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D-Backs select Drew with first pick
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06/07/2004  2:12 PM ET
D-Backs select Drew with first pick
Arizona surprised shortstop was available at No. 15
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The D-Backs feel shortstop Stephen Drew has a bright future in Arizona. (Courtesy Florida St.)

PHOENIX -- The Diamondbacks vowed to take the best player available in the first round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and they did just that as they nabbed Florida State shortstop Stephen Drew with the 15th overall pick.

"We were a little surprised that he fell to us," Diamondbacks scouting director Mike Rizzo said just after making the selection. "Obviously, we understand that there are reasons that that happened. He's a talented player at a premium position and we felt that he was the best player available at the time we selected."

Drew, the brother of Braves outfielder J.D. Drew, batted .353 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs in 55 games for the Seminoles this season. A left-handed hitter, Drew uses an open stance at the plate and has a short, compact hitting stroke. A good baserunner, Drew stole 12 bases in 14 attempts.

Rated by many as the best position player in the draft, Drew is represented by agent Scott Boras, who also represented his brother. J.D. Drew was drafted by the Phillies in 1997, but refused to sign and was drafted the following year by the Cardinals.

The Diamondbacks had talked about drafting a left-handed pitcher in the first round, but when Drew was available, they grabbed him.

"Those kind of players don't come along every day," Rizzo said. "He's got solid tools. He's a great player and we felt it would be hard to pass him up."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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