Our breakdown of the 2019 draft began with a recap of the American League's most notable picks, so it's now time to examine -- you guessed it -- the National League.
The Diamondbacks got the best value of the first round when they landed my No. 4 player, Seattle prep outfielder Corbin Carroll (1), with the 16th pick. The only knock I could ever get anyone to offer on Carroll was his height -- he's maybe 5-foot-10, but if he were 6-2, he would have been in consideration at 1-1. Arizona did something similar last year when it got Alek Thomas, whom I'd ranked as a first-round talent, in the second, only to have Thomas rake in pro ball. I imagine the D-backs are thinking they did something similar here, as Thomas is also under 6 feet and played at a cold-weather high school. They followed that with five straight pitchers, two prep kids and three college guys, all with varying chances to start, led by prep right-hander Brennan Malone (1A) from IMG Academy, who probably has the highest upside and also was the best known of the group. Blake Walston (1) is a projectable prep left-hander with a curveball that projects to plus, with his fastball just average-ish now. He's enticing for what he might be but also has a lot of growth required to get there.
Ball State right-hander Drey Jameson (1A) is a four-pitch starter who has two above-average weapons, including a plus fastball. Between his below-average changeup and slight stature (he's listed at 6-foot, 165 pounds), most teams projected him as a reliever, but he should at least get to prove he can't start in the low minors. Ryne Nelson (2) has a huge fastball when he's working in relief and could be a power reliever with two plus pitches in the fastball and breaking ball. He was a two-way player until this year and might improve as a starter now that he's focused only on pitching, as he has the athleticism and delivery to be more than a short reliever.
Michigan lefty Tommy Henry (2A) was tremendous out of the gate this year, with his fastball ticking up to 91-93 mph, but got knocked around in conference play with a staff-worst 6.50 ERA in the Big Ten, as his fastball backed up into the upper 80s. He did show better velocity in the conference tournament and regional and has excellent feel to pitch. Their last pick of Day 1 was Arkansas outfielder Dom Fletcher (2A), who has an unorthodox swing and has shown surprising power along with great instincts in center field.