When I was looking over the list of who on the D-backs was eligible today, Peter O’Brien’s name immediately stood out as a no-brainier to protect.
There is a reason why the Diamondbacks were willing to trade infielder Martin Prado to the New York Yankees at the 2014 trade deadline. It’s because in return the organization got a player they really value: O’Brien.
Whether that is in the outfield or at catcher, the D-backs will basically do whatever it takes to make him a part of the future. That is how good his bat is and can be down the road.
O’Brien got his first taste of big-league level baseball when he was called up this September thanks to roster expansion, and he more than held his own collecting four hits in ten at-bats (.400).
The question of whether he will play in the outfield or behind the plate is an afterthought when he has that special of a bat.
Obviously the team, with their needs at catcher combined with the amount of outfield depth the team already has, would probably rather him play behind the dish, but that is not a reason to let him get picked up by another team next month.
Next: Other possibilities to be protected