The MLB Draft is taking place on Sunday, July 17th, 2022. The Arizona Diamondbacks have the 2nd overall pick in the MLB Draft, which is pretty sweet since there are some stars this year. The Diamondbacks aren't a stranger when it comes to drafting some super talented players in the first round. In this article, we are going back through time to review every first-round pick the Diamondbacks have made in team history. It's a relatively short list as the team has only been around since 1998 unlike some teams like the Cubs or Red Sox. In actuality, the Dbacks have made a first-round pick every year since 1996 except for 1998 (due to expansion draft), 2001 (due to free agency signings), and 2016 when they lost their 1st round pick due to signing Zack Greinke.
Let's get started!
1996 Pick #30: LHP Nick Bierbrodt- Was made the first-ever rookie first-round pick in Arizona Diamondbacks history. Only played with the Diamondbacks for 5 games in 2001 where he started all 5 games throwing 23 innings of 21-run ball with 12 walks and 17 Ks. Was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with Jason Conti for Mike Difelice and Albie Lopez. He stayed in the MLB until 2004. Grade: C
1997 Pick #30 1B Jack Cust- Cust ultimately moved to DH and OF but did stay in the MLB until 2011. He only played with the Diamondbacks for 3 games in 2001. He had 1 hit and 1 walk. After the 2001 season, he was traded with JD Closser to the Rockies for Mike Myers. He is known for playing with the A's. Grade: C
1999 Pick #4: SS Corey Myers- Signed to a 2-million-dollar bonus. Never made it to the MLB, the highest level was Triple-AAA. Grade: F
2001 Pick #22: RHP Jason Bulger- Made his MLB debut with the Dbacks in 2005 pitching in 9 games with 10 innings of 5-walk, 9 Ks, and 6 runs allowed. Then, he was traded to the Angels for Alberto Callaspo. He stayed with the Angels for a while. Grade: C-
2002 Pick #27: RHP Sergio Santos- Long before he was an elite reliever before experiencing a sharp decline, Santos was taken in the draft by the Dbacks. He was dealt in 2005 to the Blue Jays with Troy Glaus for Orlando Hudson and Miguel Batista. A terrific trade. Grade: C+ due to trade
2003 Pick #19: 1B Conor Jackson - This one makes me sad as Jackson looked like a potential star in the making for the Dbacks at first until he got Valley Fever in 2009 and just never was the same player again. He only played in the MLB for 2 more years after his bout with it in 2009. Truly so sad. He did hit 46 HRs, 247 RBI, 209 walks, and 229 Ks, with 104 doubles and a .277/.358/.423/.781 in 526 games with the club. Was traded to Oakland for RP Sam Demel. Grade: B
2003 Pick #29: OF Carlos Quentin - Quentin is another case of "what if" as he only played with the Dbacks for 2 seasons in which he hit 29 doubles, 14 HRs, 63 RBI, 33 walks/88 Ks, and a .230/.316/.425/.742 batting line. He would play on in the MLB with White Sox and Padres for 7 more years earning 2 All-Star appearances. He was traded to the White Sox in 07' for a MiLB 1B Chris Carter who the team traded later on. Grade: C
2004 Pick #15: SS Stephen Drew - Drew became a staple for the Dbacks at SS leading the team to 2 division championships. Drew played for the Dbacks from 06' to mid-2012, recovering from a gnarly broken ankle in 2011. He hit .266/.328/.436/.765 with 176 doubles, 72 HR, 333 RBI, 275 walks, and 563 Ks in 773 games with the team. He was traded to the A's in 2012 for a MiLB'er. He retired after 2017 but did win a World Series with the Red Sox. Grade: A+
2005 Pick #1: OF Justin Upton - Upton reached the MLB as a 17-year-old in 2007, before taking his spot in RF for the next 6 years. During his Dbacks tenure, Upton his .278/.357/.478/.832 with 147 doubles, 108 HR, 363 RBI, 306 walks, and 694 Ks with 2 All-Star appearances. He was ultimately traded to the Braves in a big package that brought Martin Prado, Brandon Drury, Nick Ahmed, and more. He's now with the Seattle Mariners and has earned over 200 million dollars so far. Grade: A+
2006 Pick #11: RHP Max Scherzer- One of the biggest "what-ifs" in MLB history, I don't need to tell you how great Scherzer has been. He is the one that got away from the Dbacks. During his two-year tenure, he went 9-15 over 226.1 innings with 240 Ks, 84 walks, and a 3.86 ERA and 3.77 FIP. He was dealt to the Tigers in the 3-team deal for Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson. Grade: A+
2007 Pick #9: RHP Jarrod Parker- Another big "what-if" if his elbow could've stayed healthy. Parker pitched in one game with the Dbacks in 2011 where he went 5.2 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 K. He would pitch with the A's for two more years until his arm just completely gave out due to injuries. Grade: B for what could've been.
