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Alexander eager to blaze path to big leagues

Arizona Diamondbacks

Blaze Alexander was at Chase Field in mid-September and he was in awe, taking in every moment of the pregame ceremonies alongside other top Arizona Diamondbacks prospects.

The 19-year-old shortstop was walking around the ballpark as if he wanted to remember every corner of the place he hopes to someday come back to as a Major Leaguer. For now, he is all about cherishing the journey that has brought him one step closer to achieving his dream of someday being on the diamond as "the general on the field" like Nick Ahmed, the current D-backs starting shortstop he looks up to.  

Blaze Alexander was at Chase Field in mid-September and he was in awe, taking in every moment of the pregame ceremonies alongside other top Arizona Diamondbacks prospects.

The 19-year-old shortstop was walking around the ballpark as if he wanted to remember every corner of the place he hopes to someday come back to as a Major Leaguer. For now, he is all about cherishing the journey that has brought him one step closer to achieving his dream of someday being on the diamond as "the general on the field" like Nick Ahmed, the current D-backs starting shortstop he looks up to.  

"I definitely have learned a lot from him," said Alexander, who participated in last week's D-backs Hitters Camp at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. "He came over to say hi, and anytime you shake hands with a Major Leaguer it just feels different."

The IMG Academy product born in Cape Coral, Fla., was drafted in the 11th round of the 2018 Draft on June 5, and less than a week later he was celebrating his 19th birthday while getting ready to make his debut with the Rookie-level AZL D-backs on June 23. He got hit by a pitch and scored a run as the starting second baseman. Welcome to the pros, kid.

"The Diamondbacks did show a lot of interest [in me] before the Draft," said Alexander. "I know that they were at a high school tournament I played at in Arizona. I was pretty close to the area scouts in Florida, too. It was a blessing to have my name called by them. ... There is no more staying up and playing video games like in high school."

Life for Alexander at IMG, one of the most prestigious high schools in the United States with former athletes like current D-backs catcher John Ryan Murphy, was pretty simple for a "big video game guy" who loves to play "Fortnite." 

"I went for my senior year," said Alexander. "There are posters of John Ryan Murphy everywhere in the hallways and the locker rooms. It was pretty much baseball and school. I lived in a dorm. Every kid plays a sport there, and that is when I committed to baseball. Just unreal."

Alexander turned down a scholarship offer from the University of South Carolina, a decision that "wasn't very hard" since his most ardent desire was to play baseball every day.

"South Carolina is an amazing school with fantastic coaches, but I wanted the pro-ball lifestyle," he said. "It was time."

The day-to-day grind of baseball was the most shocking thing for him when he became a pro.

"I thought it was a lot of fun, but it was definitely a lot different since you wake up and you are playing baseball every day," said Alexander. "It got tough, because I wasn't used to it. Waking up, going to the field, early work, batting practice, then you play late at night and you repeat the next day.

"The game gets a lot faster from high school to pro ball. You are expected to perform and put on a show for the fans."

Alexander understood from the get-go that establishing a routine would be key to his success. He leaned on his dad, Charles, who pitched in the Cleveland Indians' system from 1988-91, for advice during a season that saw him climb Arizona's top prospect list thanks to a .329 batting average in 57 games with the AZL D-backs and Missoula Osprey.

"I loved baseball ever since I was little," said Alexander. "Once I committed to it, he did whatever he could to help me, doing research to find the best things for me from arm care to hitting. That put me on track to be in the situation I am in today. His advice was huge. He knew what the Minor League grind was all about and what it took." 

You may wonder where his name, Blaze, comes from. So unique, so fiery. Well, that was because of his dad, too.

"My dad played Minor League baseball for the Indians and met a player called Blaze, so he decided on the spot that he would name his kid Blaze," he said. "He thought it was a really cool 'baseball name' and actually argued with my mom, who wanted to call me Cheney, so they battled and settled on Blaze Cheney Alexander."

Family has always been a cornerstone of Alexander's baseball life. He always watches his uncle, Dan Plesac, dispense advice and analysis on MLB Network, and Alexander's older brother, C.J. , was also drafted on the same day as him by the Atlanta Braves in the 20th round of this year's Draft.

"It was amazing! We were drafted maybe three hours apart," Alexander said. "I got drafted first but the family still had that nervous energy until my brother's name was called. We popped some champagne and celebrated with a pool day as a family. A couple of days later we were on a plane going our separate ways, but it was awesome. 

"We probably will wager something. It will be a chip on my shoulder. He beats me at most things since he is three years older than me, but I can beat him at video games. We compete in everything."

There are certainly lofty goals ahead for the kid that Baseball America dubbed "more than a big arm" after he threw a 99-mph bullet across the infield at a national showcase.

"I have a lot of eyes to open," said Alexander, who someday may just blaze his path to stardom. "I want to take in everything I can. Get bigger, faster, stronger and more consistent in every aspect while trying to become the Minor League Player of the Year in 2019."

Arizona Diamondbacks

Prospect Thomas enjoys whirlwind first year

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs prospect Alek Thomas can be defined as many things: a millennial, a former three-sport athlete and a coach's son. However, Thomas, who is participating in a special D-backs Hitter's Camp this week at Salt River Fields in Arizona, refuses to be boxed in, labeled or to somehow give in to what other people may think his ceiling might be.

That is how the 18-year-old prospect, whom Arizona selected 63rd overall in the 2018 MLB Draft starts his first full season in the Minors as the club's No. 6 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

D-backs prospect Alek Thomas can be defined as many things: a millennial, a former three-sport athlete and a coach's son. However, Thomas, who is participating in a special D-backs Hitter's Camp this week at Salt River Fields in Arizona, refuses to be boxed in, labeled or to somehow give in to what other people may think his ceiling might be.

