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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-7, Brandon Drury

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An everyday role is Drury’s this year. Will he live up to it?

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 7: Brandon Drury

  • Date of birth: August 21, 1992
  • Ht/Wt: 6’2”, 210 lbs
  • Position: Infielder
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: 134 games, 499 PA, .282/.329/.458, 16 HR, 53 RBI
  • SnakePit Rating: 7.17 [breakdown of votes below]

Drury’s 2016 campaign was another disrupted by positional uncertainty. On Opening Day, he had zero professional outfield experience. But 79 of his 112 starts came there, mostly in left field, though he also started more in right than at his customary position of third. For 2017, he will at least be back on the infield. Though with Jake Lamb firmly ensconced at the hot corner, Drury’s future now appears to be at another position, the trade of Jean Segura having opened up second-base for the 24-year-old. He has big shoes to fill, given Segura’s MVP-level production in 2016; getting anywhere near that overall output from Brandon would be a huge success for the D-backs.

The issue is more defense than offense. Drury hit pretty well in his (second) rookie season, with an OPS+ of 103. But his glove took his overall value back to replacement level (-0.3 fWAR, 0.0 bWAR). Given his lack of outfield experience, that deficit probably isn’t surprising, and shouldn’t be seen as necessarily predictive. But he has only made 12 major-league starts at second-base too, though has more time there in the minors (619.2 innings, to be precise). 2B is generally seen as a harder position than 3B, so realistically, we should probably not expect too much from Drury. I’d be happy with average defense, and let the bat carry his value into positive territory from there.

It should help that he has had time to prepare, having been ticketed for second base almost since the departure of Segura. This gave him the chance to work towards that in the off-season, concentrating on flexibility and fielding posture. He says, ”It is a position where you have got to be athletic. You’ve got to be light on your feet. You got to turn double plays. You’re shifting all the time. There’s a lot of stuff going on. It’s not easy, but at the same time I’m working and studying so I can be the best I can be.” Fingers crossed this works out for all concerned.

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