D-backs continue down the college route on Day 2 of Draft

July 11th, 2023

The D-backs selected eight players -- five pitchers and three position players -- during Day 2 of the 2023 MLB Draft on Monday.

On Day 1, Arizona drafted Stanford shortstop Tommy Troy with the 12th overall pick, then followed by picking N.C. State third baseman Gino Groover 48th overall and Clemson left-hander Caden Grice 64th overall.

All eight of the D-backs' picks to date have come from the college ranks.

“A lot of really good, well-rounded college players,” scouting director Ian Rebhan said. “I’ve talked about the demographics before -- there’s no set demographic, that’s just how it fell, and we’re definitely happy with the group we got."

Here’s a closer look at the team's Day 2 picks:

Round 3, 80th overall
Jack Hurley, OF, Virginia Tech

Notable skill: Hurley has excellent bat-to-ball skills, and last year he began to tap into his considerable raw power so he could be an above-average hitter with above-average power at the next level. He played primarily left field last season, but he has the speed to play center and the arm to handle right.

Interesting fact: His father, Tim, hit .438 for Penn State University in 1985, and Jack often turns to him for hitting advice.

Quotable: “He plays with a ton of energy, reminding some of Tennessee product Drew Gilbert, who was taken by the Astros at the end of the first round of the 2022 Draft.” -- MLB Pipeline scouting report

Round 4, 112th overall
Grayson Hitt, LHP, Alabama

Notable skill: Hitt’s fastball operated in the 93-97 mph range with improved carry last fall. At the same time, he debuted a cut-fastball.

Important fact: He underwent Tommy John surgery this past spring.

Quotable: "Grayson was a player that we scouted a ton in the fall and saw what he really could be as a left-handed starter with big, big stuff. And then, obviously, he went down this year with the injury, but we see him as a rotation piece -- a left-handed starter with with four pitches and strike variability.” -- Rebhan

Round 5, 148th overall
Kevin Sim, 3B, University of San Diego

Notable skill: Sim has reached double digits in homers in each of the past two collegiate seasons. He also hit five home runs with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League last summer. Despite hitting for power, he doesn’t strike out often.

Interesting fact: His father, Chong Soo Shim, was a star in the KBO with the nickname “Hercules,” hitting more than 300 homers in his career. Shim relocated the family to San Diego when Kevin was 7.

Important stat: Sim led the MLB Draft Combine field in hard hits (15), sweet spots (16), hard hit plus sweet spots (31), and he had the most hits over 400 feet (four) during his hitting showcase from Day 1 of workouts.

Quotable: “My dad has always been a great hitter throughout his career. I worked with him nonstop hitting-wise. I think everything that I show on the field is all the work that you put behind the scenes together just to simplify my swing and be able to find something that works for me. There are definitely some basic philosophies that I take.” -- Kevin Sim

Round 6, 175th overall
Phillip Abner, LHP, Florida

Notable skill: Abner gets a lot of whiffs with his fastball.

Interesting fact: He was named to the 2022 Cape Cod League All-Star Team.

Quotable: “[We were] really intrigued by the fastball here. He got a ton of swing and miss on it at Florida, and [he] struck out a lot of guys. A player that we actually watched in high school, just built a lot of history with him when he was in high school, and then [he] went ahead and had a really nice two-year career [at Florida].” -- Rebhan

Round 7, 205th overall
Ryan Bruno, LHP, Stanford

Notable skill: Bruno has an elite fastball that reaches up to 99 mph and sits easily around 94-95. Some scouts have put a 70 grade (on the 20-to-80 scale) on his changeup, which serves as his true out pitch.

Interesting fact: His twin brother, Jaden, also played for Stanford.

Quotable: “It's big, big stuff. It's a fastball up to 100 mph. It's two-plus secondary pitches in the slider and the changeup, and [he's] someone that we watched a ton over the last year or two at Stanford. Really intrigued by the overall stuff package there -- the fastball, the change, the slider -- and the ability to punch a bunch of  hitters out and get swing and miss.” -- Rebhan

Round 8, 235th overall
Jackson Feltner, 1B, Morehead State

Notable skill: Feltner has shown tremendous power throughout his college career.

Interesting fact: He was named First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference at first base in all three of his seasons at Morehead State.

Quotable: “The performance kind of speaks for itself. You go back and look at what he did. I mean, in three seasons, he hit .376. He's always hit. He's always hit for power. We think he's got a chance to play good first base.” -- Rebhan

Round 9, 265th overall
Kyle Amendt, RHP, Dallas Baptist University

Notable skill: Amendt has a high strikeout rate.

Interesting fact: The right-hander was a finalist for the National College Baseball Writers’ Association Stopper of the Year Award in 2023.

Quotable: “He's got three pitches -- it's a fastball, slider and a curveball. His numbers this year were very, very good. I think he struck out almost 50 percent of the batters he faced, and that was really intriguing for us -- just the way that he was able to miss bats with all of his pitches.” -- Rebhan

Round 10, 295th overall
Zane Russell, RHP, Dallas Baptist University

Notable skill: Russell's stuff could play well as a reliever

Quotable: “[We were] really intrigued by the upside of the stuff in a reliever role and just the way he missed bats -- mostly with the fastball, but he has two secondary pitches as well. [We] probably see him as a reliever down the road, but [we] like the package there in the 10th round.” -- Rebhan