The new front office regime of the Arizona Diamondbacks had their first chance at adding homegrown pieces through the 2015 MLB First Year Player Draft earlier this week. When it was all said and done, the Snakes used their first 11 picks on college players, including Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson, who was the #1 overall pick.
To ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez, the theme of the Snakes’ draft was to draft established, experienced players, and the team showed a sense of urgency to add pieces who could help the big league club quickly.
“Ken Kendrick is someone who has not been known for his patience, and I think the front office is probably very aware of that,” Gomez told Sports360AZ.com. “They’re going to need players that are helping at the big league level…sooner rather than later. It would not be a surprise if Swanson is up as a Diamondback within a year and a half or so, maybe a September call-up in 2016, that type of player.”
Gomez referenced Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki as a good barometer for Swanson. A high draft pick out of Long Beach State, Tulowitzki spent a little over a season in the minor leagues before being called up to the major league club during their World Series run in 2007.
“I think the Diamondbacks are looking at Dansby to probably make a similar type ascension where if he could be their everyday shortstop by 2017, that is a huge, huge bonus.”
So is this draft a part of a few tweaks here and their to the current roster? Gomez doesn’t think so. He said the new administration will continue to mold the inherited roster they received around key pieces in the lineup.
“Goldschmidt is a cornerstone, he will be here. Tomas, with the money, he will be here. Swanson, since he is the first 1st round pick of this administration, he will be here,” Gomez said.
“Everybody else is in play. Pollock is likely to be here. But again, two years ago, we thought Adam Eaton was absolutely going to be the center fielder and there was no doubt about that. He didn’t even last half a year.”
Five of the club’s first six picks were also college pitchers. Gomez said the Snakes can look to the NL West rival San Francisco Giants to develop these draft picks into staples of the rotation, something no one does better in the entire league.
“You look at their rotation and you see Madison Bumgarner: draft pick. You see Matt Cain: draft pick, Tim Lincecum: draft pick, Chris Heston: draft pick. These are not guys who have from outside the organization and they develop into key contributors in that organization,” Gomez said.
“That is the area where the Diamondbacks truly have to get their stuff together. They cannot keep going outside the organization to get pitching.”
The team may have started that process earlier this week.