With No. 2 pick the D-backs could draft ...

July 15th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Steve Gilbert's D-backs Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Josh VanMeter's home run in the bottom of the ninth inning on Oct. 3 gave the D-backs a season-ending, walk-off win over the Rockies and kept them from matching the worst record in franchise history.

But it also cost them the No. 1 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, which gets started Sunday night at 4 p.m. MST with the first 80 picks. The Draft will continue Monday with Rounds 3-10 and conclude Tuesday with Rounds 11-20, with both days getting underway at 11 a.m. MST.

The homer by VanMeter gave the D-backs a 52-110 record, tying them with the Orioles for the worst record in baseball. By virtue of the Orioles having a worse record in 2020, the D-backs wound up with the second overall pick while Baltimore picks first for the second straight year.

D-backs' Draft essentials
First pick and bonus slot: No. 2 overall, $8,185,100
Additional first-day picks: Nos. 34, 43
Total bonus pool: $15,112,100

D-backs' last three first picks
2021: SS Jordan Lawlar, Jesuit College Preparatory School, Dallas
2020: RHP Bryce Jarvis, Duke University
2019: OF Corbin Carroll, Lakeside School, Seattle

D-backs' best pick of the last 10 years, per MLB Pipeline
SS Dansby Swanson (2015, first overall)

Handy links
• Most recent MLB Pipeline Mock Draft
• MLB.com's Draft Central page for all your Draft needs

The Orioles have notoriously been tight-lipped when it comes to the Draft, so while outfielder Druw Jones is regarded as the top talent available, the Orioles are said to have five to six players under consideration for the first pick.

It's hard to imagine the D-backs passing on Jones if he's still there at No. 2, but if he's gone then things will get a little more interesting. High school shortstop Jackson Holliday is most often linked to the D-backs in mock drafts, but high school second baseman Termarr Johnson or Cal Poly shortstop Brooks Lee could also be possibilities.

"Everybody's kind of in that same bucket and then you start whittling it down as you get a little bit closer, but I think it's always five to six names," Rebhan said. "I think even picking sixth last year, we had five or six names. Maybe a few more because we picked a little bit later, but you don't want to get far down the funnel too early."

As for high school vs. college, the D-backs have shown a willingness to take both early and have typically balanced their picks between the two.

One thing the players linked to the D-backs have in common is they are all athletic, up-the-middle players -- and that's not an accident. If there is a trend for the organization in the Draft under the current baseball operations group, that's it.

"I think you're always looking for impact tools and athletic players and I think that tends to be the players that play up the middle," Rebhan said. "I think better athletes end up making adjustments once they get into professional baseball. So you know, best tools, best athletes, that's usually how it falls."

The D-backs held virtual meetings recently, but as of this week they've been gathered as a group in their Draft room, where they will continue to meet daily through the Draft.

Then, thanks to VanMeter, they will have to wait and see what direction the Orioles go Sunday.

"You just control what you can control," Rebhan said. "The only thing you can do is line up the players the way you like them and see how it falls."