That is how the 18-year-old prospect, whom Arizona selected 63rd overall in the 2018 MLB Draft starts his first full season in the Minors as the club's No. 6 overall prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

"[The D-backs] definitely showed some interest, but I didn't know who was going to draft me," said Thomas, whose father, Allen, is the current director of strength and conditioning for the White Sox. "[The scouts] showed up to my school, did the eye test and were all like 'All right; see you later.' It was a surprise when I got drafted. I'm very thankful the D-backs selected me."

Video: Draft 2018: D-backs draft CF Alek Thomas No. 63

The father-son bond is a big part of what makes the 5-foot-11, 175-pound center fielder the promising and versatile athlete who took the Arizona Rookie League and the Pioneer League by storm this past season.

"My dad was my biggest influence. He made me into the man I am today on and off the field," said Thomas, who as a 16-year-old remembers running speed drills at U.S. Cellular Field with a resistance band held by his father.

"Continue to be a hard worker," he added. "That is probably the biggest lesson I got from the White Sox. My dad would always tell me that you always have to have the mentality that someone is better than you, so keep working hard."

Thomas slashed a combined .333/.395/.463 with 22 extra-base hits, 27 RBIs and 12 steals in 2018, numbers that stood out just as much as his range in the outfield. His hard work paid off when he was named one of the 2018 Organizational Players of the Year at Missoula, thanks to a .341 batting average that was fourth best on the team and an .891 OPS (fifth best) during his 28 games with the Osprey.

That kind of success isn't luck, but rather a byproduct of how Thomas made the most of his time on the South Side of Chicago, gaining valuable advice from players and coaches who are like father figures to him.

"Todd Frazier was one of the players who influenced me the most," Thomas said. "He taught me that you can go 1-for-40 [at the plate], but you need to continue to be the same dude day in and day out.

"Adam Engel taught me about the Minor League lifestyle. He had a kid during his time in the Minor Leagues, had to rent an apartment, struggled, and then it all paid off once he made it to the Majors."

It wasn't all hard work and no play. There was also time for fun and shenanigans for Thomas as a kid in Chicago.

"My biggest memory was that I was at home watching the game and [Mark] Buehrle was throwing a perfect game, so I told my mom that we had to go to the ballpark right then and there," he said. "I showed up for the last out, in the stands behind home plate watching that amazing Dewayne Wise catch that saved the perfect game…without a ticket, just snuck in there.

"It was definitely a special moment, and it was even more special to witness it with my dad there."

Thomas was a three-sport athlete at Mount Carmel (Ill.) High School who played football and basketball as well. He was named Gatorade's Illinois Baseball Player of the Year in 2017, and Texas Christian offered him a football scholarship this year, but Thomas chose professional baseball with no regrets.

"I watched a few TCU football games this season," Thomas said. "The Ohio State game was pretty big. I did wonder about what could have been if I was out there, but I chose the right profession [for me]. I'm not necessarily a TCU fan, but I do watch them. Sometimes I mess around with friends as a wide receiver, but football is past me now, and I'm focusing on baseball.

"I had to learn a lot of different positions as a football player, and that helped me arrive with an open mind to the Diamondbacks' organization as well as processing information. My gritty attitude definitely translated to baseball."

Thomas doesn't overthink things. He goes with the flow and adapts to new circumstances with relative ease even as he has had to move from Chicago to Phoenix and then Montana, where he stayed with a host family and became friends with shortstop and fellow top prospect Blaze Alexander.

"That was fun and everything was good. [We] went down the river in Montana, which was cool. Definitely enjoyed my time there," said Thomas, who alongside along other top D-backs prospects visited Chase Field last September -- a site he is eager to return to in the not-so-distant future as a Major Leaguer.

"I want to be an impact player," he said. "I don't want to just get to the Majors, I want to stay and have an impactful career as one of the best Diamondbacks ever. I set high standards. If you don't, you are selling yourself short. Aim for the clouds."

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs grab pitcher Green in Rule 5 Draft

MLB.com

LAS VEGAS -- In previous trade talks with the Yankees, right-hander Nick Green's name came up. But nothing ever came of it until Thursday, when the D-backs selected the 23-year-old in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

The D-backs must pay $100,000 to the Yankees as compensation for selecting Green, and Arizona has to keep him on its 25-man roster throughout the 2019 season. If the D-backs elect not to keep him on the roster, they must offer him back to the Yankees for $50,000. They can also work out a trade with the Yankees for Green which would allow Arizona to option him to the Minor Leagues.

LAS VEGAS -- In previous trade talks with the Yankees, right-hander Nick Green's name came up. But nothing ever came of it until Thursday, when the D-backs selected the 23-year-old in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft.

The D-backs must pay $100,000 to the Yankees as compensation for selecting Green, and Arizona has to keep him on its 25-man roster throughout the 2019 season. If the D-backs elect not to keep him on the roster, they must offer him back to the Yankees for $50,000. They can also work out a trade with the Yankees for Green which would allow Arizona to option him to the Minor Leagues.

Green spent most of last season with the Yankee's Class A Advanced team in Tampa, compiling a 3.28 ERA and 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 20 starts. He did make three starts for Double-A Trenton, where he went 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA and 4.7 strikeouts per nine.

"He's got a good cutter, good curveball, he's up to 93-94 [mph]," D-backs GM Mike Hazen said. "We've liked him in trade discussions in the past. It's a little bit of a flier, given that he only has three starts in Double-A, but he's going to be 24 years old [in March] and we like a lot of things that he can do."

While Green was almost strictly a starter in the Minor Leagues, if he sticks with the D-backs in the 2019 season, it will almost certainly be in a bullpen role.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Nick Green

D-backs' Takahashi seizes opportunity in AFL

MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With its Fall Stars Game scheduled for Saturday, the Arizona Fall League made it easy on the players slated to participate by shortening Friday's games to seven innings and giving most of them the day off. With the Salt River Rafters sending two members of their rotation to the all-star game, that meant they needed another starter.

