SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When Brandon Drury came to the D-backs in February of 2013, it was easy for fans to overlook him, as much of the focus of that blockbuster deal between the D-backs and Braves centered around Justin Upton and Martin Prado.Three years later, though, Drury is hard to
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When Brandon Drury came to the D-backs in February of 2013, it was easy for fans to overlook him, as much of the focus of that blockbuster deal between the D-backs and Braves centered around Justin Upton and Martin Prado.
Three years later, though, Drury is hard to ignore.
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The 23-year-old has once again put together a good spring, and while it's possible he will not make the Opening Day roster, it seems all but certain that he will be in the big leagues sooner rather than later.
"He's definitely got a lot of potential. He could be great," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "There's no reason why he shouldn't be a successful big leaguer. He works extremely hard, he studies, he works to be the best he can be, he can play multiple positions."
Drury, the D-backs' No. 3 prospect, has mainly played second and third base during his time in the Minors, with the occasional start at shortstop thrown in. With Jake Lamb playing well at third and a logjam of candidates for the middle infield spots this spring, the D-backs have experimented with putting Drury in the outfield.
"I'm trying to move him around and give him the best opportunity to make this ballclub as we can," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "As everybody has seen, he's done a nice job with his bat. He's obviously a very good third baseman. If he can show us he can play some other positions, it gives him more chances to have at-bats."
Drury spent the offseason working out with Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, and he has received help from the All-Star ever since he was 14 years old.
Last spring, Drury made sure to spend as much time with Goldschmidt as he could, watching his routine and taking bits and pieces of it for himself.
"I learned from him and picked his brain," Drury said. "Just to see what he's thinking and how he works. He's one of the best players in the game, so I don't see why you wouldn't want to be around a guy like that and make sure you learn from him."
After hitting well at both Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno, Drury got the call to the big leagues in September. He may have hit just .214, but what he learned from his time was invaluable.
"Just being in a big league stadium and playing in front of 40,000 people and facing guys that you've watched on TV," Drury said. "Just to get the newness of that out of the way, I think is nice. Now going into the season, it's just baseball -- it's not that new feel to it. Last year I kind of tuned it out and was just playing, but I think this year I will just be more comfortable."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.