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Top Arizona 2019 MLB Draft Prospects

Image credit: Hunter Bishop (Photo by Bill Mitchell)

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State List Talent Ranking: ??????
(Stars are listed on a 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being the weakest)

1. Hunter Bishop, OF, Arizona State (BA RANK: 7)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 210 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Padres ’16 (24)

The younger brother of Mariners prospect Braden Bishop, Hunter was a highly regarded prospect out of high school thanks to an exciting package of athleticism, power and speed. Scouts were concerned with the quality of his hit tool at the time, so Bishop chose to attend Arizona State rather than sign with the Padres as a 24th-round pick in 2016. The move paid off, as Bishop has vaulted himself into high first-round consideration following a breakout junior campaign. After a solid freshman season in 2017, when he hit .301/.363/.484, Bishop struggled as a sophomore, hitting .250/.352/.407 with a 30 percent strikeout rate, which continued to raise questions about his hitting ability. This spring, Bishop has tweaked his approach at the plate and quieted his mechanics in the lefthanded batter’s box. The move has helped him significantly cut his strikeout rate and consistently tap into his plus-plus raw power, homering 17 times through his first 38 games. Bishop has a high-hand setup in the box, but he has solid plate coverage and improved plate discipline. He showed solid strike zone awareness in the Cape Cod League last summer, but he was too passive at times early in the count, which forced him into frequent pitcher’s counts. That hasn’t been the case this spring, and scouts are impressed with his adjustments to the point where they can now project him as an average hitter with 70-grade power. Bishop plays center field for the Sun Devils and has a chance to stick there, despite a large, 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame, thanks to plus running ability and good reads off the bat. However, it is rare for a player that tall to get regular time in center field at the major league level, and he might be better suited for a corner outfield spot, where he has above-average defensive potential with solid arm strength. Bishop has done more to improve his draft status than any of the players ranked near him this spring, and he is among the highest-upside college hitters because of his impressive collection of plus tools and exciting athleticism. A talented high school football player, Bishop is also praised for his mental toughness and ability to work through difficult situations off the field. His mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s when he was in high school, and he and his brother Braden raise money through their “4MOM” foundation that is trying to find a cure for the disease.

2. Nick Quintana, 3B, Arizona (BA RANK: 81)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Red Sox ’16 (11)

Quintana was an elite prep prospect out of the Las Vegas area in 2016, noted for a smooth line-drive swing with gap power. The Red Sox drafted him in the 11th round, but he instead chose to attend Arizona, where he moved from shortstop to third base and has been a middle-of-the-order threat for three years. After hitting a combined 20 home runs between his freshman and sophomore seasons, Quintana has 11 home runs through 45 games in 2019. His above-average raw power is the best asset of his offensive game, and he’s been a solid hitter in the Pac-12. However, he has struggled with higher strikeout rates at Arizona—nearly 20 percent over three seasons—and his lackluster statistics from two summers in the Cape Cod League, where he hit .230/.312/.435 with a 38 percent strikeout rate in 69 games, leave questions about his hit tool. Defensively, Quintana has plus arm strength and a good feel for third base after developing at shortstop. He is a below-average runner, but that lack of speed doesn’t show up at the hot corner, where his impressive instincts allow him to be an above-average defender. Quintana’s talent is enough to make him a late Day 1 pick, but his previous struggles with a wood bat might push him back to an early Day 2 selection this June.

3. Cameron Cannon, 3B/2B, Arizona (BA RANK: 94)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 196 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: D-backs ’16 (21)

Coming out of Mountain Ridge HS in Glendale, Arizona in 2016, Cannon was the D-backs’ 21st-round pick. But instead of signing with his home state’s pro baseball organization, Cannon decided to attend the state’s flagship university and honor his commitment to the University of Arizona. A career .330 hitter with the Wildcats, Cannon is producing another fine offensive campaign in 2019, hitting .370/.463/.582 with 29 extra-base hits through his first 45 games. But while he is hitting well, Cannon’s approach is pull-heavy, and he has just fringe-average power. This season also hasn’t been his best defensively, as he’s committed a career-high 18 errors as of early May. Even with those recent struggles, Cannon is known for having a good arm and overall instincts at third base. He shows enough range to move around the diamond, if necessary, as well. Although he plays mostly third base, Cannon may be best suited to play multiple positions in a superutility role in the future in order to make up for his lack of power.