Enter right-hander Bo Takahashi (D-backs), a starter throughout his pro career but a full-time reliever in the AFL this fall. After logging a 9.00 ERA in six bullpen appearances for Salt River, he threw three shutout innings in an 8-3 victory over the Surprise Saguaros. Though he battled his control, throwing just 20 of 41 pitches for strikes and issuing three walks, the Saguaros had difficulty squaring up his pitches and managed just one hit.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With its Fall Stars Game scheduled for Saturday, the Arizona Fall League made it easy on the players slated to participate by shortening Friday's games to seven innings and giving most of them the day off. With the Salt River Rafters sending two members of their rotation to the all-star game, that meant they needed another starter.

Enter right-hander Bo Takahashi (D-backs), a starter throughout his pro career but a full-time reliever in the AFL this fall. After logging a 9.00 ERA in six bullpen appearances for Salt River, he threw three shutout innings in an 8-3 victory over the Surprise Saguaros. Though he battled his control, throwing just 20 of 41 pitches for strikes and issuing three walks, the Saguaros had difficulty squaring up his pitches and managed just one hit.

"I started the whole year, so it feels good to get back on the mound at the start of the game," Takahashi said. "The routine is really different, but I have fun relieving, so it's a great experience."

• Gameday

Takahashi operated at 90-91 mph, typical fastball velocity for him. His changeup was effective, and he also mixed in a slider and curveball. Because he doesn't have a plus pitch, Takahashi must locate his pitches well to succeed, which he did while posting a 4.03 ERA with a 130/30 K/BB ratio in 120 2/3 innings between high Class A and Double-A during the regular season.

Signed in 2013 out of Brazil, Takahashi pitched for his country in a World Baseball Classic qualifier in 2017, calling it the best experience in his life. He's trying to become the sixth Brazilian to reach the big leagues, following Yan Gomes, Andre Rienzo, Paulo Orlando, Thyago Vieira and Luiz Gohara, all of whom made it earlier this decade.

"Every year, baseball in Brazil gets bigger and bigger," Takahashi said. "Now that MLB has an academy down in Brazil, that helps a lot too. Baseball is getting way better right now."

Right fielder Sam Hilliard (Rockies) snapped a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the third inning off right-hander Matt Eckelman (Pirates), and first baseman Jake Noll (Nationals) broke the game open with a three-run shot in the fifth against righty Grant Gavin (Royals). Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado was on hand to watch his cousin, Rafters third baseman Josh Fuentes (Rockies), who went 2-for-4.

Salt River improved to 13-8 and stretched its lead in the East Division to 3 1/2 games with nine remaining. Surprise dropped to 8-13, tied for the worst record in the Fall League and seven games behind the Peoria Javelinas in the West.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs' Mark OK after taking Vlad Jr. liner to head

23-year-old righty recovering after being struck by 103-mph line drive`
MLB.com

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs prospect Tyler Mark walked off under his own power after being struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the third inning of an Arizona Fall League game on Wednesday night at Salt River Fields. On Thursday, Mark tweeted that "all is well" and thanked his fans for the texts, tweets and prayers.

Mark, an MLB Urban Youth Academy/Boys and Girls Clubs of Venice RBI alumnus who was selected in the sixth round of the 2015 Draft, delivered an 80-mph slider that Guerrero lined back up the middle with an exit velocity of 103.24 mph, per Statcast™.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs prospect Tyler Mark walked off under his own power after being struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the third inning of an Arizona Fall League game on Wednesday night at Salt River Fields. On Thursday, Mark tweeted that "all is well" and thanked his fans for the texts, tweets and prayers.

Mark, an MLB Urban Youth Academy/Boys and Girls Clubs of Venice RBI alumnus who was selected in the sixth round of the 2015 Draft, delivered an 80-mph slider that Guerrero lined back up the middle with an exit velocity of 103.24 mph, per Statcast™.

The ball ricocheted off Mark into the third-base dugout for a ground-rule double.

Tweet from @TMark29: Huge thank you for the texts, tweets and prayers regarding last night. All is well, and I���m so fortunate that my ear is still attached...I heard those don���t grow back.🙏🙌

Mark was down on the ground for a few moments, but he eventually stood up and walked into the Salt River Rafters' dugout.

Mark, 23, reached Double-A this season and went 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA over 10 appearances for Jackson after being promoted from Class A Advanced Visalia. The right-hander went 3-4 with a 2.29 ERA in 45 games between the two affiliates.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Pipeline names D-backs' Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Taylor Widener learned to trust his changeup, while shortstop Jazz Chisholm turned lessons learned during his rehab into success on the field.

The pair were rewarded for their efforts by being named the D-backs' Pitching and Hitting Prospects of the Year, respectively, by MLB Pipeline.

PHOENIX -- Right-hander Taylor Widener learned to trust his changeup, while shortstop Jazz Chisholm turned lessons learned during his rehab into success on the field.

The pair were rewarded for their efforts by being named the D-backs' Pitching and Hitting Prospects of the Year, respectively, by MLB Pipeline.:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Each team's Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list.

Widener was acquired along with outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from the Yankees just prior to Spring Training as part of a three-team deal that included the Rays.

The 23-year-old was 5-8 with a 2.75 ERA over 26 games (25 starts) for Double-A Jackson. The D-backs' No. 2 prospect held opponents to a .197 average while striking out 176 and walking 43. He led the Southern League in walks plus hits per inning pitched (1.03) and led all D-backs Minor League pitchers in both ERA and strikeouts.

"I'm glad to see that putting in some hard work has finally been paying off for me," Widener said. "I'm really excited to see what the future holds for me."

Video: Top Prospects: Taylor Widener, RHP, D-backs

Throwing his changeup more proved to be a game-changer for Widener.

"I never really had much confidence throwing a changeup to lefties and righties," Widener said. "When I was in college, I was mainly a reliever so a fastball/slider guy. I finally started getting some confidence throwing the changeup after I had a little bit of success with it. I just got more and more confidence and started throwing it with conviction, and I think that really helped me out this year."

