5 things you need to know about the D-Backs’ top draft picks
The first two rounds of the 2016 MLB draft have concluded, and the Arizona Diamondbacks have made their selections. The team forfeited its first-round pick after signing Zack Greinke, but the Diamondbacks picked in Competitive Balance Round A and the second round of the draft.
The team’s first pick, selected in Competitive Balance Round A, was Anfernee Grier, an outfielder from Auburn University. (For those who don’t know, Competitive Balance Rounds give teams that have one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 lowest revenues another draft pick.) Here’s the five things you need to know about Grier:
- He batted .366 in 56 games in 2016, his junior season, and racked up a 1.033 OPS. He also led the team with 12 homers this year.
- He was sixth in the SEC in overall batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage. He had the second-most hits in the conference with 87.
- He’s shown tremendous growth throughout his college career. His average has improved from .255 to .366 since his freshman season, his strikeout to walk ratio has dropped, and his baserunning has gotten better (19 steals in 24 attempts in 2016).
- He had 137 total bases this season, second most in the SEC.
- His father was a sixth-round pick by the Cardinals in the 1987 MLB draft.
The Diamondbacks took Andrew Yerzy in the second round, a catcher out of York Mills Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Here’s the five things you need to know about him:
- The 6’3″, 200 pound catcher was born on July 5, 1998, and has committed to playing for Notre Dame.
- He has played for the Canadian U-18 National Team since 2014, when he was just 16 years old.
- He has solid hitting ability to go along with power. He’s homered in several games while in the Dominican Republic with the Canadian National Team.
- He participated in the High School Select home run derby last summer and made it to the finals, again showing the pop in his bat.
- His defense will need work, but he has an accurate throwing arm to build on, and he will be able to improve his overall play behind the plate in the next few years.
Since Grier has played three years of college ball, it’s a safe assumption that he’ll be much more ready to make the jump to the professional level than Yerzy. He should be playing in the majors in two or three years. Yerzy, on the other hand, will need much more time to develop. Whether he sticks to his commitment to Notre Dame or signs with the Diamondbacks now is yet to be seen. But he will need at least four or five years before he sees major league action.