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ESPN’s Law: D-backs had one of ‘favorite’ drafts

Arizona Diamondbacks’ scouting director Ray Montgomery is garnering praise for his work in last week’s First-Year Player Draft.

On Sunday, ESPN baseball analyst Keith Law called the Diamondbacks’ draft crop “one of his favorites,” breaking down their picks over a few paragraphs in an ESPN Insider piece.

Like most, Law considered the Diamondbacks’ selection of right-handed pitcher Braden Shipley at No. 15 overall one of the highlights of the first round.

I thought the Snakes got one of the best values in the first round when Nevada right-hander Braden Shipley fell to them after getting some top-10 buzz this spring; he’s a converted position player who’s only been on the mound for two years, touching 97 with a plus changeup and some feel for a curveball, along with a delivery that works.

And while many analysts fail to provide much insight past the first few rounds of the draft, which featured more than 1,200 picks, Law went on to praise the late-draft work of the Diamondbacks, beginning with Matt McPhearson, who the D-backs took at No. 120 overall.

Matt McPhearson (120) was one of the top position players on the showcase circuit last summer, showing a quick bat and plus speed, but his crude approach at the plate probably pushed him out of the top 100, where I think he represents great value.

The insider also mentioned that Daniel Gibson, a left-handed reliever from the University of Florida, and Jimmy Sherfy from the University of Oregon — picked 210th and 300th, respectively — could be in the majors relatively quickly.

Aaron Blair (No. 36), Justin Williams (No. 52), Daniel Palka (No. 88) and Jamie Westbrook (No. 150) didn’t get as positive reviews from Law, who concluded his assessment of the Diamondbacks’ picks by calling them “an up-and-down crop.”

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