Grading the 2009 Dbacks Draft: A Solid B

Borchering was the Dbacks top choice in the 2009 draft.

The 2009 draft was a fairly good one as they had a pile of early picks and did pretty well with many of the choices. This was the next-to-last draft for General Manager Josh Byrnes who was fired in July of 2010. He has to be given some credit for a decent job of restocking the offensive positional depth in the organization and finding a few gems as well. His most famous pick from this draft will always be Paul Goldschmidt who he nabbed in the 8th round and is already starring at the major league level.

Plenty of other solid choices were made along the way and the future remains upbeat due to some of these choices. They include names like Matt Davidson, Chris Owings, A.J. Pollock, Ryan Wheeler, and Keon Broxton. The draft did lack for pitching with the only real names of note being Charles Brewer and Chase Anderson, neither of whom have made it to the majors and still may not.

Byrnes' worst pick of the draft was probably his first with Bobby Borchering looking like a total 1st round miss. But overall I would have to characterize this draft as a reasonable success. I'm sure future GM Jerry DiPoto had some influence on this draft as he was renowned for his talent evaluation skills. The book isn't written yet on just how good this class will be, and may depend a lot on what Chris Owings and Matt Davidson become. Their ascent to regular major league jobs would make this class a solid A. For now I'm going to rate it a solid B with the potential to be an A. What keeps it from being a higher grade is the total lack of quality pitching. It's entirely possible not a single arm from this class will make it to the show.

The miss on Borchering and the more painful miss of Mike Trout, whom the Dbacks passed on twice, also makes me downgrade this class. It's easy to land a lot of quality players when you have so many high choices as the Dbacks did, so considering what they had to work with they need to develop a couple of regular major leaguers to make all the high picks pay off. Take Goldschmidt out of the equation and one could possibly start to rate this draft as a borderline failure depending on what Owings and Davidson do.

Bobby Borchering, 3B/OF, Round 1, #16
Did his best work at High A last year but has struggled initially in AA and AAA following the trade. Strikes out way too much and defense is sub-par wherever they try him. A miss. Grade D

A.J. Pollock, CF, Round 1, #17
Hasn't wowed anyone with any one specific skill, just does everything well including playing plus defense. Now with the big club and holding his own. Should have a productive major league career whether as a starter or back-up OF. Grade A

Matt Davidson, 3B, Round Comp 1, #35
Has done well coming up through the system and separated himself some from others drafted in the same vicinity. Considered Dbacks 3B of the future but a little bit of a concern about whether that will play out. A few questions remain but still plenty of upside. Grade A

Chris Owings, SS, Round Comp 1, #41
Continues to get better and knocking at the door for a major league job. Still very young for a AAA shortstop. Defense isn't elite but reliable. A future middle infielder who can hit. Lots to like here. Grade A

Mike Belfiore,LHP, Round Comp 1, #45
Traded for Josh Bell a year ago today. Has been converted to relief and is doing well enough. Might earn a major league fringe job before too long, but not an elite prospect. Grade B-

Eric Smith, RHP, Round 2, #60
Stuck in AA pitching out of the pen. Hot and cold but can't seem to put it all together. Team seems to like him but results aren't there yet to think he's going to make it. Grade C-

Mark Krauss, OF, Round 2, #64
Traded to Houston last July with Borchering for Chris Johnson. Has played well in 2012 and so far this year in AAA. Knocking on the door of the majors but isn't an elite prospect. Could be an average/below average major league outfielder, but defense is a question mark. Grade B

Keon Broxton, OF, Round 3, #95
Flashes talent here and there but was dangerously close to being labeled a miss. Rebounded some in 2012 with a solid season. K numbers are abating somewhat and has a nice combination of speed/defense/power to demand patience. Time is starting to run short and AA season this year will tell a lot. Grade B-

David Nick, SS/2B, Round 4, #126
Nick did well at the lower levels but hit the wall in AA and was recently demoted back to High A. That usually signifies a death blow so have to rate Nick a miss. Grade C-

Ryan Wheeler, 3B/1B, Round 5, #156
Hit consistently throughout his ascension to the majors. Hasn't shown he can hold down a full-time major league job but is battling to stay. Anytime a 5th rounder makes it to the show it's considered a win. More importantly, Wheeler was traded for reliever Matt Reynolds who is a star in the Dbacks 2013 bullpen. Grade A

Bradin Hagens, RHP, Round 6, #186
Has been grinding up level by level but is short of doing anything exciting. Now in AA and pitching well enough, but K/BB rates suggest he'll come up short of the majors. Grade C+

Matt Helm, 3B/1B, Round 7, 216
Took three seasons to graduate from Low A South Bend. Now in Visalia which looks to be near or at his ceiling. Grade D

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Round 8, #246
Now starring for the Diamondbacks and on his way to an All Star season. You can't draft any better than this. Grade A+

Chase Anderson, RHP, Round 9, #276
Pitched well in 2009 and 2010 and was looking like a legit prospect. Missed all of 2011 to injury and rebounded nicely with a solid 2012 in AA. Start to AAA season is bumpy so the shine is starting to come off here a little. But he's not dead in the water yet and still has a chance. Not bad for the 9th round. Grade B+

Tyson Van Winkle, C, Round 10, #306
Retired this off-season as he never could hit enough to get his career untracked. Grade D

Scottie Allen, RHP, Round 11, #336
Traded to the Yankees for Juan Miranda. Still toiling in Yankees minors with mixed results, but only 21 so final chapter not written yet. Looks like he'll come up short though as peripherals aren't super exciting. Grade C

Charles Brewer, RHP, Round 12, #366
Has climbed impressively all the way to AAA but fears are this is his ceiling. Has had his moments so far this year and improvement seems evident. So still a chance for him to sneak into the back end of someone's rotation. Grade B+

Patrick Schuster, LHP, Round 13, #396
Has some talent as a LH reliever (though he did more starting at lower levels). But just can't quite seem to show enough to suggest he's going places. repeating at High A this year after a rocky season last year so he better pick up the pace soon. Grade C

Brent Greer, SS, Round 14, #426
Released after 3 years in Dbacks system. Never produced much offense. Grade D

David Nardowski, SS, Round 15, #456
Says he's still associated with the Dbacks but hasn't played since 2011. Lacking info on this guy. Nothing to get excited about in any case. Grade D

Ryan Robowski, LHP, Round 16, #486
Traded to Tigers with P Kevin Eichhorn for P Armondo Gallaraga. Still hanging around Detroit minors but not doing anything special. Grade C

Roidany Aguila, C, 18th Round, #546
H
anging around at the lower levels doing a nice job of handling his share of catching duties and hitting a little. Currently in South Bend. Approaching his ceiling. Grade C

All other signed picks from the 2009 draft have been released and are no longer in baseball.

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