With the D-backs all but certain to lose Patrick Corbin to free agency, Widener could very well find himself competing for a rotation spot next spring.

Chisholm, meanwhile, is likely a couple of years away from seeing big league action, but the 20-year-old will get to test himself in the Arizona Fall League over the next couple of months.

"Just the atmosphere of being there and playing with great guys every day," Chisholm said of what he was looking to get out of his AFL experience. "Hopefully, I take a lot out of it."

Video: LAD@ARI: Jazz Chisholm talks about his overall game

That seems like a safe bet as the club's No. 3 prospect was able to turn the misfortune of having his 2017 season cut short due to a knee injury into a learning experience.

While rehabbing the injury at the D-backs Spring Training facility in Scottsdale, Ariz., Chisholm picked the brains of Major League shortstops Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings, along with catcher Josh Thole and pitcher Shelby Miller, who were also rehabbing injuries.

The veterans looked at video of Chisholm both at the plate and in the field.

"They helped me refine everything on defense, offense, no matter what it was," Chisholm said. "They taught me all the little things that I needed to learn. Even the small things were big things in my game this year."

Chisholm hit a combined .272/.329/.513 with 23 doubles, six triples, 25 home runs and 70 RBIs while splitting time between Class A Kane County and Class A Advanced Visalia.

"Just relaxing and trusting myself was basically the biggest jump I've done this year," Chisholm said. "I feel like my defense can always get better, my hitting always can get better. I recognized pitches really good this year, so just keep that up. Mostly defense, for sure."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Koch earns another start during Dodgers series

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The D-backs will start Matt Koch on Tuesday against the Dodgers at Chase Field.

Koch will start in the rotation spot of Clay Buchholz, who was lost for the season when he strained his flexor tendon while warming up for a start against the Rockies on Sept. 13.

View Full Game Coverage

PHOENIX -- The D-backs will start Matt Koch on Tuesday against the Dodgers at Chase Field.

Koch will start in the rotation spot of Clay Buchholz, who was lost for the season when he strained his flexor tendon while warming up for a start against the Rockies on Sept. 13.

View Full Game Coverage

Koch was pressed into action at the last moment in that game and allowed four runs in three innings.

"I don't think we saw him at his best that day in Colorado," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "To be fair to him, we felt like giving him a few days to prepare would be a really good thing for him to go out and execute a game plan."

When Buchholz's turn in the rotation came around again, Matt Andriese got the ball against Cubs on Tuesday and allowed five runs over two innings.

Koch came on in relief in that game and tossed four shutout innings.

"He'd thrown the ball extremely well in the back end of that game, his last outing," Lovullo said. "We just liked what we saw and felt like it was a good opportunity for him to go out there and get a true start."

Koch was part of the rotation earlier in the season and overall this year is 5-5 with a 4.26 ERA in 18 games (13 starts).

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Matt Koch

D-backs instructional league roster, schedule

MLB.com

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

Here's a look at the D-backs roster, with the players' rankr in the team's Top 30 Prospects list in parentheses:

At the end of each season, Major League clubs hold instructional league play, commonly known as instructs, an extended mini-camp that allows Minor Leaguers -- particularly those just starting their pro careers at the lower levels of their team's system -- to get some work in before calling it a year. Players work on specific parts of their game and get offseason workout plans while often playing a handful of games against nearby teams to provide low-key competition to put what they are working on into practice.

Here's a look at the D-backs roster, with the players' rankr in the team's Top 30 Prospects list in parentheses:

Instructional league rosters

PITCHERS: Jhosmer Alvarez, RHP; Juan Araujo, RHP; Erin Baldwin, RHP; Antonio Cardenas, RHP; Harrison Francis, RHP; Luis Frias, RHP; Michel Gelabert, LHP; Jackson Goddard, RHP (No. 25); Josh Green, RHP; Tyler Holton, LHP; Levi Kelly (No. 26), RHP; Ethan Larrison, RHP; Justin Lewis, RHP; Matt Mercer, RHP (No. 24); Ryan Miller, RHP; Travis Moths, RHP; Deyni Olivero, RHP; Chester Pimentel, RHP; Kyler Stout, RHP; Matt Tabor, RHP (No. 10); Marcos Tineo, RHP; Andy Toelken, RHP; Alex Valdez, RHP; Ryan Weiss, RHP; Shumpei Yoshikawa, RHP

CATCHERS: Zac Almond, C/1B; Axel Andueza; Nick Dalesandro; Sergio Gutierrez; Sandy Martinez; Luvin Valbuena

INFIELDERS: Blaze Alexander, IF (No. 19); Jose Caballero, IF; Neyfy Castillo, 3B; Rafael Jimenez, 1B; Buddy Kennedy, 3B; Francis Martinez, 1B; Liover Peguero, SS; Geraldo Perdomo, SS (No. 21); Roman Ruiz, IF; Zach Shannon, 1B; LT Tolbert, IF; Andy Yerzy, C/1B (No. 15)

OUTFIELDERS: Jorge Barrosa (No. 29); Eduardo Diaz (No. 16); Alvin Guzman; Tre Holmes (No. 29); Jesus Marriaga; Jake McCarthy (No. 8); Wilderd Patino; Kristian Robinson (No. 12); Alek Thomas (No. 6)

SCHEDULE
Mon., Oct. 1 - Camp day
Tue., Oct. 2 - Camp day
Wed., Oct. 3 - at Brewers
Thu., Oct. 4 - Camp day
Fri., Oct. 5 - Camp day
Sat., Oct. 6 - Camp day
Sun., Oct. 7 - Off day
Mon., Oct. 8 - vs. A's
Tue., Oct. 9 - Camp day
Wed., Oct. 10 - Camp day
Thu., Oct. 11 - Camp day
Fri., Oct. 12 - vs. A's

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs, Japanese pitcher nearing Minors deal

Yoshikawa, 23, was expected to be a high selection in NPB's draft
MLB.com

The D-backs and 23-year-old Japanese pitcher Shumpei Yoshikawa are reportedly closing in on a Minor League contract after Yoshikawa elected to forgo the opportunity to start his professional career in Japan in favor of a chance at playing in the Major Leagues.

