06/03/09 10:19 AM ET
D-backs can replenish through Draft
Arizona has seven of the first 64 picks, starting with No. 16
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Arizona tweaked its scouting process a bit this year, incorporating its pro scouts into the process in order to give the team multiple looks at players.
"More looks at guys means there's more information to process," scouting director Tom Allison said. "We feel like we have more information on the individual guys which is a good thing."
MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft on June 9-11. MLB Network will broadcast the first round at 3 p.m. MST on June 9 from its Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., and those 32 selections also will be simulcast live on MLB.com.
Beginning with the 33rd pick, up-to-the-minute on-air coverage from the remaining rounds will shift exclusively to MLB.com, where host Vinny Micucci will be joined by MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo and Major League Scouting Bureau director Frank Marcos.
Once the first night is done, the Draft will continue with rounds 4-30, via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York, at noon on June 10. Rounds 31-50 will be on June 11, starting at 8:30 a.m.
Here's a glance at what the D-backs have in store as the First-Year Player Draft approaches:
In about 50 words
After the first and maybe second picks in the Draft, good luck trying to figure out who is going to be picked where. The Draft by some accounts is deep in high-school position players, which could work in Arizona's favor.
"We started a little earlier," GM Josh Byrnes said. "We spent a lot of time in the fall so we probably we were hitting the ground running in the spring. So we kind of feel like we've been ready for a while now. Tom Allison and Jerry Dipoto and all the scouts have done a great job. We do think it's a very deep class, so it will give us a lot of choices within the class and at the end of it, hopefully a lot of good prospects."
With so much uncertainty past the first couple of picks, it's hard to know just who will be there when the D-backs' first pick at No. 16 comes around. There's been some speculation that Arizona State right-hander Mike Leake may still be on the board. If he is, don't bet on him getting by the D-backs. Florida high school third/first baseman Bobby Borchering is also a name to keep an eye on.
The D-backs do not have many impact bats in their system. However, they do have a couple of position-player prospects in Cyle Hankerd and Collin Cowgill. High-school bats would be a good fit for the D-backs because they have a core of position players under control in the big leagues for the next several years, which would give the players selected time to develop.
Under former scouting director Mike Rizzo, the D-backs tended to lean toward college players from high-profile programs. Allison has been harder to pin down. Last year, he went with college reliever Daniel Schlereth. In 2007, his first as scouting director, he nabbed high school right-hander Jarrod Parker. Look for Allison to once again pick the best player available regardless of whether he is a high school or college player.
Recent top picks
2008: Schlereth: The D-backs saw him as a quick mover when they picked him out of the University of Arizona and he has proved to be just that, reaching the big leagues at the end of May.
2007: Parker: The right-hander out of Norwell (Ind.) High School was impressive in the Cal League early this year which earned him a promotion to Double-A Mobile. Parker is still refining his stuff, but he is likely to battle for a spot in the rotation in 2010.
2006: Max Scherzer: The right-hander from the University of Missouri did not sign until just before the deadline in 2007. He reached the big leagues in 2008 and won a spot in the rotation this year.
Selected in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Bryan Augenstein pitched in rookie ball in 2007 and last year moved through both levels of Class A. He was not invited to Spring Training, but after a hot start at Double-A Mobile, he made his big league debut in May. Rainouts in Atlanta and Florida scrambled the Arizona pitching staff and sent him down to Triple-A, but he could easily return sometime this year and if not compete for a spot next year.
Left-hander Clay Zavada certainly fits the bill. Zavada was selected in the 30th round of the 2006 Draft and left the game in 2007 following the death of his father. The left-hander rejoined the organization last year after pitching for the independent Southern Illinois Miners and was impressive at Class A South Bend. Started the 2009 season at Double-A Mobile before being called up to the big leagues in May.
In The Show
The D-backs currently have Scherzer (2006), Schlereth (2008) and Zavada (2006) on the roster from the past three Drafts but also used Augenstein (2007) to make a pair of starts.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.