D-backs at mercy of earlier teams in Draft

D-backs at mercy of earlier teams in Draft

The 2016 Draft will take place today through Saturday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com today at 4 p.m. MST. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 5 p.m., with the top 77 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,500 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the D-backs, whose first selection is the 39th overall pick.

In about 50 words
The D-backs lost their first-round pick as a result of signing free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke this past offseason, so they will not pick until 39th overall, which is in Lottery Round A. Their pick after that is in the second round, 52nd overall.

The scoop
Unlike last year, when the D-backs had the No. 1 overall pick and knew in advance whom they were going to select, this time they are at the mercy of the teams in front of them. As a result, scouting director Deric Ladnier has had to look at a larger pool of players.

"Deric, I think he deployed our scouts properly," said De Jon Watson, senior vice president of scouting and player development. "We got a lot of looks at a lot of guys. We have a real good feel for the way the overall talent is in the Draft and feel good about our preparation for it."

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by five percent to 10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10 percent to 15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

To sign their first 10 picks, the D-backs have been allocated a pool total of $5,419,900. It's a big drop compared with 2015, when they held the No. 1 overall pick and had a pool of $12,816,100.

The No. 39 pick has an allocation of $1,658,600, but that doesn't mean the D-backs have to spend that entire amount. The team could sign the 39th pick for less than that and use the savings to sign a lower-round choice for above slot.

Shopping list
The D-backs are a little thin when it comes to catching in the system, so that is an area they may target. They could also benefit from adding more up-the-middle position players. Every team will tell you that it can never have too much pitching.

Trend watch
During his career as a scouting director, Ladnier has been all over the map with his choices, not limiting himself by a predetermined position or age bias.

"He's taken some really good players in his career path," Watson said. "I think there's definitely some interesting guys in this year's Draft, both on the high school and college sides, and position players and pitchers. I do believe we're going to get a good selection of players in the range we're drafting."

Recent Draft history

Rising fast
Right-hander Taylor Clarke was taken in the third round last year and is already with Double-A Mobile. After signing last summer, he appeared in 13 games for Class A short-season Hillsboro. He started this year at Kane County of the Class A Midwest League before being promoted to the Class A California League and then Mobile.

Cinderella story
Kane County right-hander Justin Donatella was taken last year in the 15th round and has a 1.87 ERA in 22 Minor League games (16 starts).

In The Show
Desperate for left-handed relief help, the D-backs dipped down to Class A Visalia for Zac Curtis, who was picked in the sixth round in 2014. Curtis came up and has pitched fearlessly, attacking hitters and earning the trust of manager Chip Hale, who has begun using him more and more in crucial situations.

Curtis' first career strikeout

The D-backs' recent top picks
2015: Dansby Swanson, SS, traded to Atlanta (December 2015, in Shelby Miller deal)
2014: Touki Toussaint, RHP, traded to Atlanta (June 2015, in Phil Gosselin deal)
2013: Braden Shipley, RHP, Triple-A Reno
2012: Stryker Trahan, OF, Class A Visalia
2011: Trevor Bauer, RHP, traded to Cleveland (December 2012, in Didi Gregorius deal), Archie Bradley, RHP, D-backs

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.