Draft Preparations in Full Swing

For the first time in the history of the Major League Baseball amateur draft, a team has two picks in the top ten. That team is the Arizona Diamondbacks who will be selecting players with the third pick and also with the seventh pick.

This came about as a result of the Diamondbacks being unable to sign their first round pick Barret Loux last season when the team learned he had shoulder issues after they drafted him. Add this pick to the number three pick Arizona has from their poor season last year and the Diamondbacks find themselves in a very enviable position.

The 2011 first-year amateur draft is thought by many to be one of the deepest drafts in recent history. Scoring two impact players in this draft could go a long way to returning the Diamondbacks to respectability and making them once again a force in the National League Western Division.

This year’s draft will be the first since General Manager Kevin Towers took the helm in Arizona. Most of the draft preparations have fallen under the careful eye of assistant GM Jerry Dipoto and first-year scouting directory Ray Montgomery.

The Diamondbacks have set up their draft war room at their facilities at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. There they will be in contact with team representations in New York as they decide who will become the latest Diamondbacks.

Teams generally draft the best available player during the first round before turning their attention to organizational deficiencies. This makes it unclear whether Arizona will be focusing on pitching or position players with the first two picks.

Dipoto, Montgomery, and Towers have travelled extensively this spring looking at various players who may be available when the Diamondbacks pick. One name that continues to surface is University of Virginia LHP Danny Hultzen who has impressed scouts with his command and power on the mound.

Other pitchers have likewise caught the eye of the Diamondbacks including UCLA pitcher Trevor Bauer and high school LHP Dylan Bundy. These two would seem more likely to be selected at number 7 rather than number 3.

Arizona flew in high school shortstop Francisco Lindor for a private workout at Salt River Fields on Thursday and from all accounts he was very impressive. Lindor is drawing rave reviews for his defense and his ability to hit for average and bring speed to the top of the order.

Hopefully all of the preparations will pay off when the Diamondbacks make these two selections and announce what we hope will become household names to the Chase Field faithful in a few short seasons.

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