The Diamondbacks could be in a situation where the All-Star talent comes off the board, leaving them to pick either high floor-medium ceiling guys or high ceiling-high risk guys. So it could come down to the Diamondbacks considering whether to pick Alex Faedo if they prefer a pitcher at 7. Personally I don’t think they’ve given any hints towards doing so, but you never know with the draft.
Faedo features a low 90s fastball with some sink to it, a wipeout slider, and a change-up that flashes average. Overall, his stuff profiles as a middle of the rotation (#2/3) starter, with very little risk that he turns into something lesser other than the potential risk for injury. If the Diamondbacks want to take the safe pick, I wouldn’t blame them although Faedo doesn’t present as strong a cost-savings at 7 as other potential players.
Fastball: The fastball sits low 90s, can occasionally pump it up to 94-95. Has a bit of arm-side run, which complements his breaking pitches very well. Needs to use it aggressively down in the strike zone to get ground ball outs and set up his other pitches, which should play well off the 2-seam fastball. Grade: 55/60
Slider: This will be the one pitch that decides his career. The slider, which sits in the low to mid 80s, has plus-plus ability, mostly settles in the plus range. If he’s able to command the fastball on the edges of the strike zone, it makes the slider a true knockout pitch and rack up a lot of swinging strikes. Grade: 60/70
Change-Up: Due to the slider, Faedo hasn’t been too reliant on the change-up, but on days he doesn’t have his slider he’ll need that pitch to get lefties out. It’s a pitch that flashes average and with more innings should work on that pitch so he’s not forced to develop it at the MLB level and it gets hit hard there. Grade: 45/55
Command: Faedo fills the strike zone with his fastball, opting to throw strikes to get ahead of hitters and set up his slider. He’ll need to learn to throw strikes closer to the edges of the plate when he faces more advanced hitters. Overall still a lot to like. Grade: 55/60
Risk: When it comes to risk with Faedo, it all stems of the possibility of injuries. He’s already gotten arthroscopic surgeries on both of his knees, so it could be either a growth plate or his mechanics causing that problem. If it’s the latter, that’s a giant red flag for any team picking him in the draft. If the Diamondbacks pick him, the delivery needs to be improved and Faedo putting in work in the weight room to build a stronger lower half. Another issue I have is when he hunches over as he’s turning back towards the hitter, which could cause potential elbow, shoulder, and back problems down the road. I don’t think he’s as big a risk for injury as J.B. Bukauskas but there is enough to be concerned about.
Faedo is close to a sure thing in the draft, which is why he’ll end up in the Top 10. He’s almost already good enough to pitch in the majors and at worst likely settles into a middle of the rotation starter. The Diamondbacks farm system lacks even that type of pitcher in their farm, with their top pitching prospect projecting as a bottom of the rotation starter. However, Faedo doesn’t come with significant cost savings with the 7th pick since he’s a projected Top 10 pick either. I get a Tyson Ross vibe from him, both the good and bad.