The 6-foot-1, 176-pound Yoshikawa was a top amateur prospect in Japan and expected to be a high selection in Nippon Professional Baseball's upcoming October amateur draft, according to the Japan Times. He currently pitches for Panasonic in the Japanese corporate league, an amateur league.

The D-backs and 23-year-old Japanese pitcher Shumpei Yoshikawa are reportedly closing in on a Minor League contract after Yoshikawa elected to forgo the opportunity to start his professional career in Japan in favor of a chance at playing in the Major Leagues.

The 6-foot-1, 176-pound Yoshikawa was a top amateur prospect in Japan and expected to be a high selection in Nippon Professional Baseball's upcoming October amateur draft, according to the Japan Times. He currently pitches for Panasonic in the Japanese corporate league, an amateur league.

According to the Kyodo News, Yoshikawa will be the first top Japanese amateur prospect to skip the NPB altogether to sign with a Major League club since pitcher Junichi Tazawa signed with the Red Sox in 2008. Tazawa was also discovered in the corporate league.

Yoshikawa is currently with the Japanese national baseball team at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, where Japan is scheduled to begin play against Pakistan on Sunday.

The move would mark the D-backs' second marquee Japanese signing in as many years. They signed reliever Yoshihisa Hirano to a two-year, $6 million contract last December.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs land Andriese from TB for 2 prospects

Righty to bolster 'pen as club deals Perez, Shaffer; Delgado DFA'd
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The D-backs acquired an additional arm for the bullpen Wednesday, landing right-hander Matt Andriese from the Rays in exchange for Minor Leaguers Michael Perez and Brian Shaffer.

Andriese, who will turn 29 next month, fits the profile of the typical player general manager Mike Hazen likes to acquire -- one that is under club control going forward.

CHICAGO -- The D-backs acquired an additional arm for the bullpen Wednesday, landing right-hander Matt Andriese from the Rays in exchange for Minor Leaguers Michael Perez and Brian Shaffer.

Andriese, who will turn 29 next month, fits the profile of the typical player general manager Mike Hazen likes to acquire -- one that is under club control going forward.

Andriese is eligible for salary arbitration after this season, so the D-backs will have him under control through 2021.

"It's multiple years of control after this year, so this is both a short- and long-term move for us," Hazen said.

Over his four-year career, Andriese is 19-22 with a 4.30 ERA over 99 games, including 48 starts.

Video: DET@TB: Andriese fans Hicks to K the side in the 3rd

For right now, the D-backs plan to use him in the relief role that was occupied by veteran Randall Delgado, who was designated for assignment after the trade was made.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

"We're not ruling out the opportunity to start in the future, wherever the future may be," Hazen said of Andriese. "But right now, we're looking at the bullpen."

This year, Andriese is 3-4 with a 4.07 ERA in 59 2/3 innings over 27 outings, including four starts.

Video: TB@MIN: Andriese fans Grossman with runners on in 9th

"He's got good stuff," Hazen said. "He's consistently gotten outs, he makes good pitches, he's got some swing-and-miss to his stuff. We've always really liked him as a pitcher."

As for who they gave up, Shaffer, a right-handed pitcher, was Arizona's No. 23 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The 21-year-old is 7-5 with a 2.70 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 19 starts for Class A Kane County this year, his second professional season. Scouting reports suggest that he has low-to-mid-90s fastball velocity, but that it offers sink that could play at the next level.

Perez, 25, has been touted for his defensive prowess behind the dish and his ability to hit right-handed pitching. He's thrown out 34.8 percent of basestealers this year, and is batting .284/.342/.417 (62-for-218) with nine doubles, six homers and 29 RBIs in 58 games for Triple-A Reno. A fifth-round selection by the D-backs in 2011, Perez is a career .246/.321/.396 hitter over 572 games across eight Minor League seasons.

"We liked both guys," Hazen said. "Michael has done a really good job at Triple-A for us this year, [but] we have three catchers at the Major League level at this time, we have other guys at Triple-A. We felt like Michael was probably likely a [40-man roster] add for us in the offseason, so we were going to have him, but Tampa had identified him as somebody that might work in a context like this.

"We drafted Brian last year, and he's had a really good year for us in Kane County, and we liked him, too. He's a right-handed pitcher, puts the ball on the ground."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Matt Andriese

D-backs unable to sign top pick

Prep shortstop McLain expected to play collegiately at UCLA
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The D-backs were unable to sign high school shortstop Matt McLain, their first pick (25th overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft before Friday afternoon's signing deadline.

McLain, who graduated from Beckman (Calif.) High School, will instead attend UCLA.

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PHOENIX -- The D-backs were unable to sign high school shortstop Matt McLain, their first pick (25th overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft before Friday afternoon's signing deadline.

McLain, who graduated from Beckman (Calif.) High School, will instead attend UCLA.

View Full Game Coverage

"We knew that on Draft day," D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said of McLain's decision to attend college. "We really liked him. He was very high on our board. We felt like it was the right pick to make at the time. I'm not going to speak for him, but what was communicated to us was that the right decision for him was to go to UCLA, and we respect that."

The D-backs offered the full slot value of $2,636,400 to McLain, a source said, but that was not enough to get the deal done.

"I'm not going to get into exactly the financial part, but I will say we felt like it was a competitive offer," Hazen said. "I believe that this decision was made not as much on financial grounds, as it was that he felt like the right thing to do was to go to school."

As compensation, the D-backs will receive the No. 26 overall pick in next year's Draft, in addition to their own selection.

