We’re still two weeks away from the MLB Draft and a lot of things can happen between now and then. To pass the time, I’ve elected to start writing up different draft-day scenarios and leaving it up to the readers to make a selection in the polls at the bottom of the post. To start things off, I’ll go with the worst case scenario where all of the players I have in my Top 6 are taken off the board. Here’s how this scenario unfolds:
- Twins: Kyle Wright, RHP Vanderbilt
- Reds: Brendan McKay, 1B, Louisville
- Padres: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (CA)
- Rays: Royce Lewis, SS, JSerra HS (CA)
- Braves: Mackenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (NC)
- Athletics: JB Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
If you’re the Diamondbacks, you’re probably looking at three possibilities. You either take best position player, best pitcher, or cut an under-slot deal at 7. So we’ll go through each of them.
Best Position Player Available: Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (NC)
If you’re chasing upside, the best player on the board at 7th overall is Austin Beck. Beck has more warts than other options at 7 like Adam Haseley or Pavin Smith, but Beck has the ceiling of an All-Star CF whereas Haseley and Smith are more likely to be above average starters than All-Stars. When handling more advanced pitching in wood bat leagues, Beck has struggled a bit, which could be why he is available at 7 unless a team in the Top 6 absolutely falls in love with him.
Beck will probably take 4 years to develop before he’s MLB ready, but has an advanced approach at the plate for a high school player. His draft stock has been on helium the last few months, going from a mid 1st to a surefire Top 10 pick. His tool set overall is all above average and project to have plus speed, plus arm, and plus power. If you’re looking for a 5-tool player, Beck likely offers the Dbacks their best chance to get one.
Best Pitcher Available: Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
Faedo presents a mix of moderate upside with low risk. Faedo fills the zone with strikes, using an average fastball with a bit of late sink to complement a plus slider. His ceiling is most likely that of a #2 starter, which is why the Dbacks might be inclined to pass on him at 7 unless they fall in love with him. Faedo is more about throwing strikes over commanding the ball to the edges of the plate, so he is prone to getting hit a bit more than you’d expect. Considering there are other options available with similar upside they can cut an under-slot deal with, I’m not inclined to want that pick now.
If the Dbacks do pick Faedo, he’s pretty much a safe projection for an MLB rotation with likely to end up as a #3 starter. He’s battle-tested in one of the tougher conferences in college baseball, and there is a good chance he reaches the majors by the end of the 2019 season. If you’re looking for security over upside, Faedo makes the most sense at 7 in this particular scenario.
More reading: The Bard’s Take on Alex Faedo
Let’s say the Dbacks don’t like Austin Beck at 7 and are willing to cut a deal and use those savings with their 2nd round (44) and Competitive Balance B (68) picks. The team could zero in on college bats like Adam Haseley and Pavin Smith or go after HS arms like D.L. Hall. I’ve already talked about Haseley and Smith, who I mentioned earlier are an example of trading upside for less risk in both cases. For the sake of the poll, I will leave those two out of the options and go with D.L. Hall as the under-slot option to vote on.
Hall is a bit undersized at 6’1” 180, but commands three pitches fairly well. He has a very good fastball-curveball combination, the latter being a 70-grade pitch and what he uses to get outs with. Hall is athletic and repeats his delivery well, but still needs more consistency developing his change-up. Hall isn’t as polished as Mackenzie Gore is, but has no extra risk than him in terms of developing into an MLB starter. Hall’s upside is that of a middle of the rotation (#2/3) starter and I like him better as an under-slot option better than taking Faedo at 7.
The Diamondbacks in this case should go for upside with Beck instead of opting for security over upside unless it’s an under-slot deal. Beck gives the Dbacks the best chance for a superstar in this scenario. If they do go under-slot, Hall makes more sense than Faedo because of similar upside whereas Hall is 3 years younger.
In this scenario, which player would you take 7th overall?
This poll is closed
Best Player Available: Austin Beck
Best Pitcher Available: Alex Faedo
Under-Slot: D.L. Hall
Best College Player Available: Adam Haseley