D-backs Target Athleticism, Pitching In First Two Days of Draft

The Arizona Diamondbacks just wrapped up their second day of the MLB Draft, taking 11 players:

Matt McLain – SS – Beckman HS (CA)
Jake McCarthy – OF – University of Virginia
Alek Thomas – OF – Mt. Carmel HS (IL)
Jackson Goddard – RHP – Kansas University
Ryan Weiss – RHP – Wright State University
Matt Mercer – RHP – University of Oregon
Ryan Miller – RHP – Clemson University
Travis Moths – RHP – Tennessee Tech University
Levi Kelly – RHP –  IMG Academy (FL)
Tyler Holton – LHP – Florida State University
Nick Dalesandro – C – Purdue University

Day 1 was all about athleticism for the Diamondbacks’ selections, including Jake McCarthy, who one analyst called a “left-handed A.J. Pollock.”

“We talked about it and last year we went after thumpers on the corners and obviously Dalton Varsho behind the plate, really valued his bat highly as well,” Diamondbacks scouting director Deric Ladnier said Monday night.

“We did want to increase the speed within our system and the athletic ability within our system. I think this draft really balances out last year’s draft, quite frankly. And now you have a good core of corner guys, you have a good core of the middle guys, and I think it was a very balanced for our philosophy over the last couple of years.”

Ladnier said after the second round he thought there would be a run on pitching in Day 2 across the board, and the Snakes certainly added to that trend, selecting pitchers with seven of Tuesday’s eight picks.

“College pitching was most of the picks with the exception of Levi Kelley, who was the high school player that we selected that we had a chance to watch a lot this spring,” Ladnier said.

“All the guys we took are strong bodied guys. We did take a couple of seniors to help with some signability. For the most part, power arms with the exception of Tyler Holton, who is the unique situation. He had Tommy John so he won’t be able to pitch until probably April of next year. We knew that going in and he’s somebody we’ve seen for a long time and is a very, very good pitcher in the ACC and we feel he has upside to start and was fortunate to get him in the ninth round.”

The MLB Draft concludes on Wednesday.