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2016 Draft Report Card: Arizona Diamondbacks

Best Pure Hitter: The Diamondbacks were higher than the industry consensus on C Andy Yerzy (2) due to their belief in his bat. He struggled in his debut, batting .216/.240/.265 with 38 strikeouts in 162 at-bats, but improved defensively behind the plate, where he’s quite raw.

Best Power Hitter: Yerzy has plus raw power and has shown it with wood in showcases. He’ll have to prove he can adjust to pro pitching, but the Diamondbacks hope he can follow a similar path to past Canadian catchers who hit their way to the majors such as Justin Morneau and Joey Votto.

Fastest Runner: The Diamondbacks grade OF Anfernee Grier (1) as a 70 runner, which plays more defensively than on the bases at this time; he was just 35-for-53 stealing bases in three seasons for Auburn.

Best Defensive Player: Grier has 70 range. He had arm problems after signing, likely incurred during pre-draft workouts, and mostly played DH as a pro. His arm grade as fringe-average before the draft.

Best Fastball: RHP Curtis Taylor (4) reached 96 mph this spring as a starter and touched 98 in one-inning stints after signing, from a low three-quarters angle. RHP Kevin Ginkel (22), a local pick who was on Arizona’s College World Series finalist team, has reached 97 mph.

Best Secondary Pitch: LHP Jordan Watson (7) led NAIA with 15 strikeouts per nine innings thanks to a plus curveball that could eventually be a 70-grade pitch. Taylor has improved his slider as a pro, adding depth to this power pitch.

Best Pro Debut: SS Mark Karaviotis (19) led the short-season Northwest League in on-base percentage during a .344/.473/.466 season. Taylor struck out 23 in 16 innings with a  2.20 ERA.

Best Athlete: The Diamondbacks considered the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Grier among the best athletes in the draft for his combination of strength, speed and explosiveness.

Most Intriguing Background: RHP Tommy Eveld (9) played quarterback at South Florida before knee injuries ended his football career and becoming part of the Bulls’ bullpen. He told club officials he learned his delivery in part by watching Nolan Ryan videos on YouTube. His brother Bobby, also a former quarterback, signed to pitch with the Blue Jays as a 25-year-old free agent. OF Connor Owings (34), younger brother of Arizona infielder Chris, has only one functioning kidney and eventually will need a transplant. He helped lead Coastal Carolina past Ginkel’s Wildcats for the national championship.

Closest To The Majors: A reliever, Eveld could get there first thanks to a 94-95 mph fastball and hard cutter, but Taylor would beat him if Arizona moves him to the bullpen. For now, the club intends to start him.

Best Late-Round Pick: Karaviotis has a good swing and a chance to stick in the infield. In addition to his plus fastball, Ginkel flashes an average curveball and changeup, but his secondary stuff must be more consistent for him to finish off hitters.

The One Who Got Away: OF Edmong Americaan (28), originally from Curacao, has good athleticism and plus speed. He’s headed to Chipola (Fla.) JC.

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