4. Alec Marsh, RHP, Arizona State (BA RANK: 97)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 220 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

The Sun Devils’ Friday Night starter has taken one of the biggest jumps forward of any Division I college pitcher in 2019, highlighted by a mid-April complete game victory over then-No. 3 Oregon State in front of a large contingent of scouts and scouting directors. Marsh has gotten stronger and consistently gets ahead of hitters by throwing his first pitch for strikes. His five-pitch mix all grade as average pitches, although his fastball flashes plus, especially when he dials up the velocity into the mid-90s in key situations. Marsh most often uses his two-seamer to get ground balls and his four-seamer for swings and misses, complementing both offerings with a changeup that he throws with good arm speed and natural sink. He also mixes in a 78-82 mph slider and 72-76 mph curveball. He repeats a clean delivery, with all pitches coming from the same slot. At times, Marsh can struggle when his four-seam fastball flattens out. Marsh’s improvement should allow him to go early on Day 2 of the draft.

5. Quin Cotton, OF, Grand Canyon (BA RANK: 207)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Rockies ’16 (38)

Cotton looked like a possible Day 1 pick entering 2019, but his swing has been more inconsistent this year. The Colorado high school product did come on toward the end of the season, however, as he started to stand further back in his swing and saw improved results. His hands work well, although he gets them too far forward at times, and the ball jumps off his bat. He’s got a chance to grow into more power as he matures, with one observer pointing out similarities between Cotton and current Athletics outfielder Khris Davis at the same age. Some scouts see Cotton as more of a tweener, since he may be limited to left field, defensively. He’s at least an above-average runner now, but he is tight through the hips and doesn’t always use his speed well in the outfield. A slightly below-average arm won’t be enough for a regular right field role, but it would suffice as a left fielder or fourth outfielder. Cotton will likely be drafted somewhere around the middle of Day 2.

6. Jose Dicochea, RHP, Sahuarita (Ariz.) HS (BA RANK: 226)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona

Dicochea is arguably the best Arizona high school arm in a weak year for pitching in the state, but the reliever projection that the Arizona commit gets from most scouts makes it tough to see him being picked before Day 3. Dicochea throws a fastball sitting 92-95 mph, but uses a rough delivery with a stab on the backside and an inconsistent release point. He locates a 75-78 mph slider that has good depth. Dicochea has a lively arm and a lean, projectable build, so there may be more to come if he smooths out the delivery and makes it more repeatable. He pitched a no-hitter during the state 3A championship tournament.

7. Matt Fraizer, OF, Arizona (BA RANK: 272)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 205 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Athletics ’16 (38)

Fraizer was showing enough improvement at the beginning of his junior season to garner early Day 2 draft hype. After his first 19 games, the uber-athletic outfielder was hitting .412/.452/.565 with only six strikeouts in nearly 100 plate appearances while also showing improved defense in center field. However, a broken hamate bone sidelined Fraizer following his encouraging start. When healthy, Fraizer was not only making more frequent contact, but he was also tapping into his average power more often. In the long term, he projects as a gap-to-gap hitter with more doubles than home runs. His defense has improved enough over his college career that he should be able to stay in center field, where his plus speed and fringe-average arm play nicely. Even with the injury, Fraizer still has a good chance of being drafted on Day 2.

8. Lucas Knowles, LHP, Central Arizona JC (BA RANK: 273)
Source: JC • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Kentucky

Knowles cracked Washington’s weekend rotation in 2018 as a redshirt freshman after his high school career ended prematurely due to Tommy John surgery. But after not receiving an anticipated scholarship at Washington, Knowles transferred to Central Arizona, where he excelled against JuCo competition with a 1.23 ERA, 83 strikeouts and just 23 walks in 73 innings. Known more for his pitchability and command rather than his pure stuff, Knowles’ 88-91 mph fastball plays up because of his ability to spot it to both sides of the plate. His best secondary offering is a solid-average slider that he can really spin and locates well, and he rounds out his four-pitch repertoire with a cutter and changeup. Knowles is athletic and consistently throws strikes from a delivery that provides deception. He missed at least three starts after being shut down late in the JuCo season, which is a slight concern because of his previous injury history. Knowles is committed to Kentucky.

