10 June 2010
After loading up on position players in the 2009 draft, the Diamondbacks went mainly for pitching in 2010, picking pitchers with their first eight selections, and 31 out of their 50 overall draft picks. Although many felt that the first two selections, Barret Loux and J.R. Bradley, were taken a little too early, later selections such as Robby Rowland and Kevin Munson were excellent value picks. The Diamondbacks drafted several college pitchers who should advance quickly through the system, as well as some tall, projectable high schoolers who have great potential. The team also selected some potential stars later in the draft like Tyler Green, Kevin Ziomek, and Ty Linton, who may be tough signs due to solid college commitments.
Here is a quick recap of the top draft picks. Where available, rankings are provided for players in the Baseball America pre-draft Top 200
, or for those that were ranked among the top players in their state. Other excellent resources for the draft are Andy Seiler's MLB Bonus Baby
and John Sickels' Minor League Ball
1. Barret Loux
, RHP, Texas A&M, 6-5, 220 (BA #35)
Drafted earlier than most expected. Has a solid fastball and a nice easy delivery, but needs to work on secondary pitches. Struck out 136 in 104 IP and led team to NCAA Regionals. More on Loux can be found in this article.
2. James (J.R.) Bradley
, RHP, Nitro HS, West Virginia, 6-4, 185 (BA #162)
Also picked earlier than many thought, but was moving up draft boards. Already throws in the low 90s, and is projected to see a velocity increase. Bradley went 13-0 with a 0.61 ERA, and led his team to the West Virginia AAA State championship. Has very good control for a HS pitcher. Committed to NC State, but should sign with the Diamondbacks.
3. Robert Rowland
, RHP, Cloverdale HS, California, 6-6, 210 (BA #71)
Another projection righthander, Rowland is the son of former MLB catcher Rich Rowland. Throws a fastball in the low 90s along with a split-finger, curve, change, and cutter. Rowland went 7-1 with a 0.32 ERA in his senior year, with 117 strikeouts in 65 IP. Outstanding HS basketball player. Committed to Oregon, but should sign with the Diamondbacks.
4. Kevin Munson
, RHP, James Madison Univ., 6-2, 200 (BA #82)
Closer in college who went 8-1 with 10 Saves. Has a low 90s fastball and a hard slider. Struck out 61 in 43 IP, and can go multiple innings. Expected to move rapidly through the system. More on Munson here
5. Cody Wheeler
, LHP, Coastal Carolina, 5-11, 165 (BA #7 in SC, ~ #225)
Went 26-1 and has led Coastal Carolina to the NCAA Super Regionals.. Polished pitcher and a good athlete, but not great upside.
6. Blake Perry
, RHP, The Pendleton School, Kentucky, 6-5, 190 (BA #71 in FLA)
Another tall, projectible, high school right hander. Already throwing in the low 90s. Most expected him to be drafted later. Committed to Kentucky.
7. Jeffrey Shields
, RHP, Chattahoochee Valley CC, 6-3, 205 (BA #7 in ALA)
Moved from closer as a freshman to a starter, and went 12-1 with 1.37 ERA and 92 Ks in 85 IP. Committed to Georgia, but is expected to sign.
8. Tyler Green
, RHP, Brazoswood HS, Texas, 6-1, 175 (BA #120)
Throws in the low to mid 90s, and has a good curve. Also an excellent hitter, and would play SS/3B in addition to pitching at TCU if he decides to go to college. May be a tough sign.
9. Zachary Walters
, SS, Univ. San Diego, 6-3, 193 (BA #87 in CAL)
First non-pitcher selected by the D’Backs. Good fielder, but had a rough year with the bat (.252 AVG), perhaps due to a thumb injury.
10. Kawika Emsley-Pai
, C, Lewis-Clark St., 5-11, 195 (BA #2 in Upper Rockies)
Was HS teammate of Travis Snider, and began career at U.Texas. Injuries moved him out of CF, and then kept him from catching regularly last year.
11. Michael Freeman
, SS, Clemson, 6-0, 170
Was drafted in 36th
Round in 2009 by D’Backs, but returned for his senior year. Batted .330 with 8 HR, and is leading his team to the NCAA Super Regionals.
12. Blake Cooper
, RHP, Univ. South Carolina, 5-10, 188 (BA #16 in SC)
Went 10-1 in tough SEC and led conference in IP and was 5th
in ERA. Has several solid pitches with good command, but only throws his fastball around 89-90 mph.
13. Kevin Ziomek
, LHP, Amherst Regional HS, 6-3, 190 (BA #178)
One of the top high school prospects in the Northeast, Ziomek has a good fastball and a variety of other pitches. There are some concerns about his delivery, and it will be difficult to sign him away from his Vanderbilt commitment.
14. Ty Linton
, CF, Charlotte Christian School, North Carolina, 6-3, 210 (BA #110)
Linton has the potential to be a star, with great raw power and speed. However, Linton is also an excellent football player, and is expected to play both linebacker and corner outfielder for North Carolina next year. His baseball skills are still raw, but there is a lot of upside with Linton.
15. Michael Bolsinger
, RHP, Univ. Arkansas, 6-2, 200 (BA #8 in ARK)
Not great numbers during his senior year at Arkansas (4.77 ERA), but a solid arm who should sign quickly.
Others of Note:
17. Derek Eitel
, RHP, Rose-Hulman Univ., 6-5, 205 (BA #9 in IND)
Holds all major QB passing records at Div III Rose-Hulman, and also a pitcher who throws in the low 90s with a slider, changeup, and split-finger fastball.
19. Adam Eaton
, OF, Miami (Oh.), 5-10, 165 (BA #11 in OH)
Hit .368 and led conference in steals (30) and triples (9). Good speed and defense, but may be limited by size. May decide to return for senior year of college.
23. Robert Padilla
, LHP, Ohlone College, CA, 6-2, 180 (BA #104 in CAL)
Led team to 2010 California Community College championship, including 6 no-hit innings in the playoffs. Has a good changeup and decent fastball. Committed to San Jose State, and may be tough to sign.