The Arizona Diamondbacks doubled off on names out of high school in the 2019 MLB Draft, selecting pitcher Blake Walston 26th overall.
Walston was 11-0 at New Hanover High School in North Carolina with a 0.23 ERA. Over 61.2 innings, he had 120 strikeouts.
The 6-foot-4 left-handed pitcher is committed to North Carolina State.
ESPN’s Keith Law ranks Walston as the No. 44 prospect of the 2019 class.
Walston is one of the few pop-up arms this spring, enticing because he’s projectable, won’t turn 18 until September and has an above-average breaking ball, although he’s considered a tough sign.
“Super athletic, he was the quarterback of the football team,” D-backs director of scouting Deric Ladnier said of Walston.
The selection of Walston comes to the D-backs after last year’s first-round pick, infielder Matt McClain, opted against signing with the team and headed to college at UCLA instead.
Walston is Arizona’s second selection of the 2019 MLB Draft and in the first round after they picked high school outfielder Corbin Caroll with the 16th overall selection. They have five more selections following No. 26 for Monday night’s 75 picks and eight total in the top-100.