Hedging their bets against McLain making just such a decision, the D-backs drafted high school shortstop Blaze Alexander in the 11th round and signed him for $500,000, which was well above slot value.

Delgado back

The D-backs activated reliever Randall Delgado from the 60-day disabled list Friday and designated reliever Fernando Salas for assignment in order to make room on the roster.

Video: PHI@ARI: Delgado strikes out Perkins swinging

Delgado missed the second half of last season with elbow issues, and then suffered an oblique injury this spring.

Dyson update

Outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Thursday after suffering a lower core injury in Wednesday night's game, continued to receive treatment Friday.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Dyson had yet to sit down with a specialist to get the full extent of his injury.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs to ink high-upside D.R. OF Guzman

MLB.com

The D-backs have signed close to 70 prospects during the last two international signing periods and have emerged as a force on the global market.

The D-backs have signed close to 70 prospects during the last two international signing periods and have emerged as a force on the global market.

:: 2018 International Signing Period ::

Their focus on international player acquisition continues this year.

According to industry sources, the D-backs have agreed to a $1.85 million bonus with outfielder Alvin Guzman of the Dominican Republic. Guzman, who ranks No. 16 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is among the most well-rounded prospects in this year's class.

The D-backs also agreed with left-handed pitcher Diomedes Sierra of the Dominican Republic for $420,000 and right-handed pitcher Abraham Calzadilla of Venezuela for a bonus in the $500,000 range.

The club has not confirmed the agreements.

Overall, the athletic Guzman has the type of projectable body scouts covet and he plays the type of defense that will keep him on the field when he struggles at the plate. He might have the best arm in the class and made a name for himself with his speed and power combination.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs -- like the D-backs -- that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs received $4,983,500.

Teams are allowed to trade as much of their international pool money as they would like, but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward a club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are also exempt.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs make pitching priority in Draft

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The D-backs used their first three picks in the 2018 Draft on position players, but a trend formed soon after.

Of the 40 players Arizona selected over three days, 23 were pitchers. It started on Tuesday when the club used seven of its eight selections on pitchers. It continued on Wednesday.

PHOENIX -- The D-backs used their first three picks in the 2018 Draft on position players, but a trend formed soon after.

Of the 40 players Arizona selected over three days, 23 were pitchers. It started on Tuesday when the club used seven of its eight selections on pitchers. It continued on Wednesday.

Draft Tracker: Every D-backs pick

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

"We took a lot of pitching, just to try to get some guys that we felt like had some upside, and good scouting evaluation," said D-backs director of scouting Deric Ladnier. "A lot of guys, [we used] a combination of the analytics that we have in place now combined with our scouting reports."

It seems there was a clear organizational focus for drafting those pitchers, especially on the second day of the Draft. Of the seven arms the D-backs selected on Tuesday, six were righties.

In fact, Arizona didn't draft a lefty until the ninth round.

"These are all guys that have plus velocity, they have leverage, they have strength, they've got size, they've got the secondary pitches," Ladnier said.

Right-hander Jackson Goddard, the club's third-round pick, is listed at 6-foot-3 and has a fastball that sits 92-94 mph and has reached 97 mph.

"He's literally a throwback to that big, strong, physical guy that can maintain his velo through the whole outing," Kansas coach Ritch Price said. "I think that's one of the most interesting aspects of his game is how strong he is physically."

D-backs fourth-round selection Ryan Weiss, listed at 6-foot-4, has a 91-93 mph fastball and can reach 95 mph. The most intriguing part about him may be that he could just be getting started.

He's only been a full-time pitcher for three years. When he arrived at Wright State, he only threw 83-85 mph. He just started throwing a curveball last year and it has improved drastically, according to Jeff Mercer, his college coach.

Video: Draft Report: Ryan Weiss, College pitcher

"If you can project at all, how good is this dude going to be in three years?" Mercer said. "Good God almighty. That's the crazy part for me. Not to be dramatic, it's just the truth."

When the ninth round hit, the D-backs selected their first left-hander of the Draft in Tyler Holton of Florida State. He could be a steal.

D-backs lean right on Day 2 of Draft

Here's why: Holton was an All-American in 2017 as he led the Seminoles to the College World Series. But on opening day this season, he tore is ulnar collateral ligament and had season-ending Tommy John surgery shortly after.

Conventional thinking says this pick comes with a risk, but Ladnier said the D-backs vetted it thoroughly with their medical team.

"He's not going to be able to pitch until probably April of next year," Ladnier said. "We knew that going in. He's somebody we've seen for a long time and was a very, very good pitcher in the ACC. We feel like he's got upside as a starter and we felt fortunate to be able to get him in the ninth round."

The D-backs' 2018 Draft ensures that, in the future, they will have more options to consider for situations like this.

Pitching may have been a large focus of this Draft for the organization, but there were no arms selected on the first day for one reason.

"I just believe hitters fly off the board a lot faster than the pitchers do, and there's way more pitchers to draft than there are position players that you feel can actually hit," Ladnier said on Monday.

That's why, on Monday, the club nabbed the position players it wanted with its first three picks.

Video: Draft 2018: D-backs draft SS Matt McLain No. 25

Arizona selected shortstop Matt McLain out of Beckman (Calif.) High School with the 25th overall pick. Though listed at 5-foot-10, McLain can hit for both average and power.

D-backs take shortstop, two OFs on Day 1

McLain, 18, is also versatile. He has the arm to play third base and has played in the outfield. The D-backs, who attended a few of McLain's high school practices, did a deep dive on him and want to continue playing him at short.

In 26 games for his school this past season, McLain slashed .369/.461/.595. He earned First-Team All-Pacific Coast League honors in each of his four years, and won conference Player of the Year in 2015 and 2018.

"First and foremost, the bat," Ladnier said when asked what they liked about McLain. "We felt like it was a very advanced high school bat. He has a short compact swing. He'll end up having some power. Everyone in our organization from top to bottom felt like this young man was going to hit."

