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2016 MLB Draft: National League West Review

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Bryan Reynolds
Bryan Reynolds
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

NATIONAL LEAGUE WESTERN DIVISION

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
1-C) Anfernee Grier, OF, Auburn University
2) Andy Yerzy, C, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3) Jon Duplantier, RHP, Rice University
4) Curtis Taylor, RHP, University of British Columbia
COMMENT:
Interesting to see the Diamondbacks nab two of the top Canadians available in the 2016 draft. Yerzy has above-average power from the left side but his defense will need polish behind the plate. Taylor can get up to 95 with his sinker and throws strikes. Grier was a solid pick in the compensation round, with above-average tools (except for his arm) but an erratic college track record. Duplantier has very good stuff and knows how to pitch but Rice arms have a habit of getting hurt. If not for that he could have been a first rounder. A subsequent pick of note was 8th rounder Ryan January, a power-hitting catcher from San Jacinto Junior College. Chris Owings’ younger brother, second baseman Connor was drafted in the 34th round from Coastal Carolina has a good hitting record but scouts aren’t convinced it will hold at higher levels. Bloodlines are fun though.


COLORADO ROCKIES
1) Riley Pint, RHP, Overland Park, Kansas
1-C) Robert Tyler, RHP, University of Georgia
2) Ben Bowden, LHP, Vanderbilt
3) Garrett Hampson, SS, Long Beach State University
4) Colton Welker, 3B, Parkland, Florida
COMMENT:
The Rockies have to develop their own pitching and they are investing a lot here with Pint at fourth-overall. You can’t overlook at 101 MPH fastball combined with athleticism but Pint is rather raw with his command and will need time. Tyler out of Georgia also has excellent stuff, up to 99 MPH and a good change-up, but his breaking pitch remains inconsistent as does his command. Bowden is the most polished of the trio by far, a strike thrower with a solid fastball/slider/change mix. He has the least upside but the least risk as well. Hampson can run and field but isn’t likely to hit for much power. Welker has a solid bat and the Rockies have a good track record helping similar hitters develop their skills. Sixth round OF Willie Abreu from the Miami Hurricanes has the raw power of a first round pick but never quite put it together in college; he could be good value in that round. SLEEPER: RHP Justin Valdespina from Southern New Hampshire University, drafted in 15th round. 70-grade names: J.D. Hammer, RHP from Marshall in the 24th round, and Troy Bacon, RHP from Santa Fe JC in the 37th.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS
1) Gavin Lux, SS, Kenosha, Wisconsin
1) Will Smith, C, University of Louisville
1-C) Jordan Sheffield, RHP, Vanderbilt
2) Mitchell White, RHP, Santa Clara Univerity
3) Dustin May, RHP, Justin, Texas
4) D.J. Peters, OF, Western Nevada CC
COMMENT:
Nice mix here for the Dodgers. It was a good year for high school players from the Midwest and Lux was one of the better talents, with speed, overall athleticism, and a chance to be a fine line drive hitter. Smith is a solid gloveman and improved greatly as a hitter this spring, while Sheffield was generating mid-first-round buzz until a late slump. Both Smith and Sheffield could be in the majors quickly, as could four-pitch Santa Clara starter White. May is a projection investment who will need lots of time, while Peters offers considerable power. Fifth rounder Devin Smeltzer from San Jacinto JC racks up strikeouts at a high pace despite average velocity. SLEEPER: 20th round 3B Brock Carpenter from the University of Seattle has a good eye and a good glove at third.

SAN DIEGO PADRES
1) Cal Quantrill, RHP, Stanford University
1) Hudson Sanchez, SS, Southlake, Texas
1) Eric Lauer, LHP, Kent State University
2) Buddy Reed, OF, University of Florida
2-C) Reggie Lawson, RHP, Victorville, California
3) Mason Thompson, RHP, Round Rock, Texas
4) Joey Lucchesi, LHP, Southeast Missouri State University
COMMENT:
The Padres adopt a diversity approach with multiple picks. Quantrill went 8th overall despite missing the season on Tommy John rehab, but when healthy he is a highly-advanced pitchability arm with above-average stuff. Lauer posted insane numbers this year in the MAC thanks to sharp control of a four-pitch mix and won’t need much time in the minors. Sanchez was an overdraft and signed for a below-slot bonus, but that was necessary to make the other bonuses work properly; he has power potential and is just 17 years old so there is upside there. Lawson and Thompson could have both been first round picks if not for injury issues but the upside is big there, while Reed has a first-round body but fourth-round hitting skills. Lucchesi posted a terrific K/IP ratio with a low-90s fastball and a good curve. There are some risks here but also a potentially large payoff.

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
2) Bryan Reynolds, OF, Vanderbilt
3) Heath Quinn, OF, Samford
4) Matt Krook, LHP, Oregon
5) Ryan Howard, SS, Missouri
6) Gio Brusa, OF, Pacific
COMMENT:
Everyone is full of praise for the Giants draft and I think they are right to do so. They didn’t have a first round pick but still got a first round talent in Reynolds, who fell to 59th overall for no particular reason; he’s a switch-hitter with power from a top program. Quinn is another very promising bat with power and strike zone judgment. Krook has a first-round arm but health concerns and control issues knocked down his stock; there’s plenty of upside there if it can be refined. Howard is a typical Giants college draft: decent to mediocre tools, but fundamentally solid; the Giants have a habit of getting a lot from those guys. Brusa has some pitch recognition concerns but also has significant power and has done well with wooden bats; he’s a great choice in the sixth round as a senior. College picks dominate the class, with a mixture of polish (Caleb Baragar, LHP, Indiana,9th round for example) and raw upside (Reagan Bazar, RHP, LA-Lafayette, 17th round) giving the coaches plenty to work with. SLEEPER: Jacob Heyward, 18th round OF from the University of Miami; Jason’s younger brother didn’t live up to expectations in college but has good tools.