Carlos Collazo of Baseball America has released his latest mock draft (Version 5.0) and have expanded the mock to include the picks from the Competitive Balance A Round. That means we’ll get to see two mock selections for the Arizona Diamondbacks, at 18 and 33.
Here’s how it turned out:
18. Cade Cavalli, RHP, University of Oklahoma
In this scenario the Diamondbacks don’t get either Crow-Armstrong or Hassell, two sweet-swinging center fielders who fit their typical profile. Perhaps in that scenario they pivot to one of the better college arms available in Cavalli, who has been mentioned in the 10-12 range at times.
As mentioned in the snippet, Crow-Armstrong and Hassell don’t make it to the Diamondbacks pick at 18, although I wouldn’t be convinced the Diamondbacks take either guy given their redundancy to previous Day 1 selections Daulton Varsho, Alek Thomas, and Corbin Carroll. Cavalli makes more sense if available to the D-backs at 18 given the team’s starting pitcher depth in the system are mostly #3-5 starters in a contender’s rotation. I have him as one of ten players to watch for at the D-backs top selection in the draft. I’m a bit skeptical that he’ll be available at 18 in the first place as I believe one team in the 10-15 range will fall in love with the upside.
Taking Cavalli would give the team a shot at unlocking a #1 or #2 starter, although he comes with two significant red flags. The first red flag is the injuries, with back problems that affected him as a high school senior and a stress reaction in his pitching arm that shut him down for three weeks in the 2019 college season. The other major concern is he gives up far too many hits for a guy with the caliber of pitches he possesses. That likely has to do with there being very little deception in his delivery, which allows hitters to be able to spot the pitches and adjust. His overall delivery is very smooth and repeatable, so there is a solid base and the solution to that problem may be simply to adjust his positioning on the rubber to change the angle of where these pitches are coming from.
Cavalli is one of the few arms in this draft to offer potential #1 starter upside that could be available to the D-backs. His plus fastball/curveball combination projects to generate a lot of whiffs, although he also can command an above-average slider and change-up.
33. Isaiah Greene, OF, Corona HS (CA)
We didn’t give Arizona a hitter-first outfielder with their first pick, but many scouts don’t see a ton separating Greene from Crow-Armstrong. Greene showed terrific bat-to-ball skills against Team USA last summer and is a plus runner with a chance to be a good center fielder.
As the snippet eludes to, the D-backs past history with prep outfielders is a big reason for this pick. Greene offers quality value in a draft deep with center field profiles and wouldn’t be a difficult sign for the 33rd pick, possibly even go under slot and the team can spend their savings at 90. Greene projects to be an above-average to even plus hitter with growing power in a 6’1” 180 frame. He has the foot speed and athleticism to stick in center field, which would give the D-backs a 3rd high upside center field option in the system.
My biggest concern with this pick is simply that Greene is redundant to the biggest strength in the system: left/left outfielders who have strong hit and run tools that project good power down the road. Too much of the same thing will create a long term problem, although the organization can utilize the surplus players in the system to improve the MLB club in other ways.
My overall impressions are mixed, although I would probably do cartwheels, albeit not live, if the D-backs landed Cavalli at 18 and would be a little disappointed with Greene at 33 given potential opportunity costs to improve the left side of the infield.
Previous Baseball America mock drafts:
1.0 - Austin Wells, C, University of Arizona
2.0 - Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence HS (TN)
3.0 - Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence HS (TN)
4.0 - Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)