No scouting director is going to say in advance who their team will select in the MLB Draft. But usually, if the club has a high selection, they have a pretty good idea of which players will be available.
This year, there is no consensus No. 1 overall pick, which means the top of the 2021 MLB Draft board is unsettled. So who will still be there when the D-backs are on the clock at No. 6 is more uncertain than usual.
"The talent is there, it's just not that consensus person that somebody says, 'OK, they're definitely taking this guy and if that guy goes first, this guy's going second,'" D-backs scouting director Deric Ladnier said. "Especially in our position, we're just waiting to see what happens, and ultimately, there's a lot of posturing going on because there's no slam dunk [No. 1 overall pick].
"So I think there'll be a lot of posturing, but I like the talent up top. I really do. I think there's good talent there, and where we're picking, we're going to get a really good player."
Day 1 of the 2021 Draft will take place live from Denver’s Bellco Theatre on Sunday. It will feature the first 36 picks and will air on MLB Network and ESPN at 4 p.m. MST. Day 2, which will span Rounds 2-10, begins at 10 a.m. MST on Monday. The Draft will conclude with Rounds 11-20 on Tuesday, starting at 9 a.m. MST. MLB.com will simulcast MLB Network’s broadcast and provide live coverage on all three days.
When Ladnier looks at this Draft class, he sees a lot of good, advanced high school bats, particularly shortstops, as he thinks four could get selected in the top 10.
It's hard to pigeonhole the D-backs when it comes to their recent selections. They took first baseman Pavin Smith out of the University of Virginia in 2017, high school shortstop Matt McLain in '18, high school outfielder Corbin Carroll in '19 and Duke right-hander Bryce Jarvis last year.
"It's just like, who are the best players, and do they fit the models that we like?" Ladnier said. "Obviously, we always like guys up the middle, athletic. I'm never going to stray away from that. But if there's a pitcher there with the type of data that we need … we're going to just decide whether or not we want to go in that direction or whether we want to go in the direction of the bat. It just depends on who we feel like is the best fit for us."