Video: Draft 2018: D-backs draft OF Jake McCarthy No. 39

The D-backs took a pair of outfielders with their next two picks. They selected the University of Virginia's Jake McCarthy with their selection in the Competitive Balance Round A (39th overall). Then they nabbed Alek Thomas, a high school player, in the second round (63rd overall).

McCarthy is a speedster who stole 27 bases in 29 attempts as a sophomore. The D-backs knew him from when they scouted Pavin Smith, their first-round pick last year.

"We saw him early and when he got back and he was almost in spring training mode, but this is a guy that we've known for a very long time and we've watched his career, and is a guy we targeted for a long time, we felt comfortable being able to take him where we did," Ladnier said.

Thomas' father is a strength and conditioning coach with the Chicago White Sox. Ladnier said the organization liked how he's grown up in a Major League environment.

Thomas runs well and has been compared to Boston's Andrew Benintendi.

"He's a plus runner, he can play center field," Ladnier said of Thomas. "I do think he's going to come into some power, because he's very strong, he has a compact swing. Obviously skill-wise is going to be behind a Jake McCarthy, which I think is a good fit because one will be ahead of the other and they can push each other."

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs draftee Weiss motivated by tragedy

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The moment was surreal, almost like a video game. Ryan Weiss saw his last name -- the one he passionately plays and lives for -- flash across the screen when the D-backs selected him in the fourth round of Tuesday's portion of the MLB Draft.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

PHOENIX -- The moment was surreal, almost like a video game. Ryan Weiss saw his last name -- the one he passionately plays and lives for -- flash across the screen when the D-backs selected him in the fourth round of Tuesday's portion of the MLB Draft.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

"It was a dream come true," Weiss, a right-hander from Wright State, said.

Most draftees stand and hug their parents in that moment. Not Weiss. He couldn't. His father committed suicide six years ago and his mother died of a heart attack about five months ago.

But he's been able to take tragedy -- in both instances -- and let it shape him to be the best he can. It's given him a unique perspective. Instead of allowing heartbreak to deter him, he's used it as motivation.

"Truthfully, it's just allowed me to realize there's bigger things in life than whatever you're doing in the moment," he said.

Wright State coach Jeff Mercer recalled the first time he ever met Weiss, which was three weeks before Weiss' freshman year of college. Mercer and Weiss spoke after the pitcher spun a gem in a summer game.

Mercer didn't even know Weiss' father had passed away. He just saw a young, competitive kid who needed an opportunity.

"This dude wanted to be good so bad that, at the time, you could tell it was an obsessive drive," Mercer said. "It was different."

Little did he know.

"Once my dad passed away, I was inspired, I was determined and I was dedicated because I wanted to make his name greater than it already was," Weiss said. "That's what I set out to do and that's what I'm here for."

Mercer is used to talking to high schoolers who are focused on video games, girls and friends. Weiss, on the other hand, spoke like a "30-year-old man hellbent on being special." At the time, Mercer didn't know why.

When Mercer learned of Weiss' father, he understood the motivation. Why Weiss had a firmness in his voice as he spoke of his career aspirations. Why playing in the bigs seemed like more of a plan than a fleeting dream.

Always searching to turn unfortunate events into motivation, Weiss said, is something great athletes can do. Mercer once thought Weiss couldn't work any harder. Then his mom passed away.

"Ryan's mind works like everything is working in his favor to help him reach his goal," Mercer said. "Things can go badly, but it's not bad because actually, he thinks, 'This is going to make me stronger so I can get where I want to go.' It's such a special mindset."

Weiss said the rabid work ethic comes from everything he's been through. He knows that if he stays the course, he'll be just fine.

He relishes hard work.

"The success only lasts, what, about 24 hours? So the work is everything else. Enjoy work so you can enjoy the success," Weiss said.

Mercer doesn't know what's in store for Weiss. He just knows that because of his mindset, he will be as successful as his physical ability possibly allows.

That attitude is how a former Wright State walk-on who has dealt with so much tragedy just achieved a lifelong dream and now has the opportunity to continue making his mark on the sport.

"Everything happens for a reason, everything pans out the way it's supposed to, and at the end of the day, wherever you're at is where God wants you," Weiss said.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks

D-backs lean right on Day 2 of Draft

Arizona takes seven pitchers in rounds 3 through 9
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- There was an obvious trend for the D-backs on the second day of the MLB Draft. Whereas they selected position players with their first three picks Monday, they loaded up on college arms -- especially righties -- on Tuesday.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

PHOENIX -- There was an obvious trend for the D-backs on the second day of the MLB Draft. Whereas they selected position players with their first three picks Monday, they loaded up on college arms -- especially righties -- on Tuesday.

Draft Tracker: Follow every D-backs Draft pick

In fact, the D-backs selected right-handed pitchers in rounds 3-8 before finally taking a lefty in the ninth round. They rounded out the day with their only position-player pick.

"These are all guys that have plus velocity, they have leverage, they have strength, they've got size, they've got the secondary pitches," said Deric Ladnier, D-backs director of scouting, of the pitchers the club took Tuesday.

The Draft concludes Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 9 a.m. MST.

Round 3: RHP Jackson Goddard, Kansas
If D-backs fans want a sense of Goddard's physical ability, Kansas coach Ritch Price might have the perfect story for it.

It was 2017, Goddard's sophomore season. He had a no-hitter against TCU -- a well-respected program -- going into the eighth inning. Price said it's the only time he let Goddard go over 115 pitches. He finally pulled him after he allowed a base hit.

Goddard never threw a pitch under 92 mph in that outing. That's rare for a college arm.

"He's literally a throwback to that big, strong, physical guy that can maintain his velo through the whole outing," Price said. "I think that's one of the most interesting aspects of his game is how strong he is physically."

