D-backs go with Tabor on Day 2 of Draft

June 13th, 2017

PHOENIX -- After stocking up on college bats on Day 1 of the 2017 MLB Draft on Monday, the D-backs opened Tuesday by selecting a couple of high school right-handers and a prep third baseman.

The D-backs nabbed Matt Tabor with their third-round pick and followed him with fellow right-hander Harrison Francis. Both are upside high school pitchers.

"When you dream on these type guys, you hope for at least a third-starter type," D-backs scouting director Deric Ladnier said. "The biggest thing is to keep them healthy and on the mound, and if we can do that, we feel like we've got two quality right-handed prospects."

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The D-backs selected third baseman Buddy Kennedy, who went to the same high school as and works out with him in the offseason, with their fifth-round pick.

"If he ends up as good as the last guy that came out of there, we'll be in pretty good shape," Ladnier joked. "Really like his bat. Once again, he's a guy that we feel like is a power bat. He can run. He's an athletic kid, and we really like the short, compact stroke.

Because it will likely take above-slot money to sign the high school players, the D-backs finished the day by taking a pair of senior college infielders, who figure to be easier to sign.

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 10 a.m. MT.

Here's a look at the players the D-backs selected on Day 2:

Round 3, 82nd overall: Matt Tabor, RHP, Milton (Mass.) Academy

Tabor grew from 5-foot-4 to 6-foot-2 before his senior year, which helped his fastball tick up to the 92-93 mph range and top at 96. He posted a 0.42 ERA while striking out 75 and walking eight in 42 innings.

The D-backs feel he has a plus breaking ball with an "electric arm."

Round 4, 112th overall: Harrison Francis, RHP, Lawton Chiles (Fla.) High School

Much like Tabor, Francis grew before his senior year, which helped improve his fastball and Draft stock. His changeup is his best pitch, and his fastball is also above average. His breaking ball is average at the moment, but the D-backs think it has a chance to be a plus pitch at some point.

"The changeup is top-of-the-scale, Major League-quality now," Ladnier said. "To the point he can tell you he's throwing it, and you still can't hit."

Francis attended Lawton Chiles High School, and he committed to attend Chipola (Fla.) College.

Round 5, 142nd overall: Buddy Kennedy, 3B, Millville High School

Kennedy posted a .493/.550/.985 slash line with six homers and 24 RBIs during his senior season. The 18-year-old has a compact build and runs well. Scouts have said he has "Trout-like mannerisms" and hits the ball hard to all fields.

Kennedy is the grandson of former big leaguer Don Money.

Round 6, 172nd overall: Brian Shaffer, RHP, University of Maryland

Shaffer was the Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, as he went 7-3 with a 2.18 ERA for the Terrapins. The 20-year-old showed good command, striking out 102 and walking just 18 in 103 1/3 innings.

Ladnier sees Shaffer as an "upside pitcher," and Arizona likes his angle to the plate. A tall player at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Shaffer hits 94-95 mph on the radar gun. He has a very good sinker, and he throws from a three-quarters arm slot.

"He's developed into being one of the better strike-throwers I've been around in college baseball in the years I've been working in it," Maryland head coach John Szefc told The Baltimore Sun.

Round 7, 202nd overall: Jose Caballero, SS, Cibola (Fla.) College

Caballero is fresh off helping the Indians win the NJCAA Baseball National Championship as they beat San Jacinto, 15-6, in the final.

The 5-foot-10, 185 pound Caballero played a key role in the run to the championship, hitting .448 in the tournament and winning the Preston Walker Most Valuable Player Award.

This past season, Caballero hit .401 with 15 homers, 63 RBIs and stole 22 bases in 58 games. While he played shortstop, the D-backs see him more as a second baseman. They really like his bat.

Round 8, 232nd overall: Tim Susnara, C, University of Oregon

Susnara was originally selected out of high school by the Giants in the 34th round of the 2014 MLB Draft, but he did not sign and went to play for the Ducks.

With Oregon this past season, Susnara had a slash line of .262/.342/.381 in 50 games. The D-backs analytics department liked Susnara's pitch-framing ability, and the organization sees him as a solid catch-and-throw guy.

Susnara attended Saint Francis (Calif.) High School, the alma mater of D-backs infielder/outfielder .

Round 9, 262nd overall: Camden Duzenack, SS, Dallas Baptist University

Duzenack helped lead his team to the NCAA Forth Worth Regional before it bowed out in a loss to TCU. He was drafted in the 23rd round in 2016 by the Phillies, but he did not sign. He was a three-time First Team Missouri Valley Conference Scholar Athlete selection with a 3.50 GPA as a sports management major.

Though he played short in college, he likely will shift to more of a utility-infield role in pro ball, with the D-backs planning to move him around the infield.

Round 10, 292nd overall: Ryan Grotjohn, SS, Cal State-Bakersfield

Grotjohn hit .390/.459/.512 for Bakersfield this past season, drawing 23 walks while striking out just 20 times.

Grotjohn is an Arizona native, and he attended Brophy Prep in Phoenix.