The Arizona Diamondbacks certainly have options as they prepare for the 2019 Major League Draft which starts on Monday.
General Manager Mike Hazen and his staff own seven of the first 75 selections including the 16th overall. The D-backs were awarded two more compensation first-rounders (numbers 33 and 34) following the departure of free agents Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollack, as well as another one (number 77) from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Paul Goldschmidt trade.
Arizona also has the biggest bonus pool ($16,092,700) of all 30 MLB teams.
One MLB insider expects history to repeat itself in the coming days when it comes to the type of player the Diamondbacks like.
“If you just look at recent history with Mike Hazen,” ESPN’s Pedro Gomez said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat Thursday morning. “I went and looked at last year. Of the first 26 picks that the Diamondbacks had, 22 were college players. College players tend to be a lot closer to the major leagues than high school players.”
Gomez stressed there are certainly exceptions to the rule. Some players simply have too much “upside” to pass on (Mike Trout).
Gomez was asked if pitching is the most immediate need, particularly early in the draft for the D-backs.
“I think it has to be,” he said. “Especially when you look at how thin the starting rotation is. You have some injuries, you have some guys underperforming and all of a sudden you really are reaching. You’ve got to believe pitching is going to be a priority.”
Rest assured the D-backs scouting department will continue to put in the extra work this weekend ramping up to Monday afternoon.