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D-backs look to local talent in Draft

D-backs look to local talent in Draft

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PHOENIX -- The Diamondbacks completed their 2008 First-Year Player Draft on Friday afternoon, adding 44 new prospects to the organization after selecting seven in Day 1.

D-backs scouting director Tom Allison said the team didn't have a specific organizational approach, but did add several high school pitchers in the 50-round Draft, including one with a familiar last name.

No relation to the Cy Young Award winner from Kentucky, the D-backs added another Kentucky-bred Webb to the organization, Daniel Webb, a right-handed high school pitcher out of Paducah, in the 12th round, 378th overall.

Allison considered Webb somewhat of a steal for the 12th round. Webb's fastball averages in the mid-90s, and he is scouted as a big, strong, physical pitcher with an aggressive and competitive spirit on the mound.

"In scouting terms, he has what we consider high upside for high school pitchers with bright futures ahead of them," Allison said. "With Webb's case, he was a high-profile guy coming in."

Webb signed a letter of intent to the University of Kentucky, but Allison said he may have a faster track to the big leagues if he signs with the D-backs.

"Our goal is to continue to educate him to what the Arizona Diamondbacks are about," Allison said. "We would certainly like to meet with him and find a happy medium."

Allison also noted another high school pitcher that may have a faster track to the big leagues if he signed with the D-backs, 10th round selection Daniel Hultzen. A native of Washington, D.C., Hultzen signed a letter with the University of Virginia.

The D-backs' second day was also highlighted by several selections of players with Phoenix-area ties.

Alex Sogard, a junior left-handed pitcher at North Carolina State and local Thunderbird High School was selected in the 26th round, 798th overall. Sogard is the brother of former Arizona State second baseman Eric Sogard, who was picked in last year's second round by the Padres.

D-backs' top five selections
Pick
POS
Name
School
26.LHPDaniel SchlerethU of Arizona
43.LHPWade MileySE Louisiana U
73.RHPBryan ShawCal St Long Beach
104.RHPKevin EichhornAptos HS (Calif.)
138.OFRyne WhitePurdue U
Complete D-backs Draft results >

Among the other local prospects drafted were shortstop Jake Elmore (ASU) and two Brophy Prep High School infielders, Riccio Torrez and Andrew Maggi, who were selected in the 32nd and 47th rounds, respectively. Both are expected to fulfill their college intentions. The D-backs can keep a close eye on Torrez, who will likely join his brother, Raoul at ASU.

"Players we did select from here in the area are guys we are very familiar with," Allison said. "They played on our Arizona Diamondbacks scout team that operates in the fall and winter and they certainly have terrific options in front of them at the collegiate level."

The D-backs have also come to terms with three college seniors, including 34th-round selection Chris Davis, 35th-rounder Terry Hose as well as Brendan Duffy, a center fielder from Oral Roberts (41st round) who attended Mountain Ridge High in nearby Glendale. Duffy is the brother of Pirates outfielder Chris Duffy.

"Each one of those players is going to define their own path to the big leagues," Allison said. "We're very thrilled with the 51 guys that we've selected. Now we'll start the negotiating and signing process and many of them will start their journey to the big leagues right away, and others will choose other paths."

Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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