The Arizona Diamondbacks added another arm in the 2020 MLB Draft, selecting pitcher Slade Cecconi with the 33rd pick in round A of the first round’s competitive balance portion.
Cecconi, a righty out of Miami, had a 4.09 ERA over two seasons and 17 starts for the Hurricanes. In the shortened 2019-20 season, he was 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA through four starts. He totaled 30 strikeouts and seven walks.
Cecconi was ranked No. 49 by The Athletic’s Keith Law.
He’s flashed first-round stuff for the Hurricanes for brief stints, showing plus velocity and a plus slider, but has had trouble keeping his command intact for entire outings as a starter. He may not have the third pitch to turn a lineup over multiple times, but the two pitches he flashes now are enough that someone will probably roll the dice on developing him as a starter.
The big 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher joins Duke’s Bryce Jarvis, the 18th overall selection, as the D-backs’ two players picked on Wednesday.
MLB shortened the number of selections this year to five rounds and 160 picks in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Before the pandemic, the draft had been scheduled to take place at Omaha, Nebraska, ahead of the now-canceled College World Series.
The D-backs lost their second-round pick after signing Madison Bumgarner but pick in the third (90th), fourth (119th) and fifth round (149th) later in the draft.