ESPN: D-backs need power in upcoming MLB draft
The Arizona Diamondbacks will be looking to add more talent to a system that has risen in the ranks over the last few years when the MLB Draft takes place on June 10 and 11.
The focus for the D-backs in the 2020 draft should be players who have the ability to knock it out of the park, says ESPN writer Kiley McDaniel, who ranked the team’s system seventh overall in MLB.
She notes that GM Mike Hazen’s strategy since his first draft with the club in 2017 has been athletic positions like shortstop and center field and players that posses contact and defense skills.
The D-backs selected outfielder Corbin Carroll out of Lakeside High School in the opening round last year, one of seven picks the team had in the first 95 selections.
He hit .299 with 2 home runs, 20 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases in 42 games during the first year of his career across rookie-ball and short-season A-ball.
While the system has players like Carroll, it isn’t as flush with players that possess plus power.
The D-backs have the No. 18, No. 33, No. 90, No. 119 and No. 149 picks in the upcoming draft.
McDaniel says the best fit for the team to help fill the need of power in the system are outfielders Robert Hassell or Pete Crow-Armstrong.
Both players come from the high school level, aligning with last year when the team’s first three picks were high schoolers.
MLB.com said Hassell is the best pure hitter in the 2020 prep class with some envisioning raw power that he’ll eventually tap into, and Crow-Armstrong is seen as a player that has the ability to hit and run with more contact over power but should show pop in the future.
In the scout grading scale of 20 to 80, Hassell (No. 16 ranked prospect) comes in at a 50 in power and Hassell (No. 20 ranked prospect) is graded at a 40.
While the two are high in the prospect rankings, both are signed with Vanderbilt.
In terms of power in the upper class of the system, the Diamondbacks do employ the home run king of AAA Kevin Cron, who knocked 35 balls out of the park last year to go along with 105 RBIs.
He also hit six home runs in 39 games at the MLB level during a short stint last year.
Seth Beer, who was acquired as part of the Zack Greinke trade with the Houston Astros at the trade deadline in 2019, also showed his power potential last season hitting 26 home runs with 103 RBI to go along with a .289 batting average across 122 games in high-A ball and AA.
The Diamondbacks were middle of the pack with home runs as a team last season, finishing at No. 18 with 220 long balls thanks in part to break out power campaigns from Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker.