In what may be one of the deepest drafts in nearly a decade, one of the early takeaways is the sheer number of high-ceiling starting pitcher prospects. These are players who I expect to have a really good shot of going in the first round of this year’s draft.
- Emerson Hancock, RHP, University of Georgia
- Asa Lacey, LHP, Texas A&M University
- Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (Refugio, TX)
- Reid Detmers, LHP, University of Louisville
- J.T. Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State University
- Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (Portland, OR)
- Max Meyer, RHP, University of Minnesota
- Garrett Crochet, LHP, University of Tennessee
- Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn University
- Victor Mederos, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy (Miami, FL)
From this group of pitchers, at least half and potentially up to two-thirds of this list will likely be taken off the board before the Diamondbacks pick at 18th overall. All of them throw at least mid 90s and have at least one plus off-speed delivery to pair with that heater. The overabundance of quality arms in the draft could lead to one of two effects: either teams try to snatch up these pitchers as soon as possible or they elect to snatch up some of the high ceiling bats knowing they have a strong chance at a quality arm with their next pick. It will be interesting to see how the board folds as we get closer to the draft process.
Under Hazen, the team has spent the majority of their Day 1 draft picks on position players with three of those selections have gone on to receive Top 100 prospect honors. In the most recent draft, the team took four pitchers in a row on the first day of the draft. The team has at least one decent or better pitching prospect at every level in their system right now, but what they lack is a prospect who could develop into a top of the rotation arm. The system is littered with #3/4 type starters with a couple having #2 starter ceilings if things go correctly. Landing one of the aforementioned arms could significantly boost the team’s system from the pitching side.