2008 Pick #26: LHP Daniel Schlereth - Was traded as part of the Scherzer trade. Pitched in 21 uninspiring games with the Dbacks where he walked 15 and allowed 13 runs in 18.1 innings. He would play in the MLB for 3 more years with the Tigers. Grade: C-
2009 Pick #16: 3B Bobby Borchering - Never made it past Double-AA and played until 2016 with various systems. Grade: F
2009 Pick #17: OF A.J. Pollock - Pollock was a fan favorite until he left the team in free agency for the Dodgers. Prior to that, the All-Star CF'er battled through many injuries but did play with the team for 7 years. He hit 144 doubles, 29 triples, 74 HRs, 264 RBI, 103 SBs, 185 walks, 407 Ks, and a line of .281/.338/.467/.805. Grade: A
2010 Pick #6: RHP Barret Loux- Did not sign with the club. Only played in the MiLB for 4 years after being an undrafted free agent. Appears to have left professional baseball after 2016. Grade: F
2011 Pick #3: RHP Trevor Bauer - Prior to the worrisome issues he is going through right now, Bauer was a highly touted pitcher that showcased his ability to be a plus pitcher and a plus annoyance to the Dbacks. He started in 4 games, 16.2 innings of 1-2 baseball with 14 hits, 13 walks, 17 Ks, and a 6.06 ERA. He was dealt to the then-Indians in a 3-team trade. Grade: B+ on ability, C- overall
2011 Pick #7: RHP Archie Bradley - Fan favorite Archie will always be remembered for his triple in the 2017 Wild Card Game. Archie pitched with the Dbacks for 6 years before being traded at the 2020 deadline to the Reds. During his tenure, he started 35 of the 249 games he pitched in. Had a 3.96 ERA, 404.1 innings, 169 walks, 419 Ks, and a 112 ERA+. Now with the Angels. Grade: B+
2012 Pick #26: C Stryker Trahan - Struggled with the Dbacks MiLB system and hasn't played professional baseball since 2016 when he was only 22. Grade: F
2013 Pick #15: RHP Braden Shipley - Made it to the MLB 3 years later and pitched in parts of 3 seasons with the Dbacks where he threw 100 innings, allowing 115 hits, 45 walks, and 64 Ks with a 5.49 ERA and 4-6 record. Now is in the Seattle Mariners MiLB system. Grade: C
2014 Pick #16: RHP Touki Toussaint- Was traded to the Atlanta Braves in a salary dump trade with Bronson Arroyo for utility infielder Phil Gosselin. Still on the MLB bubble with the Braves. Grade: D
2015 Pick #1: SS Dansby Swanson - Was traded in a stunning trade after only 1/2 a season in the Dbacks system with other prospects for Shelby Miller in what turned out to be a disaster. Now a World Series-winning Star-SS. Grade: A on the pick, F on wasting the pick.
2017 Pick #7: 1B Pavin Smith - Hazen's first-ever pick. Is stuck in an extended slump right now but did reach the MLB in only 3 years. Has hit 21 HR, 81 RBI, 33 Doubles, and 5 triples in 219 games, while walking 70 times to only 177 Ks. Playing RF and 1st base has been a nice versatile tool to have. Grade: B-, but undecided.
2018 Pick #25: SS Matt McClain - Did not sign and chose to go to UCLA instead. He was later drafted in 2021 by the Reds near the same pick. Grade: Incomplete.
2019 Pick #16: OF Corbin Carroll - Is in the running for the #1 overall prospect for the MLB. Currently the Diamondbacks star #1 prospect. Barrels can run, hit, swing for power, and field. He's the ultimate 5-tool prospect. Grade: So far, A+, but TBD.
2019 Pick #26: LHP Blake Walston - Chosen with the compensation pick that the Dbacks got for McClain. Is a current top-100 prospect and the team's top LHP pitcher. Is already in Double-AA despite being only 20. He has a bright future ahead. Grade: TBD
2020 Pick #18: RHP Bryce Jarvis - Is in Double-AA. He's projected to reach the MLB in 2023/4. Has a ton of potential, though might be forced to move to the bullpen. Either way, he has exciting potential having struck out 146 batters in 129 MiLB innings. Grade: TBD
2021 Pick #6: SS Jordan Lawler - Current #2 prospect in the Dbacks system. Is destroying Low-A currently. Has dealt with two injuries already but should continue to rise through the system fast with an eye on 2024 as his debut date. Another 5-tool prospect who could be a genuine star in the MLB. Grade: TBD
The Diamondbacks have had a fairly successful time drafting in the 1st round. If we excuse the last 4 1st-round picks due to their short time playing baseball in the Dbacks system, then 18 of the team's 23 1st-round picks has reached the MLB for either them or another team. That's pretty darn good. Let's hope that trend continues for the Diamondbacks, only with all of the 1st rounders playing for the Dbacks!