I’ve previously detailed different mock draft scenarios, thinking about potential possibilities for the Diamondbacks. I’ve compiled all the scenarios on a spreadsheet for easy viewing. The three rows at the bottom show which players I would pick in that scenario, what the page’s consensus pick was in the polls, and the player I expect the Diamondbacks to draft.
My current Top 10 ranked players on the draft board are:
- Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS (CA)
- Royce Lewis, SS/OF, Jesuit Serra HS (CA)
- Mackenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS (NC)
- Brendan McKay, 1B/LHP, Louisville
- J.B. Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina
- Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt
- Austin Beck, OF, North Davidson HS (NC)
- Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia
- Alex Faedo, RHP, Florida
- Pavin Smith, 1B, Virginia
Since there are 10 prospects and only a maximum of 6 of them will come off the draft board, the Diamondbacks will pick from at least 4 of these players. There’s always the possibility another team goes under slot and that increases to 5 players and one of the Top 6 players guaranteed to be on the board. I don’t envision the Diamondbacks taking an under slot pick unless they really don’t like Beck, Haseley, Faedo, and Smith.
For the Diamondbacks these are good scenarios:
- Padres, Rays, and/or Braves go under slot pick. That guarantees JBB, Lewis, or Gore makes it to the 7th pick. Whoever is left goes to the Dbacks.
- Oakland passes on who’s left between JBB, Lewis, or Gore anyway. We should thank the baseball gods if that happens.
These are the bad, and by bad I mean not ideal, scenario:
- Greene, McKay, Wright, JBB, Lewis, and Gore go Top 6. That forces the Diamondbacks to have to weigh risk vs. talent.
- Diamondbacks pass on any of the Top 6 players on my board. However, I view this as unlikely because Deric Ladnier isn’t an idiot and Mike Hazen is not going to force him to pick a certain way like Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart did the last two years.
With the draft board and the good/bad scenarios established, time to get to what you really came for and that’s the mock draft.
- Twins: Brendan McKay, 1B, Louisville. The Twins elect to go for best bat in the draft because of the bevy of pitching prospects in their system. McKay has an open path to 1B in the Twins organization, and the DH is another way to get his bat in the lineup.
- Reds: Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS. Thrilled that Greene made it out of the Top 2, the Padres waste little time to announce the pick. Greene throws upper 90s with the fastball and while his secondaries lag the fastball, he has big time upside and very little risk of not making it in a rotation. Doesn’t turn 18 until August.
- Padres: Mackenzie Gore, LHP, Whiteville HS. Gore is easily the top player remaining at this pick and while the Padres already have a lot of high upside pitching in their minor league system, Gore is a special talent and the best chance of developing into an Ace. Despite being young, he is very advanced on the mound and doesn’t need as much development time as your typical HS pick.
- Rays: Royce Lewis, OF, Jesuit Serra HS. Lewis is listed as a shortstop, but I believe he’ll end up in the outfield. Lewis has the tools to be a great hitter and elite defender in the outfield although it would be interesting to see how he plays with defensive wizard Kevin Kiermaier in the Rays outfield.
- Braves: Kyle Wright, RHP, Vanderbilt: I could see the Braves going under slot with Austin Beck here, but I think they’ll instead go for the potential Ace pitcher in Kyle Wright. Wright on his best days will have 2 plus pitches, but the fastball is the only consistent pitch for him right now. Has a feel for a 4-pitch mix, but isn’t as developed as the other college prospects. Mechanics are good overall, maybe incorporate the lower half a bit more.
- A’s: JB Bukauskas, RHP, North Carolina. The A’s hit on Sonny Gray a few years ago and history may repeat itself in 2017. JBB has two plus pitches and a 3rd pitch that flashes above average. However, there are notable concerns in his delivery that could lead to shoulder and elbow problems if not addressed.
- Dbacks: Adam Haseley, OF, Virginia. Haseley is not my favorite pick in this scenario, but the Diamondbacks can’t afford to miss this pick. At this point, the Diamondbacks are forced to weigh upside vs. risk and opt for the safer pick in Haseley, who had a phenomenal junior year in college. Haseley is a near sure bet to reach the majors and develop into an average starter. He lacks a plus tool, but doesn’t have any below average tools, which reminds me of another outfielder the Diamondbacks drafted in the first round 8 years ago.
Justification for the Adam Haseley pick
Even though my pick and the Snake Pit pick for this scenario was Austin Beck, I don’t see the Diamondbacks taking him at 7. It’s possible the Diamondbacks may be turned off by the fact that Beck struggled against advanced pitching when using the wood bats. I’ve already noted his swing already has a minor mechanical flaw that gives him trouble on low pitches. The reason I can’t shake off the gut feeling that Haseley will go in this scenario is because he requires very little development as a hitter with a good approach at the plate already and the numbers to show it. I think the Dbacks play it safe at 7 with a more polished hitter in Haseley because they really can’t afford to miss the pick because it could set back the franchise another 3-4 years, which this current regime might not have.
Beck is more likely to develop into an All-Star, but less likely to reach the majors and develop into an above average starter in the outfield. If it comes down to Beck vs. Haseley for the 7th pick, I don’t think the Dbacks can make a wrong decision. There’s already a good chance they scouted him during their North Carolina trip to watch JBB in the ACC tournament. At the same time, they should have also gotten a good look at Haseley and are probably weighing options here. I do think Haseley does have the potential to develop into an All-Star because his tool set is very reminiscent of AJ Pollock’s where there’s no plus tool, but also no below average tool. In the pros, Haseley’s time and effort will go exclusively to hitting and playing center field.
Considering how good he’s been this year while splitting time as a pitcher, I do think his hit, power, and defense tool project to improve to near-plus with more reps. I have him arriving in Arizona either in late 2019 or June 2020. Pollock is expected to be long gone by then while Anfernee Grier and Marcus Wilson will be in AA at the time. Haseley is expected to go Top 10, but I do think the Diamondbacks can save about $0.5-1M relative to full slot for Haseley, who wouldn’t normally be a Top 10 pick in a draft with more depth.