Today is the third and final day of the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Unlike the first two days, rounds 11-40 fly by quickly, with a great deal less time on the clock for making selections. Also, unlike the first 10 rounds, three are no slot values attached to each pick. This allows teams to offer whatever they want to a player, so long as anything over $125,000 is able to be covered by money left over from the first 10 rounds of picks. Many teams use the 11th and 12th rounds to identify a top remaining prep talent that they want to give significant money to in order to lure the prepster away from their college commitment. With Arizona having such a large draft pool this year, they are a prime candidate to attempt just that.
Picks will be listed as they are made. Analysis and commentary will make its way into the postings throughout the day. A much fuller analysis of the entire draft, including comments from the Diamondbacks front office will then follow tomorrow morning.
Round 11/Pick 332: Nick Snyder - LHP, West Virginia
Round 12/Pick 362: Avery Short - LHP, Southport HS (IN)
Avery Short is a 6’1”, 208 lbs. left-handed pitcher out of Southport High School in Indiana who is currently committed to Louisville. He features a fastball, slider, curveball, change mix. His fastball currently sits 87-91 mph. His change will need so me work to differentiate it a bit more as it sits 81-83 mph. His curve is a solid second offering, that he throws about 75 mph. His slider will need to be tightened up some, but currently clocks at 7-80 mph. He pitched for the 18U Team USA National Team, making two starts and recording two wins.
Here’s what Baseball America has to say:
If anyone convinces Short to forgo his commitment to Louisville, it will mean that team is confident there’s more to come from a lefthander with a four-pitch mix. At his best, Short already shows a future plus curveball and a fastball that can touch 92 mph. But he doesn’t show that velocity consistently and has generally been sitting at a below-average 86-89 mph in the lead-up to the draft. Short also throws a developing slider and changeup. The changeup has some promise as it has solid drop near the plate. Scouts have differing opinions on Short’s remaining projection. Some see him as a safe bet to add several ticks to his fastball over the next few years, while others are more inclined to let him enroll at Louisville and check back in a few years to pay him a larger signing bonus if he keeps improving.
Round 13/Pick 392: Cam Coursey - 2B, Georgia Gwinnett College
Round 14/Pick 422: Lyle Lin - C, Arizona State University
Part of the offensive juggernaut that was Arizona State in 2019, the 6’1”, 201 lbs. catcher hails from Taipei, Taiwan. At age 20 and 21 in the Cape Cod League, Lin put up some solid, but unimpressive numbers. He was a sophomore eligible draft selection last year and was taken in the 29th round (882 overall) by the Houston Astros. Lin elected to return to Arizona State instead of signing with Houston and he has benefitted from it. After posting solid numbers at the plate as a Sophomore and throwing out 11/47 of would-be base-stealers, Lin put up even better numbers as a Junior for the Sun Devils.
After catching all 55 games in 2018, Lin split his time between DH and catcher for 50 games in 2019 during which he batted a solid .306/.347/.414 with 12 walks against 25 strikeouts. His walk percentage is not as high as some might like, but he shows good pitch recognition at the plate leading to some confidence that he will be able to improve what is already at least average plate discipline overall. Lin is a contact hitter who is difficult to strike out. The Diamondbacks will likely give him every opportunity to stick behind the plate where he could potentially develop into a solid big league back-up.
