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History of the D-backs draft, Part 2

In the first part, we looked at the early years of Arizona picks, from before the franchise started play in 1996, through the nightmare of the 2004 season. Now, we cover the more recent drafts: were they any kinder to the D-backs?

2012 first-round pick, Stryker Trahan, takes in a game
2012 first-round pick, Stryker Trahan, takes in a game
Christian Petersen

For each year's draft, I've given the same information. Our first-round pick, and whom we could have chosen with that selection (generally taking the closest better player still available at that point); the player who has posted the best bWAR, whether or not with the Diamondbacks; a "sleeper" name from the later rounds, you might recognize; and some figures summarizing the overall results, including a total WAR, which includes the total for any players we were not able to sign. The year link goes to a complete list of our selections from that June.


1st choice: Justin Upton (#1)
Could have chosen: Troy Tulowitzki (#7)
Best pick: Upton (#1, 18.5 WAR)
Sleeper: Rusty Ryal (#411)
52 players. 4 played in the majors (7%). Total of 24.6 WAR

This was a seriously stacked draft. The top seven have combined already for 158 WAR, and that's with third pick Jeff Clement busting to -1.2 WAR before retiring in March. Four of those have put up more WAR than Upton: #2 Alex Gordon (24.1); #4 Ryan Zimmerman (34.2); #5 Ryan Braun (35.8); and Tulowitzki (#36.9). So, while he certainly did well for us, we could have done better. We could certainly have done better with the rest of our picks; only three reached the majors at all, with 3rd-round pick Micah Owings the only one to provide any significant value for the Diamondbacks. So, while we did get one of our best homegrown players ever, that was about it.


1st choice: Max Scherzer (#11)
Could have chosen: Nope, that was about it
Best pick: Scherzer (#1, 20.2 WAR)
Sleeper: Clay Zavada (#897)
52 players. 7 played in the majors (13%). Total of 24.0 WAR

We did miss out on some even better players who were already picked by the time we got ro make our choices - Evan Longoria (#3), Clayton Kershaw (#7) and Tim Lincecum (#10) - but Scherzer has ended up better than just about anyone else (in the first eight rounds anyway, before I got bored and stopped clicking). The sad thing is, of course, that only 2.6 of those twenty wins produced by Scherzer, were while he was wearing a Diamondbacks shirt. Pop quiz: who was the other player we picked in the first round, in the supplemental portion? If you knew without clicking it was Brooks Brown [still yet to reach the majors, with the Rockies in AAA], you're better than me.


1st choice: Jarrod Parker (#9)
Could have chosen: Jason Heyward (#14)
Best pick: Parker (#9, 6.0 WAR)
Sleeper: Josh Collmenter (#463)
52 players. 8 played in the majors (15%). Total of 9.6 WAR

As with Scherzer, just above all the value from Parker was produced after he left the Diamondbacks, with the Athletics. For Arizona, Collmenter has been the most productive player of this draft, with 4.2 WAR. We did also get Barry Enright in the second round, but he is hovering fractionally below replacement level at this point. The rest are a mix of people you've probably forgotten ever played for us (Bryan Augenstein was, apparently, a thing) and people you've probably forgotten ever played for anyone else (Evan Scribner and the unsigned, but still wonderfully-named, Bobby LaFromboise).


1st choice: Daniel Schlereth (#26)
Could have chosen: Craig Kimbrel (#96)
Best pick: Wade Miley (#43, 5.4 WAR)
Sleeper: Ryan Cook (#828)
51 players. 8 played in the majors (15%). Total of 15.1 WAR

I'm kinda surprised how "meh" this draft was. You've got Buster Posey, but this was six years ago, so allowing three years in the minors, that should mean three of potential major-league production. Yet, the other 45 players picked in the first round combine for a total of only 71.6 WAR, with Brett Lawrie the sole selectee save St. Buster to reach even seven WAR. As for the D-backs, a sprinkling of other names you'll know came out of this one - though, as usual, they have done better elsewhere e.g. Cook, as well as Collin Cowgill and Bryan Shaw. The Braves picked Zeke Spruill in the second round here, two spots ahead of Charlie Blackmon, and three in front of Shaw.


