Entering the 2019 MLB First Year Player Draft the Diamondbacks had a league-high 7 picks in the first 75 selections, including 4 in the top 34. Additionally, the D-Backs have $16.09 million in Bonus Pool money to spend, $3 million more than any other team in baseball - with this arsenal of tools at hand, Diamondbacks Assistant General Manager Amiel Sawdaye says, 2019 gives Arizona a real opportunity at a "transformational draft."
On Monday night, with seven Diamondbacks selections in the books of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, Arizona selected three high school, and four college athletes. In the first round, the team selected a pair of high school products - OF Corbin Carroll with the No. 16 overall pick, and LHP Blake Walston with the No. 26 selection. 1st Round Compensation saw another pair of Diamondbacks selections - calling the names of two pitchers, Brennan Malone with the No. 33 pick and Drey Jameson with the No. 34 selection. With their lone 2nd round pick, the Diamondbacks called the name of flame-throwing pitcher Ryne Nelson with the No. 56 selection. Rounding out the night in the Competitive Balance Round B, the snakes selected their 5th pitcher of the night, Tommy Henry (No. 74 pick) and defensive stand out, centerfielder Dominic Fletcher.
Corbin Carroll | 1st Rd (16th overall) | OF | Lakeside High School (Washington)| L/L | 5-10 | 170
Repeatedly called the most polished high school hitter in the 2019 draft class, Carroll used his MVP performance in the Perfect Game All-American Classic to boost his stock. With an impressive high school career, Carroll posted a batting average of .450 (.540 in his Senior season) with 22 homeruns and 101 RBI. A plus runner - Carroll projects as a +25-steal threat in the big leagues. He makes contact at a high average and his discipline does not expand the strike zone. Carroll, is strong for his size and has an impactful swing that projects power growth once he gets into pro ball. He is the type of hitter who should hit for a high average with high on-base percentages in the lower levels before eventually developing above-average power by the time he reaches the majors. Carroll has committed to play baseball at UCLA. (MLB Comparison: Andrew Benintendi)
Blake Walston | 1st Rd (26th overall) | P | New Hanover HS (North Carolina) | L/L | 6-5 | 175
A draft pool that is short on high school lefties, Walston is one of the best thanks to his deep arsenal and projectable frame. Clocked in the low-90s with his fastball, Walston can really spin his slider and curveball (where he has earned plus ratings), and he has good feel for his changeup too. He posted a 12-0 record with a 0.20 ERA and 129 strikeouts with just 18 walks in 68.1 innings pitched in his 2019 season. According to scouts, Walston is a pitching prospect you can dream on. Walston has committed to North Carolina State, and scouts think if he goes to school, he could go with the first overall pick in the 2022 Draft.
Brennan Malone | 1st Rd Compensation (33rd overall) | P | IMG Academy | R/R | 6'4 | 205
The North Carolina native who moved to IMG for his senior year of high school has the makings of four solid pitches and improved consistency in using them throughout a start. 2019 saw Malone post a ridiculous 11-0 record with a 0.27 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched. He regularly runs his fastball up to 96 mph and has shown an ability to maintain that velocity deeper into starts this spring. He now features two distinct breaking pitches, with a plus slider a big reason for his step forward. Given his athleticism and easy arm action, it's easy to see him as a future right-handed power starting pitcher. Malone has committed to the University of North Carolina.
Drey Jameson | 1st Rd Compensation (34th overall) | P | Ball State | R/R | 6'0 | 165
2019 MAC Pitcher of the Year, Jameson initially Ball State as a two-way player. He saw some action in the outfield in 2018, when he ranked second among NCAA Division I freshmen in strikeouts (97 in 72 innings), the position debate was over. In 2019 Jameson set a conference record with 146 strikeouts (3rd in the nation) while notching a 6-3 record with a 3.24 ERA. Pound for pound, Jameson may have the best fastball in the Draft. He has a lightning-quick arm that allows him to deal at 93-96 mph and top out at 98 deep into games. He backs up his heat with a pair of hard breaking balls, a curveball with depth and a slider with more lateral break, and each can be a plus pitch at times. Scouts find it easy to imagine that Jameson could hurl a three-digit fastball, if the decision is made to move him to the bullpen.
Ryne Nelson | 2nd Rd (56th overall) | P | Oregon | R/R | 6'3 | 184
Initially spent two years as an infielder and reliever at Oregon, Nelson opened a lot of eyes when he focused on pitching only in the Cape Cod League last summer. Given the chance to start as a junior, Nelson moved back to the bullpen and was a tremendous asset to the Ducks' in 2019 where he was named First-Team All-Pac-12 after notching 104 strikeouts in 65 innings pitched. Carrying a fastball consistently clocked in the upper 90's (often reaching 99 mph), Nelson also throws a plus rated power curveball that proves to be a nasty two pitch combination.
Tommy Henry | Competitive Balance B (74th overall) | P | Michigan | L/L | 6'3 | 205
Named to Perfect Game's Midseason All-America First Team, the lefty tossed 111 strikeouts in 99.2 innings during his 2019 campaign where he posted a final record of 9-5 with a 3.61 ERA. Henry commands all three of his pitches well. Working with a fastball at 91-92 mph (peaking at 94) with high spin rates. He can get plenty of swings and misses with a fading changeup and a slider with good depth, both of which are clocked in the low 80s.
Dominic Fletcher | Competitive Balance B (75th overall) | OF | Arkansas | L/L | 5'9 | 175
A three-year starter in center for the Razorbacks, Fletcher was their best hitter at the 2018 College World Series, where they lost to Oregon State in the finals. Selected as a member of the SEC All-Defensive Team, Fletcher's best attribute is his defensive play in center field. Playing 69 games in 2019, Fletcher hit .288 with 10 homeruns. Showing plus arm strength in the field, his physical strength translates to the plate as well, carrying a power approach that is projected a +20 homerun producer in the big leagues.
Coverage of the 2019 MLB Draft continues Tuesday on MLB.com, which will stream pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 starting at 1 P.M. ET.
The 2019 Osprey season will open their home season on Friday, June 21 when the O's take on the Great Falls Voyagers. Season tickets, ticket packages, and individual game tickets are on sale now at the MSO Hub located at 140 N. Higgins, online at www.missoulaosprey.com and by phone at (406) 543-3300.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.