Round 15/Pick 452: Austin Pope - RHP, Fairfield University
Round 16/Pick 482: Brock Jones - LHP, William F. West HS (WA)
Round 17/Pick 512: Nick Grande - SS, SUNY Stony Brook
Round 18/Pick 542: Ricky Martinez - SS, Tennessee
Round 19/Pick 572: Noah Soles - CF, Ledford Senior HS (NC)
Round 20/Pick: 602: Jared Liebelt - RHP, Mississippi State (Senior)
Standing 6’1” and weighing in at 169 lobs. Liebelt is a right-handed reliever who profiles as a high leverage specialist. He throws a two-seam fastball in the low-to-mid 90s complements that with an above average sinker and also a slider and a change which both have flashed as solid-average pitches. Liebelt elected to complete his senior year for Mississippi State after having what can only be politely referred to as a horrible season for them his junior year. In 2018, the junior transfer student pitched to a gaudy 13.15 ERA in only 12 appearances. In the 2019 season, the Bulldogs could not be happier to have him pitching out of the bullpen. He is an entirely new pitcher. On the season, Liebelt made 30 appearances and pitched 49.1 innings, leading the team in both categories. He pitched to a 2.74 ERA and notched five saves. The biggest of these saves coming against rival Ole Miss, when he pitched a scoreless four innings in relief after the game was stopped by a fog delay. This season, Liebelt has become the arm that the team turns to in the highest leverage situations, as he has performed the job of fireman with great results. He’s done all of this pitching in the tough SEC. As a senior, Liebelt will be an easy sign if he wants to play and will cost essentially nothing in terms of bonus money. Look for Liebelt to be among those aggressively placed when sent to the minors.
Round 21/Pick 632: Dustin Lacaze - RHP, Texas A&M Corpus Christi
Round 22/Pick 662: Jonathan Stroman - RHP, Central Arizona College (JC2)
Round 23/Pick 692: Dane Acker - RHP, San Jacinto College North (JC1)
Round 24/Pick 722: Dylan Eskew - RHP, Sickles HS (FL) - Committed to University of Miami
Here’s what MLB has to say about Eskew:
No player from Sickles High School in Tampa, Florida, has ever made it to the big leagues, and only one has been drafted in the top 10 rounds (Kenny Wilson was a second-rounder in 2008). Eskew, a two-way player for his high school team, has the chance to join Wilson based on his mound work talent-wise, though signability could come into play. Eskew is a prototypical projection high school right-hander with a lot to dream on. Velocity-wise, his fastball is average now, up to 92-93 mph. Given his size and solid delivery, not to mention a focus on pitching only, it’s easy to envision him sitting in the mid 90s in the future. His fastball is largely straight, with a little run in on right-handed hitters, something that might be addressed if he drops his high arm angle a touch. At times, Eskew will show both a curve and a slider, but they tend to run into each other. He does have feel to spin, and it could end up being a better-than-average pitch once he hones in on one breaking ball. He doesn’t throw a changeup much but will show some feel for it in the bullpen. It’s a pitch he has the aptitude to learn. While he is raw, Eskew is a solid strike-thrower, though his command within the strike zone will need to be refined. Many scouts feel that, along with a sharpening of his stuff, will come with more innings and attention to pitching. Whether that happens in the Minor Leagues or at the University of Miami remains to be seen.
Round 25/Pick 752: Carson Maxwell - 3B, McNeese State (Senior)
Round 26/Pick 782: Seth Tomczak - RHP, Argonaut HS (CA)
Round 27/Pick 812: Josh McMinn - RHP, Oral Roberts (Senior)
Round 28/Pick 842: Denson Hull - LHP, Creighton (Senior)
Round 29/Pick 872: Tyler Poulin - RHP, Quinnipiac (Senior)
Round 30/Pick 902: Will Childers - RHP, Lakeside HS, GA
Round 31/Pick 932: Jerrion Ealy - CF, Jackson Prep School, MS
Round 32/Pick 962: Luke Waddell - 3B, Georgia Tech (Sophomore)
Round 33/Pick 992: Phillip Sikes, RHP, Pima CC (JC2)
Round 34/Pick 1022: Luke Bell, RHP, Seton Catholic HS, AZ
Round 35/Pick 1052: David Ramsey, RHP, Buford HS, GA
Round 36/Pick 1082: Kyle Smith, C, New Hanover HS, NC
Round 37/Pick 1112: Mason Greer, 2B, Colleyville Heritage HS, TX
Round 38/Pick 1142: Ryan Vanderhei, RHP, Estrella Foothills HS, AZ
Round 39/Pick 1172: Evan Vanek, RHP, Heritage HS, TX
Round 40/Pick 1202: Derek Diamond, RHP, Ramona HS, CA