D-backs select P Landon Sims and 1B Ivan Melendez in 2022 MLB Draft
Jul 17, 2022, 8:03 PM | Updated: Jul 18, 2022, 4:18 am
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
In the first of two Competitive balance Round A picks in the 2022 MLB Draft the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Mississippi State pitcher Landon Sims at No. 34 overall.
Sims posted pretty stellar stats in two seasons at MSU, allowing an opponents batting average of .142 with a 1.82 ERA, 6-0 record, 13 saves and 123 strikeouts in 69.1 innings pitched.
MLB projections have Sims anywhere from mid-rotation starter to closer with a repertoire that features a 94-96 mph fastball and a mid-80’s slider.
Sims entered his 2019 senior season as a Georgia high schooler with a chance to go in the top three rounds, but inconsistency with his secondary pitches and control combined with his commitment to Mississippi State left him undrafted.
Area scouts love his makeup and he reminds some of them of Wallace State (Ala.) CC star Craig Kimbrel, albeit with better control and a better chance to succeed in a rotation.
Sims said that he was developing a changeup as a third pitch but has not been able to utilize it yet after missing time in the fall.
The 21-year-old is coming off Tommy John surgery in March.
With their second pick in the round, the Diamondbacks went with 2022 Golden Spikes Award winner in first baseman Ivan Melendez out of Texas.
The D-backs grabbed him with the No. 43 overall pick.
Melendez set a school record in home runs last season with 32 and recorded 94 RBI to go along with 214 total bases. He led the nation in all of those categories as well as slugging percentage.
He was a junior college transfer and hit the game-winning home run in an 8-5 win over Mississippi State at the 2021 College World Series.
Despite the accolades, MLB.com views Melendez as a one-tool prospect.
With the strength in his 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame and an uphill right-handed swing, Melendez is geared to drive balls in the air and produces plus-plus raw power that plays from foul pole to foul pole. Though he topped Kris Bryant’s previous record of 31 homers since the NCAA adopted BBCOR bat restrictions in 2011, he doesn’t have standout bat speed, so there are some concerns about how he’ll handle quality velocity against more advanced pitchers.