In honor of Throwback Thursday, we will honor the 2011 draft, which has had a significant impact on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2017 season.
In the 33rd round and 994th overall, the Diamondbacks selected then-17-year-old Anthony Banda out of Sinton High School in Texas.
Banda went unsigned and played one year of college baseball. He was later drafted in the 10th round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
While his contributions to the team haven’t been perfect, Banda has been taking the mound in place of an injured Robbie Ray.
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Ray was having a career season before a line drive hit in him the head and sent him to the DL. Those were no doubt big shoes to fill, but Banda, while shaky at times, is still an arm to watch.
In his short four games with the club, Banda has 19 strikeouts. He earned his first win against the San Francisco Giants and Madison Bumgarner.
There’s no doubt that Banda, who was optioned back to Reno before Thursday’s game, will rejoin the team on the expanded September roster.
In the competitive balance round after the first round of the 2011 draft, the Diamondbacks selected left-handed pitcher Andrew Chafin.
Chafin, affectionately known as The Sheriff, has been a staple in the Diamondbacks bullpen since 2015.
The southpaw from Ohio has pitched 42.1 innings over the span of 54 games in 2017. His has earned a 2.55 ERA and 1.299 WHIP.
But, Chafin is probably better known for his off-the-field antics more than his relief pitching. The 27-year-old sports a trademark mustache, lives in an RV in the offseason and he might love fishing more than baseball.
Recently, Chafin snagged headlines by breaking a tooth chewing gum on the mound. Who hasn’t been there?
But, we can’t talk about the bullpen, or the 2011 draft without Archie Bradley.
In the first round, with the seventh pick overall, the Diamondbacks selected Bradley from Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.
Bradley has had quite the roller coaster experience in Arizona. He debuted in 2015 only to be removed from the season after taking a base hit to the side of the face. He returned in 2016 as a regular part of the struggling rotation.
But, Bradley has found his place in the bullpen. His ERA was over five in both of his previous seasons, but he owns a 1.33 ERA in 2017 and 59 strikeouts in 54 innings.
Not only is Bradley the set-up guy in the eighth inning, but he’s a huge presence in the clubhouse. With his new role, Bradley also debuted his new #BringInTheBeard look and fans are eating it up.
Not every draft is perfect, but if the Diamondbacks can continue to pull 2-3 players like these from each year, the farm system will be in good shape in no time.