With top pick, D-backs may turn to position player
Organization's pitching restocked, now Arizona has other needs to address in Draft
The 2015 Draft will take place from Monday, June 8, through Wednesday, June 10, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday at 3 p.m. MST. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 4 p.m., with the top 75 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,700 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the D-backs, who pick first overall.
In about 50 words
This is the second time in franchise history the D-backs have had the No. 1 overall pick. In 2005 they selected Justin Upton, then a high school shortstop in Virginia. He was moved to the outfield and reached the big leagues in 2007, manning right field for Arizona until his trade before the 2013 season.
This year's Draft class is regarded as a fairly deep one, but with no franchise-altering player at the top.
This will be Deric Ladnier's first Draft as D-backs scouting director, but it will not be his first experience with the No. 1 overall pick.
Ladnier was the Royals' scouting director in 2006, when the club drafted right-hander Luke Hochevar with the first pick, and he served as a special assistant with the Nationals when they picked Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper with back-to-back No. 1 picks.
Mock Drafts have been all over the board when it comes to the D-backs. They've been linked with Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson, UC Santa Barbara right-hander Dillon Tate, Vandy right-hander Carson Fullmer, Illinois lefty Tyler Jay and high school shortstop Brendan Rodgers. High school catcher Tyler Stephenson is another name that has come up of late.
The D-backs have been assigned a pool of $12,816,100, which ranks third in the Majors behind Houston and Colorado. The value assigned to the D-backs' first-round pick is $8,616,900.
Ladnier says that the team is not under any financial restrictions when it comes to the first pick and will not take a lesser player there simply to save money.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.
Any team going up to 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.
When general manager Dave Stewart took over last year, his goal was to continue to restock the farm system's pitching. Stewart's moves, along with the past two Drafts, have done that and the club could look now to fortify its position player inventory. With a young crop of hitters in the big leagues, the D-backs have the flexibility to gamble on some higher upside bats.
Ladnier laughs when he's asked about his draft trends saying, "I think I've been consistently inconsistent."
If a college and high school player have the same upside, Ladnier will favor the college player, because he will get to the big leagues and produce quicker.
Five of the last six first-round picks by the D-backs have been pitchers.
RECENT DRAFT HISTORY
Right-hander Aaron Blair, who was selected in the Competitive Balance Round A (36th overall) in 2013, pitched at three levels in 2014 and earned an invite to big league camp this past spring. This season has dominated Double-A hitters at Mobile.
Brad Keller was a lightly scouted high school right-hander from Georgia when the D-backs picked him in the eighth round in 2013. He pitched at Rookie levels in 2013 and 2014 and this year is throwing well in the Class A Midwest League for Kane County.
In The Show
The D-backs have gotten tremendous production from their farm system in recent years with their current roster stocked with players who have come up through their system even if you don't count outfielders Ender Inciarte and David Peralta, who were non-drafted free agents.
Among position players there's Paul Goldschmidt (eighth round, 2009), A.J. Pollock (first round, 2009), Chris Owings (supplemental first round, 2009) and Jake Lamb (sixth round, 2012). When it comes to pitchers, there's Josh Collmenter (15th round, 2007), Archie Bradley (first round, 2011), Chase Anderson (ninth round, 2009) and Andrew Chafin (supplemental first round, 2011).
The D-backs' recent top picks
2014: Touki Toussaint, RHP, Class A Kane County
2013: Braden Shipley, RHP, Double-A Mobile
2012: Stryker Trahan, C, Class A Kane County
2011: Trevor Bauer, RHP, Indians
Archie Bradley, RHP, D-backs
2010: Barret Loux, RHP, did not sign, Triple-A Iowa