excellent CF defense for the Tigers. Grier has faced plenty of talented pitchers in the SEC, with Florida and Texas A&M getting their entire pitching staff drafted in the top 5 rounds. Grier posted solid numbers in conference play, finishing as a 1st Team All-SEC in addition to being a 1st Team All-American outfielder. As a prospect, I have to think he is the top position player in the organization and could finish the year in Class A Kane County with a potentially aggressive assignment such as Visalia in 2017. I have his MLB ETA as late 2018.
Best Value: Jon Duplantier, RHP, Rice (3rd/89 overall): Duplantier is a pitcher who has similar upside to Archie Bradley, although they were able to land him in the 3rd round this year. He has health and command issues, which is what dropped him from a surefire 1st round pick to a mid 3rd round pick this year. There are always concerns about workload when it comes to pitchers coming out of Rice University and Duplantier missed the entire 2015 season with shoulder problems. Duplantier features a low 90s fastball that tops out at 96 MPH with a lot of life on it and his delivery makes it difficult for hitters to pick up. He also flashes a plus curveball and has been working on a change-up recently. If he can stay healthy, he’s almost a surefire #2 starter in an MLB rotation.
Riskiest Pick: Andrew Yerzy, C, York Mills College Institute (2nd/54th overall): The Diamondbacks may have reached for Yerzy in the 2nd round as a below-slot guy when you take a look at the rest of their draft. Yerzy offers a strong left-handed bat, but there are legitimate questions about his ability to stick behind the plate although it’s unlikely to predict who will be on the big league club 5-6 years into the future. If Yerzy is unable to stick behind the plate, he profiles as a 1B/LF type where his value comes exclusively from his bat. As a catcher, he needs a lot of time developing defensively but the upside is left-handed power in the middle of the lineup in an important position. Best case scenario he turns into a player like Miguel Montero. Yerzy is only 17 years old, so there’s also the age factor with his development. Yerzy is a Notre Dame commit, but being a 2nd round pick likely has him going pro instead.
Most Curious Pick: Joey Rose, 3B, Tom’s River HS (5th/149th overall): Rose was a late-riser in the draft due to a spectacular senior season in HS where he hit .437 with 11 HR and 38 RBI. Rose played SS in high school, but the Diamondbacks are likely moving him to 3B where his power plays more. Rose is a Oklahoma State commit, although I think the Diamondbacks will have enough money to sign him away. Of their Top 10 picks, the other 9 are unlikely to be above slot guys and a couple of them are well below slot guys. There isn't a scouting report available, but Baseball America did list him as the 10th best prospect in the draft out of New Jersey.