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12/04/09 10:00 AM ET

D-backs excited about Draft picks' future

Club focused on hitting with 2009 selections

With the 2009 season and Arizona Fall League (where several 2009 draftees got their first taste of pro ball) in the books, we take a look at the early results of each club's '09 Draft class: how their top picks did, late-round picks that fared well, which picks are likely to move up the ladder quickest and which picks clubs were unable to sign.

In the days following a Draft, organizations want to think the best of their picks, and it's not unusual to see the top selections get some extra love in the overall system rankings.

But in the case of the 2009 D-backs, there is legitimate reason to think the afterglow isn't going to fade any time soon.

NL East

AL East

NL Central

AL Central

NL West

AL West

With five picks in the first 45 selections, and the first 29 picks signed, it's no surprise that folks in Arizona are excited about the newest members in the fold. The club definitely keyed in on hitting, with its first four picks and eight of the top 10 being position players after having concentrated more on polished pitching in previous drafts.

Odds are good that the majority of the players listed below, with the possible exception of high school pitcher Patrick Schuster, will be starting the 2010 season with full-season clubs.


1. Bobby Borchering, 3B: The D-backs had back-to-back picks at 16 and 17 and took a pair of upside hitters, the first one being the switch-hitting third baseman out of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Fla. At short-season Missoula in his debut, he hit .241 with two homers, 11 RBIs and eight doubles with a .425 slugging percentage. He has power from both sides and could see a move across the diamond down the road. The highest-drafted player in the Pioneer League this season, he hit .321 in the postseason.

1. A.J. Pollock, OF: Arizona went for the more polished Pollock out of Notre Dame at No. 17 and immediately shipped him all the way from South Bend to ... South Bend. Pollock started his pro career with the Class A Silver Hawks and certainly added to that team's summer gate, hitting .271 with three homers, 22 RBIs and 10 steals in 63 games, adding 12 doubles. A line-drive hitter with power potential and good instincts on the bases, he is a solid hitter with good tools across the board and no glaring weaknesses.

1S. Matt Davidson, 3B: The D-backs sent the 35th overall pick to short-season Yakima, their higher-level short-season club. At 18, the youngest everyday player held his own, hitting .241 with two home runs, 28 RBIs and 15 steals. He adjusted to the higher level of pitching as the season progressed and also continued to improve his defense at third.

1S. Chris Owings, SS: Drafted at No. 41, the high school shortstop doesn't have one tool that grabs you, but he works hard and does everything well, including the important intangibles at shortstop, such as leadership and makeup. He hit .306 for Missoula with two homers and 10 RBIs in 24 regular-season games and .345 in the playoffs.

1S. Mike Belfiore, LHP: The lone pitcher among the club's top five picks, selected at No. 45, Belfiore was a first baseman and closer at Boston College but is being used as a starter for now as the D-backs take advantage of his fresh arm and repertoire of four pitches, including a heavy sinking fastball in the low 90s. He posted a 2.17 ERA in 14 games at Missoula with 55 strikeouts in 58 innings. He needs to address a few minor mechanical issues, but there's nothing that can't be fixed with pro coaching.

Best of the Rest

An ankle injury cut short a fine start by outfielder Marc Krauss (2), selected out of Ohio University. He was hitting .304 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 32 games at South Bend before going down in late July. ... Outfielder Keon Broxton (3) is an exciting projectable player who was a star in the Junior College World Series before signing with the D-backs and hitting .246 with 11 homers, 37 RBIs, 11 doubles and nine triples for Missoula (a .474 slugging percentage) in 72 games. He has plus speed and defense and is a hard worker. ... Second baseman David Nick (4) was a Pioneer League All-Star. The high school shortstop quickly converted to his new position with little trouble, hitting .286 with six homers, 35 RBIs, 18 doubles and 16 steals along at Missoula. A Dustin Pedroia-type of player, he's a line-drive hitter to all fields. ... First baseman Ryan Wheeler (5) had a stellar season at Yakima. The Loyola Marymount product hit a combined .361 with six homers, 41 RBIs and 21 doubles between Yakima and a brief stint at South Bend, adding a .462 on-base average and .540 slugging percentage. ... First baseman/DH Paul Goldschmidt (8), out of Texas State, hit .334 with 18 homers, 62 RBIs and 27 doubles at Missoula for a .638 slugging percentage. ... The D-backs were able to sign left-hander Schuster (13) away from Florida. He certainly raised his stock this spring by throwing a Florida record four consecutive no-hitters for his high school in New Port Richey, as his low-90s fastball with the deceptive delivery baffled high school hitters. In his brief debut at Missoula, he struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.

Fast Risers

Such polished college hitters as Pollock and Wheeler should move quickly, and keep an eye on southpaw Belfiore as he takes the hill in 2010. A healthy Marc Krauss could move fast, as could right-hander Eric Smith, a University of Rhode Island product with a heavy sinking fastball.


With the D-backs signing 37 of their 55 picks and the first 29, not that many fit this bill, but two of note are shortstop Taylor Wrenn (25), whose father, Luke, is a D-backs scout. Wrenn is heading to USC. Also unsigned is first baseman Jake Williams (29), the son of former D-backs star and current front-office executive Matt Williams.

Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.