D-backs go pitcher-heavy in second day of the MLB Draft

Jun 5, 2018, 11:11 AM | Updated: 4:47 pm
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)...
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)
(Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)

Arizona began the 2018 draft by selecting high school shortstop Matt McLain with the 25th overall pick on Monday and followed by taking outfielder Jake McCarthy out of Virginia with the 39th selection.

Having spent Day 1 of the 2018 MLB Draft adding position players, the D-backs used Day 2 to add some more arms, selecting a total of seven pitchers, and one catcher, on Tuesday.

“(We) targeted some pitching in the early portion of the draft,”  amateur scouting director Deric Ladnier said following Day 2.

Here is a look at the selections from Day 2 and thoughts from Ladnier:

RHP Jackson Goddard – Third Round (99th overall)

The 108th-ranked prospect, according to, Goddard had an inconsistent career with the Kansas Jayhawks.

He went 5-1 with a 4.10 ERA in 10 starts last season and improved upon his opponent batting average that was .441 as a freshman and .274 as a sophomore, bringing it down to .240 this past season.

Goddard has a 92-94 mph fastball that can top out at 97 mph with movement, but he struggled in his college career to throw strikes, according to his prospect profile. His low-80s slider is a swing-and-miss pitch and he also utilizes a changeup in the low 80s.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound pitcher could end up being a reliever because of his inconsistent delivery, according to MLB’s profile.

He is slotted to make approximately $565,000 if he signs his MLB contract.

RHP Ryan Weiss – Fourth Round (129th overall)

Weiss, the 159th-ranked prospect, had a solid sophomore season with Wright State.

He went 9-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 16 starts (98.0 innings pitched), striking out 92 in the process. He also recorded one save.

During his freshman year, Weiss went 8-1 with a 2.13 ERA in 14 starts. He struck out 80 batters.

After hitting the mid-80s with his fastball in high school, Weiss has elevated his game, throwing 91-93 mph and reaching 96 with his heater, according to his prospect profile. At 6-foot-4, Weiss has a nearly overhand delivery and his heater arrives to the plate on a steep downhill plane. He throws his changeup with the same arm speed and has seen flashes of it becoming a solid pitch.

According to his prospect profile, His curveball isn’t as reliable as his other pitches, but has the chance of becoming an average third pitch. He can fill the strike zone, but needs better command at the MLB level.

Scouts can see the right-hander becoming a No. 4 or No. 5 starter, noting his mound presence.

He is expected to make approximately $422,100 if he signs his MLB contract.

RHP Matt Mercer – Fifth Round (159th overall)

Coming out of Oregon, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound pitcher stands out with his arm strength and power arsenal, according to his prospect profile.

He throws his fastball around 92-93 mph, but can hit over 97 mph with his heater, while maintaining his velocity throughout his starts.

The 105th-ranked prospect had an up-and-down 2018 season.

His secondary pitches fell off a bit in 2018, turning from short, quick, deep breaking ball to a more of a slurve-type pitch, according to his prospect profile. He also throws a changeup, but does not throw it much.

He went 5-7 with a 4.16 ERA in 15 starts (88.2 innings pitched). He allowed 41 earned runs and struck out a career-high 86 batters.

He is slotted to make approximately $314,800 if he signs his MLB contract.

RHP Ryan Miller – Sixth Round (189th overall)

At No. 189, the D-backs selected right-hander Miller out of Clemson.

In 2018, he went 7-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 26 appearances (71.2 innings pitched) for the Tigers. He recorded four saves and struck out 64 batters.

“A reliever but we feel like he’s a fast mover,” Ladnier said. “He’s got good stuff.”

Before joining Clemson as a junior college transfer, Miller played at State College of Florida.

In his three appearances with the Manatees, Miller went 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA and recorded one save in 10.2 innings pitched.

This isn’t Miller’s first draft either as he was taken by the Atlanta Braves in the 31st round of the 2017 MLB Draft.

He is expected to make $243,700 if he signs his MLB contract.

RHP Travis Moths – Seventh Round (219th overall)

The D-backs selected Tennessee Tech’s Travis Moths with their seventh round pick.

His best season with the Golden Eagles came in 2018.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound pitcher went 13-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 starts. He appeared in a total of 19 games.

In 95.2 innings pitched, Moths struck out 104 batters.

During his junior season in 2017, Moths was primarily used out of the bullpen posting a 3.88 ERA in 19 appearances.

He is slotted to make approximately $191,000 if he signs his MLB contract.

RHP Levi Kelly – Eighth Round (249th overall)

In the eighth round, the D-backs selected IMG Academy right-handed pitcher Levi Kelly

The 182nd-ranked prospect boasts arm strength and a big fastball, according to his prospect profile.

He can reach 92-93 mph consistently with his fastball and tops out at 95 mph.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound pitcher has a slider that has a 10-4 action that could translate into an above average pitch, according to his prospect profile.

He stays away from his changeup during games, but there are some who believe it could be a pitch he could utilize.

One knock on Kelly is his command. Some scouts believe that his high-tempo delivery and mindset could translate to a future in the bullpen.

He is expected to make approximately $158,500 if he signs his MLB contract, but does have a commitment to LSU.

LHP Tyler Holton – Ninth Round (279th overall)

With the 279th overall pick in the ninth round of the MLB Draft, the D-backs selected Florida State pitcher Tyler Holton.

The lefty’s 2018 season was cut short after he suffered a torn UCL during the first weekend of the season.

“He’s somebody we’ve seen for a long time and has been a very, very good pitcher in the ACC,” Ladnier said. “We feel like he’s got upside as a starter and felt fortunate to get him in the ninth round.”

He started just one game, going 4.2 innings with six strikeouts before exiting.

In 2017, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound pitcher showed off his arm, going 10-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 18 starts. He struck out a career-high 144 batters and also recorded two complete games and one shutout in 119.1 innings. his ERA was the best among Seminole starting pitchers and the third-lowest in the ACC.

Holton has seen his name called in the MLB Draft before as he was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 35th round (1,049th pick) in 2017.

He is slotted to make approximately $144,800 if he signs his MLB contract.

C Nick Dalesandro – Tenth Round (309th overall)

With their final pick of Day 2 of the MLB Draft, the D-backs took Purdue catcher Nick Dalesandro.

The 309th overall pick had his best season in 2018.

In 59 games (219 at-bats), Dalesandro averaged .297 from the plate with a .402 OBP. He also had a slugging percentage of .402. He recorded two home runs and 34 RBI.

In 2015, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound catcher was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.

He is expected to make approximately $137,300 if he signs his MLB contract.

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