The Future Has Arrived

I had no sooner finished my blog entry on Carlos Quentin and getting back into the swing of things when he pulled a hamstring and was placed on the fifteen day disabled list. This left the Diamondbacks an outfielder short, or two if you count the anemic stats that Jeff DaVanon had put up since returning from shoulder and leg injuries. That could only mean one thing, a roster move would be made to bolster the Diamondbacks outfield crew. With the Diamondbacks currently in first place in the National League Western Division and in the midst of a pennant race it would have been logical to assume that the Diamondbacks would recall Jeff Salazar from Tucson. After all Salazar has had big-league experience, he has had success with Arizona, and he is on the 40-man roster making the move relatively painless. Never let it be said that the Diamondbacks are about easy or painless.

The Arizona Diamondbacks looked over the stable of bright young outfield stars and pulled a rabbit out of their hats. No, it wasn’t Alex Romero who is also on the 40-man roster and is hitting a blistering .309 for the Tucson Sidewinders after being picked up from Minnesota. Nor was it Carlos Gonzalez also on the 40-man roster who has played in 2 consecutive Futures All-Star games and has the best throwing arm in the organization. Instead the Diamondbacks reached into their bag of talent and brought up Justin Upton the number one overall draft choice in 2005. The Justin Upton who was drafted out of high school and is still only 19 years old in his second professional season. Once again the Diamondbacks jumped over the Tucson Sidewinders and skimmed the cream off Double-A Mobile. With the addition of Upton the Diamondbacks have 4 players on the 25-man roster who have not played Triple-A ball (the players are Micah Owings, Chris Snyder, Mark Reynolds, and now Justin Upton). The youngest team in the major leagues just got a little younger. Who could have imagined that when a 25 year old rookie went down with an injury the team would replace him with a 19 year old player from the middle minors? From the day he was drafted Justin Upton had been penciled in as the future of the Arizona Diamondbacks. It looks like the future is sooner than anyone expected and the team will pin a lot of its hopes on a teenager being able to hold his own while battling for the play-offs. One thing about it, these next two months won’t be boring.

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