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Arizona Diamondbacks select Arkansas OF Dominic Fletcher with the 75th pick

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The Dbacks pick up a potential 4th outfielder type from the college ranks

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arkansas vs Oregon State Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-L

Baseball America:

Fletcher has been making highlight-reel catches for three years at Arkansas while providing a steady bat for one of the best teams in college baseball. But as much as evaluators admire his production at Arkansas, they aren’t really sure how well his tools will translate in pro ball. As impressive as Fletcher’s routes and reads are—and they are some of the best in college baseball—he’s a fringe-average runner. Most scouts see him moving to a corner outfield spot in pro ball, but he does have a plus arm that could handle a move to right field. At the plate, Fletcher has short arms and a simple, contact-oriented approach. He has strength, as his massive forearms attest, but his swing produces gap power rather than home runs. Scouts project a fringe-average hitter with fringe-average power, and he’s not particularly patient at the plate. He generates plenty of contact, but doesn’t wait long enough in at-bats to draw the walks that would boost his on-base percentage.

James’ Takeaway: Fletcher matches the model that the Mike Hazen front office has shown they like in their backup outfielders. He is a guy who plays outstanding defense and can play all three outfield positions. He has enough arm he can play in RF, which is where he likely ends up long-term. Despite his great instincts, and superior route running, he is not fleet of foot. The massive outfields of the NL West may prove a bit of a challenge for him if he were slotted there full-time rather than as the team’s 4th OF. With average tools across the board on the offensive side, he’s going to need to rely on his plus defense to help him climb the minor league ranks. If he can learn some plate discipline, there is some power there to be tapped into that he is not currently taking advantage of.

Mike’s Thoughts:

Thanks to the Paul Goldschmidt trade, the Diamondbacks were able to make consecutive picks in the Competitive Balance B round. With the second pick, they went with another potential underslot college talent with Dominic Fletcher. Dominic is Angels infielder David Fletcher’s younger brother, and projects to be a 4th outfielder type with plus defense.

Upside

Fletcher doesn’t offer any premium tools overall. While he doesn’t have great speed, he reads the ball off the bat fairly well as a defender to get jumps. The ability to handle different outfield positions defensively gives him a 4th outfielder profile, although there are questions to how much value he provides with the bat. His swing is oriented towards more ground balls and line drives vs. fly balls due to the lack of raw power, so he’s likely going to be a bottom of the order hitter when pressed into duty.

Concerns

Due to the lack of above average physical tools, Fletcher is a tough projection as an everyday player. While his baseball IQ is excellent on the defensive side of the ball, the lack of upside as a hitter will limit him as a bench player at the major league level.

ETA

His ability to arrive in the majors will depend on his ability to hit. Fletcher probably will see work in either Hillsboro or Missoula, depending on who else they pick up in the draft to see how well he can swing the bat. Best case scenario he starts 2020 in Kane County and moves up 1 level a year before hitting the majors in 2023.