Best homegrown players in D-backs history
The D-backs have developed a lot of good players over the years, but who have been the best?
We decided to take a look at the Top 5 homegrown players in franchise history.
In order to be eligible, the player had to be drafted by the D-backs -- sorry, Patrick Corbin and Chris Young -- or originally signed by the D-backs. That leaves out David Peralta, who otherwise would have been on the list.
With that said, here's what we have:
1. Paul Goldschmidt
Eighth round, 2009
The D-backs had a pair of first-round selections in the 2009 MLB Draft, Bobby Borchering and AJ Pollock, and those two got most of the ink that first night. Flying under the radar at the time -- really, up until he made his big league debut on Aug. 1, 2011 -- was an eighth-round pick out of Texas State University, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
But it was Goldschmidt who went on to become one of the franchise’s best players. Over his eight years with the D-backs, Goldschmidt recorded a 40.7 bWAR, second in franchise history to Randy Johnson, and he became the face of the franchise during that period.
Goldschmidt appeared in six All-Star Games, won four National League Silver Slugger Awards and three NL Gold Glove Awards and finished second in the NL MVP Award voting twice during his Arizona tenure. If you scan the franchise's all-time offensive leaders, he ranks either first or second in most of the major categories.
2. Brandon Webb
Eighth round, 2000
There's something about the eighth round that has proven to be magical for the D-backs: They nabbed their best homegrown pitcher in that round.
Current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was the D-backs' scouting director at the time right-hander Brandon Webb was selected, and Rizzo had sent his father, legendary scout Phil Rizzo, to the University of Kentucky to scout another player. Phil Rizzo called his son afterward and said the player the team should be focused on was Webb.
Webb went on to master a sinker during his time in the Minor Leagues, which elevated him to an elite pitcher. From 2006-08, Webb finished first, second and second, respectively, in the NL Cy Young Award voting. Had he not sustained a career-ending right shoulder injury on Opening Day 2009, who knows what else he would have been able to accomplish in Arizona?
3. AJ Pollock
First round, 17th overall, 2009
While Borchering was a bust with the 16th overall selection in 2009, the D-backs hit with outfielder AJ Pollock.
Pollock's all-out style of play sometimes resulted in an injury despite the fact he kept himself in tremendous physical shape. He appeared in a career-high 157 games in 2015, when he posted a .315/.367/.498 slash line and stole 39 bases while posting a 130 OPS+. He also won an NL Gold Glove Award that season.
A fracture of his right elbow on a slide at home plate two days before the start of the 2016 season kept Pollock out for much of the year, but even while limited to 225 games from '17-18, he had an OPS of .801.
4. Justin Upton
First round, first overall, 2005
As the top pick in the Draft, outfielder Justin Upton faced extremely high expectations. Because of that, people tend to shortchange how well he played while with the D-backs from 2007-12. Upton appeared in a pair of All-Star Games and finished fourth in the NL MVP Award voting one year. Aside from 2007, when he appeared in just 43 games, he never had an OPS+ under 107.
The D-backs would not have won the NL West in 2011 if not for Upton hitting .289/.369/.529 with 31 homers.
5. Miguel Montero
Signed as an international free agent, 2001
Catcher Miguel Montero, who was born in Caracas, Venezuela, was signed by the D-backs for a $13,000 bonus.
Montero made his big league debut with Arizona on Sept. 6, 2006. Marlins right-hander Aníbal Sánchez no-hit the D-backs that night, and Montero joked afterward that things could only get better from there.
They certainly did, as Montero made a pair of All-Star Game appearances while becoming the club’s main catcher and a fan favorite, thanks to his good-humored personality. He was dealt to the Cubs after the 2014 season.