Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anthony Meo highlights Diamondbacks' Day 2 arms haul

By Anthony Fenech / MLB.com | 06/07/11

PHOENIX -- The D-backs made a commitment to pitching on Monday by selecting right-handers Trevor Bauer and Archie Bradley with the third and seventh picks, respectively, in the first round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

The organization picked up where they left off on Tuesday, and selected 17 pitchers -- 11 of them right-handers -- on Day 2 of the Draft.

"After yesterday, we felt very strong coming into today -- and I think we just built on that," D-backs scouting director Ray Montgomery said on a conference call. "We added a little bit more on the mound, and I don't think you ever can get enough of that."

In the second round, the team selected right-hander Anthony Meo, a junior from Coastal Carolina. Many believe Meo, who features a four-pitch repertoire with a low- to mid-90's fastball, is best suited for the bullpen. But Montgomery said the team would put him wherever he feels most comfortable.

"At this point, I think we send him out as a starter," Montgomery said. "That's what he's done, that's what he's comfortable doing. His workload has been good, and he's handled it well. We'll handle him in that role until he tells us differently."

The team followed up its pick of Meo with high school outfielder Justin Bianco from Peters Township (Penn.) High School.

Bianco, Montgomery said, has an above-average arm, with above-average power.

"He has a good body, and he's a good runner," he said. "He's young, and he's a great kid."

Bianco is hitting close to .600 on the season, as his team battles through the Pennsylvania high school playoffs.

On the day, the D-backs selected 22 players from the college ranks and seven from high school.

They added two catchers -- including the college backstop for No. 3 pick Bauer, Steve Rodriguez -- and made a commitment to the middle of the field, taking three shortstops, two center fielders and a second baseman.

"We focused on middle-of-the-field, athletic guys," Montgomery said. "It's gone beyond what I could have expected."

D-backs selections for Rounds 6-30:

• Round 6: RHP, Matt Price: A finalist for the NCBWA's Stopper of the Year award, the South Carolina sophomore was an All-SEC selection and recorded 17 saves with a 2.25 ERA. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Price struck out 63 batters in 48 innings, holding opponents to a .202 batting average.

• Round 7: CF, Ben Roberts: Roberts is a multi-sport star from Missoula Sentinel High School in Montana, and is ranked among the best prospects in this year's graduating class. In 21 games this season, Roberts hit .323 with three home runs and 21 RBIs. He is committed to Washington State.

• Round 8: RHP, Jesse Darrah: Darrah, a junior from Fresno Pacific University, broke the school record for strikeouts with 101 in 88 2/3 innings pitched last season. He was one of the most dominant pitchers at the NAIA level, and struck out three batters in three exhibition innings against the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies.

• Round 9: SS, John Leonard: The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Leonard, from Connellsville Area High School in Pennyslvania, is committed to North Carolina State.

• Round 10: RHP, Kyle Winkler: Winkler was 8-2 with a 1.39 ERA in 13 starts this season for TCU. He struck out 99 batters in 90 2/3 innings, completed two games and held hitters to a .200 batting average. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior was a member of the 2010 Collegiate National Team.

• Round 11: LHP, William Locante: A lefty from Cumberland University, the 6-foot, 190-pound junior went 8-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 13 starts, posting two shutouts and striking out 118 in 81 innings. Prior to Cumberland, Locante played two seasons at Tennessee. Opponents hit .179 against him in 2011.

• Round 12: SS, Joshua Parr: The junior shortstop from Illinois batted .302 with two home runs and 36 RBIs for the Illini in 2011. He stole 17 bases in 19 attempts, was an All-Big Ten second-team selection and was named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA Fullerton Regional.

• Round 13: LHP, John Pedrotty: The 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior left-hander went 7-2 with a 4.62 ERA for Holy Cross. He completed two games, struck out 56 batters in 60 1/3 innings and walked 26.

• Round 14: RHP, Cody Geyer: Geyer, a second baseman/pitcher from Walters State Community College in North Carolina, holds the North Carolina high school record for career home runs. He was named first-team All-State and Rawlings Top 200 All-American in 2010.

• Round 15: C, Steven Rodriguez: The junior catcher from UCLA hit .196 with no home runs and 17 RBIs during his 2011 campaign. The 6-foot-1 switch-hitter had a .996 fielding percentage, and threw out 59 percent of attempted basestealers.

• Round 16: LHP, Michael Blake: The junior from Hawaii saw action at both pitcher and first base and played 47 games, batting .241 with 16 runs and 23 RBIs. On the mound, he pitched 8 1/3 innings in 10 appearances with a 3.24 ERA.

• Round 17: LHP, Adam Choplick: Choplick, a high school pitcher from Denton, Texas, signed a letter of intent to Oklahoma, and was a two-sport star at Billy Ryan High School. He threw a perfect game in late April, striking out 16 batters. He played first base for the majority of his senior season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

• Round 18: LHP, Taylor Siemens: Siemens, a 6-foot-5 senior from California Baptist University, went 9-2 with two complete games in the spring. He struck out 95 in 105 1/3 innings.

• Round 19: 2B, Danny Pulfer: The Oregon second baseman hit a team-leading .351 and stole nine bases for the Ducks. The 5-foot-9 junior hit two home runs, drove in 20 runs, had an on-base percentage of .426 and was named Pac-10 All-Conference.

• Round 20: SS, Tommy Williams: The 6-foot-2 high school shortstop hails from Palm Beach Gardens (Fla.) High School.

• Round 21: 1B, John Griffin: The All-Conference USA First Team selection at Central Florida led the conference in home runs (19), slugging percentage and total bases (166). The senior hit .343 in 2011.

• Round 22: SS, Garrett Weber: The Fresno State senior hit .274 with five home runs and 33 RBIs. He walked 19 times, struck out 32 times and scored 30 runs.

• Round 23: 3B, Ryan Court: The Illinois State senior hit .323 with six home runs and 35 RBIs in 2011. He stole seven bases and was one of 30 finalists for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.

• Round 24: RHP, Matt Ogden: Committed to Michigan, the 6-foot-3 right-hander hails from Smoky Hill High School in Colorado.

• Round 25: OF, George Williams: Williams is a 6-foot, 182-pound outfielder from North Carolina State.

• Round 26: RHP, Austin Platt: Platt, a right-handed pitcher from Braden River (Fla.) High School, is 6-foot-3, 190 pounds.

• Round 27: RHP, Wyatt Strahan: The 6-foot-5, 200-pound pitcher was 6-4 with a 1.48 ERA at Villa Park High School in California. He is committed to Southern California.

• Round 28: RHP, Truman Sample: The Rogers State junior was drafted by the Rangers after last season, and went 2-0 with a 4.56 ERA and four saves in 23 2/3 innings.

• Round 29: 3B, Carter Bell: The junior from Oregon State hit .299 with one home run and 22 RBIs in 2011. He played for Team Canada last summer in the World Baseball Championships. He was drafted in 2008 by the Giants, but did not sign.

• Round 30: RHP, Dexter Price: The Auburn transfer was 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 79 innings at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.

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