The MLB first-year amateur concluded today for the Arizona Diamondbacks. During the three day draft, the Diamondbacks hoped to reload a depleted farm system. In the 2009 draft the team focused on position players restocking the lower levels of the system with hitting prospects that should pay dividends for the team.
This season Arizona chose to focus on pitching. And by focus I mean the team used exactly half of their draft picks on pitchers. In total, Arizona selected 25 pitchers including each of the first eight rounds. Besides all of the arms, Arizona also selected 14 infielders, three catchers, and eight outfielders.
In the first round Arizona selected right handed pitcher Barret Loux out of Texas A&M. Loux is a big time pitcher as the Aggies ace this season. Scouting reports have him as a front of the rotation type of pitcher with a strong fast ball and an above average change-up. He also throws a great breaking ball but may need some work to make it a strong pitch.
The Diamondbacks were expected to stick with college pitching hoping to minimize the amount of time needed to get them ready for the major league level. In the first eight selections they were split evenly between college pitchers and high school pitchers.
One consistent aspect of the pitchers chosen were they all seemed to be larger athletes capable of eating innings like breakfast cereal. Clearly the Diamondbacks are looking not just for overpowering flame throwers but rather someone who can go deep into a game taking pressure off the relief pitching.
As always, I like to feature one player in the draft. So much of the time the first round draft picks gets all of the accolades and press. Rather than focusing on the top picks, I typically highlight the final draft choice.
In the 50th round of the draft, the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Trey Ford with the 1,501st pick. Ford is a third baseman from South Mountain Community College. Ford became the fourth current South Mountain Community College player to be selected in the Major League draft following Ryan Christenson (Los Angeles Dodgers), Kenny Sigman (Arizona Diamondbacks), and Kyle Ottoson (Philadelphia Phillies).
Ford is a local product from Paradise Valley. He had a successful baseball career in high school playing for Chaparral High School before attending South Mountain Community College. Ford is listed on the Chaparral High School baseball hall of fame page.
During his first season for South Mountain, Ford appeared in 54 games with 53 hits in 183 at bats for a .290 average. He had six doubles, three triples, and four home runs driving in 28. He has a good on base percentage of .395 making him a good candidate for hitting at the top of the order.
Hopefully the Diamondbacks will be able to sign Trey Ford as the first step to potentially seeing him in Sedona Red playing at Chase Field.
Overall the Diamondbacks drafted well getting above average value in several rounds. The focus on pitching works well combined with last season’s focus on position players. Hopefully many of these draft picks will sign quickly and find their place on the rosters of the Missoula Osprey and the Yakima Bears.