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Introducing: Jackson Goddard

With their first pick on the second day of the draft, the Diamondbacks selected Jackson Goddard, a right-handed pitcher out of Kansas 99th overall.

Name: Jackson Goddard

Birthdate: 12 December 1996 (21)

Height: 6’ 3”

Weight: 229 lbs.

Position: RHP

Drafted: 3rd round (99th overall) from University of Kansas

What Baseball America has to say:

Goddard missed a month and a half of the season with a strained oblique muscle, but he got back on the mound in mid-May, when he reminded everyone why he’s an intriguing starting pitching prospect as he struck out the first seven batters he faced against Oklahoma State. When he’s locked in, Goddard can show three above-average pitches. He has a history of pitching his best against his toughest opponents. He struck out 13 while walking no one in a dominating outing as a sophomore against Oklahoma State, and was similarly effective against Oklahoma and TCU that year, but he ended the season with a 4.29 ERA because he struggled against West Virginia, Samford and Oral Roberts. Goddard’s 92-94 mph fastball plays as an above-average pitch and he pretty consistently has a plus changeup. His slider is less consistent but will also show signs of being an above-average pitch at its best. He struggles to stay in the strike zone consistently, but when he’s locked in, he can be great. Too often, however, he is working hard just to get through five innings.

What MLB has to say:

Goddard flashed top-two-rounds stuff as a sophomore and again during fall practice, but he missed six weeks after straining an oblique in early March. Inconsistency has plagued him during his college career and again since his return, though helped his Draft stock by pitching better toward season’s end. He’s likely to become Kansas’ earliest pick since the Pirates took Tom Gorzelanny in 2003’s second round. When he’s at his best, Goddard can display three plus pitches, starting with a 92-94 mph fastball that reaches 97 mph and features some run and sink. Hitters have a difficult time laying off his low-80s slider, giving him a second swing-and-miss pitch. There are times when his changeup is his most effective secondary offering, sitting in the low 80s with similar action to his heater. For all his stuff, Goddard has little track record of success or throwing strikes. His inability to get ahead in the count and locate his pitches makes him more hittable than he should be. He has some effort in his delivery and doesn’t always repeat it well, so he could wind up as a reliever.

Given that Jackson has already pitched a good deal this year and that he is also coming off of injury, it would be surprising to see him placed anywhere other than short-season ball after he signs. Given his age and experience, he should dominate that level of play, which may help his confidence when it comes to throwing pitches for strikes. Clearly, there is still some work to be done, especially in cleaning up his mechanics. If he is able to make this adjustment, then his command should clean up as well. Depending on how those adjustments go, Goddard could be a fast-riser in the system once the 2019 season rolls around.

The 99th pick comes with a slot value of $565,100. There should be no issues with regard to Goddard’s signability.