Video: Draft Report: Jackson Goddard, College pitcher

Projected by MLB.com to land in the fourth round, Goddard had stuff that could have had him selected in the top two rounds. There were a couple of concerns, though.

First, he missed six weeks of his junior season with an oblique injury. He made sure to make up for it with how he ended the year.

Over his final three starts -- 19 2/3 total innings -- he posted a 1.37 ERA.

"It just tells you what his ceiling is," Price said. "He's got a chance to be a special guy."

He displays three plus pitches. The fastball sits 92-94 mph, can hit 97 and features some run and sink. He also uses a low-80s slider and a changeup.

Price said the next step in Goddard's development is making sure he's more consistent around the strike zone. He's improved a lot there in the last year, so it will be about continuing to make progress.

"A couple years ago, we had five guys [from Kansas] pitching in the big leagues and he's the best guy we've ever had," Price said.

Round 4: RHP Ryan Weiss, Wright State
Weiss might be the definition of an upside pick.

He was a catcher until he began pitching late in his high school career. He threw about 83 mph when he arrived at Wright State, where he walked on to the team as a freshman. Heck, Jeff Mercer, an assistant coach at the time, had to lie to the head coach and stretch Weiss' velocity just so he could recruit him.

"If you like him or you don't as a prospect, that's irrelevant," said Mercer, now Wright State's head coach. "But respect the meteoric rise."

Weiss missed his entire first season at Wright State after herniating a disk and fracturing a vertebra in his back while overdoing weightlifting. But he quickly made up for lost time. In 2017, he led the Horizon League with a 2.13 ERA en route to conference Freshman of the Year honors.

Video: Draft Report: Ryan Weiss, College pitcher

Weiss' fastball sits at 91-93 mph. It can get a bit straight, but usually it arrives on a steep downhill plane because of his 6-foot-4 frame and an overhand delivery. Scouts like his mound presence and envision him becoming a No. 4 or 5 starter for a club.

His curveball is relatively new. He just learned to throw it last year.

Mercer didn't want to make any predictions, but Weiss' ceiling could be high.

"If you can project at all, how good is this dude going to be in three years?" Mercer said. "Good God almighty. That's the crazy part for me. Not to be dramatic, it's just the truth."

Round 5: RHP Matt Mercer, Oregon
Mercer wasn't a star when he got to campus.

He wasn't drafted out of high school because of his Tommy John surgery. He pitched largely in relief as a freshman. He finally moved into the weekend rotation as a sophomore. He became the Ducks' Friday night starter this season.

His fastball is usually 92-93 mph, but he's hit 97-plus before and can do so when he rears back. He has a breaking ball that has been described as a "slurvy" pitch this spring.

Video: Draft Report: Matt Mercer, College pitcher

Ranked as the No. 105 prospect by MLB Pipeline, went 5-7 with a 4.16 ERA in 15 starts in 2018. He struck out 86 batters in 88 2/3 innings.

Mercer needs to refine his command within the strike zone. That, plus some effort in his delivery, have some scouts predicting a future in the bullpen for him.

Mercer became the third consecutive right-hander selected by the D-backs on Tuesday.

Round 6: RHP Ryan Miller, Clemson
Miller, who was selected in the 31st round of last year's Draft, greatly improved his stock.

He is a former junior-college transfer who helped Clemson in a relief role for the first half of 2017 before an injury hampered him in the final part of the season. In 2018, he turned it on.

He went 7-1 and posted a team-leading 2.51 ERA out of the bullpen. He notched four saves and struck out 64 batters over 71 2/3 innings.

"He's a reliever, but we feel like he's a fast mover, he's got good stuff," Ladnier said.

Video: MLB Draft: Ladnier breaks down first two Draft days

Round 7: RHP Travis Moths, Tennessee Tech
Moths has consistently improved over a four-year college career.

In his senior season, he's gone 13-2 and posted a 3.86 ERA over 16 starts. His season isn't over yet as his team is in the NCAA Super Regionals.

He's been a workhorse, too. Moths has already thrown over 95 innings this year, which is about 50 more than he tossed in his freshman season.

Round 8: RHP Levi Kelly, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Kelly was emerging as a top high school prospect in West Virginia when he made the move to IMG Academy after his sophomore season. He's taken advantage of the opportunity to play against stiffer competition.

Kelly's greatest feature is his arm strength. His fastball sits at 92-93 mph. It will only get better as he continues to mature.

He has a slider that has 10-to-4 action, and it is believed to be a breaking pitch that will at least be average.

The largest concern surrounding him, other than whether he'll sign, is that he has struggled with command at times. His high-tempo delivery and mindset could point to a future in the bullpen.

"We're pretty sure that he wants to go out and pitch," Ladnier said. "He's a high school kid that we saw up to 96 mph."

He is committed to LSU.

Round 9: LHP Tyler Holton, Florida State
Holton could be a steal for the D-backs if he pans out.

Holton, Florida State's ace, missed the entire season after suffering a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow on Opening Day and having Tommy John surgery soon after.

"He's not going to be able to pitch until probably April of next year," Ladnier said. "We knew that going in. He's somebody we've seen for a long time and was a very, very good pitcher in the ACC. We feel like he's got upside as a starter and we felt fortunate to be able to get him in the ninth round."

As a junior in 2017, Holton was a first-team All-American. He led the Seminoles with a 10-3 record and 144 strikeouts in a season where they went to the College World Series.

Holton was selected in the 35th round of last year's MLB Draft.

"We assumed the rest of a Tommy John, but our medical team feels like it's pretty standard procedure," Ladnier said.

Round 10: C Nick Dalesandro, Purdue
Dalesandro was the only position player the D-backs drafted Tuesday. As a junior in 2018, he earned third-team All-Big Ten honors, as well as being named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team.

This year, he slashed .297/.400/.402 with 15 doubles, two home runs and 34 RBIs. He was also reliable as he never missed a game in three seasons.

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks