Draft Preview: D-backs eye college hurlers

Draft Preview: D-backs eye college hurlers

The early part of last year's Draft was a busy one for the D-backs, who had eight of the first 95 picks, and by all accounts, they did a good job restocking a farm system that had been depleted by trades and promotions in recent years.

Of those eight picks, though, six were position players, which could lead the D-backs to look in the direction of pitching early in this Draft. This will be scouting director Tom Allison's fourth Draft since taking over for Mike Rizzo.

Draft Central

MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft from June 7-9 on MLB.com/Live. The first round and Compensation Round A will be broadcast live on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday, June 7, beginning with the Draft preview show at 3 p.m. MST.

MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo will join Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, John Hart, Peter Gammons and Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis on Monday's broadcast.

Coverage for rounds 2-50 will shift exclusively to MLB.com/Live. Rounds 2-30 will be streamed on Tuesday, beginning at 9 a.m., and rounds 31-50 will be streamed on Wednesday, starting at 9 a.m. Host Pete McCarthy will be joined by Mayo and former general manager Jim Duquette.

Here's a glance at what the D-backs have in store as the Draft approaches:

In about 50 words
The D-backs have been willing to go over slot to sign Draft picks in the past, but given this year's crop they probably will not. They would like to get a college hurler early and continue to look for the best available player thereafter.

The scoop
"It's no secret we took a lot of position players last year and we have to build up our starting pitching, but does that mean that we would necessarily walk past an impact bat? No." -- Allison

D-backs' past five top picks
Year
Player
Current team
2009 Bobby Borchering South Bend (A)
2009 A.J. Pollock On DL
2008Daniel SchlerethToledo (AAA)
2007Jarrod Parker On DL
2006Max Scherzer Tigers
2005Justin Upton D-backs
First-round buzz
The D-backs would prefer to grab a college starter with this pick and mock drafts so far have linked them to Ole Miss left-hander Drew Pomeranz and Georgia Tech righty Deck McGuire. It's possible that a bat may fall to the D-backs that they would not be able to pass up, but pitching will most likely be the direction here.

Shopping list
Most of the D-backs' better position player prospects are in the lower levels of the organization, but they could use to add some pitching throughout. About the only position the D-backs do not need to beef up is corner infielders as they loaded up on that in last year's Draft.

Trend watch
Allison has shown flexibility in his previous two Drafts rather than a strict preference of high school or college players. In 2008, he selected college hurler Daniel Schlereth in the first round and last year, he took high school infielder Bobby Borchering and Notre Dame outfielder A.J. Pollock with the club's pair of first-round selections.

Recent Draft History

Rising fast
Left fielder Marc Krauss, selected in the second round of last year's Draft compiled an .855 OPS (on-base plus slugging ) for Class A South Bend in the Midwest League and is off to a good start at Class A Visalia in the California League this year.

Cinderella story
Tom Layne, a 26th-round pick in 2007, has pitched well this year for Double-A Mobile after pitching in the Arizona Fall League last year. The left-hander is at his best when he commits to throwing his slider/cutter.

In The Show
The D-backs do not have anyone currently on their big league roster from the past three Drafts. Schlereth, their first pick in 2008, pitched for them in 2009 and was dealt to Detroit in the offseason as part of the trade that brought Edwin Jackson and Ian Kennedy to Arizona. Right-handed pitcher Bryan Augenstein made seven appearances (two starts) for the D-backs last year, but is back in Triple-A.

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