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Director of Amateur Scouting Ian Rebhan discusses the first night of the 2022 MLB Draft

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Diamondbacks entered the 2022 MLB Draft with some changes to their scouting department. Deric Ladnier, who served as the team’s Director of Scouting since the 2015 season, was promoted to a special assistant role alongside the hiring of Jason McLeod to help oversee the scouting department. Ian Rebhan, who previously was the team’s Assistant Director of Scouting before being promoted to Director. This year is Rebhan’s first running the draft for the D-backs.

After the draft, he spoke with the media via Zoom call.

First draft in the scouting director role

“It’s been exciting. You get that little rush on draft day every year, that’s why we love what we do. I think the thing is I’ve been really fortunate with the group that I’ve been able to work with from our entire scouting staff, analysts, and the leadership group here has been great.”

He joked the scariest part is talking to media

Overall thoughts on how the night went for them

“I think it’s exciting any time you get a talent like this in our system. With Druw Jones a 5-tool player who hit, hit for power, play really good defense, and run. Landon Sims a power right handed pitcher with a plus fastball that can miss bats and slider. Ivan Melendez a big, power-hitting right-handed first baseman. Really excited to get all three of those guys.”

If the draft unfolded ideally for them with Jones available at No. 2

“Yeah, obviously we’re really excited to add a player like Druw into our system. He’s a dynamic player with a ton of upside, obviously we’re super excited to get him where we got him.”

Surprised on how the draft unfolded

“The minute you think you know what’s going on is the minute you trick yourself. I really don’t pay attention to it, what you think is going to happen because you really don’t know. You have to trust your process and trust all the work our whole staff has done all year. Trust that, line them up, and see how they fall.”

If this draft had more magnitude picking much higher compared to more recent drafts

“I think every draft is more important. I was an intern when we picked first in 2015 and have been here for every draft since, every draft is important. You have a huge opportunity to add a ton of high-end impact talent into your organization whether you’re picking 1, 2, or 6 like last year. Every draft is important, you don’t weigh any one any differently.”

Coming to a consensus on the order of players they prefer at the top of the draft

“I think it’s always a fluid process. You’re always working through it, lining it up the way that you wanted it from last summer to this spring to when we get here in the room and really hash through it. You’re always talking through it and seeing how they fall. We’ve been working on it for a couple years, lining them up and see how they fall.”

Realizing when Jones was available at No. 2

“When the [Orioles] pick was made.”

If being the son of a highly successful big leaguer makes Jones a more comfortable selection

“Everybody says the bloodlines, that was a big narrative this year. I think Druw is his own player, I really do, I think he does a lot of things really well and the player himself and all the ways he can impact the game. That’s what drew us to him, the way he played the game. The person, in addition to the player, getting to know him and the total package.”

Jones’ ascension to the top of the board

“We watched him for a really long time. We watched him all those summer showcase events, played for Team USA last year and all throughout the Spring this year. We watched him for a year and a half to two years and he’s always been a really good player. He was always in that group of players all year long.”

What their scouts saw in Jones

“The biggest thing is his athleticism, his defense, and the way he can impact the game in so many ways. It’s hit, hit for power, play really good defense in center field, and run the bases. So I guess the answer would be everything, he can do it all, he’s a dynamic 5-tool player.”

Forecasting the outfield with Varsho, Thomas, Carroll, and Jones

“Athletes with tools. All those guys fit the mold, the surplus of it is always great.”

What they liked about Landon Sims at No. 34

“He’s a player who had a ton of success in college, won a National Championship at Mississippi State. It’s a big fastball that misses bats, a plus slider, and he has a chance to be a starter.”

Successfully transitioning Sims into a starter

“He was already doing it this year. He’s a good strike thrower, really good athlete and he’s already got two plus pitches.”

How far along is Sims in his Tommy John recovery

“It’s hard to give a real timetable for, but he went down after three starts this year.”

Sims’ last start was March 4th, and had his Tommy John surgery sometime around the 14th.

More comfort in selecting guys recovering from Tommy John surgery

“I think you can say that. With a player like Landon, the history that he had and the performance he had before getting hurt this year I’d like to bet he can get back to the player he was.”

If Ivan Melendez can play another position beyond first base

“He can play third base, he’s done it in the past. He’s got really good feet over at first base, he moves around there well and he’s got a plus arm so he could play 3B as well.”

Rebhan gave a non-answer to the follow up question from Steve Gilbert about what position they’ll be starting Melendez at.

Process behind taking Melendez despite not fitting their type

“Ivan was the Golden Spikes winner this year in college baseball, hit 32 homers, any time you got a chance to add that type of right-handed power to your organization I think it’s super valuable.”

Getting extra looks in the College World Series as a result of the draft pushed back a month

“I think any time you can get more looks, it’s a positive thing. It’s a wider track record and history.”

The team’s recent success in the draft with Carroll, Lawlar, etc.

“Any time you have successful picks like that who go out and play well, it’s a great feeling. Our goal every year is to get as many big leaguers as possible. It’s a great feeling, but you’re always in search for more.”

If Sims and Melendez are guys that could move quickly up the system

“I don’t think we should get into that a ton. You get them into your system and see what happens. Saying that now is hard to do.”

Process from turning things over from scouting to player development after the draft

“The blend of our two departments is extremely important. We don’t just draft and hand them off, there are a lot of conversations that go on between our group and their group once we get this player so we’re doing the best thing possible to get them to the big leagues. Having that open communication back and forth about what we saw when they were in college or high school and what they’re doing. I think one of the best things is going out to watch those guys succeed and perform, you’re checking box scores every morning. We’re rooting for our player development to get every single one of those guys to the big leagues.”

Makeup and mindset of the players selected on the first night

“Every single one of them is a special human being. We do a lot of work to meet these players and make sure you’re not only bringing in really good baseball players in your system, but really good people. They all different traits, but they showed us the core values of really good people. They’re going to work really hard and they have the ability to handle the grind. When you meet with these guys you realize first and foremost they’re unbelievable human beings and that’s a goal of ours as well along with being really good players.”

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