What 2020 MLB mock drafts are saying about the Diamondbacks
The 2020 Major League Baseball draft gets underway on Wednesday. This year, it’s five rounds, down from 40.
But the Arizona Diamondbacks will nonetheless be making use of their scouting reports and years-long work to make their picks count. Others speculate in advance what they’ll do.
So we’re tracking what the mock drafts are saying about the Diamondbacks, who own the 18th overall pick. They also have No. 33. Arizona, though, forfeited its second-round pick for signing Madison Bumgarner.
The Detroit Tigers have the first selection, and the favorite to go first is Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson.
Torkelson won’t be there for the D-backs, but here’s who may be:
ESPN: Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State
Author: Kiley McDaniel, mock 3.0
Foscue only played 16 games in 2020, hitting .321 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. In 67 games in 2019, he hit .331 with 14 home runs, 60 RBIs, a .959 OPS, 22 doubles and only 32 strikeouts.
[Duke RHP] Bryce Jarvis is a likely underslot option here if the right name doesn’t make it this far, but Foscue is believed to be one of the right names for Arizona, which is leaning toward college players pretty heavily at this pick. [UNC first baseman Aaron] Sabato is also in the mix if he makes it here.
McDaniel also mock-drafted Wake Forest left-hander Jared Shuster to the D-backs at No. 33 overall.
The Athletic: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
Author: Keith Law
Jarvis only pitched 27 innings in 2020, but one of his four appearances was a complete game shutout. In 2019, he made 19 appearances — 11 starts — with a 3.81 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 75.2 innings. Jarvis had a 2.45 ERA in 2018.
They’re also linked to Justin Foscue. I think they’re likely to go after high school pitching at their Competitive Balance A pick at No. 33, maybe Justin Lange or Nick Bitsko if he’s there.
ESPN: Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF, Harvard Westlake HS (California)
Author: Kiley McDaniel, mock 2.0
Crow-Armstrong was a popular name mock-drafted to Arizona. McDaniel said this about the prep outfielder:
The D-backs are another team that seems to have zeroed in on a specific type (contact-first, up-the-middle prep bats) and has gotten solid recent results with that approach (Alek Thomas, Corbin Carroll). Crow-Armstrong fits it to a T. It isn’t a coincidence that the other best fit to that type in the first round, Robert Hassell, is Arizona’s other heavily rumored target.
MLB.com: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Pennsylvania)
Author: Jonathan Mayo
Mayo strayed from the trendy pick of Crow-Armstrong and had the Diamondbacks instead going with an offense-first outfielder. According to Perfect Game, Hendrick’s top exit velocity was 105 mph, good for the 99th percentile in his class.
Arizona would love a bat here and Hendrick is the best one available if it goes down this way. If he’s gone, they could go the college arm route with someone like Georgia’s Cole Wilcox.
MLB.com: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
Author: Jonathan Mayo, updated
The D-backs appear to be on college performers such as Jarvis and Foscue, with high school position players such as [Ed] Howard and Crow-Armstrong on the back burner.
MLB.com: Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF, Harvard Westlake HS (California)
Author: Jim Callis
I keep coming back to bats here, and if Hendrick or somehow [high school outfielder Robert] Hassell got here, that would be a good fit. College arms could come into play if the board blows up for the D-backs.
Bleacher Report: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East HS (Pennsylvania)
Author: Joe Tansey
Bitsko is committed to Virginia and tops out at 97 mph with his fastball, according to Perfect Game. But 12 of the D-backs’ top 30 prospects are right-handed pitchers, although the highest-ranked is No. 7 (Corbin Martin).
CBS Sports: Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF, Harvard Westlake HS (California)
Author: Mike Axisa
This one just fits. The Diamondbacks have had success with speedy high school outfielders with high-end bat-to-ball skills in recent years (Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, etc.) and that describes Crow-Armstrong perfectly. Crow-Armstrong might be the best defensive outfielder in the draft class, and there’s enough offensive ability to give him exciting upside..
NBC Sports Washington: Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF, Harvard Westlake HS (California)
Author: Matt Weyrich
If Crow-Armstrong’s defense is what will make him a first-round pick, it’ll be his ability to cut down on the strikeouts that will determine whether he sticks at the professional level.