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Arizona Diamondbacks select Washington prep OF Corbin Carroll with the 16th overall pick

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Dbacks go for a small and speedy OF prospect from the prep ranks.

The Diamondbacks once again continue to prioritize bats, selecting Washington prep OF Corbin Carroll, who quickly became the consensus mock pick for the Dbacks at 16th overall. Carroll has good speed and contact skills, although his ceiling will be determined by what extra base hit power he can provide. He comes with a similar size and skill profile to Alek Thomas, who the Dbacks took 62nd overall in last year’s draft. Carroll is committed to play for UCLA, but with a $16M pool it shouldn’t be too difficult for the Dbacks to be able to sign him away from that commitment.

Below are the entries from Baseball America and Fangraphs

Baseball America:

Carroll wowed scouts all summer by dominating at the plate in almost every high-profile event he attended. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound outfielder plays above his size in every facet of the game. He has a polished hit tool and a terrific feel for the strike zone with a patient approach in the batter’s box. Carroll has no problem spitting on pitches just outside the zone and taking a walk, and then he can wreck havoc with his plus speed and advanced feel for running the bases. While Carroll is short, he isn’t small, with a solid frame and improved strength to the point where he could project for at least average power. Carroll’s speed plays in the outfield as well, where he is one of the best defensive center fielders in the class. Scouting directors voted Carroll as best prep defender in the class during the preseason thanks to excellent jumps and efficient route running. Some teams question his arm strength, and it was previously fringe-average, though reports on his throwing this spring have continued to improve as he’s gotten stronger. There are very few holes to speak of in Carroll’s game, although his size and some of the comparisons he’s gotten to Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak, who has struggled since being the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, might give some teams pause. Still, Carroll has shown more impact ability than Moniak did at the same age. He is also praised for his excellent makeup, high baseball IQ and impressive work ethic.

Fangraphs:

Carroll was electric during his showcase summer, displaying consistent, high-quality, all-fields contact and surprising power. In addition to having plus pure speed, which will enable him to stay in center field, Carroll is also a sly, instinctive baserunner who presses action. He doesn’t run on many balls and probably won’t hit for home run power without a significant swing adjustment, which it may not be pertinent to make because Carroll is such a good hitter. He has a small, narrow frame that concerns some teams, but we think the requisite strength to make hard contact and stand up to a 162-game grind is present.

James’ Takeaway: If Carroll was 6’ 1” or taller, he would have gone in the top 10 and it wouldn’t have surprised anyone. The Diamondbacks are banking on the notion that his lack of physical size is not going to work against him. He is more of a gap power hitter than a home run hitter, but with his speed, that could actually be a very good thing.

Upside

Carroll is a guy whose speed and arm translate to left and center field. With the size of Chase Field, they will need someone who can cover a lot of territory defensively. Carroll profiles as a top of the order hitter who will hit for a very high average, put up strong OBP numbers, and steal a lot of bases. He has solid pop to the gaps, although his HR power could determine a potential ceiling as a hitter as the rest of his game is excellent.

Carroll projects as an everyday CF with potential All-Star upside if he can produce 20+ home runs. Otherwise I see him as a .300/.380/.450 guy with 30 SB potential and elite CF defense in the best case scenario.

Concerns

Carroll measures in at 5’10” 160, which is probably why he fell out of the Top 10. The power moving forward is a total projection although given the quality swing path and plate discipline for his age, there may be more pop in that bat when he fills out to 180+. That isn’t a complete concern as Andrew Benintendi, who measures in at 5’9” 170 and gets the most comparisons to Carroll, has developed into a quality outfielder for the Red Sox.

ETA

Most likely we won’t see Carroll in a Dbacks uniform until at least the 2023 season. I think he’ll see time between the Arizona League affiliate and Missoula. I expect him to be on a similar track as Thomas, who started his first full season in Kane County.