Arizona Diamondbacks 2019 MLB Draft Report Card
Every year at the conclusion of the regular season, Baseball America revisits each teams' most recent draft class. Each class has its no-doubt, high-profile names to keep an eye on, but our annual draft report cards highlight the best tools, best debuts, late-round steals and more. Here are the names you need to know from every organization's 2019 draft.
Best Pure Hitter: OF Corbin Carroll (1) was one of the top-performing prep hitters throughout the summer showcase season prior to the draft and possesses excellent bat-to-ball skills. He also has surprising pop for his size and arguably the best strike zone understanding and approach of the 2019 prep class.
Best Power Hitter: 1B Tristin English (3) homered 18 times during his junior season with Georgia Tech before homering seven times during his pro debut in the short-season Northwest League. English has 60-grade raw power and above-average power in games.
Fastest Runner: Carroll has an advanced toolset, but his loudest tool is perhaps his running ability. He’s a 70-grade runner who uses that speed in the outfield and on the bases, where he is an aggressive and instinctual runner. He stole 18 bases and was caught just once in his pro debut in the Arizona and Northwest leagues.
Best Defensive Player: Carroll has all the tools to be a plus defender in center field. OF Dominic Fletcher (2s) runs terrific routes and makes excellent jumps, but lacks the elite foot speed that Carroll has. Fletcher's plus arm strength could make him a defensive asset in right field if he is ever forced away from center field.
Best Athlete: Carroll has a good argument thanks to his running ability and athleticism in center field, but Arizona’s second overall selection, LHP Blake Walston (1), has impressive athleticism as well. He was a talented high school quarterback and his athleticism translates well to the mound, where he has a clean arm action and some of the best strike-throwing ability of the 2019 prep class.
Best Fastball: The D-backs invested in several high-octane arms with their plethora of draft picks this year. RHPs Brennan Malone (1), Drey Jameson (1), Ryne Nelson (2) and Conor Grammes (5) all have fastballs that have been up to 97 mph or better. Nelson’s might be the hardest—he’s reached triple digits at his best—but Malone’s might have a case for the best given his current velocity, control and remaining future projection.
Best Secondary Pitch: It’s a testament to the strength of LHP Andrew Saalfrank’s (6) curveball that he’s mentioned here despite the impressive collection of pitching talent drafted in front of him. Saalfrank used the pitch to rack up 22 strikeouts in just 12.2 innings in the Arizona and Northwest leagues during his pro debut. It has big shape and depth and could be a legitimate 70-grade breaking ball.
Best Pro Debut: Fletcher hit .318/.389/.463 with five home runs and 14 doubles in the Midwest League while playing all three outfield positions, while LHP Nick Snyder (11) posted a 0.53 ERA with 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 17 innings in the Arizona and Northwest leagues. Snyder didn’t allow a single earned run in the Northwest League, where he pitched the bulk (16 innings) of his pro debut.
Most Intriguing Background: SS Glenallen Hill Jr. (4) is the son of former 13-year major leaguer Glenallen Hill. The elder Hill spent five years with the Cubs, but also played for the Giants, Indians, Blue Jays, Angels, Yankees and Mariners.
Closest To The Majors: Fletcher can play all three outfield spots effectively and has impressive contact ability that could allow him to move quickly. He’s extremely polished defensively and had an extensive track record of performing in college before his hot start to pro ball. Scouts laud his makeup as well.
Best Late-Round Pick: Snyder’s terrific debut makes him a strong candidate for best late-round pick, though LHP Avery Short (12) is a good strike-thrower with a four-pitch mix. SS Ricky Martinez (18) had a solid debut with the bat and can play shortstop, second base and third.
The One Who Got Away: OF Jerrion Ealy (31) was among the most athletic players in the 2019 class—high school or college—but was always going to be a tough sign as a two-sport commit to Mississippi. He has the toolset to become a star with improved all-around refinement to his game.