Snake Selections: Recapping The D-Backs First Round Picks

Arizona Sports News online

The Diamondbacks are four days away from kicking off the 2015 MLB Draft.  Without a clear-cut #1 overall pick in this year’s draft, there is still plenty of mystery regarding who they will take.  The team’s first round picks have had some hits…and some misses, proving just how tough drafting players can be.  There have been power bats, high school phenoms, and a recent trend of flamethrowers being picked up by the Snakes.  Here is where they have gone with their first round picks:

1996 – Nick Bierbrodt, LHP, 30th Overall Pick

The first first-round pick for the Diamondbacks took five years for him to get the call-up.  He only had five starts with the team before being traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for Mike Difelice and Albie Lopez.  After being shot three times in 2002, he returned to the big leagues, but did not stick in the majors for long and eventually retired in 2011.

1997 – Jack Cust, 1B, 30th Overall Pick

The 30th overall pick had a decorated tenure in the minor leagues.  He made his major league debut late in the 2001 season, but was traded in 2002 for submariner Mike Myers.  Cust ended up with 105 career home runs and was a very serviceable power bat for the Oakland A’s.  Sadly, though, he might be best remembered for this:

1999 – Corey Myers, SS, 4th Overall Pick

Myers was a local product out of Desert Vista High School and son of former Arizona State softball coach Clint Myers.  Myers never made it to the big leagues and spent time in the Diamondbacks farm system from 1999-2005.  Myers eventually followed in his father’s footsteps and took up coaching softball.  He is currently an assistant under Clint at Auburn University.

2001 – Jason Bulger, RHP, 22nd Overall Pick

The pitcher out of Valdosta State University made his debut with the Diamondbacks in 2005.  In ten innings pitched, he had a 5.40 ERA.  He was eventually traded to the Los Angeles Angels for Alberto Callaspo.  

2002 – Sergio Santos, SS, 27th Overall Pick

Santos was a decorated shortstop out of Mater Dei High School.  He progressed through the minors in three years, but was sent to the Toronto Blue Jays along with Troy Glaus for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista.  After bouncing around a few teams, Santos eventually was converted to a pitcher.  He is currently with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a relief pitcher. 

2003 – Connor Jackson, 3B, 19th Overall Pick

Jackson shot up the minor leagues, hitting .320 and 35 doubles in the Northwest League.  In 2006, he was the starting first baseman and hit .291 with 15 home runs.  In 2009, he contracted Valley Fever and spent a majority of that season on the disabled list.  When it was all said and done, Jackson hit .277 with 46 home runs and 247 RBIs in six years with the Diamondbacks.

2003 – Carlos Quentin, OF, 29th Overall Pick

Quentin was THE man at Stanford.  He was an all Pac-10 selection and the leader of a Cardinal team when they were a staple of the College World Series.  The second first-rounder of 2003, Quentin spent two years with the club, but was traded to the Chicago White Sox.  Quentin had injury issues from the get-go with the Diamondbacks; he played with an injured shoulder for the majority of his junior year at Stanford and had to undergo Tommy John surgery when drafted.  Quentin spent four years with the Sox and hit at least 20 home runs in each of those seasons.

2004 – Stephen Drew, SS, 15th Overall Pick

Drew gave the ACC nightmares when he was with Florida State and was almost not a Diamondback.  After drafting the shortstop, the team, Drew, and agent Scott Boras agreed to terms just hours before the deadline.  Had he not signed, he would have been entered in the following year’s draft.  The younger brother of outfielder J.D. Drew, Stephen spent seven years with the Diamondbacks and hit 176 doubles, knocked in 333 RBIs and played a solid shortstop for two playoff teams.

2005 – Justin Upton, SS, 1st Overall Pick

With the top pick in 2005, the Diamondbacks went with a big leaguers brother again.  B.J. Upton was an up-and-coming outfielder for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and younger brother Justin was deemed a future star.  He was a shortstop in high school, and scouts believed he possessed all five tools.  After being converted to an outfielder, Upton was called up to the bigs at 19 years old.  There were some growing pains for Upton, especially in the field, but he came around in 2011, where he was voted fourth in NL MVP voting.  Upton was brought up constantly in trade rumors, and was eventually sent to the Atlanta Braves for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, Zeke Spruill, and Brandon Drury.  

2006 – Max Scherzer, RHP, 11th Overall Pick

The hard-throwing Scherzer came with a lot of promise of being the team’s ace for years to come.  In one full season with the D-Backs, he struck out 174 batters in 170 innings.  There were concerns of his throwing motion and his durability, and the Diamondbacks traded him to the Tigers in a three-team deal that sent Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona.  Scherzer won the Cy Young in 2013 and has averaged 216 strikeouts per season in his time with the Tigers.  He is now in his first season with the Washington Nationals.  

