D-backs MLB Draft primer: picks, mock draft targets, recent trends

Jul 9, 2023, 12:06 PM | Updated: 12:19 pm

MLB Draft...

Workers prepare the stage for the 2022 MLB Draft at XBOX Plaza on July 17, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Draft day is here in Major League Baseball with the first two rounds (70 selections with competitive balance and compensation picks) set for Sunday at 4 p.m.

The Arizona Diamondbacks will pick three times on Day 1 starting with the No. 12 overall pick in the opening round.

The D-backs have the 11th largest bonus pool of $11,084,300 to sign their new prospects. Selections made in the first 10 rounds are assigned a certain slot value with the value for the No. 12 pick at $5,043,800.

Rounds 3-10 will take place Monday, and the final 10 rounds are on Tuesday.

D-backs’ draft picks through Round 10

– First round: No. 12

– Second round: No. 48

– Competitive Balance Round B: No. 64

– Third Round: No. 80

– Fourth round: No. 112

– Fifth round: No. 148

– Sixth round: No. 175

– Seventh round: No. 205

– Eighth round: No. 235

– Ninth round: No. 265

– 10th round: No. 295

D-backs mock draft targets

There is not much of a consensus of picks in the middle of the first round, but the most popular mock draft option for the D-backs has been high school shortstop Colin Houck.

Houck played at Parkview High School in Georgia and committed to Mississippi State. The All-American is 6-foot-2 with a smooth right-handed swing who is also a three-star quarterback recruit.

The 18-year-old has above average hit and power tool grades by MLB Pipeline, and‘s Jonathan Mayo wrote that he’s been connected to Arizona throughout the pre-draft process.

There comes a point when you hear a name so often with a team, you start to think it can’t be true. Yet here we are, another mock with Houck going to Arizona. They definitely like the prep shortstop, but they also could consider other high school bats like (Arjun) Nimmala, Aidan Miller or Colt Emerson.

The Athletic’s Keith Law has changed his D-backs pick on mock drafts several times, landing on Tennessee RHP Chase Dollander.

The D-Backs were heavy on Dollander down the stretch, hoping they’re getting a top-five talent who had an off year because some genius told him to change his slider grip to get more sweep. I’ve also heard them with Houck …

Dollander, 21, boasts a 95-97 mph fastball with a slider, curveball and changeup. He had a stellar 2022 season as the SEC Pitcher of the Year after producing a 2.39 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 79 innings. Last year, he had a 4.75 ERA in 89 innings as opponent batting average went up from .175 to .243.

ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel also went college arm to potentially help the D-backs sooner with Florida RHP Hurston Waldrep.

Arizona is confusing even to agents they’ve spoken with, exploring every player demographic for this pick. Waldrep fits the kind of characteristics they tend to look for in pitchers, but the D-backs have also been on Nimmala and Colin Houck while looking at nearly every player in this range.

Waldrep helped Florida reach the College World Series final against LSU with a excellent postseason until Game 2 against the Tigers. He allowed two earned runs in 21 innings over three starts before he surrendered three runs in 2.1 frames against LSU. He carries a mid- to upper-90s fastball along with a split-change and slider.

Other mocked players to Arizona include Aidan Miller from J.W. Mitchell High School in Florida and TCU third baseman Brayden Taylor.

Mike Hazen and Co. recent drafts

The D-backs have leaned heavy on taking younger bats with upside during the first rounds of general manager Mike Hazen’s tenure.

They’ve taken a high school hitter with their first pick in four of the last five drafts starting in 2018 with Matt McLain, who did not sign, elected to play at UCLA and is now with the Cincinnati Reds.

In 2019, Arizona took Corbin Carroll No. 16 overall, a steal who shot up the farm system despite a lost 2020 (no MiLB season) and 2021 (shoulder injury) to the majors last year and is an All-Star Game starter as a rookie.

The past two first picks by the D-backs were shortstop and Jordan Lawlar at No. 6 overall (2021) and outfielder Druw Jones at No. 2 (2022).

Arizona took Virginia’s Pavin Smith in the first round in 2017, Hazen’s first year at the helm.

The front office has also looked closely at college arms in early rounds, taking Duke’s Bryce Jarvis No. 18 overall in 2020.

Last year, Mississippi State’s Landon Sims went No. 34 to Arizona, who took Slade Cecconi from Miami and Drey Jameson from Ball State with Competitive Balance Round A picks in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

Arizona also added starting pitchers Tommy Henry from Michigan and Ryne Nelson from Oregon in the second round of 2019 and Brandon Pfaadt out of Bellarmine in Round 5 of 2020.

Eight of the organization’s top 10 prospects on MLB Pipeline are recent D-backs draft picks.

Carroll, Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy in the starting lineup for the Diamondbacks on Sunday were all Hazen draftees.

“It’s always an exciting day,” manager Torey Lovullo said Sunday. “I know the scouts, the amateur scouts are up there, pounding away at it, they have been for several weeks. … There’s a certain energy about today, but it’s been building up. I’ve been feeling this draft day energy now for about two weeks. … It’s a pretty euphoric state when you get the player you want.”

The Diamondbacks’ opponent on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Pirates, own the No. 1 pick.

LSU OF Dylan Crews and RHP Paul Skenes, Florida OF Wyatt Langford and high school prospects Max Clark and Walker Jenkins are all considered in the hunt to go No. 1 overall.

Grand Canyon University SS Jacob Wilson and Arizona OF Chase Davis are also projected first-round picks.

All 70 selections will be aired on MLB Network,, ESPN and ESPN+.

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D-backs MLB Draft primer: picks, mock draft targets, recent trends