1st choice: Bobbie Borchering (#16)
Could have chosen: Mike Trout (#25)
Best pick: Paul Goldschmidt (#246, 12.9 WAR)
Sleeper: Goldschmidt (#246)
55 players. 9 played in the majors (16%). Total of 18.9 WAR

This definitely hurt. There's a good chance Borchering will become our only first pick to this point, since Corey Myers in 1999, not to make the majors at all. Five years later, he's toiling away in High-A, though is still only 23, so I guess there is some hope. He won't be doing it for the D-backs, having been dealt to the Astros (along with Marc Krauss, who is in the majors) for Chris Johnson. Actually, in terms of production for AZ, this could end up being the best of all time, giving us A.J. Pollock and Chris Owings as well as Goldschmidt, But the biggest question of all is: how the heck did 24 teams decide to pass on Mike Trout?


1st choice: Barret Loux (#6)
Could have chosen: Chris Sale (#13)
Best pick: Adam Eaton (#571, 1.5 WAR)
Sleeper: Mike Bolsinger (#451)
50 players. 3 played in the majors (6%). Total of 1.4 WAR

Ah, the infamous saga of Louxgate, where we drafted him, but chose not make an offer due to injury concerns - that got us a compensatory, and arguably better, pick the next year. Even flakier, then scouting director Tom Allison wanted to draft Sale instead, but others pushed harder for Loux, "despite reports from the amateur scouts of arm problems." What might have been... The rest of the draft has yet to bear significant fruit for the Diamondbacks. Outside of Bolsinger and Eaton, the only one to reach the majors was Zach Walters, dealt to the Nationals for Jason Marquis. Loux, meanwhile, underwent TJ surgery in March. So maybe we were right after all.


1st choice: Trevor Bauer (#3)
Could have chosen: Jose Fernandez (#14)
Best pick: Evan Marshall (#124, 0.3 WAR)
Sleeper: Marshall
52 players. 2 played in the majors (3%). Total of 0.0 WAR

Courtesy of the comp pick, the Diamondbacks became the first team ever to have two of the first seven picks in the draft, choosing both Bauer and Archie Bradley. Bauer has gone, in circumstances best described as "murky," and only the future will definitively tell us whether or not that was a good move. Bradley, however, remains the jewel of our farm system, and the hope of our future. Marshall, meanwhile, has already made it to the majors, unlike 87% (107 of 123) of the players picked ahead of him, and has been performing admirably [Tuesday aside] out of the team's bullpen.


1st choice: Stryker Trahan (#26)
Could have chosen: Hard to say
Best pick: Even harder to say
Sleeper: Take your pick
40 players. 0 played in the majors (0%). Total of 0.0 WAR

For obvious reasons, it's a lot harder to assess the last couple of drafts: of the first 200 picks here, barely a handful have made the majors to this point (7 in total). None of the D-backs are there yet; I don't think any of them are above Double-A. Trahan has struggled, and is no longer the catcher he was when drafted, having moved to the outfield, but he only turned 20 in April, so patience may be needed. Possible sleepers of the future here include 3B Jake Lamb, picked #213 but with a .928 OPS in 185 minor-league games so far, or SS Andrew Velazquez, taken 30 spots later, and hitting .294 as a 19-year-old for South Bend.


1st choice: Braden Shipley (#15)
Could have chosen: I presume you are kidding
Best pick: Look, what did I just tell you?
Sleeper: All of them
41 matching player(s). 0 played in the majors (0%). Total of 0.0 WAR

I'm hopeful this draft will turn out to be one of the better ones for the Diamondbacks, with Shipley leading what appears to be a solid class of pitchers. Supplemental first-round pick Aaron Blair is also looking promising, having struck out 66 hitters in 55 innings so far, between A and High-A levels. The position players haven't made quite so much of an impression. Our first choice was at #52, Justin Williams, who was drafted as a shortstop, but is now playing the outfield. He's only 18, so even if he progresses as hoped, we might not see him in the majors before 2019. Such is the joy - as well as part of the pain - of the draft.