You can see the adjustments Scherzer has made from his original windup: 

2007 – Jarrod Parker, RHP, 9th Overall Pick

Parker was another big arm the Diamondbacks were hoping could bolster their rotation.  He was the first high school pitcher taken in the 2007 draft and was another signee that put pen to paper just before the deadline.  He had a hot start in the minors, but eventually suffered an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery, and missed the entirety of the 2010 season.  The Diamondbacks traded Parker in a deal that brought over Trevor Cahill and Craig Breslow.  Parker had a very good first season for the A’s and was slated to be Oakland’s opening day starter for 2014, but had to undergo a second Tommy John surgery and has seen injury issues arise in his attempted return to the big leagues.

2008 – Daniel Schlereth, LHP, 26th Overall Pick

The Arizona Wildcat and son of NFL player Mark Schlereth was an established reliever down in Tucson.  His stint with the Diamondbacks was short before being dealt to the Detroit Tigers in the Max Scherzer deal.  Schlereth spent three years in the Tigers bullpen before being release.  The southpaw spent time with the Orioles, Tigers again, and currently is under contract with the Chicago Cubs.

2009 – Bobby Borchering, 3B, 16th Overall Pick

The first baseman out of Fort Myers, FL was the first of two first round picks for the Snakes in 2009.  Borchering never cracked the big leagues with the Diamondbacks and was a part of the package sent over to the Houston Astros for third baseman Chris Johnson.

2009 – A.J. Pollock, OF, 19th Overall Pick

Pollock was a All Big-East third baseman in 2007 and and all Big-East outfielder in 2008 while playing for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The D-Backs outfielder made his major league debut in 2012, and has seen his numbers progress each season.  Pollock was on a tear to start the 2014 season before injuries hampered his season where he appeared in 75 games.  This season, he is hitting .314 with 6 home runs and 22 RBIs.

This seems like a pretty good scouting report on Pollock coming out:

2010 – Barret Loux, RHP, 6th Overall Pick

Loux was a power arm the Arizona Diamondbacks selected sixth overall in the 2010 draft.  But after a physical revealed elbow trouble that could leave Loux on the disabled list for significant time, the club opted not to sign him.  Because of that, the Diamondbacks were granted the seventh pick in 2011 draft as compensation. Loux was granted a free agent in a unprecedented move by the MLB, and signed with the Texas Rangers.  

2011 – Trevor Bauer, RHP, 3rd Overall Pick

Bauer was a part of a STACKED UCLA pitching staff that included the Gerrit Cole, who was the top pick in the 2011 draft. The highly effective, highly peculiar Bruin shot up through the minor leagues in no time.  Bauer brought with him some unusual tendencies, which included…well, I will just let him explain:

After some struggles on the mound and some friction between Miguel Montero (Montero said Bauer “never wanted to listen”), he was dealt to the Cleveland Indians in a three-team trade that brought Didi Gregorius to the Snakes.  Bauer has been with the Tribe for three years and has a 2.97 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 63.2 innings.

2011 – Archie Bradley, RHP, 7th Overall Pick

Bradley is what became of that compensatory pick the team received for not signing Loux in 2010.  Bradley was the second power arm taken by the D-Backs in that draft after UCLA’s Trevor Bauer.  There was a question whether Bradley would sign with the team or honor his commitment to Oklahoma where he was recruited as a quarterback.  After signing with the club and coming up through the minors, Bradley was a highly anticipated call-up and delivered in his debut: a six-inning shutout of the Los Angeles Dodgers where Bradley gave up just one hit.   In his third start, he took a line drive off the face from Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.  After a short stint on the disabled list, Bradley returned to the rotation, but has struggled as of late and was placed on the disabled list Thursday.

2012 – Stryker Trahan, C, 26th Overall Pick

With a name like Stryker, you better be able to hit.  That’s exactly what Trahan did in high school to land him with the Snakes at the 26th overall pick.  Trahan is currently with the Missoula Osprey and is making the transition from catcher to outfield.  Trahan has 157 RBIs in his career and is in his fourth year in the D-Backs farm system.

2013 – Braden Shipley, RHP, 15th Overall Pick

Shipley made history for the Nevada Wolf Pack as the school’s first first-round selection after the Diamondbacks took him with the 15th pick in 2013.  Shipley was a 2014 selection for the MLB Futures Game, and is currently at Double-A Mobile.

2014 – Touki Toussaint, RHP, 16th Overall Pick

The 16th overall pick in 2014 was selected at just 17-years-old and has a repertoire including fastball that touches the mid-90s and a punishing curveball that projects him as a top-of-rotation starter.  At 6’3″ and 185 pounds and refined mechanics, he has struck out 17 in 21 innings and hitters are batting .228 against him in Class-A ball.