9. Matthew Dyer, C, Arizona (BA RANK: 315)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 174 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Dyer played his freshman year at Oregon, where he started 41 games, mostly in right field, before rejoining former Mountain Ridge (Ariz.) High School teammate Cameron Cannon at Arizona. After sitting out a year due to transfer requirements, Dyer debuted with the Wildcats in 2019 with a strong season offensively, hitting .393/.480/.571 through mid-May. At the plate, Dyer has good hand-eye coordination and regularly finds the barrel with his two-part swing. He’s a solid-average runner with at least a plus arm that allows him to move around the field, but he’s not better than an average defender at any position. The difficulty in projecting Dyer is that his extremely slender frame would not hold up in an everyday catching role, and he doesn’t have the power to profile at corner positions. Multiple area scouts would like to see what Dyer could do on the mound, recalling times that he pitched in high school.

10. Carter Aldrete, INF, Arizona State (BA RANK: 318)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Red Sox ’16 (37)

The son of former minor leaguer Rich Aldrete and the nephew of ex-big leaguer Mike Aldrete, Carter Aldrete is a three-year starter for the Sun Devils who stands out most for his versatility and instincts on the field. Splitting the majority of his time between second base and outfield during his college career, Aldrete could also handle third base with enough arm for any position and hands that work well on the dirt. He’s not an quite an average defender at any position, but he should be adequate in a utility role, which is his likely future at the pro level. Aldrete projects as a below-average hitter, but he has enough hand-eye coordination to get by. He shows plus raw power, but it’s a tick below-average in games. Aldrete is a grinder on the field, and that attribute, plus his bloodlines, will get him drafted either late on Day 2 or early on Day 3.

11. Kona Quiggle, 1B/OF, Grand Canyon (BA RANK: 381)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 200 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Quiggle didn’t receive a lot of draft hype until his junior year at Grand Canyon in 2019, when his performance improved as the season progressed. Playing first base early in the season, Quiggle eventually moved into his more natural outfield position, and he also continued to show increased power. Late in the season, Quiggle was leading the Antelopes in hitting with a .344/.420/.623 slash line. There’s still room for improvement, however, as Quiggle doesn’t always use his hands well during his swing and he struggles to stay back on pitches at times. While his 10 home runs were second on the team as of mid-May, Quiggle is more of a gap-to-gap hitter. He’s an average runner, and his average arm strength is enough for all three outfield positions. Projected as a fourth outfielder at the next level, Quiggle could be drafted early on Day 3.

12. Drew Hill, RHP, South Mountain (Ariz.) JC (BA RANK: 383)
Source: JC • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 170 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Christian

A transfer from Utah Valley, Hill received a lot of scouting buzz during the fall with a fastball that touched 97 mph. An undersized righthander at 5-foot-11, Hill’s fastball has been closer to 90-92 mph and touching 94 mph this spring. He throws a four-seam fastball to get swings and misses, while his two-seamer features heavy sink and draws plenty of ground balls. Hill struck out more than one batter per inning during the regular season, and he walked just 3.3 batters per nine innings. The jewel of his arsenal is a wipeout, 78-83 mph slider that often flashes as a plus pitch. He also occasionally uses a change-of-pace curveball to keep hitters off-balance. He has feel for a changeup but uses it infrequently. Hill utilizes a three-quarter delivery with late head snap that has been characterized as a reliever’s delivery, and he ultimately may be best suited for a bullpen role in which he could air it out and stick with his fastball/slider combination. Hill is committed to Texas Christian and if he doesn’t sign, a strong season in the Horned Frogs’ bullpen could boost his stock for the 2020 draft.

13. Kody Huff, SS/C, Horizon HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. (BA RANK: 401)
Source: HS • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Stanford

The description most commonly used by scouts to describe Huff is that he’s a baseball rat and the son of a longtime scout who grew up around the game. Huff brings a unique skill set in that he’s a catcher who also plays middle infield, drawing comparisons to the Dodgers’ Austin Barnes. His bat speed gives strength to his swing, and his plus arm is more than enough behind the plate or in the infield. He’s a below-average runner and may not have the foot speed to play shortstop at the next level, but he’s an average defender who would be fine at second base. A Stanford commit, Huff will likely be drafted much later than his talent, baseball intelligence and overall versatility warrants.

