Today is the deadline to sign all the players selected in the 2022 MLB Draft. The Arizona Diamondbacks boasted the second largest draft pool due to having the 2nd overall selection.
Here’s how the D-backs spent their bonus pool:
Landon Sims, Demetrio Crisantes, and Spencer Giesting each got signing bonuses that exceeded their pick’s recommended slot value. Sims was a successful college reliever that blew out his arm just three starts into the college season. A bulldog on the mound with two 70-grade pitches (fastball and slider), the development of a change-up would change his projection into a near surefire starter. Crisantes was a local selection out of Nogales, AZ and required to go nearly $200K over slot to sign away from the University of Arizona. Giesting was a college sophomore who showed considerable improvement, but still raw with command. As a draft eligible sophomore, it would take only one good year to catapult into potential first night selection in 2023.
Druw Jones, Dylan Ray, and Adrian Rodriguez each signed for full freight for their selected picks. Jones was an obvious no-brainer as arguably the top talent in the draft on the board, as he signed within a week of the draft’s conclusion. Ray was a reliever for Alabama who had an inconsistent Spring but catapulted up the boards when pitching at the Cape. I don’t know if the D-backs’ intention is to convert him to a starter, but he could quickly move up the system if they keep him in the bullpen. Rodriguez is a shortstop out of Puerto Rico that may be a mid-round steal.
All the team’s other college picks were well under slot, starting with Ivan Melendez at 43. Melendez is a first baseman with light-tower power, a decent batting eye, and good mobility to play solid defense. His scouting report reminds me a bit of Paul Goldschmidt, although I want to iterate I’m not making a one-to-one comparison between the two. Savino is a lefty who has good pitching acumen, but the lack of power stuff may result in him moving to the bullpen like Andrew Chafin. Andrew Pintar is a buy-low candidate in the middle infield that missed all of 2022 after a strong 2021 season that might have put him in late first night territory had he been healthy.
The D-backs were able to sign all their picks from the 1st to 11th round, but will see all four of their high school picks in the 12th round or later move on to college. Malachi Witherspoon, Aiva Arquette, Gavin Turley, and Riley Kelly will honor their commitments to Jacksonville, Washington, Oregon State, and California-Irvine instead of going pro.
It will take years before we see any of these players in the big leagues, as it takes good luck, health, and development habits to get there. I’m confident their top three selections from this year’s class will get there given the high makeup and ability to perform in pressure-packed and hostile environments.