We now begin our draft reviews for the National League West, with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
1) Barret Loux, RHP, Texas A&M: A surprise pick likely for signability reasons, Loux is big, throws 90-93, and mixes in effective secondary offerings with good command. He has some injury risk, and I think he was a stretch at sixth-overall.
2) J.R. Bradley, RHP, West Virginia HS: Very projectable, Bradley already throws hard at 90 MPH and more velocity should come as he fills out his body. He already has decent control but needs more development in general. However, I rather like Bradley and see this as a solid pick in the second round.
3) Robby Rowland, RHP, California HS: Like Bradley, Rowland is very projectable and athletic, and will likely throw harder than his current 88-90 as he matures. I like this pick, too.
4) Kevin Munson, RHP, James Madison: Munson was lights out as a college closer with his 90-93 MPH heater and wicked slider. He can be overpowering, and should move through the system quickly as a relief option.
5) Cody Wheeler, LHP, Coastal Carolina: Great results in college, but scouting opinion is mixed, can hit 90 MPH and show a good breaking ball and changeup on his best days. Has some sleeper potential.
6) Blake Perry, RHP, Florida HS: Another tall, thin, projectable arm with decent present stuff and the chance for more.
7) Jeff Shields, RHP, Chattahoochee Valley CC: He can hit 95 MPH and was overpowering at times this spring, but is still working to refine his game. I like the upside though, and he's athletic.
8) Tyler Green, RHP, Texas HS: Athletic, throws hard (92-94), but his undersized body (6-1) kept him from earlier rounds. He has considerable potential, if signable away from college at Texas Christian.
9) Zach Walters, SS, University of San Diego: Considered a promising hitter with good athleticism, an injury-plagued spring kept him from going earlier in the draft.
10) Kawika Emsley-Pai, C, Lewis-Clark State: Another injury casualty who could have gone higher if healthy, has potential on both offense and defense if his back problems let him.
FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 13-Kevin Ziomek, LHP, Massachusetts HS; 14-Ty Linton, OF, North Carolina HS; 17-Derek Eitel, RHP, Rose-Hulman College; 22-Jeremy Erben, RHP, Oklahoma
COMMENT: Loux looks like an overdraft at the top, but there is method to the madness: the money saved there can go to luring Bradley, Rowland, Perry, and Green from attending college, and it isn't like Loux is a bad prospect; he's very good. If they manage to snare Ziomek too, so much the better. I really like this collection of projectable arms. There isn't much hitting here, but they drafted that last year.