PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) selected shortstop Dansby Swanson (Vanderbilt University) with the first pick in the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, as announced by D-backs Director, Scouting Deric Ladnier.
Swanson, 21, is hitting .350 (90-for-257) with 23 doubles, 6 triples, 15 home runs, 62 RBI, 16 stolen bases and 74 runs scored during his junior season with the Commodores. The finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's top collegiate player, entered today's game second in the NCAA Division I in total bases (164), third in runs scored, 16th in hits and 19th in doubles. Swanson (@LieutenantDans7) was recently named second team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, and earned Most Valuable Player honors at the Nashville Regional.
"This is very proud moment of the organization to be able to select Dansby Swanson, an exceptional baseball player that has all of the intangibles and makeup of a championship-type player for which this organization is building a foundation on," said Ladnier. "He has above average defensive ability at the premium position of shortstop, and along with the defensive ability, he has a skilled bat with occasional power, and has proven success at the highest level of competition."
The 6-for-1, 190-pound right-handed hitter was rated by both MLB.com and Baseball America as the No. 1 collegiate prospect in today's draft and No. 2 overall. Swanson, who moved to shortstop prior to this season, was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2014 College World Series as Vanderbilt won its first-ever championship, and played with USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team last summer.
Swanson joins Justin Upton (2005) as the only No. 1 overall selections in franchise history, and is the first collegiate position player chosen by the D-backs in the first round since Stephen Drew (15th overall) in 2004. In addition, Swanson is the 12th shortstop taken first overall since the draft's inception in 1965, and first from the collegiate ranks since the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Jeff King in 1986 out of the University of Arkansas.
Swanson's Commodores defeated the University of Illinois this afternoon to return to the College World Series to defend their title.