D-backs snag Gold Spikes finalist to start Day 2
PHOENIX -- The D-backs opened Day 2 of the 2015 Draft on Tuesday by selecting right-handed pitcher Taylor Clarke from the College of Charleston with the No. 76 overall pick.
In the next two rounds, the D-backs added another pair of right-handed pitchers in Missouri's Breckin Williams and Arizona State's Ryan Burr.
"Our theme was going to be pitching, as it was, especially early," D-backs scouting director Deric Ladnier said. "We just need pitching, we need to get starters, and we feel like we got some of those."
Round 3: RHP Taylor Clarke, College of Charleston
Clarke was 13-1 with a 1.73 ERA in 17 games for the Cougars this season and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. The junior set a school record with 18 strikeouts in a game against Radford. In 2013, Clarke underwent Tommy John surgery while playing for Towson University. While rehabbing the injury, Clarke learned that the Tigers had plans to cut their baseball program. Although Towson's baseball program eventually was saved, Clarke had already decided to transfer to College of Charleston to continue his career. Clarke was ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the No. 144 Draft prospect.
"Reminds me a lot of [Doug Fister]," Ladnier said. "Tall, has a high angle, downhill plane, up to 95 [mph], plus feel for a slider, plus feel for a changeup, way above-average command."
Round 4: RHP Breckin Williams, University of Missouri
Williams was 4-4 with a 1.98 ERA in 25 relief appearances this season, notching a program-record 13 saves. He had 12 appearances in which he did not allow a hit and was named second-team All-SEC. The junior earned the nickname "Harley Time" from his teammates because of the full sprint he does from the bullpen to the mound when entering the game, as well as his energetic personality. Williams was ranked as the No. 166 Draft prospect.
Round 5: RHP Ryan Burr, Arizona State
Burr finished his career with a school-record 38 saves for the Sun Devils. This season, he was 8-2 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves. Burr earned All-Pac-12 honors three times during his career, including being named to the first-team this season. Burr was ranked as the No. 76 Draft prospect.
"Obviously very physical, big strong, fastball up to 97 mph," Ladnier said. "Where we're picking in the fifth round, we feel like we've got a guy that potentially has closer ability, and if not that, setup ability."
The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 9 a.m. MST.