The Arizona Diamondbacks went for college experience in the 2017 draft
The Arizona Diamondbacks concluded the first 1o rounds of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by selecting a total of eight, college-level players and three high school athletes. The Diamondbacks’ active roster is indicative of the tremendous success of “home-grown” draft picks coming from the first 10 rounds.
Here’s a look at players on the 40-man roster and the Diamondbacks selections in previous drafts:
Source: MLB Draft Tracker for 2009 – 2013
The Diamondbacks’ organization continued their trend with their third straight college-heavy draft, and strayed from a high-school heavy past.
According to the MLB Draft Tracker, the Diamondbacks selected 106 total high school players between 2007 and 2014, averaging about 13 per draft, but only 12 total between the 2015 and 2016 drafts.
As one of the only professional sports leagues that is still drafting out of high school, there are obvious reasons that teams choose to stay away from young draft picks.
High school players are less likely to sign Major League contracts, and then opt instead to head to junior college or a four-year team; This is especially true in the later rounds.
High school players, for the most part, are less developed than college players and take an average of five years to move through the ranks of Minor League Baseball (based on the length of minor league careers of 400 players currently on 40-man rosters).
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In fact, according to the MLB Draft Tracker, of the 118 high school players the Diamondbacks have selected over the last ten years, only two are currently on the team’s 40-man roster, Archie Bradley and Chris Owings.
Anthony Banda, LHP (currently at Triple-A Reno) is also included in the 118 high schoolers selected by the Diamondbacks. However, he turned down a contract in 2011 and was re-drafted by the Brewers a year later.
Bradley and Owings were both first round draft picks, while Banda was taken in the 10th round.
According to Baseball Reference, players on the team’s active roster who were drafted by the Diamondbacks out of college took an average of just three years before exceeding rookie limits and making significant contributions to the team. This includes Jake Barrett, Andrew Chafin, Braden Shipley, Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and A.J. Pollock.
For the Diamondbacks’ 2017 college-level draft picks, they are joining some considerable company.
Here the the Diamondbacks’ 2017 selections through the first 10 rounds.
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To see a full list of draft picks around the league, visit the Draft Tracker.