By Dan Strittmatter
Prior to yesterday’s 9:01 p.m. (Arizona time) deadline for signing draft picks from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, the D-backs signed three more of their top fourteen selections – sixth-rounder Blake Perry, eighth-rounder James Green, and 14th-rounder Ty Linton.
Perry, the 181st overall pick, is an 18-year-old high school right-hander from Florida. He fits the term “projectable right-hander” — much like fellow 2010 picks, second-rounder J.R. Bradley and third-rounder Robby Rowland, high schoolers who signed earlier in the summer — as the team believes that as his body develops, he will add velocity on his fastball and refine his off-speed pitches. According to Aaron Fitt of Baseball America, the D-backs had to sign Perry away from a commitment to play baseball at the University of Kentucky, where his brother, Bryce, already plays. This college commitment kept Perry, a top-round talent, out of the upper rounds of the draft, as teams were worried about whether or not they would be able to sign Perry.
The 18-year-old Green was selected with the 241st pick out of high school in Texas. Committed to TCU, it also took the D-backs a significantly over-slot bonus to bring Green into the fold. According to Aaron Fitt, Green’s fastball has hit 95 MPH on the radar gun, and he uses a hard curveball as well. According to Interim General Manager Jerry Dipoto on Nick Piecoro’s blog, the D-backs felt Green was a top-100 talent in this draft, but fell due to concerns about whether or not he could be convinced to leave his commitment to TCU. (The full quotes from Dipoto on all three players signed yesterday can be found here, on Piecoro’s blog.)
Nabbing the 19-year-old Linton was perhaps the most impressive signing from yesterday. Linton fell to the D-backs with the 421st-overall pick in the 14th round due to a strong two-sport commitment to the University of North Carolina, where he would have played baseball and football as a top-rated high school linebacker. To pry Linton away from this two-sport commitment, the D-backs gave him the highest bonus they gave out in the 2010 draft. All indications are that Linton is giving up football to focus solely on baseball.
On ESPN.com writer Keith Law’s top-100 prospect rankings from June 2, Linton was rated No. 75, and in Law’s prospect profile for Linton (available to ESPN Insiders only), Linton’s power tool grades out as solidly above average. Prior to the draft, MLB.com’s scouting staff had filed a video scouting report of Linton, available here, and touted that Linton’s power is “his best tool – he’s got well above average to plus raw power.”
A look at the high school numbers and honors of the three prep players can be found on the D-backs’ website, here.