PHOENIX -- D-backs outfielder A.J. Pollock is riding a hot stretch these days, but it hasn't all been smooth sailing for him this year.
A little more than a month ago Pollock was hitting just .235 and the biggest challenge for him at that point was keeping his mindset positive.
"Every player is kind of working on their mechanics and sometimes they forget to look at the mental part of the game and that's the biggest part of the game I think," Pollock said. "That's what separates the good hitters from the best hitters."
That's where D-backs mental-skills coach Peter Crone comes in.
Crone, who works with a number of professional golfers as well as actors, has helped a number of D-backs over the years including Pollock, Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt.
"He's been a big part of what a bunch of us have done here as far as molding our routines and teaching us how to think about each day," Pollock said. "He's been a big help. You come in here and you do your routines in the cage and you do your routines on the field, but you have to also be doing your routine mentally.
"You play the game and then mentally kind of have a routine to get past the game and let it go. Good or bad you don't want to bring the game into the next day. It sounds simple, but it's been a big help for me."
Putz throws simulated game
PHOENIX -- D-backs reliever J.J. Putz threw a simulated game prior to batting practice Friday afternoon at Chase Field.
"I thought it went well," Putz said. "I felt good, threw some good pitches."
Putz, who has been on the disabled list since May 4 with right forearm tightness, threw 24 pitches.
The next step for Putz will be to see how he feels Saturday. If all goes well he will throw another simulated game Monday at Salt River Fields and then the team would like to get him in back-to-back games somewhere Thursday and Friday.
"We expect he will be fine, but you never know," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "His fastball command is what you're interested in. I thought he got a little tired at the end, but overall, for first time on the mound, I thought he did pretty good."
Putz worked up quite a sweat with the roof open, the sun shining brightly and triple-digit temperatures.
"The main thing is you get good and loose," Putz joked about the weather. "I'm encouraged by it."
D-backs have proven Draft success
PHOENIX -- The First-Year Player Draft is less than a week away and it's worth noting that the D-backs have done well when it comes to selecting players over the past 10 seasons according to research by Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
The D-backs have had 49 players, who were drafted from 2004-2013 reach the big leagues, which ties them with the Red Sox for the fifth most in the Majors. The Cardinals had the most with 56.
Also, according to the research done on www.baseball-reference.com, the D-backs' Draft picks that have reached the Major Leagues have accrued an aggregate WAR (wins above replacement) of 120.1.
That is the fifth-highest total in the Majors behind the Red Sox (142.7), Braves (133.3), Angels (124.4) and Yankees (120.5).
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.