14. Manny Collier, OF, Westwood HS, Mesa, Ariz. (BA RANK: 429)
Source: HS • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: South Mountain (Ariz.) JC

Collier is a wild card when it comes to the draft, as he was more notable as a high school football player and thus appeared in very few of baseball’s biggest summer showcase events. Opinions on Collier’s future vary among scouts, but he could be drafted on Day 2 by an organization with the patience to nurture his raw athletic abilities. His best tool is plus-plus speed, and his quick hands give him plenty of bat speed and allow him to consistently put balls in play. Collier’s outfield play is still crude and will require plenty of development. His tick below-average arm should get better with added strength and better throwing techniques. Collier is committed to South Mountain (Ariz.) JC, but if he signs he could spend two seasons in Rookie-ball to further refine his game.

15. Chase Webster, RHP, Chandler (Ariz.) Gilbert JC (BA RANK: 462)
Source: JC • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona State

Once committed to Arizona State, Webster instead opted to attend Chandler (Ariz.) Gilbert JC. Despite walking 42 batters in 63 innings while compiling a 2.86 ERA for the Coyotes, Webster was drawing a significant amount of attention from scouts late in the season. Webster is a big-bodied righthander with a fast, loose arm and over-the-top delivery, although there are concerns that his body is not in the best shape. His fastball sits in the 89-95 mph range, but he has questionable command and overall feel for pitching. His slider and splitter are both below-average pitches, while his curveball is well below-average. There’s enough interest in Webster that he’ll get drafted, however, likely later on Day 3.

16. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 3B, Yavapai (Ariz.) JC (BA RANK: 464)
Source: JC • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 215 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Encarnacion-Strand was not well-known to area scouts upon arrival at Yavapai (Ariz.) JC, but his .303/.469/.838 slash line that included 21 home runs and 66 RBIs in 53 games put the Bay Area high school product squarely on the scouting radar. He has plenty of raw power with a strong frame and above-average bat speed, but there are holes in his swing. His hands work well through the pitch, although he’s sometimes late getting his swing started. An adequate defender at third base, scouts are mixed as to whether Encarnacion-Strand has the agility to stay at the hot corner. The answer to that question will more likely depend on how his body grows, and he’s already a bigger-set individual at age 18.

17. Antoine Mistico, OF, GateWay (Ariz.) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Tigers ’17 (14)


18. Daktoa Donovan, RHP, Central Arizona JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-6 • Wt: 230 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Hawaii


19. Kiko Romero, SS/C, Canyon Del Oro HS, Tucson, Ariz.
Source: HS • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 170 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Central Arizona JC


20. Lyle Lin, C, Arizona State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Astros ’18 (29)


21. Preston Pavlica, OF, Grand Canyon
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


22. Jonathan Stroman, RHP, Central Arizona JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Rays ’17 (39)


23. Andrew Nardi, LHP, Arizona
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Nationals ’18 (39)


24. Seth Nager, OF, Ironwood Ridge HS, Tucson, Ariz.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona State


25. Davis Heller, RHP, Mesquite HS, Gilbert, Ariz.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-8 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Oklahoma


26. Nick Wallerstedt, RHP, Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona State


27. Clayton Keyes, OF, Central Arizona JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Blue Jays ’16 (17)


28. Cuba Bess, 1B, Grand Canyon
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 220 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Rockies ’16 (39)


29. Gary Mattis, 3B, Gateway CC
Source: JC • Ht: – • Wt: – • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


30. D.J. Carpenter, RHP, Central Arizona JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-7 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Phillies ’18 (15)


31. Avery Weems, LHP, Arizona
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 205 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


32. Joe McLaughlin, OF, Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Oregon State


33. Brendon Rodriguez, LHP, Scottsdale CC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 230 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


34. Chaz Montoya, LHP, Arizona State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 160 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


35. Justin Wylie, OF, Arizona
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 194 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted


36. Nathan Baez, SS, Ironwood Ridge HS, Tucson, Ariz.
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Arizona State


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