PHOENIX -- After a week of intense discussions in the Draft room, the D-backs elected to select Barret Loux with their first pick (sixth overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft on Monday.
"Through a long week, I think we kept it simple," D-backs GM Josh Byrnes said. "We felt like we took a Major League starter. It was a good discussion for us all week. Fastball is a big pitch in the big leagues, and his velocity is big and he can command it. No real weakness that concerned. That probably drove the decision."
The D-backs also considered, among others, Georgia Tech's Deck McGuire and Chris Sale from Florida Gulf Coast University.
"We came back to a guy we believe is a Major League starter," Byrnes said. "He's a big strong guy, above-average velocity, very good changeup and really had a great junior year."
Loux (pronounced like loud except with an x sound at the end) throws his fastball between 90 and 94 mph with a changeup that is a plus pitch. His curve and slider are less refined.
The D-backs, though, have confidence that those pitches will get better.
"His breaking ball has continued to develop," said D-backs scout Trip Couch, who has followed Loux since high school.
Loux went 11-2 with a 2.60 ERA in 16 starts for Texas A&M this year.
After surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow in 2009, Loux showed this year that he was healthy.
"He's a big strong kid that has a very good arm," Couch said. "He's really stepped forward this year and become the leader of that pitching staff at A&M. He showed he was a workhorse this year, and I think that was the big step that he needed to take."
Loux, 21, has an easy delivery. He threw 129 pitches on Friday in A&M's 17-3 win over Florida International. The Aggies took on the Miami Hurricanes on Monday for the right to go to the NCAA Super Regional, but the game was postponed due to rain in the second inning.
It will resume Tuesday, and Loux will be available to comment following its conclusion.
Once the college season finishes, it sounds like the D-backs feel Loux is someone they will be able to get signed without a prolonged process.
Given that he threw 104 innings already this spring, it's unlikely he will throw much for the D-backs until next season.
"I think he's motivated to get going, but, again, they still have to play so we're not going to interfere with that," Byrnes said.
Given his smooth delivery, good command and solid mechanics, the D-backs regard Loux as someone that can get to the big leagues in a hurry.
"He's got a Major League body right now," Byrnes said. "He looks the part. He's pretty polished. His delivery is sound, he has command. We've seen guys get there quickly. I think performing and adapting to the workload will be the big challenges for him, because how he does it is pretty polished."
Loux, who is from the Houston area, was originally drafted out of high school by the Tigers in the 24th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, but elected to go to college.
"We've scouted Barret since high school and have seen him grow as a pitcher and as a person at Texas A&M, where he was the team's Friday-night starting pitcher this season," D-backs scouting director Tom Allison said.
Loux was the D-backs' lone pick on the Draft's first day, which encompassed the first round and compensatory rounds. Last year, the D-backs had a busy first day, possessing eight of the first 95 picks. They used that Draft to restock a depleted farm system with position players.
This year, they are looking to help shore up their pitching.
"We still have a lot of work to do," Byrnes said. "But this was a good start."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.